By Chris Robinson
It has been a week now since Marcos Maidana's thrilling victory over Erik Morales inside of the MGM Grand. Maidana-Morales was a memorable affair, one typified by Morales' ability to turn back the clock as well as the sheer effort and will of Maidana, who found a way to pull out the victory despite not looking his best.
Some have even went as far as to state that Morales had done enough to warrant the decision based on his success in the middle rounds and his ability to catch Maidana with crippling right hands. Offering up his own view, Maidana feels the verdict was just.
"I had the chance to watch it on TV and I really enjoyed the fight," Maidana told me through his advisor Sebastian Contursi on Saturday morning. "I kept saying it was a close one. I think I did a good job in the first half, then was outboxed by Morales in the middle rounds but came stronger in the championship stretch, where I made the difference. Maybe he landed the cleaner punches but I connected more blows."
Maidana sees his record rise to 30-2 with 27 knockouts as he again captures the interim WBA junior welterweight crown but against Morales he showed his share of limitations, as he had trouble coping with the Tijuana fighter's counter-punching and seemed shocked at how well Erik stood up to his best shots. When asked if he feels other opponents will be rushing to face him now, Maidana insists that even before this fight people were eyeing him.
"Because of my style, they will always say I am vulnerable boxer," Maidana continued. "They said it after the [Andriy] Kotelnik fight, then after [DeMarcus] Corley and now after Morales. That's good for me. However, what many don't understand is that a legendary fighter like Morales is always capable of coming up with great stuff at anytime against anyone. They should apologize to Morales for all of the bad things they said about him before the fight."
When asked of whom he would like to face next, Maidana said he was open towards a rematch with Morales and also hinted that he would have a great fight with unified champion Timothy Bradley.
I couldn't help but to ask Maidana about a possible fight with lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, whom he had a brief run-in with recently. Maidana had traveled to Mexico and enlisted the services of Marquez's trainer Nacho Beristain for the Morales fight but was unceremoniously given the boot after the Mexico City fighter expressed his displeasure of his coach working with a potential rival. Maidana showed a bit of disdain towards Marquez at what transpired and doesn't rule that fight out.
"Besides how bad his attitude was towards me when it came to Nacho Beristain training me, Marquez is definitely one of the best pound for pound out there. However, I am afraid of nobody and I’d love to be in the ring with him and with Beristain in his corner," Maidana said bluntly.
Before our conversation had come to a close, Maidana wanted to address the recent speculation about his desires of facing undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. Several well-respected media outlets had reported that Maidana claimed he would be willing to move up to 160 pounds to go after such a fight but Marcos claims that his words shouldn't always been taken at face value.
"It was a joke that was probably wrongfully translated. I never said I want to face Floyd Mayweather next. A boxing writer from Argentina asked me who I would pìck to make a big payday if I had the chance to choose between rematches with Amir Khan and Morales or a fight against Mayweather. And I joked by answering that Mayweather would be the most profitable fight and that we’ll like to bring him to Argentina. Also, I said that I would even move up to middleweight in order to get a big purse."