3 More Rounds

Roundtable chat with Maidana, Angulo, Santa Cruz

Photos: Esther Lin / Showtime

Photos: Esther Lin / Showtime

Only absent was either Mickey Bey or IBF lightweight titleholder Miguel Vasquez in what was otherwise a representation of at least one fighter on each of the main event and supporting bouts of ‘Mayhem’, the September event featuring the rematch between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Marcos Maidana inside a cramped tennis suite at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California.

Maidana was present, a bit late to the roundtable party nonetheless, oozing out confidence, photo ops and autographs while looking trim in purple behind shaded sunglasses and a calm demeanor.

It was almost as if he didn’t just spend 36 minutes in the ring against the No. 1 boxer in the world, and was preparing to do so again in three weeks’ time.

It’s been three months since the May encounter, in which Mayweather nabbed a majority decision victory, and to Maidana, his life has changed, but he insists the big stage was not new to him.

“It’s changed. But I’ve had big fights before. The Amir Khan fight; the (Adrien) Broner fight. But this fight is bigger than those. So it’s changed.”

Although the lights now flash brighter, the mobs of fans are larger and his bank account is upped in the seven-figure range every time he steps in the ring, Maidana is looking for that ultimate prize, a prize every fighter would like don and etch his name onto: being the best fighter in the world.

“I fight for glory. Obviously, my future is secure. But part of me fighting still is because I want to win. And I want to beat Mayweather.”

Only a few years removed from it being an afterthought that Maidana would ever step into the ring with a chance to dethrone the man sitting on top of the mountain, Maidana will now get the opportunity to spend another 12 rounds in the ring with Mayweather.

While some see that as an advantage for Mayweather, with the unpredictability factor now seemingly gone from Maidana’s repertoire, Maidana sees it as an advantage for himself.

“(Mayweather) can obviously change and get better, but I can change and get better too. 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?”

Leo Santa Cruz roundtable

A fighter seemingly poised for greatness, Leo Santa Cruz, sat down with reporters and fielded questions going into his bout on the September card against Manuel Roman in a bantamweight affair.

The WBC titleholder spoke on facing Roman, a former sparring partner, and moving up to 126 in his next fight, or the fight after.

“We used to spar a lot and he has good technique, but not a lot of people know him. He’s a good friend, but this is business. Once we’re up there we have go out there and give it our best.”

Santa Cruz called out a fighter who has been calling him out on social media.

“Guillermo (Rigondeaux). He’s the one who’s been calling me out saying that I’m scared. I want to prove that I’m not scared. I know it’s a hard fight for me, but we don’t care. I want to give the fans what they want. I want to please them and if they’re happy, I’m happy.”

Sitting behind a 122 pound Santa Cruz was 154 and soon to be 160 pound veteran Alfredo Angulo, who is coming off a March loss to Canelo Alvarez. Angulo will be in his first full-fledged middleweight fight in September against James De La Rosa.

Alfredo Angulo

Angulo acknowledged he did not know much about his opponent but will be leaving the game plan up to trainer Virgil Hunter.

“I honestly don’t focus on my opponent. I focus on the work I have to do. Virgil (trainer Virgil Hunter) grades them and tells me what I need to do.”

‘Perro’ also seemed excited about not having to make the 154 pound limit for at least the foreseeable future.

“I’m happy fighting at 160. It’s a lot better than 154. I wasn’t having trouble making weight, I just feel better at 160. I’m ready to take over the division at 160.”

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