Floyd Mayweather threatened to pull out of his first fight with Marcos Maidana over a gloves dispute, and Manny Pacquiao’s trainer would like a look at Mayweather’s custom-made gloves for their fight Saturday night.
Freddie Roach gets to see the eight-ounce Grant-brand gloves when both sides sign off on the gloves Friday night at MGM Grand, in conjunction with weigh-in and the pre-fight rules meeting.
Roach said he would like that approval to happen even earlier, given the Maidana dispute and Mayweather’s own custom gloves.
“Grant is doing his gloves, and they’re all custom-made, and I’d like to know what he’s using — like what he’s putting in those gloves, and what materials they’re made with,” Roach said last week.
There are not a lot of equipment variables in boxing, but handwraps and gloves are two important ones.
Mayweather commonly allows opponents to wear their brand of choice, while he wears Grant.
The Maidana flap occurred the night before the May 3, 2014 fight. Maidana wanted to wear a pair of custom-made Everlast MX but Mayweather, upon personally inspecting the gloves, claimed they were insufficiently padded in the striking area and stormed out of the meeting with a threat to cancel the bout if the challenger didn’t change.
Maidana complained openly about the glove switch, saying he would have knocked out Mayweather if he had his gloves, but complied and fought well enough to earn a rematch last September.
Pacquiao will wear a standard pair of Reyes-brand gloves, Roach said.
“Our gloves are made by machine in Mexico,” Roach said. “They’re the same all the time. They’re very standard. Top Rank has a warehouse full of them. They’ll grab 10 pair and we’ll pick our gloves from one of the 10.”
Glove weights for a live fight are standard — eight-ounce gloves for welterweights (147 pounds) and lighter, 10-ounce gloves for heavier weights — but the padding and how it is distributed can vary.
Reyes gloves are considered more conducive to punchers and anecdotally believed to induce cuts more frequently, while Mayweather for several years has worn custom Grant gloves in competition (he spars in Winning brand) on the belief that they protect his hands better than other brands.
Roach implied he will do his due diligence upon inspection.
“I’m a little bit worried about the weight of the gloves, and the padding, because I know that Floyd has a little bit of fragile hands,” he said. “It’s something that runs in the family. I think that they all can punch really well but they have small hands. I’m a little concerned about the custom-made gloves that Floyd’s going to wear.”
Mayweather on Roach’s condemnation of domestic abuse: His father speaks out often on Roach, but Mayweather has avoided it, though it became clear during a teleconference last week that he has become aware of the comments by the trainer, as well as Roach’s mother, condemning his history of domestic convictions. “I’m not going to speak about Freddie Roach. I don’t have to, at all. If I say anything about the guy, they’re going to say, ‘Floyd is picking on a guy who is not 100-percent healthy.’ OK?” Mayweather said, a reference to Roach’s battle with Parkinson’s disease. “And then, if I comment on some of the stuff he’s said, he’s making this, like, basically a God-and-devil-type thing. So the best way to handle a situation like that is not to say anything at all if you have nothing positive to say. When it comes down to it, it’s up to the two fighters. He’s entitled to say what he wants to say, but the fighter is not speaking like that, so I could care less. It comes down to the two fighters.”
Mayweather’s fourth: Assistant trainer Nate Jones is expected to be the fourth official second in Mayweather’s corner, along with chief second and head trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr., and assistant seconds Rafael Garcia and Bob Ware.
Roger Mayweather’s impact: The former head trainer, who has remained active in an assistant training role even since his brother reassumed the top job in 2013, has said for years that his nephew will knock out Pacquiao. His opinion remains unchanged. “I never tell Floyd about how to handle Pacquiao because he already knows how to handle him,” Roger Mayweather, who served as his nephew’s head trainer from 1996-98 and 2000-12, said Saturday. “The thing with Floyd, what’s going to be different for Floyd, is going to be that he’s going to come in to get him out of there. I don’t think Pacquiao can do anything with Floyd. I think he’s going to get knocked out anyway.”
Propped-up scorecards: Boxing is rather limited in the number of betting propositions that can be offered. Other than the various ways to win a fight, over-unders, and betting knockout rounds, there aren’t a lot of ways to go. Casinos here have created some cluster offerings of multiple knockout rounds, and multiple over-under lines with wide-ranging prices, but one of the more unique props is at MGM Grand, where there is an over-under betting option on the total of the judges’ scorecards for each fighter. Mayweather’s over-under is 347 1/2 points, to Pacquiao’s 336 1/2. Fight must go to scorecards after 12 completed rounds, or all action is refunded.
Expensive ducats: Roach said he bought $68,000 worth of tickets for 20 family members.
Double thumbs up: Neither side had any objections to the appointment of officials last week. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said he was pleased with the appointments of referee Kenny Bayless and judges Burt Clements, Glenn Feldman and Dave Moretti, all of whom have extensive championship experience. Bayless also is a familiar third man in the ring for both Mayweather and Pacquiao. “Kenny Bayless, I’ve always said he’s the best referee out there, so why not have the best?” Roach said.
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