by David P. Greisman
Robert Garcia, who trains Marcos “Chino” Maidana, spoke with BoxingScene.com on March 28 about Maidana’s upcoming fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 3.
BoxingScene.com: This is an obvious question, but what is the difference between preparing for Adrien Broner and preparing for Floyd Mayweather?
Garcia: “Look, before the fight, everybody thought and everybody said Adrien Broner was the next Mayweather. Everybody was talking about how Maidana had no chance and Mayweather himself would say that Adrien Broner was the next guy to take over after he got out of boxing. But after the fight, it seemed like everybody changed their mind. ‘Broner was not the same. Broner’s not as good as Mayweather was. Broner has nothing similar to Mayweather.’
“But Broner does fight a little similar to Mayweather. Mayweather’s much more experienced. Much more intelligent in the ring. He knows how to adapt. He knows how to control a fight. But the training has got to be a lot similar. Just we try to be a little faster. Of course we’ve got to get more head movement. We’ve got to get some angles. But the fight could turn out to be similar.”
BoxingScene.com: When Maidana first tried his move up to 147 against Devon Alexander, he got manhandled in that fight. But there’s been a lot of improvement since then. What is it that you’ve done with him, and what has he done to improve so much since then?
Garcia: “I wasn’t with him then when he fought Alexander, but what I was told by his manager is that he didn’t even want to train for those fights, that he was tired of the sport, that he wanted to retire. So his manager asked him for another opportunity to change training camps, to go to Oxnard. Chino didn’t even know who I was, never heard of Oxnard before. Chino didn’t really follow boxing. He doesn’t pay attention to who the trainers are, who the fighters are, who the champions are. He never does.
“But he accepted that new camp. And when he came over, the first couple days were a little bit hard, but after a few days, he made friends, fell in love with the gym, fell in love with boxing again. He listens. He practices everything we tell him to do. He’s always trying. He runs as much as we tell him. He spars. He trains. Whatever I tell him to do, he’s learning and he’s practicing. He became a student of the sport again.”
BoxingScene.com: You mentioned Mayweather’s attributes and what you think Marcos will need to do in camp. How difficult a fight is this for Maidana?
Garcia: “It won’t be easy. But it won’t be easy for Mayweather either, because Mayweather’s never fought somebody that’s going to stay on him like Maidana will. He’s fought guys, maybe Cotto fought similar trying to put pressure, and he had a few good rounds, too. But Maidana and Cotto are totally different. Maidana goes out swinging trying to hurt his opponent. Cotto’s more of a smart fighter who picks his punches. Maidana throws punches and swings and hits tremendously hard. I never felt Cotto’s punches, but I’m pretty sure Maidana hits a lot harder than Cotto.”
BoxingScene.com: Do you see any signs of aging or slowing down in Mayweather?
Garcia: “He looked sensational his last fight against Canelo Alvarez, so I don’t think so.”
BoxingScene.com: You mentioned the success that Cotto had, but is there anyone else you can look to and find…
Garcia (jumping in): “No. We could go back to [Jose Luis] Castillo-Mayweather, the first fight, but that was like 15 years ago, so why would I? Why would I? I just got to study Mayweather’s most recent fights. I don’t want Chino to be watching those fights, but I’ll do it myself. And little things that I can pick up, little things that I’m already working on with Chino, could be effective in the fight.”
BoxingScene.com: Why do you not want Maidana to watch Mayweather’s fights?
Garcia: “Why would I want him to watch [Mayweather] do what he did to Canelo or to Robert Guerrero? Why would I want him to watch that? He clearly won. Dominated easy. I don’t want him to watch. He doesn’t need to watch that.”
BoxingScene.com: You feel that it’s a negative for him to see his opponent do well?
Garcia: “Not that it’s a negative. It’s just I know Maidana. He doesn’t watch boxing. He doesn’t study his opponents. He lets me do it. Plus, like I said, why would I want him to watch Mayweather win every round against Canelo, a big guy, a strong guy, a guy that everybody thought could give Mayweather problems, and at the end of the fight, gave him no problems? It was easy for Mayweather. I don’t want Maidana to see that. I don’t want Maidana to think like that.
“I’m sure he’s seen the fight. He was there live. He’s seen it, but I don’t want him to train right now thinking, ‘Damn, this guy’s hard.’ I want him to think that he can do it. And that’s how he’s training. He’s training like he already knows what he’s going to go in there and do against Mayweather. He’s thinking Broner is stronger than Mayweather. I want him to keep thinking like that. That’s the mentality I want him to have.”
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