Mayweather has Maidana respect
Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather is refusing to underestimate renowned knockout artist Marcos Maidana ahead of their megafight this weekend.
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The pair clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night, with boxing's number one superstar adamant that he will need to be at his very best to overcome the formidable Argentine.
Despite some calling into question Maidana's chances, the WBC welterweight world champion believes the Santa Fe native's victory over Adrien Broner to claim the WBA crown last December shows he's not one to be overlooked.
"Adrien Broner is a good boxer and he roughed Adrien Broner up and he got the victory, so we can't say what this guy can or he can't do. We cannot overlook the guy," said Mayweather.
"I can't just say he's going to be an easy fight because he's not going to be an easy fight for me, I don't think so. What I have to do is I've got to make sure that I'm at my best.
"I think when Maidana's facing me his confidence is built after he beat Adrien Broner because he feels that both of the styles are very, very similar, so it's like the same style.
"So on Saturday night I've got to go out there and take my time, keep my composure and be me. Everybody thinks he's just going to be a pushover, but I don't think so. That's why I'm training hard and I'm pushing myself to the limit every day."
Despite his impressive victory over Broner, 30-year-old Maidana has already suffered defeat at the hands of another man fighting on the bill, British star Amir Khan.
The former unified light-welterweight world champion takes on Luis Collazo on the same night, but Mayweather has refused to focus solely on attacking Maidana's body, a focal point Khan and others have used to their benefit.
"My focus is this guy. I'm pretty sure he's going to be well rounded and ready for this fight because this is at a total different level," said Mayweather.
"Against Amir Khan, the guy could have been doing a lot of sit-ups and making his body in tip-top condition and tip-top shape. Amir Khan could have just caught him with a good shot.
"My body is in very good condition, but sometimes a guy can hit me with a good shot and I can feel it, but we just don't know how we're going to approach the fight.
"We're going to take our time and go out there and if a guy leaves an opening on his face, we're going to take it. If he leaves an opening on his body we're going to take it, but we can't just say we're going to go in there and everything is going to go to the body. We're going to take our time and pick the guy apart."
No matter how the fight pans out the elusive Mayweather, who has captured eight world titles in five weight divisions, is certain that this will be one of the most entertaining bouts this year as he looks to stand in front of the rugged Maidana.
"We must realise that I am the bigger guy even though I walk around at 150. I go no higher than 152," he said.
"I'm naturally the bigger guy because I've been at 147 almost 10 years now, so I'm naturally the bigger guy. I think that my dad has the game plan to stay in the pocket, make the guy miss and make the guy pay."
Mayweather believes the fact he is able to see the shots coming and adjust will allow him to adopt this game plan, despite the threat such a bold strategy presents against one of the best punchers around.
"I can see the shots," said Mayweather. "Actually, I can feel when a guy's going to punch. I can feel it. I don't even have to see it - I can feel it. You know, this is just with experience and being around the sport so long," he said.
"I can just feel a guy when he's going to shoot his shot. A lot of times guys telegraph their shot. Their body language gives away when they're going to shoot because of how they position themselves.
"So when a guy positions himself in a certain way you know what shot he's going to throw, but my thing is whatever a guy's best attribute is, whatever he does best, my goal is to take that away from him and make him resort to doing something else."
Mayweather vs. Maidana is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD & Virgin 546) this Saturday night from midnight. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.