When Floyd Mayweather Jr. steps in the ring Sept. 13, he believes he won't just be facing the roughhousing of Marcos Maidana. No, it'll be much more than that. Ask Mayweather and he'll say that his main opponents are mostly unseen.
"I'm not just fighting the fighter, I'm fighting the critics," Mayweather said to assembled media Monday at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan before his open-to-the-public stop in Times Square to promote the fall rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. "The guy went two rounds and they're like, 'This guy beat Mayweather.' "
Mayweather, of course, is referring to their May 3 fight to unify the WBC and WBA welterweight titles. Although Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) won a majority decision, 114-114, 117-11, 116-112, there are some who believe that Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) won the bout or, at the very least, exposed the champ's weaknesses.
"I deserve this rematch," Maidana said. "I want to thank Floyd Mayweather for giving me this opportunity. Without a doubt, we're going to prove who won the first fight with this rematch."
As Mayweather sees it, the closeness was a product of Maidana's dirty tactics.
"A lot of things went on in that fight that, if I was the referee, I wouldn't have had happen," Mayweather said. "He fought dirty . . . He wanted to hold with one hand and elbow. My eye didn't get a deep gash from a punch. I got a deep gash from a head butt. There were 20 low blows. I could go on and on."
So why then would Mayweather grant the challenger another shot?
"That's boxing," he said. "I just want to give the fans what they want to see. The fans asked for it. Let's do it again. Why not?"
Mayweather, noting that he doesn't need to learn a lot from the first fight because "I didn't come up on the short end of the stick," said he will make changes during his training camp.
"I'm going to rest a lot more," he said. "I'm going to do a lot more physical training for this fight. I'm not fighting a boxer, I'm fighting an MMA fighter."
But, true to his reputation, Mayweather will "absolutely not" study video.
When the news conference moved outside, Mayweather was his usual showman self, betting Maidana his cut of the purse that he'll beat him again. Maidana declined.
The stop was the first in a four-day, five-city promotional tour.