Marcos Maidana exceeded most pundits' expectations last May when he lost a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Heading into his Sep. 13 welterweight title rematch against "Money," Maidana is letting the world know that Mayweather didn't live up to billing.
"He's not as good as people think," the Argentine said during a recent Showtime media round table.
"I was able to pin him to the ropes and land punches, so he's not as difficult or as invincible as people think. He's hittable. You can land on him. I made mistakes. I was a little too anxious. He never hurt me, but he's got a respectable punch. You've got to respect him."
Maidana insists that he hasn't tried to overhaul himself in this current camp for Mayweather. "[I'm] just working on my distance control and a couple other minor changes," he said.
However, the brawler expects that he will have improved more than Mayweather could have from their first fight. "(Mayweather) can obviously change and get better, but I can change and get better too," he said.
"The only thing he can do is box and that's what he did in the first fight. He was moving a lot. What is he going to do? Move more?"
One area that Maidana acknowledged he could improve upon is his conditioning and pacing. In the first fight, he tired late in the fight - something he attributes, in part, to nerves - and he knows he'll have to go strong for the entire fight in order to improve his chances of beating Mayweather.
"Yes. I did [tire in the second half of the fight with Mayweather]," he admitted.
"I came out strong the first six or seven rounds, and after that I had to take a break and catch my breath a little bit. I had to pace myself. I have to not get as anxious for this fight."
Perhaps Maidana has already gotten past the point of excessive nervousness for the Mayweather rematch, or perhaps it's still a work in progress and all his confident words are meant to bolster his psyche. For now, he's insisting that - despite not making major changes in his training - he'll be more improved than Mayweather, and that he's had enough time to prepare for boxing's biggest star.
"I've had a little more time to prepare for this fight," he concluded.
"So this time I'm going to be ready."
Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooSportsBox
- Sports & Recreation
- Marcos Maidana