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17 NOVEMBER 2018


Marcos Maidana: How to turn an ‘L’ into a ‘W’

By Daley James Francis: Marcos Maidana will return to the ring on 9th April 2011 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, where he will face three weight world champion and Mexican legend Erik Morales.

It will be the Argentine warriors’ first fight since December’s war with WBA junior-welterweight champion Amir Khan, a 2010 ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate.

With boxing politics being what they are, Khan has been elevated to the lofty position of WBA ‘Super’ Champion, meaning that the fight will be for the ‘vacant’ WBA junior-welterweight champion. A cynic would say that this has only happened so that Morales can aim to become the first Mexican fighter to win world titles at four different weights. Even if you’re not a cynic, it doesn’t make much sense.

Politics aside, it’s still a fascinating bout. Maidana proved in his fight with Khan that he is not just a one-dimensional slugger. He landed plenty of jabs and cut off the ring beautifully, especially in the 10th round when an overhand right had Khan on rubbery legs and one punch away from oblivion. To be able to beat Khan you need technique and speed, and Maidana came close to upsetting the champion, who showed ridiculous amounts of courage to not just survive the 10th round but to win the fight.
The fight is intriguing mainly because it involves Erik Morales. ‘El Terrible’ retired in 2007 following a close and controversial decision loss to then-WBC lightweight champion David Diaz, his fourth defeat in as many fights (including two KO defeats in wars with Manny Pacquiao) but came back three years later and has won three in a row to set up this fight. He hasn’t looked especially great in those bouts, but we all know that great fighters can always surprise us.

It looked likely that Morales would challenge fellow Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez at lightweight, but that fight fell through. Marquez is now likely to chase and hound Manny Pacquiao into a trilogy closer. Morales now has an arguably tougher task a weight north.

After such a great performance against Khan, Golden Boy Promotions have rewarded Maidana with a high-profile contest against a faded legend, and he deserves it. He’s never in a dull fight and he leaves everything in the ring. After a long time as ‘interim’ champion and after tasting defeat in two WBA title bouts, Maidana could finally be leaving the ring with the title he nearly took from Khan.

That’s how to turn an ‘L’ into a ‘W’.

March 4, 2011

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