Mayweather set for Maidana re-match in September
(Reuters) - Undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr., widely regarded as the world's top pound-for-pound boxer, announced on Thursday that he will return to the ring in September for a re-match with Argentina's Marcos Maidana.
"#Mayhem Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 September 13, 2014 MGM Grand in Las Vegas Live on Showtime PPV," five-division world champion Mayweather tweeted.
American Mayweather improved his perfect professional record to 46-0 with a majority decision victory over Maidana to unify two world titles in their first fight in Las Vegas on May 4. With that win, Mayweather added the hard-hitting Argentine's World Boxing Association belt to his own World Boxing Council title.
"Marcos Maidana is a tough customer and he gave me a fight that had me work for the victory," Mayweather said in a statement issued later on Thursday.
"His style is difficult at best, but with experience comes a way and will to win. I'm not one to give second chances in the ring, but I want to give the fans what they want to see.
"I will be as prepared as I always am when I step in the ring on September 13. I only see the outcome one way and that's another successful night for me and my team."
Maidana made a fast start to their May 4 bout, launching a blizzard of punches and trapping his opponent against the ropes at every turn in the first few rounds.
Though Mayweather went on to dominate the second half of that contest, Maidana felt he had done enough to get the decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
"I definitely feel like I won this fight. Floyd did not fight like a man, like I expected him to," Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) told reporters afterwards.
Mayweather exuded confidence while awaiting the decision, with one judge ruling the fight a 114-114 draw while the other two scored the bout 117-111 and 116-112 in his favor.
"This was a tough, competitive fight, what the fans want to see," the American (46-0, 26 KOs) told a post-fight interviewer in the ring.
"Normally I go out there, I box, I move. Finally, I was in a tough, competitive fight. He's a tough competitor and we gave the fans what they wanted to see.
"If the fans want to see it again, we'll do it again."
Maidana expressed his delight after the September bout with Mayweather in Las Vegas was announced on Thursday.
"The re-match with Mayweather is the only fight that really motivates me," the 30-year-old said. "I feel I earned it in the ring and Floyd owed it to me.
"I've already proved that I don't care if the man I have in front of me is the best pound-for-pound champion. I was close to ending his reign last time. On September 13 he will not get away undefeated."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue/Greg Stutchbury)