By Matthew Hurley: Marcos Maidana is without question one of the most exciting fighters to watch in boxing. A rough and tumble brawler who always brings it and then leaves it in the ring. He is deserving of a big payday, and he’ll finally get one on May 3 against Floyd Mayweather. Unfortunately he has no chance against the recognized best in the sport.
Mayweather himself has tried to punch up his latest pay per view with his usual blather, but even he realizes most people are politely yawning behind the back of their hand over what is perceived as another Floyd walkover. That and the fact that this fight comes right on the heels of Manny Pacquiao’s latest pay per view this past April 12 against Timothy Bradley has many boxing fans up in arms over the exorbitant cost of seeing their favorite fighters perform.
Message boards have been punctuated by the word “boycott” but there will be those who talk a good game and then come fight night can’t help but press the “order” button on their remote control. It’s the plight of the boxing junkie. But junkies often wither and die and many boxing fans are so fed up when it comes to overpriced pay per views that feature deplorable undercards and mismatched feature bouts that they are turning their backs or, at the very least, being more discerning when it comes to what they buy.
Pacquiao – Bradley II was an intriguing matchup but the pay per view numbers were disappointing. Mayweather – Maidana will probably do a bit better but not by much. Even the promotion for the bout seems lackadaisical, as if Golden Boy Promotions knows this card is going to suffer in comparison to past Mayweather pay per views.
None of this is Maidana’s fault. He’s as honest a fighter as there is and deserves a moment under the big lights. But if Mayweather is an A+ fighter Maidana is a B or B-. That’s not denigrating him, it’s just a fact.
Of course, any fighter can land the proverbial lucky or perfect shot that shakes the boxing world to its foundation – just ask Manny Pacquiao. But does anyone really believe that Maidana, a hard puncher but not a knockout machine like Thomas Hearns, will even get close to Mayweather’s chin?
It says here this bout turns into a sparring session after round two, like most of Mayweather’s bouts. And once all the drama has been sucked out of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas people will be walking toward the exits. And many people watching at home will look up at the ceiling and wonder aloud why they paid seventy bucks for a foregone conclusion.
Mayweather’s staunchest supporters will applaud his brilliance, and he is brilliant, but even those diehards must wonder how their hero would react if he found himself in the ring with a fighter not crippled by countless disadvantages in talent, speed and experience. And maybe, if Floyd came face to face with an opponent like that, he’d rise to an even higher level and pitch a shutout. That would be something to see. But Floyd seems almost pathologically obsessed with remaining undefeated so opponents like Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero and now Maidana share the ring with him.
Floyd’s brigade will point to his terrific showing against Saul Alvarez as proof that he has fought decent competition. He’s just too good for them, they say.
But Canelo, a rising star, was way too inexperienced for Floyd. I was shocked at how many noted writers and broadcasters gave him a legitimate chance or even, Heavens to Murgatroyd, picked him to win. I didn’t think he’d win a round, and after it was over I might have given him one. The kid just wasn’t ready.
Before I’m labeled a “hater” I should add that Floyd’s defensive prowess, to me, is spellbinding. And he does not run, in particular as of late. He stays in the pocket and still makes them miss. There is genius in what he does. I’m just sick of paying seventy bucks a pop to see him ply his craft. Were these pay per views, no matter Floyd’s, Manny’s or whoever, more reasonably priced, or if they offered you a free month of HBO or Showtime as an incentive, complaints would not be coming from this corner. But that’s just not the case.
So, for the first time in years I’m bypassing this boxing “event”. Although I said the same thing to myself for Mayweather – Guerrero and then, at eight o’clock out here on the east coast, I reluctantly pressed that damn “order” button on my clicker. Hopefully I won’t do it this time. But what can I say? I’m a boxing junkie.
Matthew Hurley is a full time member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and a voting member for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. His first book on boxing, Ringside Reflections, can be purchased at Amazon.com.