LAS VEGAS: Known for his stingy defense, boxer Floyd Mayweather is looking more vulnerable than any other time in his career ahead of Saturday’s world title rematch with Marcos Maidana.
The 37-year old undefeated champ has been taking more punches lately in the ring, as Argentine slugger Maidana came the closest of anyone to beating Mayweather in their first fight in May.
Maidana landed 221 punches in that fight against Mayweather, who hasn’t lost since the semi-finals of the 1996 Olympics.
“I am going to try to change history and change Mayweather’s record,” Maidana said at Friday’s weigh-in at the MGM Hotel and Casino. “I am going to come out aggressive like I came out in the first fight.”
The atmosphere inside the MGM’s Grand Garden Arena was electric as the two fighters made their way on to a raised stage for Friday’s televised weigh-in.
Mayweather (46-0) weighed in a half pound less than Maidana for Saturday’s welterweight world title fight.
Maidana was the first to enter the arena, stripping off his light blue and white track suit and stepping on the scales wearing white boxers with blue stripes. He tipped the scales at 146 pounds (66 kilograms).
Mayweather looked fit and trim in his green track suit and ball cap which read “Money just make it”. He tipped the scale at 146.5 pounds.
“I had a tremendous training camp,” Mayweather told the crowd. “I am ready to fight. I know I can make adjustments.”
Like their first bout four months ago, the rematch will be fought at 147 pounds.
After weighing in at 146.5 pounds for their first fight, Maidana spent the next day hydrating and gained over 15 pounds. Mayweather stepped in the ring at 146.
Maidana’s trainer Robert Garcia said he wants his fighter to come in much lighter on Saturday, around 150 pounds.
In the first fight, Maidana (35-4) hammered Mayweather along the ropes before the Argentine slugger ran out of steam in the later rounds.
‘Pressure him all the time’
“We can do better. We got to pressure him all the time,” trainer Garcia said Friday.
Mayweather’s longevity in the sport has been attributed to brilliant counterpunching skills and a solid defense that doesn’t allow opponents to land many clean shots.
Mayweather, who is the highest grossing athlete in the world, has also survived so long by taking huge chunks of time off. Between December 2007 and May 2013 he fought just four times, going 40 rounds.
Mayweather said he’s ready for Maidana to come out aggressively and said it is also important he keeps his composure for all 12 rounds.
“I don’t worry about the pace. I worry about being me, being smart and winning the fight,” said Mayweather, who is trained by his father. “I have to take my time, not rush and listen to my dad’s instructions.”
The undercard features American Leo Santa Cruz defending his WBC super bantamweight title against Mexico’s Manuel Roman, and Miguel Vazquez, of Mexico, battling Mickey Bey, of the US, for the IBF lightweight world title. AFP