Their previous Cinco de Mayo dustup at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas produced such an unexpected spectacle of Marcos Maidana unloading his arsenal on Floyd Mayweather frozen on the ropes that the suits look to roll their loaded dice again with more of the same. Mayweather has adopted a new moniker of Mayhem, presumably the first shot of the payback he expects to extract from Chino this next Mexican Independence Day weekend, Saturday, September 13th.
It must be said that Mayweather absorbed the kind of beating that few thought he would ever take again after Jose Luis Castillo savaged him in their first go round. Looking back over his career, Mayweather has suffered only one recorded knockdown, perhaps more remarkable than his undefeated record that has taken on a canned quality these past 7 years at his personal mint, the MGM Grand in Vegas. Then again, another look reveals that he never faced any prime slugger types after moving up from lightweight until just this year, so he was quite fortunate in his matchmaking.
Combined with the mighty push and pull of his manager Al Haymon, he had the power to threaten to cancel the first fight against Maidana when Team Mayweather wouldn’t approve Maidana’s custom Mexican Everlast boxing gloves and then turned down the NSAC approved Everlast replacements. The big money backing Mayweather is claimed to have finally put up the funds to pay Chino another couple of million more on top of his 1.5 million dollar purse to wear some Mayweather approved pillows so the promotion wouldn’t go bust with a cancelled main event.
The GloveGate Affair
Hmmm, faced with a fight cancellation of his biggest fight and largest purse ever or to more than double his net take for punching with pillows, well now, it’s easy to see how a po’boy from Argentina was gonna swing on this and who wouldn’t?
The finances and organization of this fight were supposed to be quite different this time around after long time Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Floyd Mayweather announced their acrimonious departure from GB. Yet after playing Barclays in Brooklyn off the MGM Grand in Vegas, Mayweather decided to eat the lucrative crow and crawled back to Golden Boy as he’s done in the past for more of the same. His word has never been his bond, money is his bondage. Could it also be that Schaefer has reset in Haymon’s underground Vegas bunker to again pull the strings of the finances for this fight on a contract basis now?
Subterfuge may rule the day in any Mayweather promotion, but years from now after the fetid stains of marketing greed will have washed away, it will become more apparent just how financially orchestrated these many years at the MGM have been for Mayweather. Nine fights over 7 years starting with a highly disputed split decision over Oscar de la Hoya before ending with two consecutive majority wins over Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana paying him out some $250 million, that’s a quarter billion in shorthand folks. The fight numbers and tepid fights vs the revenue numbers could never add up in previous generations, but then again this ain’t your great grandpappy’s generation with the US gu’mint printing money like there’s no tomorrow.
So, how does a rare Mayweather rematch go?
***I was finished with this part of the preview by the time the Nevada State Athletic Commission surprisingly announced the referee and judges well in advance, so I decided to leave it unedited as it shows the canned predictability of how making a Mayweather fight has been. Kenny Bayless was selected as ref with Dave Moretti of Las Vegas, Guido Cavalleri of Italy and John McKaie of New York the judges. Cavalleri is the wild card here***
***Maidana got a surprisingly equitable performance out of referee Tony Weeks who’s only sin was allowing Mayweather to keep Maidana locked up for extra precious seconds after ordering and attempting to break them. Weeks may never be invited back for another Mayweather fight, so look for his longtime concierge, Kenny Bayless, or alternately Robert Byrd, currently being groomed for the position after the infamous Joe Cortez retired. To wit: “But the referee had a bad night last time. We forgive him but this is going to be a much cleaner fight. None of those dirty rabbit punches or elbows.”
Mayweather’s preferred judges are Dave Moretti , Jerry Roth, and Burt A. Clements based on their wide Mayweather scoring and substantial appearances in all of his consecutive 7 years of MGM Grand events, so look for at least one or perhaps even all for his strategically important 10th straight Mexican Holiday MGM Grand fight also.***
In the first Maidana fight Mayweather was easily trapped on the ropes much like the Jose Luis Castillo and Oscar De La Hoya fights where he was faced with bigger, stronger opponents who went hard after him. Maidana is not naturally bigger or stronger than him though, but he is a prime aged unrepentant slugger who got on top early and smothered him in brutalizing punches that likely took away his legs early and fuzzed his thinking. I’d imagine Floyd won’t risk being “Bronerized” again and goes on the run for ye aulde stink and move routine similar to his Robert Guerrero style. Guerrero had beaten up his pal Andre Berto in a toe to toe classic that Mayweather wisely didn’t fancy to reprise.
Mayweather made a big stink about Maidana’s “dirty” fighting which is really rich given the dirty history of his own fights with regards to razor sharp elbows, hitting on the break and sucker punching moves that he has always been allowed. Against Canelo in the early going he introduced the patented Bernard Hopkins upperbutt and a rather amateurish form of lacing Canelo’s eye that resulted in Canelo being warned by Kenny Bayless, the typical fight template in the early rounds that keeps Mayweather opponents off balance as they have to worry more about the ref instead of fighting Mayweather. Vic Drakulich recently DQed Diego Chavez as he was lacing the face of Brandon Rios in another Vegas fight if you want to see how stuff like that can work out in a more equitable environment.
With Mayweather’s style of twisting into pretzel like forms and often compressing himself illegally below the beltline, it was inevitable that some of Maidana’s voluminous punches would stray low or behind the noggin since that’s where the target areas relocated for him to wing his punches at. Mayweather sometimes illegally shows his back when boxing defensively and turns his noggin away, so no wonder he got a few rabbits thrown his way. There were no point deductions for the infractions that Mayweather claims, so Tony Weeks amazingly gave Maidana a green light to go after Mayweather, after all, Maidana was considered a lowly 12-1 underdog and stood no chance according to Haymon News of the Ring World experts and the Mayweather nation. More interesting was the utter lack of protest after the draw was scored by a new Mayweather judge picked to replace the previous C.J. Ross draw score, Michael Pernick.
So for the 2nd fight in a row the judges failed to see the full measure of the wondrous wizardry of Floyd Mayweather as the self emasculated Mayweather nation may be withering on his PPV vine. Drunken punch monkey stats claim they landed about the same number of punches, but it’s self evident that Maidana punches much harder than Mayweather and he was throwing hundreds more punches that were “blocked” on shoulders and arms that Mayweather was credited with good defense for, yet probably couldn’t get out of bed the next day. Mayweather was pummeled as hard as Sugar Ray Leonard was in his first loss to Roberto Duran, but that fight was held in neutral Montreal, not on Leonard’s personal playgrounds where Duran could never cop that kind of decision.
The buffet grazing herd mentality of the “fighting” press was such that precious few gave Maidana much credit at all. I’m certainly no fan of Sugar Ray Leonard, but it was easy to see the incredible talent, heart, and desire he had before his first retirement and I’ve never seen anything close to that in the Mayweather career. My fighters of that era were Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, and most especially the no quarter asked nor given Marvin Hagler who saved his savagery for inside the ring and civilized demeaner for outside the ring. I could witness awe inspiring greatness in the making in that era that I simply fail to see in Mayweather fights. We can however count the staggering sums of money he has claimed with a style that even his substantial fan base admit is boring, eking out spare tap-tap hometown scored incremental rounds one extra tap per round to his benefit.
Save for the substantial endurance needed to throw so many power punches, their last fight was one of the easiest Maidana fights for him as far as punishment taken and he will have an extra week to train this go round. Additionally he has sacked his physical trainer, Alex Ariza who’s philosophy of artificially swelling up his fighters after the weigh in with huge weight gains may have compromised the stamina of the small framed Maidana who is no great shakes as a physical specimen.
Ripped & Ready vs Rounded & Rowdy
Sure, Mayweather has a superior defense and few look good against him because of his spoiling instincts and painstaking matchmaking, but conversely he could never win these hometown tap-tap type fights in Thailand where the 19 year old Manny Pacquiao utterly pulverized the highly regarded Chatchai Sasakul for his first title. Wladimir Klitschko only recently traveled to what is a literally the Ukrainian “enemy state” of Russia amidst their tragic border war to take on their undefeated champion Alexander Povetkin, an Olympic superheavyweight gold medalist who had never once been knocked off his feet, ama or pros. Wladimir blasted poor Povetkin to the canvas 4x and otherwise pounded and threw him around and down in a near shutout. Roy Jones may not have been an international fighter in his prime, but he fought brilliantly across the country in a host of venues, often dominating in his opponent’s home environs, but how quickly folks have forgotten that Roy Jones truly was self promoted and really did call his own shots to take his show to the people.
That Mayweather has offered to match Maidana’s entire purse in a bet over who wins the rematch is the last refuge of the unrepentant scoundrel by asking others to risk everything while he risks very little in return. He has always had unprecedented money and power backing his entire pro career, so we’ll see soon enough what transpires in this supposed Golden Boy reorganization that has already reverted in part back to the same ol’, same ol’ as before. Maidana trainer Robert Garcia called his bluff when he offered back a “winner take all” wager, a much riskier proposition that Mayweather ignored and rightly so if he wants his guaranteed purse.
Oh, and let us not forget the divine ruling from above passed on down to us peons by WBC El Presidente For Life Sulaiman Jr. The WBC welterweight and junior middleweight belts will be on the line as well as the WBA Superduper Welter title. There are no words to describe such infinite largess though perhaps the endowment of the WBC interim heavyweight belt might be a start, but let us the fans not get too greedy over these goodies that have been provided.
Whoops, almost slipped by that Mayweather has now been spotted working out with ex-Pacquiao and ex-Maidana trainer Alex Ariza who seems to be available these days as both mercenary trainer and informer as he floats on a fight to fight basis as his destiny intermingles with that of Mayweather’s.
In the middle of all this internal and external chaos, Mayweather was immediately granted his Nevada’s promoter’s license upon application with no background questions about his finances, criminal record, or alleged failed drug tests if you want to see how Nevada works for him. He was even praised for being a wonderful role model, I kid you not.
I don’t make this stuff up folks, “it” happens in Nevada all the time.
And speaking of it, Mayweather sure stirred up a big pot of it when he made his drug accusations and demanded Olympic drug testing for the rest of his fights that he has never actually undergone. Nor has he or any of his team ever addressed insider allegations of his own failed drug tests nor have they addressed why his own stable of fighters have failed the standard drug tests that he wants to abolish.
Will the Floyd Mayweather Jr legacy be further feathered out as Showtime nurses him along to the Rocky record of 49-0 or will Marcos Maidana be the straw that finally breaks the Mayweather jackpot? The highly protected undefeated touted fighters of the Team Mayweather stable have recently been spectacularly knocked out left and right as signs of decline seem to be lining up in the stars in advance of the Maidana rematch.
And perhaps prophetically thus spake TBE:
“Let me step back so y’all can check my swag. The diamond Gucci belt, it’s official. The Dita glasses, it’s official. The diamonds are always flawless. The style is always flashy. Check the Forbes list. It’s all about “Money May” all day. Let me step back so y’all can check my swag. Get your cameras out and take a picture!!! This is gonna be the last time y’all see a champion like this.”
The Best Ever prophecy?