By Chris Robinson
WBA junior welterweight champion Marcos Maidana and his team broke some pretty big news yesterday when it was revealed that the Argentinean bruiser will now be working with respected trainer Robert Garcia.
Maidana had been working with Las Vegas-based trainer and cut man Miguel Diaz before switching over to Rudy Perez prior to his fight with Erik Morales last year. Perez became ill before Maidana kicked off his training for his February 25th bout with former titlist Devon Alexander in St. Louis and longtime assistant Cristian Rodriguez then helmed the ship.
Maidana, who was moving up in weight to 147 pounds for the Alexander fight, would end up being nearly shut out over the course of ten frustrating rounds as he suffered the third loss of his career.
Looking back on the defeat, Maidana makes no excuses yet revealed why he needed to make a move that would bring a fresh face to the fold.
“Obviously, the result was not what we were expecting,” stated Maidana, who spoke to me through his advisor Sebastian Contursi. “I don't blame anybody in particular since it was a big failure and when that happens everybody in the team is responsible, me first. So a change was needed and Robert is one of the best trainers out there.”
Garcia is one of the most sought-after trainers in the sport and Maidana seems to love the fact that he has been on the biggest of stages in recent years.
“He is a young, smart and low profile trainer, who also has big experience. I really like the work he's done with fighters like Brandon Rios and Nonito Donaire, who are great champions,” stated Maidana of Garcia, who also trains former champions Kelly Pavlik and Antonio Margarito, as well as working with his younger brother, featherweight contender Miguel ‘Mikey’ Garcia.
Maidana had traveled to Las Vegas for his training in the past before opting for the tranquility of staging his camps on the island of Puerto Rico for his past two fights. Now that he is to be working with Garcia, Maidana confirmed that he will be making the trek to Oxnard, California to train out of Garcia’s personal facility and is eager to soak up a new atmosphere.
“Robert told us that every fighter has his own shift to be trained but, above all, that they work as a team,” added Maidana. “It all comes to having good people around and they seem to be just that so I look forward to meeting my gym-mates. I'm willing to help them if they need me and I'm sure they will do the same for me.”
One letdown among fans upon hearing the latest news with Maidana is that a mouthwatering fight with Rios may now be out of the equation, as ‘Bam Bam’ has spent several years under Garcia. Maidana admits that it was a fight he was always open to but points out that there were already other roadblocks in place that wouldn’t have allowed such a match to happen.
“I'd like that fight since Brandon is such a warrior who loves to fight,” Maidana admitted. “I mean he really fights wars just like me. However, we know that chances for that bout to come off were close to zero in the first place as he is under contract to Top Rank and I am under Golden Boy and everybody knows that those two promoters very rarely work together. This is strictly business and we the fighters cannot do anything about it.”
As for his next ring endeavor, Maidana stated that he and his team are presently talking to Golden Boy in hopes of setting up a return in June, possibly in Argentina. Maidana is open to coming to camp in Oxnard sometime around May but has a definitive preference on the kind of fighter he would like to face next.
“I'd like to be in the ring with somebody who fights,” said Maidana, taking a slight dig at Alexander. “I'm tired of facing runners and clinchers. It's not that I don't give them credit [because] that's part of the game and I applaud them. But I'm starting to miss an all-action fight. And I guess so do the fans, don't they?”