The Mayhem Is On: Mayweather And Maidana Start Their Promotional Tour

mayweatherIt threatened to be a tense face-off. It rapidly became an intense stare-off. And then someone upped the ante by turning it all into a ferocious bet-off.

The Maywether-Maidana II “Mayhem” promotional tour kicked off in grand style in the smack middle of New York’s fabled Times Square with an extravagant proposal that never materialized, but which definitely gave us something to expect: the best fighter on the planet is poised to become boxing’s next big time promoter in his own right, and he is developing into that role right before our eyes.

“Whatever you make in this fight, I bet you for it!”, yelled Floyd Mayweather, before a loud crowd of supporters, at the height of an open-air, middle-of-the-day event. Mayweather then produced a piece of blank paper in which he stamped an oversize signature and in which he challenged his for Marcos Maidana to bet his entire purse on the outcome of their upcoming September 13th fight in Las Vegas, a challenge rapidly rebuffed by Maidana’s handler Sebastian Contursi.

“We’ll sign if you agree to use our gloves,” was one of the barely audible answers, in response to Mayweather’s last minute request for Maidana to change to more padded gloves in their first encounter, a disagreement that threatened the realization of the fight itself.

The betting challenged was thus defused, but the crazy antic set the tone for a toe-to-toe, face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball, plastic prescription Rayban vs diamond-laced, gold-rimmed Gucci sunglasses stare-down between two known enemies looking to rekindle the fire of their first encounter, hailed by many as one of the best fights of the year, in a rematch that will surely create more interest than their May 4th fight.

The fighter introductions featured Mayweather Promotions’ own CEO Leonard Ellerbe as his usual talkative, sloppy, awkward self on the mike, and a classy debut as Golden Boy Promotions’ spokesperson by Eric Gomez, doing a superb job after being limited for a long time to undercard MC and Spanish translator, and now being shoved under the spotlight after the sudden departure of his former boss Richard Schaeffer.

Maidana and his team walked the crowd through the usual messages of gratitude and threats of revenge, and little else. But that appeared to be more than enough to elicit the loud cheers of a very vocal minority of Hispanic fans in attendance. In spite of being from Argentina, a country poorly represented in the US Hispanic community at large, Maidana has earned the love and respect of the boxing-crazy Mexican community thanks to his gutsy performance and his association with trainer Robert Garcia.

Meanwhile, Floyd, already the center of all the attention, took his act one step further by taking a step back.

“Let me stand back to you can check my swag”, he yelled at the mike, leaning on his back leg and crossing his arms in one of those cocky poses that turn off and excites people in equal amounts. “The diamond Gucci belt, it’s official. The diamonds are always flawless. The style is always flashy. Get your cameras and take me a picture!”, asked the man who calls himself “Money”, before attempting to pull the ultimate promotional stunt.

“Am I fighting a boxer or am I fighting an MMA fighter?,” asked Mayweather in his turn at the podium. “I can’t believe (Maidana has) one of the best trainers in the world, but he’s telling his fighter to fight dirty. If you’re going to beat me, do it the honest way”, he clamored.

Silent and subdued, Maidana seemed to be saving the silent rage of the underdog for later, but deep inside he already knew he had lost Round Zero. Mayweather, once again, had it his way, and everything indicates that he will continue to hold sway over the entire promotion of this fight until the bell rings and Maidana is finally able to let his fists do the damage that he is unable to produce with his words.

So far, Maidana was the first man to blink. But there’s plenty of time for that to change.

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Diego Morilla
Diego Morilla is a boxing writer since 1992. His work has been extensively featured in some of the most prestigious boxing media outlets in Latin America and the U.S., including, The Ring, Latino Boxing,, Lo Mejor del Boxeo,, HBO Sports and newspapers such as El Mundo, Primera Hora and El Vocero, among others.