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Why Maidana got the rematch

LAS VEGAS -- Only once before has Floyd Mayweather Jr. had a rematch, and that was way back in 2002 in a sequel with Jose Luis Castillo for the lightweight championship eight months after Mayweather won the title by close unanimous decision in a fight many thought should have gone Castillo’s way.

Mayweather won the rematch much easier than the first fight.

Now, Mayweather is set for another rematch when he defends his welterweight championship (and junior middleweight title) against Marcos Maidana, the man Mayweather defeated by majority decision in May to unify 147-pound titles, on Saturday night (Showtime PPV, 8 ET) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Mayweather said that he thought he beat Maidana 9-3 in rounds the first time around, which is competitive by Mayweather standards, especially because whatever rounds Maidana did win mostly came early on before Mayweather seemed to figure him out. So the fight was very much in doubt at the halfway mark.

“The fight is not close, but he came out, he won the first round, I won the second round, he won the third and the fourth, and from the fifth on he lost every round,” Mayweather said. “So, like I said before, I'm going to go out there and I guess get a knockout [or] win 12 rounds, and look impressive, but also be exciting.”

He said he decided to fight Maidana again because fans wanted to see the fight, although there was not exactly a huge demand from the public for a sequel.

“They like to see excitement. Why not do it again? Maidana is a hard worker who is coming to fight,” he said. “My job is to be patient and smart and to entertain.”

Maidana said he believes Mayweather took the rematch for one reason.

“It was a close fight. He probably wants to prove a point,” Maidana said through a translator. “He wants to demonstrate that he can beat me outright. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that the rematch is happening, and I'm very happy.”

Robert Garcia, Maidana’s trainer, believes Mayweather took the rematch because he had nobody else to fight that was a bigger event -- and don’t even say Manny Pacquiao, because we’ve all been down that road. Amir Khan, another possibility, had taken himself out of consideration because he observes Ramadan and would not be available for a September fight.

“I truly believe that he had no other options. He was forced to give us a rematch,” Garcia said. “He was forced to fight Maidana. There were no other names out there that he could've fought in September that would make sense. A rematch with Maidana is the only fight that makes sense to sell pay-per-views to please the fans, and he had no other options. That's what I think.”