THE few observers predicting that Marcos Maidana will give Floyd Mayweather a tougher contest than their May opener base their views on the American’s advancing age. But the challenger’s trainer Robert Garcia does not believe, openly at least, that Mayweather’s form is declining with time.

“I don’t think age is a factor,” he said. “He [Mayweather] is a great athlete. He is always in great condition. I don’t think he drinks, I don’t think he smokes. Look at Bernard Hopkins, he’s the same and he’s 49, still at the top. I think Floyd is going the same way.”

There had been some bad feeling brewing between Mayweather and his opponent’s trainer in the build-up after the undefeated 37-year-old pointed out Maidana’s dirty tactics in the first bout. Garcia admitted that those comments might do the Las Vegas resident some favours in the MGM Grand return.

“Floyd has been very smart by calling Maidana a dirty fighter because now the judges, the officials will be quick to punish anything we do,” Garcia explained before wisely complimenting referee Kenny Bayless. “We have no problem at all with the referee. He’s a professional, he always does a good job, and I’m sure he’ll do a good job this time.”

Garcia spoke of the difficulty of trying to replicate Mayweather in sparring, but praised Mikey Garcia for his role in preparing Maidana for this rematch.

“No one could imitate Floyd,” he said. “If they did they would just make mistakes so we didn’t try to do that. But Mikey was brought in because of his speed and accuracy, and he did a good job all the way through.”

Maidana, dressed in an outrageous jacket – some kind of snakeskin/leopard print number – and sunglasses, does not believe that having experience of already facing Mayweather will be advantageous this time.

“Of course it’s supposed to be easier [second time round], but we’re both in the same boat, because he knows me as well.”