The Floyd Mayweather spectacle continues as hype for Maidana 2 Begins

Rich Mancuso

  When it comes to Floyd Mayweather Jr. there is never a dull moment. So, of course the richest athlete in sports, and because of a lucrative deal with CBS and their Showtime subsidiary, the fourth of a sixth fight deal means a four-day and five city cross country press tour.

And this is not Manny Pacquiao as the next opponent for Mayweather, a fight that is still a topic of discussion and may or may not happen, all depending on what you hear.  It’s Mayweather and Marcos Maidana 2, September 13 from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay-Per-View, a rematch that was expected from what was seen after their first encounter back on May 3rd when Mayweather won a majority and close decision.

So once again on Monday afternoon, and under threatening clouds with humid conditions, Mayweather held a spectacle in the Cross-Roads of America, Times Square. He was the center of attention, and moments later was escorted to his private jet and headed to the next destination, doing it all over again with Maidana in Washington D.C. later in the day.

After Washington there are stops in Chicago, San Antonio Texas and Los Angeles to wrap up the week.

Yes, this is boxing. More so, Floyd Mayweather Jr. the undefeated welterweight/super welterweight champion and the face of boxing, and at times more of a spectacle than the great and former heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali.

Though boxing does need a good face, and Mayweather has certainly done his part to fit that bill, the attention should be on Maidana who almost got the win back in May. Rightfully so, Maidana, was the perfect and right opponent for Mayweather’s fourth fight in this six-fight deal.

“I don’t do it just for myself, I do it for the fans,” Mayweather said, who is 16-0 in 12-round fights.  You can’t knock that success, and when the record book is closed he will have his day as an inductee in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  Boxing may never see another Mayweather for a long time, though there are possible candidates out there that hardly compare.

In baseball, they look at home runs and hits as credentials to greatness. Mayweather thrives on the undefeated record, knockout ratio, and he is the gate leader and pay-per-view revenue grabber.  He is a marketing guru and the sponsors have no hesitation bringing him along for the ride, after all he averaged a little over a million pay-per-view buys per fight.

The 11-time world champion has never ducked an opponent. The Pacquiao fight though is still the one fight fans want to see. And, he knows how to get a crowd to chant his name and thrives on letting it be known, as he said again, “This is Floyd Mayweather time.”

Stephan Espinoza, the Showtime executive Vice President of boxing, and a prime reason Mayweather got his lucrative deal was adamant, as he should be about his face of boxing.   

“They called it an epic bout,” explained Espinoza about the first encounter. He said it was the toughest fight for Mayweather in years. “He’s made a commitment for excitement.” Maidana almost pulled off the upset the first time and Mayweathergot the win.

A champion, like Maywether, who has been around as long as he has, knows how to adjust and pull of the win when the going gets tough. Except, Maidana was just as good as adjusting and Mayweather knew his streak was in jeopardy.

Maidana has his following. A proud and talented fighter from Argentina, he vowed to win this second fight for all of his Latino fans. Right now, Maidana, maybe has more popularity among Latino boxing fans, maybe more than four-time champion Miguel Cotto and that is attributed to how he handled Mayweather in the first fight.

 He thanked all the Latinos that came and offered their support in Times Square. “I deserved this rematch,” he said.  “Without a doubt we are going to prove who won this first fight with the rematch.”    

 But here is what makes Mayweather the spectacle he is. There was a focus on what he said and it was more about himself and minimal talk about his strategy in this return bout.

“ Let me step back so y’all can check my swag…The diamond Gucci belt, it’s official. The Ditta Glasses, it’s official. Get your cameras out… take a picture … Check the “Forbes,” list referring to the magazine that cited him as the richest athlete in the world.

“This will be the last time you ever see a champion like this.”

And, Mayweather bragged about people knowing he will be making $70 million after the fight, 32 million of that the guaranteed purse.  He told Maidana to go inside and make the bet “if he believes in his skills” and is so confident that he will be the winner.

“I want to give the fans what they want to see,” he commented about why he chose to fight Maidana again.  “I’m fighting against the critics, against everybody.  I feel out of 12-rounds, I clearly won the fight and I know I did. There were many who thought otherwise, and one judge had the fight a draw.

Then there was this, Mayweather said he would have a surprise announcement to make after the fight.  It won’t be retirement or a major contribution to his favorite charity. The speculation, his next fight, which would be next May, could be held in New York City at Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

This fight was rumored to be at Barclays but that was nixed because Mayweather Promotions is not licensed in New York. He also does not have a license to promote in Las Vegas, where he resides. There are numerous reasons cited for the license issue, and possibly because Mayweather has that history of legal issues over the years.  

So, in stepped Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya who became co-promoters because as Mayweather’s team said, “They know how to do business,” ironic, because Mayweather, stated a month ago that he would not do business with De La Hoya when his good friend, and now former CEO of Golden Boy, Richard Schaefer parted ways with De La Hoya because of differences.

Yes, it is the spectacle of Floyd Maywether Jr.  And this time, he may have the most difficult fight of this illustrious career. And indeed, when this all comes to an end, boxing may never see anything that can compare.

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