By: Mike Sloan (email@example.com)
Cinco de Mayo weekend is always one of the biggest of each year in the sports world, usually because of a monumental boxing event taking place in Las Vegas. Today is no exception as the sport’s biggest attraction – Floyd Mayweather – will climb into the MGM Grand Garden Arena’s ring to lock horns with Marcos Maidana.
While most insiders have scoffed at the notion of “El Chino” taking on the best fighter on the planet pound-for-pound, Maidana’s always-coming-forward approach should entice the viewing public into tuning in. Virtually everybody wants to see Mayweather fighting for his fistic life while engaging in hand-to-hand combat, and Maidana’s style could potentially force that sort of action.
While it’s doubtful that Maidana will have similar success against Mayweather like he had against Adrien Broner last year, his extreme aggression and raw punching power – if used properly – could be a recipe for triumph. Or will it? SecondsOut has broken down the fight perfectly and already knows who will win before the opening bell even sounds. Read on to get the skinny on Mayweather versus Maidana:
Power: Though his record doesn’t exactly indicate as such, Floyd can crack and crack hard. He’s got genuine one-punch knockout power when he chooses to use it, but he relies almost solely on speed and contact. If he chose, Mayweather could easily have many more knockouts on his pro ledger but he typically tends to play it just safe enough not to over-expose himself.
With that said, Maidana has crushing power in both hands and his record proves it. He can flatten virtually anybody with his fists, especially his right hand. He throws bombs from odd angles and when he throws, every single one of his punches is with everything behind it. Maidana’ power is legit and it is the one aspect of this duel that will serve him well. Advantage: Maidana
Speed: Most of the littler guys in the sport have great handspeed and Maidana is no different. The problem with this matchup is that he has to match speed with Mayweather, who has some of the fastest hands in the history of the sport. Mayweather throws his punches with such blinding speed and accuracy that most of his foes can’t even react until they’re getting tagged again. What makes him so frightening, however, is how precise he is, which makes his speed advantage that much greater. This one’s not even close. Advantage: Mayweather
Defense: Similar to the previous category, this one is a wipeout. Maidana doesn’t exactly employ any sort of true defensive strategy because he relies on his sturdy chin and hellish punch output. As for Mayweather, he is without question the single greatest defensive fighter of this generation and clearly the best since Pernell Whitaker, maybe even ever. Floyd can stand directly in front of you and make you miss everything. He rarely gets tagged cleanly in any fight and if someone does actually hit him directly, the chances of repeating the feat are slim to none. This one’s not even close, either. Advantage Mayweather.
Chin: Maidana has been taken off his feet a few times in his career: Amir Khan got him, Victor Ortiz felled him thrice and early in his career he was dropped by Omar Leon. But even with the few times he’s been floored, Maidana hasn’t truly been stumbling all over Queer Street. He’s been rocked but he has yet to ever show the sort of weakness to where he was on the verge of being stopped. Mayweather was badly wobbled by Shane Mosley when they fought and guys like DeMarcus Corley and Zab Judah both shook Mayweather.
With that said, the only time “Money” has been officially knocked down was right after he shattered his left wrist on the head of Carlos Hernandez and took a knee. Though Maidana has been knocked down quadruple the times as Mayweather, it just seems like he’s got a sturdier chin when speaking to most “experts.” This category is a toss-up as far as I’m concerned, though. Advantage: Neither.
Experience: At first blush, it’s a no-brainer that Mayweather destroys Maidana in this category. He’s beaten a who’s-who of his era: Mosley, Oscar de la Hoya, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Judah, Canelo Alvarez, Arturo Gatti, Genaro Hernandez, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez… The list goes on and on. But Maidana hasn’t exactly taken on a row of stiffs, either. He’s locked horns with the likes of Khan, Erik Morales, Devon Alexander, Adrien Broner, Victor Ortiz and Josesito Lopez. They’ve both tackled a large number of terrific fighters along the way.
However, what separates the two is the sheer magnitude of Mayweather’s fights. His fights routinely bring in tens of millions of dollars and he’s been considered the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter for close to a decade. He’s an absolute superstar and the spotlight is always squarely on him. There’s nothing he hasn’t done inside in the sport and he knows every trick in the book. Maidana has been in many big fights of his own, but they pale in comparison to those of Mayweather. This one is easy. Advantage: Mayweather
Intangibles: Maidana has zero to lose once he throws his fists toward Mayweather’s grill. He is a massive underdog, so it’s logical to think he’ll throw caution to the wind and give it everything he has to win. If he loses, well, he’s supposed to. As for Floyd, a loss could damage any mega fights down the road and it’d put that one blemish on his ledger that he is terrified of: a loss. He’s picked by almost everybody to trounce Maidana and rightfully so.
One thing that has come up recently is the notion that Mayweather has a few major distractions outside of the ring. Some experts are buying the angle that those distractions – his former girlfriend allegedly having an abortion, interest in buying the Clippers NBA team, among others - are new to him and it could prevent him from being focused. Looking back, “Money” has always had distractions leading up to his fights: looming jail time, squabbles with his father, feuds with buddies like 50 Cent, etc. There is nothing that will prevent Mayweather from being at his best. This category is surprisingly a wash. Advantage: Neither.
The Bottom Line: “El Chino” will come out swinging for the fences like he was Barry Bonds, sans a body filled to its gills with PEDs (allegedly). He will put Mayweather into precarious situations early and often and he will get the king’s attention almost immediately. The pressure will be severe and Floyd will be forced to fend him off with his fists and defense. Heck, Maidana might even score a knockdown in the first few rounds.
However, Mayweather is not Broner and he’ll adjust perfectly and seize total control of the action in the fourth round. And he’ll never look back. Mayweather will pick him apart with the brilliance that has defined his career and it’ll eventually look like a pro versus an amateur. Floyd will dice him up and he’ll rock Maidana late and often. It’s not out of question that Mayweather will actually stop the Argentinean bomber, but I don’t see that happening. Mayweather will trounce him in the latter stages of the battle and win a clear-cut unanimous decision via tallies of 118-110, 117-111 and an absurd 115-113. Bank on it.
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