Floyd Mayweather Jr. says all he wants from Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13 is a clean fight, something Maidana isn’t going to promise.
The boxers, promoting their coming welterweight world title bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, came to Pershing Square on Thursday to close a weeklong five-city tour and remain split on not only the style of acceptable fighting but also the use of proper gloves.
Maidana, who cut Mayweather and battled him evenly through the first half of their May bout before Mayweather (46-0) proceeded to a 117-111, 116-112, 114-114 majority decision, isn’t conceding another switch of the Everlast gloves he’d won approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission before the first fight.
Mayweather’s camp ultimately convinced Maidana in May -- thanks to a purse increase reported to be $1.5 million -- to change into softer gloves.
Maidana’s trainer, Robert Garcia, brought up some oversized, overstuffed glove displays on stage Thursday, joking, “These are the gloves Mayweather wants us to use” in September.
“It’s an open issue, hasn’t been closed yet … we’re going to fight for my gloves,” Maidana (35-4, 31 knockouts) told reporters in a meeting at the Los Angeles Biltmore before the outdoor gathering. “If he thought the last fight was rough, this one will be rougher.”
Mayweather responded that Maidana fought “reckless … with a windmill style” in the first bout, and subjected the champion to “something crazy,” like a head butt that drew blood.
“You don’t give your fighter advice like, ‘Go out there and cheat to win, [to] fight with no pads in your gloves,’ ” Mayweather said. “Even though we’re in a brutal sport, conduct yourself like a gentleman, earn it the hard way. ... Don’t cheat to win.”
Garcia said the glove issue is important.
“We’ve got to go for the knockout,” Garcia said with Mayweather fighting in his hometown arena. “Maidana punches tremendously hard. If we land some punches, we might stun him or drop him and get a decision that way. ... ”
Garcia said he believes Mayweather is launching a twin campaign, to not only eliminate the gloves, but to get the message out to Nevada authorities that Maidana fights dirty.
“[Mayweather’s] trying to get that into the heads of the judges and the referees, he’s smart, that’s how he is,” Garcia said.
Maidana argued that Mayweather engages in his own dubious behavior, such as elbows to the throat and seeking to punch at questionable times as he did in previously knocking out Victor Ortiz.
Mayweather repeated what he’d said earlier on the tour, that Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez were better fighters than Maidana, even though the May bout is considered by nearly everyone else who watched it to be his most contested fight.
“Everything is about patience,” Mayweather said when asked whether he expects the September fight to be a continuation of the later rounds when he appeared to solve Maidana’s attack.
“I’ve learned … you’ve got to have it. When a guy’s throwing wild punches, I’ve learned -- take my time. And when it’s time for me to dish mine out … this is chess, not checkers. Everything I do is calculated. He cannot fight any better. I turn around quick and make adjustments. That’s what sets me apart from other fighters, and other athletes.
“Nothing is knocking me off my square.”