Las Vegas, NV – Mayweather. Maidana. MGM. May. The Moment. It’s got far more than alliteration going for it if you buy in to the hype on grand display at Wednesday’s final press conference for the welterweight championship bout.
Hundreds of gathered media from here to Argentina packed MGM Grand’s Hollywood theatre to finally get a glimpse of the two fighters in the same room.
It was business as usual for Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs), who sported a more casual look than his counterpart, the soft-spoken, sharply-dressed Marcos Maidaina (35-3, 31 KOs).
The press conference began 30 minutes late with standard introductions and brief words from all the major players; representatives from Showtime, MGM Resorts International, Golden Boy Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and trainers.
Maidana took the podium first and, through his trainer/advisor/interpreter Robert Garcia, offered precious few words. He thanked his family, saying he was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the high-profile fight adding “No one’s given anything to me. I earned it myself.” And while he gave props to the champ calling him “…an excellent fighter, “ he didn’t miss the opportunity to slip in an expletive with regards to how just how he’ll feel toward Mayweather the man once the two meet in the ring. It’d be easy to underestimate the soft-spoken Maidana but with an 80% knockout rate, that would also seem to be a dangerous proposition.
Mayweather is well aware of his hard-hitting antagonist who more often than not leaves his vanquished opponent on the canvas. “He’s tough. He’s rugged. He’s the champion. Speaking more from a pulpit than a podium, Mayweather continued “Is he one of the best guys in the sport? Yes he is. But I am the best. And that’s the difference.”
Regarding his undefeated record, the champ said “Everybody keeps asking who is going to crack the May-Vinci Code.”
“I respect him as a man, but come Saturday you have to make me respect your fight game.”
Mayweather. Maidana. MGM Grand. Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.