(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) OXNARD, Calif. (Aug. 26, 2014) – Marcos “El Chino” Maidana, the former welterweight world champion who gets his eagerly awaited rematch with Floyd “Money” Mayweather in the main event of “MAYHEM: Mayweather vs. Maidana 2” on Saturday, Sept. 13 live on SHOWTIME PPV, world champions Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (WBC Super Bantamweight), Miguel “Títere” Vazquez (IBF Lightweight), junior welterweight contender John Molina, Maidana’s trainer Robert Garcia and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe participated in a Media Workout Tuesday at Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard.
In world title fights on Sept. 13, Santa Cruz (27-0-1, 15 KOs), of Los Angeles, will defend his WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship against Mexico’s Manuel “Suavecito” Roman (17-2, 6 KOs) in the “MAYHEM” co-featured bout and Miguel “Títere” Vazquez (34-3, 13 KOs), of Tijuana, will risk his IBF Lightweight World Championship against Mickey “The Spirit” Bey (20-1-1, 10 KOs), a Mayweather Promotions’ rising star from Las Vegas. In the SHOWTIME PPV opening bout, Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (22-4, 18 KOs) will move up to middleweight to face James De La Rosa (22-2, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight bout.
Preceding the pay per view telecast, SHOWTIME® will present a live 10-round junior welterweight bout between John Molina (27-4, 22 KOs) of Covina, Calif., and Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto (64-8-2, 35 KOs) on “COUNTDOWN LIVE” (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME ).
The boxers did brief workouts as dozens of reporters and TV camera crews looked on during a media workout that was streamed live via satellite, YouTube, Ustream and online at Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions’ websites.
Undefeated 11-time world champion and perennial pound-for-pound kingpin Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) was, like always, the main focus of the questions directed at Maidana (35-4, 32 KOs) on Saturday.
Here’s what the fighters said during Tuesday’s workout:
MARCOS MAIDANA, Former Two-Time World Champion
“Looking back at my first fight, I think I can improve my punching accuracy, but my attack overall was very good and effective. I felt I surprised Mayweather. You could see it on his face.
“Personally, I found it much easier to face up against Floyd this time. When we first fought, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to see him, but I found him in the ring many times.
“I always come out looking for the knockout, but I like the way I fought in the first fight. Maybe the biggest adjustment for me going into this next fight is to keep more of a distance between the two of us. But there is no doubt that I am coming out looking for the win and getting that knockout.
“With this rematch, I don’t know if this fight will be any easier or harder. Mayweather has many skills and I am getting ready for the best that he has to offer.
“There has definitely been more notoriety for me since our first fight. Many things have changed and I have many more fans. But, I have had many big fights in the past including my fights with Adrien Broner and Amir Khan that have given me a lot of recognition.
“Going into training camp for the rematch, much of it has been the same, but we have been doing a lot more sparring. We have worked more on my distance, but besides that everything has been the same.
“I thought at times that I was too aggressive in the first fight and I was able to let Mayweather move around a little bit too much. I will be much more careful in the ring for the rematch. I won’t load up so much, but instead fight fresher and with more distance.
“I honestly didn’t have any disappointments in the first fight. Besides a few minor adjustments, I liked our overall gameplan.
“Right after the fight, I felt that I had won. I was the aggressor and the one looking to attack. But, the judges saw it differently. I am still happy with the way I fought. I absolutely thought I won the first fight, and I will win again on Sept. 13.
“When I first heard about the rematch I was relaxing at home with my family and my first thought was that I had to start training again and I had mixed feelings about that. . That being said, I am happy to get this rematch and I am going to make the most out of my opportunity.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ, WBC Super Bantamweight Champion
“I feel as if I have a target on my back. There is added pressure for me in all of my fights because I am becoming a household name. At the same time though, it means that I am doing something right and my hard work is paying off. People want to fight me and take away my title. It keeps me mentally and physically strong at all times. Before, I was the one looking for them, now they are looking for me.
“Going into this fight, I will go out there and try my best. I know a lot of people are saying that the opponent is not up to my caliber, but I just go out there and fight who they tell me to fight.
“My body is rested and hopefully I will perform to the best of my abilities for this fight. I have been training really hard, I am always in the gym, even if I don’t have a fight coming up. I like to be ready just in case.
“I have a strong desire to put on a great fight for the fans since I have this opportunity because of them. If I give the fans a boring fight, then they won’t want to see me on TV again.
“I feel like I learned a lot from the [Cristian] Mijares fight. He moved around a lot and kept me on my toes. My plan was to go out there and break him down, but he was very experienced and knew what to do to survive. I feel like I learned more in that fight than I did in any other fight because I was able to figure out how to chase around my opponent.
“The health of my brother has been both a motivation and a distraction for me. In the past, when I would be getting ready for fights he would be in the hospital and I would go and visit him at the same time. I am constantly worried about his health, but at the same time I use it as motivation because I want to be able to support him financially and the only way I am able to do this is if I keep on winning my fights. I told him that if he keeps fighting for his life then I will keep fighting for world titles.
“My opponent [ Manuel Roman] is a great fighter and has many of the same qualities of my past opponents. The only difference with him is that he hasn’t received the exposure that some of my past opponents received, so many don’t know much about him. We know each other very well, we have sparred in the gym together before and he knows how to fight me.
“I am not looking at this as an easy fight no matter what anyone says. He wasn’t an easy sparring partner; we would go at it back and forth. I didn’t beat him up easily as I have with other partners. We have a lot of respect for one another and we are friends, but once I get into the ring there is no playing nice. This is a business and I have to do whatever it takes to come out with a victory.’’
MIGUEL VAZQUEZ, IBF Lightweight Champion
“Everyone wants to take the title away from me, but I train very hard with my team and I prepare every day to make sure no one takes away my title.
“Although I am on the card for the biggest fight of the year, there is no added pressure for me- if anything it’s a great honor. I’m ready to fight and show that I’m ready for the big leagues.
“I feel great physically, mentally and spiritually. I am more prepared for this fight than ever before.
“I know that Mickey Bey is strong and fast. There’s a reason why Mayweather has him on his team. But I feel ready for him and it’s an opportunity to show my fans and the world what I am capable of.
“At times I honestly don’t feel like I get the respect from Mexican fans and I do feel like they owe me a little bit. But that is also because of the lack of publicity from my old company and the lack of high profile fights. This is not only a great opportunity for me to make a big breakthrough in the United States, but also to get the Mexican people behind me fully. I will prove to the world that I am ready.
“I feel that I beat Canelo Alvarez in my pro debut. The second time I fought Canelo was a mistake on my part because I fought at 150 pounds and that’s not where I should be, but the first fight against Canelo I definitely dispute. Those previous fights, including the loss to Timothy Bradley, motivate me very much going into this fight.
“People may complain about my style, but I base my style off the fact that I don’t want to get hit. Thank God that my style has worked for me so far in my career.
“I have a lot of experience going into to this fight against Mickey Bey, but you always have to work hard. It doesn’t matter to me that we are fighting in Bey’s backyard; I have fought in many different places and overcome various obstacles. I always come out on top.”
JOHN MOLINA, Super Lightweight Contender
“To me, each fight is just like the last fight no matter if I am a huge favorite or a big underdog; I always train the exact same. I take all my opponents seriously and [Humberto] Soto is definitely not someone to take lightly. He is a crafty veteran that has been in the ring with the best fighters and has won some and lost some. I go in to each fight with 100 percent focus and I am not looking past him in the least.
“My last fight with Matthysse was definitely a great fight. Matthysse was looked at as this monster in the division and I was this newcomer coming into the division. Although I’ve been in the boxing game for a while, my name has barely reached the accolades of such fighters as Matthysse.
“What I was able to take away from that fight is that I am one of the strongest guys at 140 pounds. He fought a hell of a fight and won because he was more experienced than me. But, looking back at the fight, I made the mistake of stepping off the gas pedal a bit when I had him hurt and I should’ve gone in for the kill. I know that the fans want the fight to happen again and I am looking forward to the fight if it does happen again.
“I like the things that my new trainer has implemented going into this fight. I am going to utilize my jab and use my reach to my advantage. I am a lot bigger to many of the fighters at 140 and I think this will work in my favor.
“When I changed trainers it wasn’t because I didn’t get along with Joe Goosen, as he is a very good friend of mine. The reason I changed was because of location. I have a one-year-old at home and having to drive 100 miles round trip to train was wear and tear on my body.
“I have seen many of Soto’s previous fights. He is a seasoned veteran and a hell of a fighter. Believe it or not, when I first turned pro he was already at the top tier of the game and was the main event at a fight of mine. When I walked into the room I was like ‘wow that’s Humberto Soto’, but it shows that I have paid my dues and to me he is like any other fighter once I step into the ring.
“I haven’t felt any ill effects from the [Matthysse] fight except for the bad taste in my mouth. The competitor in me wants to come out victorious in each fight. Physically, I feel very strong and prepared going into this next fight. The stage is set for this fight and we will be a great appetizer for everyone to enjoy leading up to the main event.
“I never look at an opponent as someone that I need to knock out or beat impressively. All I can control is how I perform and what I do best is to fight a good fight. Whether I win decisively or by knockout, as long as I get the victory and give the fans what they want to see is all I care about.’’
ROBERT GARCIA, Maidana’s Trainer and 2012 Trainer of the Year
“Training camp has been going great. We have been doing more sparring and working on keeping a distance between him and Floyd. I think that was the biggest thing that we needed to work on after seeing film of the first fight. He needed to not be so aggressive to ensure that he is fresh for all 12 rounds.
“I don’t like the way that Floyd talks about my fighter. On the media tour he was telling everyone that my fighter fights like an MMA fighter and was constantly disrespecting him and I didn’t appreciate that.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“I am very excited for September 13th. The first fight was such a great fight and I think that the work that Chino has put in, he is coming into this fight with a tremendous amount of confidence. In the first fight, Chino was touch and go. He was able to be effective against Floyd in the early rounds and I know the fans loved watching it. Floyd is a mastermind and a warrior when it comes to being in that ring.
“Although the first fight was very close between Floyd and Chino, there are no nerves for me, mainly because I don’t have to step inside the ring. Floyd is very prepared for this fight and is extremely motivated in his preparation. He has some added incentive because Chino has been talking a lot of trash and Floyd finds that very disrespectful. Chino has said that Floyd isn’t the great boxer that everyone thinks he is because he has been in the ring with him already. Come September 13th, Chino has to confront all the things he has been saying about Floyd head on.
“I think this fight will start at the 13th round versus going back to the first round. Floyd is very determined to stop Chino. Floyd wants to stop him to make a point that he doesn’t want his ability to be second-guessed. Floyd feels in his mind that he absolutely won the first fight and some of the fans thought that Maidana had won the fight. Floyd has vowed that he will pick up right where he left off and make the fight as exciting as possible to prove to the fans that the first victory was warranted.
“I truly believe that this fight will be much more exciting than the first fight because you will see much more action.
“Floyd knows what Chino brings to the table and Marcos has made a great argument for a rematch. In all honesty, the fans are the ones who made this rematch happen. The first fight was such a great fight that he fans wanted to see this fight again. Chino was the best opponent that Floyd has ever faced; he came out and was very aggressive from the opening bell. Floyd was able to make the adjustments as the fight went on because he’s the best in the business at doing that, but this rematch will be non-stop action.”