With the big fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana closing in, the hype for the event is just starting to heat up. I recently had a chance to speak to one of the May 3rd fight participants, Marcos Maidana, to discuss the upcoming challenge he has ahead of him. Maidana talked about what a win would mean for him and his country, and also talked about being a wide underdog for the event. Additionally I briefly spoke to his trainer Robert Garcia, and also his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya. Here is what they had to say during this special media call.
Jenna J: Robert, right now Floyd Mayweather Jr. is 37 years old. From your perspective, do you think he is as good as he’s ever been as a fighter?
Robert Garcia: I think he’s in the right moment right now. He’s in his prime even though he’s been world champion for the past 15 years. I think right now what he’s done lately with so many great fighters; I think he’s better than ever. We’re preparing for the best Mayweather ever.
Jenna J: Marcos, that win that you had over Adrien Broner, it surprised a lot of people and you gained a lot more fans. What has it been like since that win and the reception you’ve been getting from fans?
Marcos Maidana: This is the most important fight of my career, the fight with Broner gave me a lot of exposure but this fight itself is the biggest fight of my career and it would be a tremendous upset and that’s what I’m training for, to upset the world and do it for my country. It will be huge for my country.
Jenna J: Odds makers have you as wide as a 14-1 underdog. Do you use that as extra motivation or is it just like any other fight?
Marcos Maidana: It doesn’t bother me at all. What motivates me is that if I win, I’m gonna beat the best in the world.
Jenna J: Oscar, throughout your career you were known for your big pay-per-view events, you had the one with Mayweather. Are you surprised of the way that Mayweather has carried the sport with these huge events that have exceeded what you did?
Oscar De La Hoya: No, we’re extremely proud with what Golden Boy can do and obviously when you have a fighter like Mayweather who is easily promoted and who can be promoted across the globe, and when you have a big machine like Golden Boy Promotions, you’re gonna get big events. I’m just really proud to be part of it.
Thoughts on previous Mayweather dealing with aggressive fighters
Robert Garcia: Against Floyd, those who have tried to come forward they haven’t been successful, but the fact is, Floyd has never faced somebody with the power and the heart, the determination that ‘Chino’ has. He’s one of those fighters that doesn’t worry about who’s in front of them.
He’s not worried about fighting the best pound for pound in the world. He is ready to fight and do what he does best. He goes out there and tries to hurt his opponents, that’s what he’s training to do.
Marcos Maidana: That day in Vegas, I’m gonna go out to win. If others haven’t been able to do it, I’m training to do it, I’m training to be the first one to do it.
What makes you stand out from past Mayweather opponents and what will give you a shot to win?
Marcos Maidana: I think my style and also that I have fought many good opponents and I always come to win no matter who the opponent is. I’m not afraid of Mayweather, I’ll step in the ring with anyone and I’m excited for the fight. I’m gonna come to fight and I think that’s the reason I can beat him.
How his style has changed since working with Robert Garcia
Marcos Maidana: I feel much better, I use the jab more and I think Robert Garcia has taught me a lot and has calmed me down, that’s what I was missing. I even feel stronger since I’m getting better shots off, I feel good.
Is the only way to win is by knocking Mayweather out
Marcos Maidana: With Broner everyone thought that I couldn’t beat him on points. I prepared myself to fight, if the knockout comes, it comes. I’m preparing myself to punish him every round and try to get him out before the limit, but I know it’s 12 rounds and I’m prepared for that.
Both fighters are champions, does he view himself as a challenger
Marcos Maidana: No, the truth is that I feel like a champion and I feel like I’m ready to fight with him. I’m more concerned on the fight than on the titles.