Marcos “El Chino” Maidana, the former welterweight world champion who gets his highly anticipated rematch with Floyd “Money” Mayweather in the main event of “MAYHEM: Mayweather vs. Maidana 2” on Saturday, Sept. 13 live on SHOWTIME PPV®, met with media members in Carson, Calif., last Saturday at StubHub Center and tookpart in an interview on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast.
Joining Maidana at the media roundtable were two-division world champion Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz,and Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo, both of whomare on the pay-per-view undercard on Sept. 13.
Santa Cruz(27-0-1, 15 KOs), of Los Angeles,will defend his WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship against Mexico’s Manuel “Suavecito” Roman (17-2, 6 KOs) in the “MAYHEM” co-featured bout whileAngulo(22-4, 18 KOs) will move up to middleweight to face James De La Rosa (22-2, 13 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Also on the four-fight telecast, Miguel “Títere” Vazquez (34-3, 13 KOs), of Tijuana,will defend his IBF Lightweight World Championship against Mickey “The Spirit” Bey (20-1-1, 10 KOs), a Mayweather Promotions’ rising star from Las Vegas.
Preceding the PPV telecast, SHOWTIME will present a live 10-round junior welterweight bout between John Molina (27-4, 22 KOs) of Covina, Calif., and Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto (64-8-2, 35 KOs) on “COUNTDOWN LIVE” (SHO, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT).
Undefeated 11-time world champion and perennial pound-for-pound kingpin, Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) was, of course, the main topic of the questions directed at Maidana (35-4, 32 KOs) on Saturday.
“He’s not as good as people think,” Maidana told the dozens of reporters in attendance at StubHub Center. “I was able to pin him to the ropes and land punches, so he’s not as difficult or as invincible as people think. He’s hittable. You can land on him. I made mistakes. I was a little too anxious. He never hurt me, but he’s got a respectable punch. You’ve got to respect him.”
Below is more of what Maidana, Santa Cruz and Angulo said during the media roundtable:
Did you get tired in the first fight?
“Yes. I did. I came out strong the first six or seven rounds, and after that I had to take a break and catch my breath a little bit. I had to pace myself. I have to not get as anxious for this fight.”
Are you training any differently for this fight?
“No. No big changes. Just working on my distance control and a couple other minor changes.”
Does your conditioning need to be better this time around?
“I’ve had a little more time to prepare for this fight so this time I’m going to be ready.”
Have you studied the last fight? And what could you do better?
“Yes. Minor changes, but not too much else.
“(Mayweather) can obviously change and get better, but I can change and get better too. The only thing he can do is box and that’s what he did in the first fight. He was moving a lot. What is he going to do? Move more?
“I’m always looking for the knockout. And if I can’t (get it), I’m going to win by decision.”
What would a victory be like over Mayweather?
“It would be the best thing in my career because I would be the first person to beat him.”
How has your life changed since the first fight?
“It’s changed. But I’ve had big fights before. The Amir Khan fight; the (Adrien) Broner fight. But this fight is bigger than those. So it’s changed.
“I never thought that he would give me the rematch. But when he decided to, I was surprised.”
Are rematches harder or easier?
“This is the first time in my career that I’m doing a rematch. It can be a little bit of both. You can argue that it can be hard, but at the same time we know each other so it can be easier.
“I fight for glory. Obviously, my future is secure. But part of me fighting still is because I want to win. And I want to beat Mayweather.”
Leo Santa Cruz
“I’m excited and I’m hungry. It’s been like five months since I’ve been in the ring. I’m just ready to go out there and do what I do and give the fans a great fight.”
On facing his next opponent, former sparring partner Manuel Roman:
“We used to spar a lot and he has good technique, but not a lot of people know him. He’s a good friend, but this is business. Once we’re up there we have go out there and give it our best.”
What are some of the things that you feel you need to improve on as a fighter?
“Everything. There are a lot of things we have to improve on. We’re trying to get different experiences, like fighting with people who move a lot. Every time we’re in the gym there are little things we need to learn. As my father says, ‘You never stop learning.’ I’ve learned a little from every fight.”
Do you plan to fight at 126 pounds next?
“Maybe I’ll do one or two more fights at 122, then go up to 126.”
Who is the one guy you want to fight?
“Guillermo (Rigondeaux). He’s the one who’s been calling me out saying that I’m scared. I want to prove that I’m not scared. I know it’s a hard fight for me, but we don’t care. I want to give the fans what they want. I want to please them and if they’re happy, I’m happy.”
“I’m happy fighting at 160 (middleweight). It’s a lot better than 154. I wasn’t having trouble making weight, I just feel better at 160. I’m ready to take over the division at 160.”
What do you think about your power at 160 pounds?
“You’ll see on Sept. 13.”
What do you think about facing James De La Rosa?
“I honestly don’t focus on my opponent. I focus on the work I have to do. Virgil (trainer Virgil Hunter) grades them and tells me what I need to do.”
Who do you want to fight at 160?
“I don’t even know who the fighters are at 160. Honestly, I don’t focus on the names. I don’t even know the names at 154. What is most important to me is the fans. Whoever they put in front of me is fine.”