Mayweather, who has a 45-0 record with 26 knockouts, is an
overwhelming 11-1 favorite for the WBC/WBA welterweight title
unification bout which will be staged at the MGM Grand Garden Arena
in Las Vegas.
Not only is the experienced American widely regarded as one of the
best defensive fighters of all time but he is a natural welterweight
whereas many critics believe that Maidana moved up too quickly from
the 130-pound level to the 147-pound division.
"Everybody thinks he's just going to be a pushover, but I don't
think so," Mayweather, 37, told reporters while preparing for
Saturday's showdown. "That's why I'm training hard and I'm pushing
myself to the limit every day.
"If he brings his best, maybe he will be the first guy that actually
makes me dig in my bag of tricks and pull out my 'A' game.
"Hopefully he will make me bring out my 'A' game because my whole
career all I had to use was a 'D' and 'C' game to beat every guy."
Maidana, who won his most recent bout in December with a unanimous
decision against the heavily favored American Adrien Broner to claim
the WBA welterweight title, is known for his all-round skill and
Asked what he thought the Argentine slugger did best in the ring,
Mayweather replied: "Well, he punches extremely hard if he has an 80
percent knockout ratio.
"That's obviously his best attribute, but a lot of times when a
guy's swinging a lot of big shots and they're not landing, you get
fatigued like that.
"I may be the hardest puncher he ever fought. He hasn't been hit by
me yet, so we'll just have to see if he's the hardest puncher."
Mayweather, who outboxed Saul Canelo Alvarez in his most recent bout
in September to take the Mexican's WBA and WBC super welterweight
titles, has repeatedly spoken about the need for patience against
"Maidana is hungry, he's ready and he has a great knockout ratio,"
said the brash American, who is nicknamed "Money" for his flamboyant
and often extravagant lifestyle. "It's all about keeping composure
and sticking to the game plan.
[to top of second column]
"We're going to take our time, go out there and if a guy leaves an
opening on his face, we're going to take it, if he leaves an opening
on his body we're going to take it.
"But we can't just say we're going to go in there and everything is
going to go to the body. We're going to take our time and pick the
guy apart. I'm naturally the bigger guy because I've been at 147
almost 10 years now."
Maidana, 30, has an impressive professional record of 35-3 with 31
knockouts and oozed confidence ahead of Saturday's fight while
readily conceding he is a big underdog.
"I know people think I'm going to lose, but I come to win and I'm
not afraid of anybody or anything," said the Argentine. "I have the
support of the Latino people and I'm coming to win."
Saturday's fight, scheduled for 12 rounds, will unify the WBC
welterweight title held by Mayweather and Maidana's WBA welterweight
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles;
editing by Frank Pingue)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.