LAS VEGAS (AP) — Floyd Mayweather took his time selecting an opponent for his May 3 fight, then took some more time to formally announce it.
At least he had a Vegas kind of excuse for showing up an hour late for a Saturday news conference promoting the bout with Marcos Maidana.
“I was up gambling here last night, having fun,” Mayweather said. “What else can I say?”
Mayweather, who waited until two weeks ago to announce Maidana as his opponent, will fight at the MGM Grand arena for the ninth consecutive time in his first bout since dominating Canelo Alvarez last September. The fight will be for Mayweather’s welterweight title and the title that Maidana won in his last fight against Adrian Broner.
“You can never take any fighter for granted. Anything can happen,” Mayweather said. “Marcos Maidana is one strong, tough competitor. I can’t overlook him.”
Mayweather, coming off the richest pay-per-view fight ever against Alvarez, will fight for the third time in a six-fight pay-per-view contract with the Showtime cable network. He picked Maidana as his opponent over Amir Khan, he said, because Maidana has fought better lately.
“People are going to say why did I choose Maidana over Khan,” Mayweather said. “Look at his last four fights and look at Khan’s last four fights. I had to go with the best choice.”
Maidana is coming off a big win over Broner, knocking him down twice in their Dec. 14 fight and handing him his first loss. The Argentine is known as a brawler, while Mayweather has made a career based on his excellent defense.
Mayweather turned 37 last month but said he is not slowing down. He plans to fight three more times after Maidana, but left open the possibility there could be more.
“I’m still sharp,” Mayweather said. “I ain’t taking no punishment.”
Mayweather is undefeated in 45 fights, while Maidana is 35-3 with 31 knockouts.