By Ben Thompson | September 18, 2014
“The first time we fought, I think it was a lot more exciting than the second fight. Remember, in the first fight, I said I was going to stand there and fight him, give the fans a real exciting fight, but, you know, the second time, I basically played chess. Every move is calculated. Every move is thought out, and that’s what it was…I was just more relaxed this fight. I think I was a different fighter this fight and I think he was a different fighter this fight,” stated undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, who gave FightHype.com an in-depth exclusive interview about his performance in his unanimous decision victory over Marcos Maidana. Check out what he had to say about the fight and much more.
BT: What’s up, Champ? How are you feeling after the rematch with Maidana?
FM: I feel good. The first time we fought, I think it was a lot more exciting than the second fight. Remember, in the first fight, I said I was going to stand there and fight him, give the fans a real exciting fight, but, you know, the second time, I basically played chess. Every move is calculated. Every move is thought out, and that’s what it was.
BT: Did you know going into the rematch that you were going to play chess with him or was that more of an adjustment you made as the fight played out?
FM: Well, of course I love my father, but what I didn’t like was my father telling people and doing interviews saying, “Floyd is going to use his legs.” I didn’t like that at all. I love my father, but I don’t like no one to give up the game plan. I just believe the game plan is just watch; watch and see what happens, that’s the game plan. In the third round, when he hit me with that shot after the bell, it was a real good shot; it got my attention. It was nothing I never felt before, but it was a really good shot which got my attention.
BT: There’s a video out there claiming that Maidana knocked out one of your teeth with that shot. Back at the Big Boy Mansion after the fight, I don’t remember you having any issues or complaining, but just to set the record straight, did you lose a tooth from that punch?
FM: No, he didn’t knock my teeth out. Not at all! He’s a strong guy, he’s a good puncher, but no, as far as my teeth missing, absolutely not.
BT: Speaking of teeth, talk to me about the bite incident.
FM: A lot of people don’t know, but 8 ounce gloves are not like gloves you buy from Walmart, gloves you buy from Target, or gloves you buy from Sports Authority. These are custom, professional gloves, which are really not that thick and that padded. Actually, you can shake someone’s hand and get a good grip on somebody with having an 8 ounce glove on your hand. He bit three of my fingers. A lot of people are saying, “Well how did he get that hurt with gloves on?” A human bite is extremely hard. It’s one of the worst bites you can receive and he bit me in the 8th round. It didn’t go through the glove, but he was holding me so tight, the skin on the middle finger bust a little bit. When I took the glove off, my middle finger was bleeding a little bit. I think that, you can go back and look, I don’t know if it was the 11th round, I hit him with a body shot and I came back and I hit him on the belt line. He tried to say I hit him low, but I hit him on the belt line, which is legal, and he kept trying to buy time and take a breather. That’s what he did when he bit me. I mean, he knew what he was doing. I take my hat off to him. I respect him for doing whatever he had to do to survive, but I think that came out of frustration.
BT: What were your thoughts on the performance of Kenny Bayless? Were you pleased with his job refereeing the fight?
FM: He’s a great referee. Tony Weeks is a great referee. But this is the truth right here. Kenny Bayless can look in my eyes and know that I wasn’t lying about him biting me. He just didn’t have proof. But he bit hard, extremely hard.
BT: During the post-fight press conference, you said that you felt like you performed better in the first fight. I know that fight may have looked more entertaining, but personally, I thought you looked better in the rematch. Now that you’ve had a chance to go back and watch the fight, do you still feel like you performed better the first time you fought him?
FM: I’m just a big critic of myself. I’m very, very harsh on myself. I gave myself a C, but the thing is this, it don’t matter how you win as long as you win. As I’ve said in past interviews, I can always find a way to win. Every win is not going to be super spectacular or may not be fan-friendly, but it’s an art. You can go watch Bobby Fischer play chess a thousand times and he can approach it many different ways. Some people he can beat in 2 different moves and some people in 12 moves. It’s chess.
BT: I’ve been around you both before and after a lot of different fights now. It seemed like something was different leading up to this particular one though. I know you never take anyone lightly, but were you more focused going into this rematch?
FM: Actually, I was more focused for the first fight. More focused the first fight, more relaxed this fight.
BT: Is that because this was a rematch, so you kind of knew what to expect from Maidana heading into it?
FM: I’m not really sure. I was just more relaxed this fight. I think I was a different fighter this fight and I think he was a different fighter this fight.
BT: Did any of the distractions leading into this particular fight have any impact on you at all?
FM: I mean, I like to keep my name out there. Whether you talk good about me or you talk bad about me, just talk about me. Keep my name out there.
BT: Even for the ring walk, you kind of went old school and came out by yourself. I know there were celebrities like Justin Bieber, Wiz Khalifa, and Jamie Foxx who could’ve came out with you, but you chose to go solo. Was there a reason for that?
FM: You know, me and Al Haymon, we’re doing the Wayne vs. Drake tour [Lil Wayne had a performance the night of the fight]. I like to keep things like they normally are, traditional, and if not, just do what I’ve been doing. Justin Bieber was there, but they said he started losing his breath. I don’t know from what. I don’t know if he was hyperventiilating or what. I don’t know what was going on, but I’m glad he’s okay and he’s back where he needs to be.
BT: With this fight being a rematch, was there anything different for you about it? Was it harder to get motivated? Was training easier? Anything?
FM: Um, what was different about this fight? He didn’t have Alex Ariza. As you can see, that punch output was totally different. Even with Manny Pacquiao, the punch output is totally different without Alex Ariza, so he played a major, major key role in a lot of those fighters’ key fights.
BT: Maidana may not have had him, but Ariza popped up in your camp for the last few weeks of training. How did it go from him just making a visit to the gym to him hanging out in camp on a regular basis?
FM: I spoke on Alex Ariza in the past. I don’t think I really said nothing super harsh. I just spoke my honest opinion of what I really felt. But after hanging out with Alex, going out to eat with him, just him being around us this training camp, he’s a cool dude. He’s funny. He’s got a lot of good stories. I can’t really speak bad about him. He was just a cool guy.
BT: Because you’re getting older and your body is getting older, do you think that maybe it’s time to try something different? What kind of convinced you to allow him to first help you with some stretching and then later with some nutritional advice?
FM: One night, it was about 2 or 3 in the morning, Alex came to meet up with me at the Mirage hotel. He was like, “You’re not going to stretch?” I said, “I never stretched my whole career.” He said, “Well, it can help.” I said, “That’s why I’m going to Yoga,” so I said, “Let’s try it.” So he stretched me and then I went out running. We had the automobiles and the SUVs with us. While I was running, he was in a truck. He seen me running a good pace and run extremely hard. He asked me what vitamins I take, and then I told, “I don’t put nothing in my body. I don’t take no vitamins. All natural.” And that’s all that was really said. But my team is changing totally.