SAN DIEGO, September 12, 2014 – The slogan on the hat worn by boxer Floyd Mayweather to his weigh-in on Friday for his rematch fight this weekend with Marcos Maidana read “Money: Just Make It.”
Making money is a sure thing with Mayweather, who will be the world’s best-paid athlete for the third year in a row by the end of 2014. Winning Saturday’s welterweight championship is nearly as assured. But it’s that little sliver of hope that history could be made against the odds that keeps a lot of fans interested. The fight will be aired on Showtime PPV starting with undercard fights at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Fans crowded into the MGM Grand Arena, waiting for hours and filling nearly 10,000 seats for Friday’s weigh-in. The weigh-in came complete with the bodyguards, ringwalks, and on-stage entertainment by rapper Rick Ross.
The weigh-in itself was businesslike, compared to the combative news conferences and name calling leading up to the fight. The stare-down was brief; Maidana cooperated in a pose with Mayweather holding one of his championship belts. The pair even participated in an on-camera interview with Showtime’s announcing team. For Mayweather, money is thicker than mayhem. For Maidana, redemption is worth the risk.
Both fighters came in under the 147-pound welterweight limit, Maidana at 146 pounds and Mayweather at 146.5 pounds the reverse of their first bout. Maidana had a much longer training camp for this fight and worked hard on conditioning. Mayweather gets to business in the gym when he needs to, and he appears in exceptional shape.
Planning to watch “Mayhem” or planning to pass? Either way, all fans are invited to join Communities Digital News for a live chat giving you real-time insight on the action, punch for punch and moment for moment. The chat begins Saturday at 8 p.m. ET with the televised undercard fights. This is an hour earlier than the customary start time.
Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) will earn a minimum guaranteed purse of $32 million. Maidana’s (35-4-0, 31 KOs) purse is $3 million, double the amount of the first fight and the largest of his career. Maidana will earn additional income from pay per view fees in Argentina and some other promotional deal.
Mayweather controls much of the additional revenue for the event as one of the fight promoters, including pay-per-view and marketing. He was the highest paid athlete in the world for 2013 at $72.5 million, and some people think it was closer to $90 million. This year it could easily top $100 million.
The five-time champion Mayweather is known for his tremendous defensive skills and smart tactics in the ring, with his accurate connect percentage sometimes overlooked by observers. But not the judges, who reward his command and efficiency.
Maidana is a no-frills, crowd-pleasing aggressive fighter with a high knockout percentage rate. His victory over the heavily favored Adrien Broner gave him the opportunity to fight Mayweather in May, and his relatively strong performance and entertaining value won him a rematch.
Maidana is a fan favorite with loyal supporters in Argentina and around the world. It’s hard not to like the humble, hard hitting new father. Mayweather is a polarizing figure, with his wildly extravagant lifestyle, flashy cars and flashier female companions outside the ring. Those companions and Mayweather have an ugly history, including criminal convictions and jail time for Mayweather.
Maidana had some success finding the target against Mayweather in their first bout, but it took a lot of work and he couldn’t keep up the pace for all 12 rounds. If Maidana has succeeded in improving his conditioning and can employ aggressive tactics for an entire fight, he will have a chance.
And in any fight, there is always the element of surprise. (See Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV, or Provodnikov vs. Algieri).
What Maidana has going for him is the ability to throw punches at odd angles, without his feet under him. He has enough power to still make these kind of punches hurt. He has to put power plus accuracy together, and count on a little luck, perhaps a mistake by Mayweather. He has to crowd Mayweather into the ropes and corners where he can go to work on him.
But Mayweather doesn’t make too many mistakes. He made one in the first fight and Maidana tagged him hard enough to draw blood. Mayweather will not get anxious. He knows he needs to do is be patient and wait for the opportunities that Maidana will inevitably offer through fatigue or perhaps frustration.
Maidana is willing to take some damage and he’s as tough as any fighter in the ring. Mayweather isn’t likely to knock Maidana out. Mayweather hasn’t scored a knockout in three years. He simply needs to score efficiently and keep Maidana from doing the same.
NEXT: Keys to the fight and predictions
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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