Editor Note: We’re just a few hours from the Mayweather-Maidana II. New BeatsBoxingMayhem contributor Jeandra LeBeauf is live in Las Vegas covering the card. Before the fight, she gives some final thoughts on “Mayhem’s” atmosphere.
By: Jeandra LeBeauf
LAS VEGAS, NV — It’s September and we are back in Las Vegas for another episode of ‘As The Ring Turns’ starring Floyd Mayweather, boxing’s pound-for-pound king, and Marcos Maidana, the antagonist with a heart of gold (and a body full of tattoos). We’ve seen this movie repeated like a Friday the 13th sequel. But this time, the roles reverse depending on whom you ask.
As fight night approaches, the City (and the world) turns its eyes toward the MGM Grand Garden Arena once more and await what they hope will be spectacle full of blood and brutality. Nearly equal in their divide of who will be the victor, neither side is shy when it comes to sharing their opinions. The Argentinian contingency march through the halls loudly chanting ‘Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, Chino, Chino.’ Fans of Floyd Mayweather chose to their express their fandom in a silent but assertive fraternity adorned with TMT/TBE emblazoned memorabilia.
One thing is certain — both factions are exceedingly vocal in expressing their opinion as to how the first fight ended. No matter which team they pledge their loyalty to, the result inspired discussion and passion that’s been absent from Mayweather fights in recent years. Team Maidana felt the Argentine slugger mauled, brawled, and power punched his way to victory while The Money Team echo the sentiments of their lavish leader, saying the fight was dirty and poorly officiated but still a Mayweather victory nonetheless.
I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Mayweather lost the first fight. I don’t know why I’m wondering that because we all know what the aftermath would be like. There is no way Mayweather’s ego would allow Maidana to ride off into the sunset as the one who put the blemish on his untarnished record and alphabet belts. The rematch would be ordered immediately and we all head right back to Vegas.
Which brings us back to today. The fighters are here, the media is here and so are the fans. But, the fans seemed slightly more subdued than the first time around. The Money Team walk the halls of the MGM still wearing their TMT shirts, and Argentine fans shout their chants, but all is done with less enthusiasm. Maybe it’s the alcohol, or maybe they feel a premonition about the outcome the rest of us don’t know.
We are hours away from finding out if Mayweather can pull one more out of the hat, or if the people of Buenos Aires get to prepare a “Welcome Home” parade for the biggest upset since Tyson-Douglas. What will the fans here at the MGM do until then? They’ll continue to walk through the hallways with their oversized cocktails and signature gear until the next sequel in May.
Because rest assured, we will all be back in May.
Jeandra LeBeauf is the creator of the boxing and lifestyle site www.BadCulture.net, boxing correspondent for The Boxing Channel and content contributor to BeatsBoxingMayhem. She also hosts the boxing podcast “The Ruckus” every Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.