Los Angeles (AFP) - Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather says Marcos Maidana should be grateful for the rematch and there is no chance he will allow the challenger to choose the gloves for their September fight.
"He wanted a rematch and I gave it to him," Mayweather said Thursday. "Don't complain about the gloves. He says he won the first fight so do it again with the same gloves."
Undefeated Mayweather will face Argentina's Maidana on September 13 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas with Mayweather's 147-pound World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council titles on the line.
A disagreement arose on the eve of their first fight on May 3 when Mayweather objected to the 227 gram (eight ounce) gloves that Maidana wanted to use, saying they didn't have enough padding.
"This is not a street fight; this is not an MMA fight," Mayweather said. "My health and my career after boxing is what's important. I could hit this guy without gloves and he could never walk again. We use gloves to protect ourselves."
In their first meeting 10 weeks ago, Mayweather won a 12-round majority decision from the three judges, including one who scored it a 114-114 draw.
American Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) was criticized for not doing enough in the early going as Maidana swarmed him and won several rounds.
Mayweather and Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) met with reporters Thursday at a news conference at the downtown Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel as part of a cross-country promotion tour. Unlike his May fight, this time there was no talk of retirement which Mayweather used to hype the first one.
During the post-fight news conference in May, Maidana's trainer Robert Garcia got Mayweather to agree to a rematch and a handshake on the podium to seal the deal.
Mayweather said Thursday he didn't give Maidana this rematch because he wanted to honour that commitment. He went for it because he sees the first half of that fight as a blight on his career that he wants to wash away with a dominating victory.
"This guy won three or four rounds against me and that never happens," he said.
- 'Use his elbows' -
Maidana said Thursday he wants the referee to penalize Mayweather for using his elbows.
"He is a bit of a dirty fighter. He likes to use his elbows, get them in your throat and for some reason the referees let him get away with it," Maidana said.
Mayweather also defended his counterpunching style Thursday, saying it has enabled him to outlast many of the fighters that turned pro at the same time as him back in 1996.
"I am almost 20 years in and I am still sharp and still going strong," he said. "I think all those other fighters should have been more defensive fighters."
The September fight will be Mayweather's fourth of a six-fight contract with New York-based Showtime Networks Inc. If he wins all three of his remaining fights it would leave him with 49 wins, one shy of going 50-0.
"If the price is right and I want to go for number 50 then it is possible," he said. "One of my ultimate goals is to fight in New York."
Mayweather said that like all the great athletes he has doubts before a big fight.
"I wake up at 3 am and run eight miles. There are voices going through my head telling me 'He can beat you and you don't deserve to be there,'" he said.
"But then there is another voice in my head where my mother's telling me, 'You are special. You are where you're at for a reason.' Those are the things no one understands. So I want to continue to push myself to the limit."