Maidana’s Gloves: Legitimate Concerns, Or Mind Games from Team Mayweather?

mayweather-holding-controversial-glove

By Tim Smith
It didn’t take Floyd Mayweather and his reps too long to determine that there was something wrong with the boxing gloves that Marcos Maidana had presented to the Nevada State Athletic Commission as the ones that he wanted to wear for their match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last May 3.

“In my opinion some padding had been removed. There was no padding in the gloves. And they weren’t in shrink wrap. They had been opened,’’ said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions.

(Relieve the tense debate over the gloves in question with the following scene from All Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana: Epilogue)

Not since the infamous O.J. Simpson trial has a pair of gloves figured so prominently in the proceedings of a major event. Ellerbe said Mayweather was ready to call the whole thing off and walk away from a multi-million payday if Maidana insisted on wearing the blue Everlast MX gloves that had been emblazoned with the Argentine flag. The issue, which flared up at the weigh in the day before the fight, was finally settled as Maidana agreed to wear the same brand of glove, but not the same pair that he had designated for the match.

As Mayweather and Maidana prepare to square off again the “gloves issue’’ hovers over the rematch of the 12-round WBC welterweight title match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Showtime Pay Per View on Sept. 13.

Maidana will wear Everlast Powerlock gloves for the rematch. Unlike the Everlast MX gloves that he wore the first time, which contained horse hair as padding, the Everlast Powerlock gloves have foam padding.

maidana-glove

On the Everlast website the gloves are said to be designed with “anatomical foam construction that guides your hand into a natural fist position’’ and are described as having a compact design that allows for “superior fist closure, providing a balance of speed, comfort and protection while delivering a powerful punch.’’ There is a video of super middleweight champion Andre Ward wearing the gloves while slugging a heavy bag.

Ellerbe and Sebastian Contursi, Maidana’s manager, said they worked out the gloves issue during contract negotiations for the rematch.

Contursi said the gloves issue was something manufactured by Mayweather and his team to try to gain a psychological advantage on the eve of the biggest boxing match of Maidana’s career.

Maidana-after-loss-to-Mayweather

“Now that I go back and think about it Floyd Mayweather had it all premeditated. That’s my impression now,’’ Contursi said. “We never inspected the gloves. We just agreed that each fighter would be able to use their own brand of gloves. We had gloves that were approved by every commission where he’s fought. Marcos had used the same Everlast Mexican (MX) gloves for three years and we never had a problem. Floyd was the guy making noise. It was a big lie.’’

Ellerbe said there was no such ploy in play. He believes the gloves were defective and posed a danger to Mayweather’s health and safety in the ring if Maidana had been allowed to wear them during the fight. Ellerbe said Maidana’s side was playing fast and loose with the rules, because Maidana didn’t even show up at the meeting to even try on the gloves in question.

“Maidana hadn’t been there to try on the glove. He had already tried them on,’’ Ellerbe said. “What fighter doesn’t want to be there to try on the gloves to make sure he’s comfortable with them? What fighter at this level is going to allow his trainer to select the gloves without him being there to try them on?’’

Contursi said once they decided what type of gloves they were going to use and the decoration they wanted on them, they sent the specs to the manufacturer in Mexico. Once the gloves were produced (six to 10 pair) they were shipped from Mexico directly to the commission. He said the gloves never touched their hands once they left the factory in Mexico. So they couldn’t tamper with them. Any flaws in the gloves would have been from the factory.

The same process is being repeated for the Everlast Powerlock gloves that Maidana will use for the rematch. But this time Maidana is using the gloves in sparring so that he will be familiar with them and comfortable in them on fight night.

Robert Bennett, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director, instituted a new rule following the gloves controversy between Mayweather and Maidana. The gloves that both boxers are going to use have to be in the possession of the commission three days before the weighin. Previously the gloves could be brought to the weigin and tried on there.

Elvis Grant, the owner of Grant Gloves, which Mayweather uses, applauds Bennett for instituting the rule.

“They can inspect them and if there are any issues at all they can be resolved before the weighin,’’ Grant said. “I think that’s a fantastic new rule. I think it’s going to be a good thing.’’

Grant has been making gloves for Mayweather since the boxer fought Carlos Baldomir in 2006. He said Mayweather, who has always had problems with his hands, gained greater confidence wearing his gloves after he knocked out Ricky Hatton.

“He was able to throw a full force punch. He did that early. He threw a right hand or a left hook early in the fight. He winched in anticipation of the pain, but later he told me he didn’t feel any pain. That confidence just rose in him. He knocked Hatton out. Ever since then we’ve had few issues since we started,’’ he said.

Grant was present at the weigh in during the gloves controversy this past May. He concurs with Ellerbe that there was something wrong with the gloves that Maidana presented to the commission.

“The issue that Leonard Ellerbe and John Hornewer (Mayweather’s lawyer) had was that the gloves they (Maidana’s reps) had at the weigh in were wrapped in Saran wrap like you’d wrap a piece of chicken in,’’ Grant said. “When they tried on the gloves themselves they noticed the gloves didn’t seem to have any padding in them.’’

Maidana made light of the gloves issue during the pre-fight promotional tour. Maidana’s trainer Robert Garcia presented two large overstuffed pair of boxing gloves that resembled pillows at a stop in Los Angeles. He joked that Maidana would use those gloves in the match if Mayweather was so concerned about safety.

marcos-maidana-gigantic-gloves

But the gloves a boxer uses during a match are no joking matter.

Luis Resto was accused of using gloves with an ounce of the padding removed in his match against Billy Collins, Jr. at Madison Square Garden in 1983. Resto, who was banned from boxing, said he didn’t know what was going on. His trainer, Panama Lewis, was accused of removing the padding. Collins took a severe beating, suffering damage to his eye and permanent blurred vision. Lewis, who was banned from boxing, went to prison for tampering with the gloves and served three years. Collins was killed in a car accident near his home in Tennessee a year after the match. Some speculate that he committed suicide because he was depressed about not being able to box anymore.

Grant said the type of gloves a boxer uses is about comfort and psychology. Some boxers believe that a certain type of glove gives them greater punching power. He believes that’s a fallacy.

“Mike Tyson was knocking everybody out with the old style Everlast gloves, which were like pillows,’’ Grant said. “He didn’t have trouble knocking guys out or breaking a guy’s jaw. If you can punch, you can punch in any gloves.’’

Paulie Malignaggi, a former welterweight and junior welterweight champion and Showtime boxing analyst, said it was always important for him to be able to wear the brand and style of gloves that he wanted.

“I had a lot of hand problems. I wanted to wear the brands that would protect my hands,’’ he said.

During his career Malignaggi wanted to wear Cleto-Reyes gloves, which are smaller and noted as puncher’s gloves. But they hurt his hands. He said he was always jealous of other boxers who were able to wear them.

“You could fit the gloves between a tight guard because the gloves were small. But I knew that they would destroy my hands,’’ he said.

Malignaggi noted that the commissions have taken the safety issue into consideration by governing the weight of the gloves for each weight class. Therefore most of the risk has been taken out of the process. Unless the gloves have been tampered with, then most gloves controversy is nothing more than posturing.

“It’s two gladiators in there fighting, everybody is going to try to get an edge,’’ Malignaggi said. “At the end of the day you’re a fighter and you’re going to have to take certain risk. I do believe that each fighter should be able to wear the gloves that he’s comfortable with.’’

17 thoughts on “Maidana’s Gloves: Legitimate Concerns, Or Mind Games from Team Mayweather?

  1. I don’t think the commission should let mayweather or any fighter make the opponent use other gloves

    On last fight the commission approved other gloves but mayweather still didn’t like them
    and maidana had to use whatever mayweather wanted

    i think fighters should fight on what ever gloves they want as long as theccommission approves them

    i don’t think the commission should allow a big shot like mayweather call the shots like that

    he is just scared.

    if you are a boxer you are there to fight & not be afraid to get hit or hurt.

    otherwise do something else and not do boxing anymore.

    • People wanna complain about Maidana’s gloves. but mayweather wear balloon gloves and makes his fighters wear them as well. Those grant gloves specifically are Pillow Gloves. Atleast broner went at with Reyes Gloves. forget mayweather premadona

      • i saw tyson saying he would break thru the padding in his dressing room so he was virtualy bypassing the padding . cleto reyes carry the weight up the wristband there punchers gloves and the best but any glove that are sanctioned by the commission are good to go mayweather had no say legally but everyone panders to him

  2. Lots of things that mayweather does takes points from him wanting to be the best ever or a Legend.
    like the gloves issue
    or ducking people out like manny.
    I think after this fight the person that interviews the fighters should bring that up
    he be calling him TBE bla bla
    makes shirts , caps with that logo
    so people can call him that
    but in reality people don’t se him like that.
    He is a chicken that runs all over theRing instead of fighting and a chicken for not fighting the people that calls him out more than one time like many

    • He was told that he was The Best Ever by his entourage and tried to pass it off as people’s opinion. He ducked way lot of fighters in their primes and cherry picked anyone he thinks would eat his punch or play his game. That’s the reason why he chose Maidana, but then shit happened.

  3. I dont understand where the debate is about those gloves. Clearly they were not in the proper wrapping and they were extraordinarley flimsy to the eye.

  4. This was yet another dirty move by TMT. Mayweather calls himself TBE when he wouldn’t last one round against a lot of fighters from the past. I don’t think he could take Leonard, Hearns, Hagler or Duran. There you have TBE’s, not a guy who is everyday more a businessman than a boxer. He is the best of this era, but not the best ever. He’s probably top ten on all times P4P, but far from top 3. He calls everyone dirty, but he uses elbows, clinches excessively when in trouble, does this lawyer BS and calls himself something he is not. The best after De La Hoya, or Trinidad, but not the best ever.

  5. The custom pair of gloves that Madaina wanted to use were not approved by the commission. The gray/blue gloves that are presented in this article and the glove that you see Floyd wearing was not approved by the commission. There were other Everlast MX gloves that were present and there was a distinct difference in size and shape and they were approved by the commission, but the issue that was brought up about the other MX gloves was the fact that they were not in the factory packaging, they were wrapped in ceramic wrap.

    It is mind games by Floyd and it was mind games by Madaina and his team when they presented those first custom gloves. There’s no way in any ones right mind they could have truly thought that those Custom gloves were fit to box in, they were shady to say the least.

    I believe Madaina should be able to use the Everlast MX gloves if they are approved by commission. But I also feel that the gloves being used in a fight should be negotiable as well. I look at this way, if Madaina is truly the better fighter, it won’t matter what gloves he wears. Floyd himself uses foam padded gloves rather than horse hair gloves, so he’s not really gaining any type of a advantage other than a physiological advantage if Madaina lets it bother him that much.

    I think people are making a bigger issue out of it than it really is. At the end of the day the Everlast Powerlock gloves are considered a punchers glove when it comes to the foam padded style. If Madaina needs a certain pair of gloves to win, then he just isn’t the better fighter, end of story. So stop your crying people and enjoy the fight. And stay tough behind your keyboards because I’m sure ya’ll are badasses in real life and have a lot of experience in the ring.. LMAO

    • Can’t help but reply.

      I’m a boxer, an amateur one. I need to get it out of the way so you can consider my opinion as ‘valid’.

      I’m so tired of the ‘if he’s the better boxer, he shouldn’t have any problems’ crap they’ve been spouting. When you’re playing against the best, you’ll need every advantage you’ll get: A millimeter, a millisecond, or 1/10 pound, it will matter a lot.

      Still can’t grasp the idea? F1 racing, swimming, sprint winners relies on that millisecond gap in order to win.

      Imagine the psychological advantage Mayweather had when he accused Maidana’s team of glove tampering. The eve of the fight, a boxer’s mental condition should be in tip top shape, but Mayweather sabotaged it.

      It was premeditated, Mayweather is very sly. Why would he wait until the eve of the fight when he could have it checked everyday? Remember what he did to Pacquiao? The blood testing? I’m sure everything’s clear now, Mr. Your-opinion-doesn’t-count-if-you’re-not-a-boxer.

      I don’t even know if you’re really a boxer. But if you are, I do know that you’re not meant for the high-level field. You dismiss the details.

  6. I was an amateur boxer for 11 yrs of my life , i agree u want every advadtage u can get , of course Floyd does but so does Chino thats why u r allowed to wear w/e gloves u want as long as they are approved .. n i hope u guys all know this .. in the 1st fight Chino was forced to wear 8oz foam gloves that he has never fought in b4 , well this time since Floyd put his 154lb title on the line in the contract(which he only did for this reason) he is forceing Chino to wer 10oz foam gloves this go round but they are gonna weigh in way under 154lb … to me its tactical but also cowardly on Floyds behalf Floyd has so many natural talents that are above Chino , the only thing Chino has is a better punch n Floyd has diminished that risk signifigantly by forceing Chino to wear 10oz foam this time instead of even the 8oz foam like in the 1st fight … when u r so much more talented than ur opponent why would u strip him of his best asset , bcuz now if u beat him people can easily say well u only won bcuz he had to wear pillows on his fists u didnt beat the Chino that every1 else fought u beat a Chino with his best asset taken away , idk in my opinion its extremely cowardly especially since he thinks he is the greatest fighter to ever walk the earth n has publicly called Chino a B level fighter which he is … like damn u cant even beat a B level fighter without taking away his best asset, POWER .. thats some p*ssy sh*t to me

    • The default in Nevada is 10 oz gloves for welterweights. “welterweight fighters have the option of using 8- or 10-ounce gloves. If the camps can’t agree, the default glove size will be 10 ounces, commission executive director Keith Kizer said.” They changed the rule to get the Cotto and Margarito I fight in Vegas.

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