I couldn't convince my buddy and avowed Floyd "Hater", the popular NYC sportswriter Mark "Scoop" Malinowski with ringobserver.com, to come out that day because he knew it was going to be so damn hot and crowded.
"I don't feel like being a part of the Floyd circus and WWE cheese," Scoop dripped. "Whatever you come up with John is good enough for me, but I can't do it."
Showing up as strictly a fan of the sport while documenting my observations, I came up with Mayweather/Canelo: The NYC Tour Launch Recap , and felt really excited about what was to come.
Upon revisiting that writing, I think its safe to say I was a little naive. Then too, so were most of the maybe 3 million or so people who bought a fight on PPV that was anything but a "superfight". Counting last week's Canelo vs. Lara disgrace, I've misjudged 2 out of Alvarez's last 3 fights due to lack of engagement.
Lara huffed, and he puffed, and then proceeded not to blow sh*t down. Unless you count the gail force winds he created sprinting around the damn ring which blew a lot of us away. Had he fought like the big bad wolf he purported himself to be, he would have been beaten like a man instead of losing like woman.
Nothing that accompanied the initial encounter between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana came with much fanfare, which is why they're really trying to create it now. They got cheap (.ie Team Mayweather and Goldenboy) by using Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II to actually promote their fight, in a move that was as crass as it gets.
Perhaps not sensing the dwindling value of pocketbook contents across America - or just taking the public for granted in general, Mayweather posted far less than 1 million buys against Maidana, in a fight that was infinitely better than his bout with Alvarez. This, owed to Canelo's apprehension and inability to approach Mayweather with no regard in the ring. Marcos Maidana does not have this in his DNA.
The reason why this rematch is taking place is for two very specific reasons:
#1. While Mayweather did win the fight, he knows he didn't really beat him.
#2. Maidana made Mayweather look bad.
The guy kills me. He always manages to contradict himself in the most perfect way - and he doesn't even mean to. He started off the press event in NYC for Maidana II much in the same way he pretty much carried himself in New York for Canelo last year.
He thanked the fans for how very wonderful they were until he got a sense of how wonderful they don't think he is. Then you saw the fatal flaw in him that makes him great in the ring - his deadly pride. Understanding that they loathed him - he loathed them right back - while sneering and hissing at them and Maidana in the process.
At first he was thanking them and the media for all they've done in support of him, then immediately turning them into a sea of Larry Merchants. He angrily whined about never getting enough credit, suggested he's exposed the "ho" in Maidana, called him a "bum" and said he couldn't fight any better than he did the first time.
He repeated this refrain while constantly referring to Maidana as a "dirty" fighter who wants to "cheat to win", at the close of their 5 city tour in Los Angeles. It was an obvious play of gamesmanship to which Maidana and his camp was having none of.
Realizing Floyd's tactical ploy to underscore the importance of his use of gloves, Robert Garcia showed up in New York with a pair of soft pink gloves he felt wound win Floyd's approval.
Mayweather boiled inside.
In Chicago, Maidana, who showed up in New York dressed like some sort of disco version of Pink Floyd, got grimey in more basic gear, while shoving Floyd across the stage as the two needed to be separated by security.
Maidana is not here to be a witness to greatness, he's here to show its shortcomings and leave it undone. For every opportunity Floyd has used to perhaps convince officials that "Chino" is a dirty bastard, Team Maidana has pointed out Floyd's prodigious use of the elbow and forearm illegally.
Its well documented that Floyd and his crew convinced Maidana and his camp to switch into the softer gloves he used rather than the ones Nevada approved of for him to wear. If you're the best fighter` in the world and you have no doubt in yourself, then why make that move and reportedly increase his purse to $1.5 million in the process?
There was more love lost - beyond that which wasn't there once they closed their tour, and the journey ahead promises to get a little more hateful. Shelving the idealistic notion of an outcome desired with one more realistic based on real evidence, this fight should be far more compelling than the first saga. After they trade more insults on Showtime's "All Access", they'll trade even harder leather this time around.
And I can't wait for September 13th.
"I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS..."
This of course was a quote this from Floyd Mayweather, in response to UFC boss Dana White's blunt force retort that superstar UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey would basically maul him in a street fight. Floyd has never been a fan of MMA and has made that abundantly clear. I know that even if he's not a fan of women's boxing, he can at least appreciate the feminine side of the sweet science. That's why 'A History Of Women's Boxing' by Malissa Smith is not only necessary - but important.
For so long women, who play such a huge part in luring audiences with their physiques (just look at any weigh-in or press event at your next big fight, or think of how strange it would be to not see a woman between rounds with ring cards), promoting all kinds of products and brands, don't really see any promotional appeal that's even remotely sexy enough to the promote women who fight. I know who Ronda is- even if Floyd very facetiously says he doesn't. But would I very much believe him if he said that he didn't know who Heather Hardy was.
Perhaps the bigger issue is how women's boxing is promoted - or isn't. Maybe they should turn to the UFC model to get a good idea on how to do this. Maybe Heather can go on to become a star the equivalent of Gina Carano, seguing a fight to the big screen. One such fighter I have my eye on, Jennifer Hamann, is a real gem of a diamond in the rough and can do great things for the sport if given the chance.
There's a saying that goes "Hold the vision, trust the process". Well seeing is believing guys.