Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, and their teams, came together in Los Angeles for the final get together on their press tour to hype their rematch, which will occur on Sept. 13 at the MGM in Las Vegas. The combatants have exchanged unpleasantries in NY, DC, Chicago and San Antonio, and there had been some ire on display along the way. Was it legit or part of the show, some manufactured animus to build buzz? Only the principals knows for sure; but in LA on Thursday afternoon, Floyd was chill, Maidana was too, and only trainer Robert Garcia showed anything resembling a fighting spirit.
Team Mayweather exec Leonard Ellerbe, introing Floyd, said Money will be remembered as a smart fighter, and smart businessman. He brought "the best ever to do it, TBE, Money Mayweather" to the mic.
Mayweather chugged water, and then thanked the fans, after everyone else had their time at the mic. "You fans have been great," he said, mentioning Chino's and his own rooters. He called the MGM Grand "truly unbelievable," and said he couldn't ask for a better company to be with than Showtime and CBS. He gave a shotout to his mom, and then his dad, "one of the best trainers in the world." He addressed his four children and said he would dedicate the fight to them. Next, while some Maidana fans did an ole chant, he thanked Showtime's Stephen Espinoza for "taking boxing to another level." He called Showtime "number one." He also tipped his cap to Richard Schaefer, who called the "driving force" behind building Golden Boy. He said he was "behind him one hundred percent." We heard Schaefer was present, interesting considering he's fighting with Golden Boy boss Oscar De La Hoya, who is on vacation, his people say, which was pre-planned.
Then, Floyd referenced his grandma Bernice, and then LA fans, who clapped and cheered tepidly. He congratulated the Kings. He said the Lakers and Clippers will probably both have a great 2015. He brought up his kids again, and pointed to them as his future. Publicist Kelly Swanson got a shotout, and he said he gives her a hard time sometimes, but he truly thanks her. He said Mayweather Promotions wants to be like Golden Boy but it will take time, he said. He said he couldn't have a better staff, and he said he can't helped it that he's a rock star, and has a big staff. He gave a shootout to an app he touts, not sure of the name. A hard-dedication and hard work-easy work chant got a tiny bit of traction.
Maidana, during his time at the mic, thanked the fans present and his fans in his native land, Argentina. He said that he would come to fight Sept. 13, not dance. "Floyd is a great fighter and excellent boxer, and undefeated, but I'd probably be undefeated if I had the judges on my side," he said. The hitter said it's fine if Floyd doesn't let him use the oversized mitts, the props referred to earlier by trainer Robert Garcia.
After Maidana spoke, Ellerbe then said it's about being classy and said the fighters fight, the other support crew don't.
Ellerbe spoke first after the presser was delayed for almost an hour, after being introed by the hype-builder Tattoo. He gave a shootout to two LA Kings hockey players, who received Chino and Money jerseys, and then posed in The Money Team ballcaps. Ellerbe asked the crowd who they though would win, in this battle on a card tagged "Mayhem."
"You the fans demanded (this rematch)," he declared. He said the event is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions, and CO-promoted by Golden Boy, a switch from the recent past, by the way. He then called up Stephen Espinoza to the mic. The Sho boxing boss called Sho PPV "the industry leader in pay per view." He said their first fight was "unforgettable" and predicted the same will occur in the rematch.
All Access, he said, will premier in August, date TBA.
Ellerbe said the card will run in over 500 movie theaters across the country, in Fathom facilities. Then, he called senior VP of Golden Boy Eric Gomez to the mic. He said today is Maidana's birthday, and he led the crowd in a singalong. A boxing glove cake came out and Floyd didn't smash it in his face, sadly, losing a golden opportunity.
Gomez called up Maidana advisor Sebastian Contursi, who thanked Mayweather Promotions and Floyd, for being a man of his word, for giving Chino a rematch. Gomez next brought up Maidana trainer Robert Garcia, who thanked all for coming to the event. He made a gloves joke, and trotted out a huge pair of gloves, which he said Floyd agreed to wear. He then spoke about Floyd's alleging that Chino is dirty. The game is rough, he said, and this next fight will be even rougher. He insulted Floyd, saying his fights put his own kids to sleep, as contrasting with his fight against Chico Corrales, which was seven rounds of action, and which his own kids enjoy. Garcia then offered to take a walk, and rumble with Floyd right then and there, because, "In LA, we know how to handle business." Then, he said that Floyd's ladies leave him when not on his payroll. He next referenced the bet, the offer for winner take all purse, and said Floyd wouldn't take it. Floyd didn't…Garcia laughed at Floyd's bodyguards, for being there only because they are on payroll. It was a solid heel promo…
At the end, Mauro Ranallo congratulated Floyd for winning the Best Fighter ESPY on Wednesday night. The boxer said he was happy to win, and thanked his staff for helping him. He said he chose a rematch because the fans wanted it. It will be an action-packed fight, he said, and he can make adjustments during the fight. Ranallo referenced the gloves issue. Floyd said this is a "barbarian's sport" but he believes in safety, so that's why he cares about the gloves. And is the work getting hard to do? No, he says, he likes the work. He said he will be a lot sharper on Sept. 13.
Ranallo brought Maidana over, and Eric Gomez translated. Maidana was asked what he can do to beat Floyd definitively. The Argentine said that he's happy he got the rematch, and that he doesn't have to change much, he just needs to tweak a few things. He said he will fight again to use the type of gloves he wants, for the record. "I think in the first fight, he lost…this time I'm going to be ready for any style he brings," he said.
That was it, gang. Not too much out of the ordinary. Garcia brought a B plus game to the table, while Floyd seemed to lack energy. Now, we count down to the bout...which really isn't that far away, is it?
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?