It was a rough night at the
office for Floyd Mayweather despite being a 12-to-1 favorite. It seems the
rugged and hardnosed Argentine slugger, Marcos Maidana never got that memo.
Using a smothering, two-fisted attack, Maidana never let Mayweather get
completely comfortable throughout the proceedings. But Mayweather would get on
track in the second half of the fight and eventually win a majority decision at
the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Me, I watched it at the
Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14.
I've been curious as to what
this experience is like and had promised myself I would partake in it one day.
Since I wasn't going to cover Mayweather-Maidana live (hey, I've got a budget
just like everyone else), this would be the perfect opportunity. While to
many younger fans, this concept might seem new (as Golden Boy Promotions/Mayweather
began doing this on a regular basis a few years ago), it's actually the way
boxing fans for years had to watch the biggest fights. Long before the advent
of pay-per-view and cable television, this is how you caught the likes of Muhammad
Ali-Joe Frazier (and some of the old-timers will tell you some great stories of
fights breaking out, the signal being lost and refunds being issued).
While checking on the Fathom
Events website (which distributes these events to movie theaters across the
country), I saw there were several choices around my area. The Regal, which is
located right next to L.A. Live and the Staples Center, was the easy choice.
Not only was it close but it's a relatively new theater with those big cushy
seats. I paid $25 (plus a two dollar handling fee) for a pair of tickets. To
put that into perspective, the pay-per-view for this event, dubbed “The Moment,”
cost $75. I went with a female friend, a casual fan whose interest in the sport
has picked up recently. And if a Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao is performing,
The Regal is a huge
facility. Seriously, I've never been in a movie theater that has three stories
to it. We get to theater number eight on the third floor and get to our seats
at 6:10 and we see the Showtime crew previewing the night’s card. Seriously, Al
Bernstein and company never looked so large to me. Many of the seats on the
upper part of the theater were taken so we sit on the lower level, which is
just fine because we're far enough back that we don't have to crane our necks
and we basically have this whole row to ourselves at this point. I'd estimate
by then, there were probably 30 to 40 people present as J’Leon Love and Marco
Antonio Periban were entering the ring.
Now, what I was really
worried about (other than maybe having to watch “The Amazing Spiderman 2” if “Glovegate”
wasn't solved earlier in the day) was if I would I be able to tweet during the
fight. After all, people have literally been shot and killed for being on their
phones at the movies and you never know what your reception’s going to be. But
given that this is the fights, you don't necessarily have to adhere to movie
theater etiquette. Fortunately, the signal was strong and without anyone
sitting next to us, I was free to use Twitter all night during the card.
(Also, we brought in some, uh…Zimas
and sipped on those for awhile, which helped our moods.)
As the show went along, I
noticed a few things: just like at the fights themselves, fans were coming into
the theater throughout the card. I'd estimate that by the time the main event
started, there were probably close to a hundred people inside. The upper level
seats were pretty filled up and there were right around a dozen or so patrons
where we sat. Also, as the night went along, everyone started to loosen up and
started to really get into the fight and react to what was taking place. The
person I'm with really gets into it
and I'm actually surprised to see how much she cares about the bouts - even the
undercard bouts. No, she'll never be the type that watches ESPN2’s “Friday
Night Fights” but for shows like this, she is a fan who cares (and yeah, I
don't hold it against her that she likes Mayweather...all that much).
Also, you had folks with different
rooting interests but the atmosphere was very fun and honestly, I didn't see
any hint of any hostility. It wasn't like an Eagles-Cowboys game at the old Veterans
Stadium. You wonder how many more spectators would have been there had Game
Seven between the Clippers and Warriors wasn't taking place just a block away.
Everyone was having a good time and as the action headed down the stretch for
Mayweather-Maidana, the audience here mirrored that of the one at the Grand
After the scorecards were read,
you could hear audible groans and loud cheering from various parts of the room.
I'd say that most of the audience was Mexican/Latino (for the record, I was the
only Asian) but overall, no matter the result, it's pretty evident that
everyone had a good time here.
“This is fun; we definitely
should do this again,” my friend tells me during the card. No disagreements
Photo © German Villasenor, MaxBoxing
Some random thoughts on the
show this past weekend:
- I had Mayweather up
115-113 (and yes, I'm typing this out while wearing my “TMT” hat and shirt). I
thought Maidana was really effective early, bullying Floyd and using his 165 pounds
to back him up and let his hands go. But in the second half, “Money” got more
on track and was able to land some really sharp right hands. Yes, Maidana was
busier but Mayweather was able to slip and deflect many of those punches.
However, this was a close, competitive fight and perhaps the most physically
grueling Mayweather has ever endured. The consensus is that is that it could've
been 115-113 either way.
Michael Pernick had the
fight dead even at 114-114; Burt Clements scored it 117-111 (which is the most
questionable card) and Dave Moretti had it 116-112.
- You have to give Maidana
and his trainer, Robert Garcia credit. They understood who they were, what they
had to do and didn't deviate from that. They knew they couldn't get sucked into
Mayweather's style and tempo. They weren't going to play checkers with Bobby
Fischer (as I've stated before) and embarked on a brutal, two-fisted game of
checkers. And unlike recent Mayweather foes, they didn't mentally capitulate.
When Mayweather found success, Maidana just kept his nose to the grindstone and
stuck to his ring identity. This has been one of Garcia's better jobs of
training; he's improved Maidana without necessarily changing who he is.
As for Mayweather saying he
fought the way he did to please the fans, well, this is not only funny but
insulting to the effort of Maidana, who made him fight the way he did. And with how he hits, Maidana's not exactly the guy
you decide to stand and trade with for the edification of the media and fans. That
said, Mayweather once again showed that when the going gets tough, he has very
underrated physical durability and toughness.
- Again, while “Chino”
certainly had a lot to do with how Mayweather performed on Saturday night, I
think I can honestly say that for the first time ever, I saw some physical
slippage from Mayweather, who is now 37 years old. He still has sublime skills
but like just about all other fighters as they get older. It's not necessarily
that their skills erode but how much ability they still have to implement them
over three full minutes a round. It'll be interesting to see if Mayweather
grants Maidana a rematch (and yeah, there will certainly be a “glove” clause in
the bout agreement) and how he matches himself the rest of his career. Does he
ever give young, hungry, strong lions like Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter a
crack at his undefeated record?
- “The Moment” was among the
most bizarre and cynical promotions I can recall. First, like everything else,
it was overshadowed by Donald Sterling and V(isor). Stiviano early in the week
and then that story was tied to Mayweather as he commented that he would be
interested in buying the Clippers. Yeah, because after Sterling, the NBA wants
a guy with Floyd’s background in its fraternity of owners. The ongoing Golden
acrimony between President Oscar De la Hoya and CEO Richard Schaefer was a
consistent storyline throughout last week.
Then things reached an
all-time low as Mayweather outed his ex-girlfriend’s abortion with a Facebook
post (that was then deleted, so yeah, that was also aborted). But as reports
surfaced that the much talked-about Ms. Jackson was now snuggling up to Nelly,
it became a bit of a love triangle situation (just say it; you know you want
to: it got hot in there). Yeah, TMZ and Mediatakeout.com were all over this.
Mayweather also posted on social media on how much he spent on plastic surgery
for his ex (I will say, it was money well spent).
Then there was “Glovegate
2014,” which many cynically believed was an effort to drum up interest in a
pay-per-view that was supposedly struggling. OK, call me naïve (among many
things) but the threats of cancelation less than 24 hours before the event when
it’s are already going up against a highly anticipated game between the
Clippers and Warriors isn't exactly the way you get people to buy this card.
Not for one second was this going to be canceled (too much financial liability
here) but there was certainly a real dispute happening.
- I heard the reports of the
stampeding and melees as fans were exiting the MGM Grand on Saturday night,
where dozens of people were injured or scrapped up, including my pal, Ernie “Everlast”
Gabion. Honestly, I'm surprised this type of incident doesn't happen more here.
Seriously, the 405 at the heart of rush hour isn't as congested as this small,
relatively narrow pathway, which is literally the only way to get out of there.
Yeah, I get it; they want to funnel people back to the casino but that design
has been flawed from the very beginning.
People who didn't have
credentials ended up rampaging their way into the media center during this
fracas - which honestly, makes it like any other post-fight press conference.
For the record, we had no problems getting out of the Regal.
Per Goossen Tutor
Promotions, information regarding the public media workouts and weigh-in for
the Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola rematch for the vacant WBC heavyweight title
is as follows:
Tuesday, May 6
Workouts: USC Galen Center--Men's Basketball Practice Court
3400 S. Figueroa
St., Los Angeles, CA 90089
Stairs at Figueroa and McCarthy)
2:30 p.m. - Chris
3:30 p.m. - Bermane
Friday, May 9
Official Public Weigh-In: Radisson
Hotel Los Angeles at USC
3540 S. Figueroa
St., Los Angeles, CA 90089
Mayweather's ring walk was
the worst ever; it had a bunch clowns and freaks (Lil' Wayne and Justin Bieber)...When
he executes his style - like he did versus Luis Collazo - Amir Khan is a tough
out...According to Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, they can no longer wait on
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. as Gennady Golovkin is now working on his next fight in
July with HBO...The media tour for Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara is this week and
De la Hoya will be representing his company...Is the NFL Draft finally here?...This
has been the most memorable first round of the NBA Playoffs I can ever recall...
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