By Terence Dooley
Floyd Mayweather, 37, has vowed to make a statement against Agentina’s Rene Marcos Maidana, 30, at the MGM Grand on Saturday night in their WBA and WBC welterweight world title fight, which is being shown love on BoxNation here in the U.K. Maidana earned his crack by out-pointing Adrien Broner, Mayweather’s friend and prodigy, and the Argentinian is a big underdog, prompting some to predict a more aggression performance than usual from the American superstar.
Billy Graham believes Mayweather’s pre-fight claims. Ricky Hatton’s former trainer told me that he expects fireworks from Mayweather on Saturday night as he bids to avenge Broner’s defeat while teaching his friends a few lessons in the process.
“Floyd is going to be spectacular,” predicted Graham. “Floyd can draw people in more now and do damage—he’s getting more seductive as he gets older. I think he’s going to put on a show on Saturday. I think he’ll take Maidana apart to make a statement to Broner. I know they’re friends, but he’ll be saying: ‘Look, this is how you do it!’. I’ve got a suspicion he’ll be blistering on Saturday. Floyd will give him a lesson first. Then he’ll be mean and take him apart.
“Maidana is tough, brave and can hit, plus he’ll come with a big heart, but I thought he carried too much weight into the ring against Broner, who he did well to beat. For me, he looked like he’d put too much weight on after the weigh-in and he was blowing out of his arse at times. He came in way too heavy for that fight, looked out of gas and you can do that to yourself—Ricky [Hatton] actually did that when he fought [Luis] Collazo [in 2006]—because you’ve got an optimum fighting weight. Maidana missed it last time out.”
Mayweather, 45-0 (26), has pitched potential foe Amir Khan in with Luis Collazo on the undercard. If he eases past Maidana, 35-3 (31), to underline the fact that no one has been able to decipher the “May-Vinci Code”, he may opt for the Collazo-Khan winner next.
“Good luck to anyone who gets the shot against Floyd,” said Graham. “I don’t know how much longer he can keep doing it, time’s running out, so I just want him to fight often and well. We’re going to see the best of him tomorrow. It will be fan friendly.”
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