Unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. downplayed the punching power of Argentina's Marcos Maidana, claiming he has been hit harder by two former opponents.
Maidana roughed up Mayweather during their 12-round showdown last weekend in Las Vegas, but it was still the American superstar who went on to claim a majority decision victory.
Of Maidana's 35 career victories, 31 have come by knockout, and his concussive power was supposed to be his calling card against Mayweather, one of the most skilled defensive fighters ever.
In the post-fight press conference, Mayweather claimed that Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto and Mexican prodigy Saul "Canelo" Alvarez hit harder than Maidana.
"Miguel Cotto is tougher. I'm not going to lie," Mayweather said, as quoted by Boxing Scene. "That's one thing I'm not going to do. Miguel Cotto is a tougher fighter, and he hit harder."
Cotto also pushed Mayweather to the limit when they fought in May 2012, losing in a competitive fight that saw the American get marked up in the face.
"Canelo hit harder than him," Mayweather added. "Yes, Canelo hits harder… Canelo hit me with a left hook that I still feel."
Mayweather crushed Alvarez over the course of 12 rounds in their September 2013 bout, a fight that was barely competitive as the pound-for-pound king completely outclassed the younger Mexican.
Mayweather did say that he takes "nothing away from" Maidana, whom he called a tough and rugged fighter. But the American also said he could have very easily routed Maidana by using his boxing skills more, instead of standing toe-to-toe against the dangerous Argentine.
"I could have made this fight very easy, but it would have been boring, and I didn't want to do that for the fans," said Mayweather.