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Why It Should be Maidana To Fight Mayweather Next

BY Kelsey McCarson ON February 10, 2014
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Marcos Maidana is the one that deserves the megafight with Floyd Mayweather this May, not Amir Khan.

While there’s no end-of-year award given by the Boxing Writers Association of America for upset-of-the-year, if there was, it probably would have been given to the December 14 battle between Maidana and Adrien Broner.

While the other candidate (Jhonny Gonzalez’s Round 1 knockout of Abner Mares) was equally shocking to most fight observers, Maidana’s win wasn’t a case of one punch winning a fight. Rather, it was a clear and decisive win over the full 36 minutes of action.

The 12-round bout took place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and was broadcast live on Showtime.

A huge underdog, Maidana put Broner down to the canvas in Rounds 2 and 8, hurt him numerous other times and outworked Broner during the late rounds to take home a clear and unanimous decision victory.

Judges at ringside scored the bout 115-110, 116-109 and 117-109.


Could he do the same or similar against Mayweather? To help me decide, I asked world-renowned trainer Ronnie Shields to break down the Maidana-Broner fight for me. While I was ringside for the fight, I wouldn’t pretend to know a fraction of what Shields knows about the sweet science. I’m no boxing expert. I’m just a guy who writes about it.

“Maidana did what he was supposed to do,” said Shields. “He jumped on him early, hurt him early, dropped him early, and he was ahead on the scorecards, so Broner had to suck it up. And he did. He sucked it up the best he could. But Maidana’s power was there from the beginning to the end, and that’s what allowed him to win the fight.”

I asked Shields what he thought of Broner’s adoption of the shoulder roll defense, the one Mayweather has helped make famous. Should Broner, I asked, drop the style altogether and not try so hard to mimic the best fighter on the planet? Where Broner seems to get hit so easily, I reasoned, Mayweather almost never gets hit with the same punch twice.

Shields disagreed.

“He’s adopted the style very well. He’s been successful at it. It’s worked for him. But he’s got to understand that different styles make different fights. And with Maidana’s style, he never saw the wide punches coming.”

Shields made a shoulder roll gesture himself as he told (and showed) me what Broner was doing wrong.

“With the style [Broner] has, when he puts his shoulder up, it blocks his view. And [Maidana] knew that. They knew he could come wide to this side, then wider on the other side…Broner never saw the punches coming.”

It’s true. Poor Broner was rocked early and often in the bout, and even though he made several shows to the crowd as it was happening to prove the punches were not having an impact on him, the reality of the situation was written all over his bruised and puffy face. He was hurt by the punches, and he was embarrassed he was getting hit by them.

“This is why you study opponents,” said Shields. “When you study an opponent, you’ve got to realize that everybody can’t fight the same kind of fight that you’d expect them to fight. You have to expect them to do something different.”

It’s unclear what Broner thought Maidana’s strategy would be going into the fight. While the slugger’s craft has improved mightily under the tutelage of Robert Garcia, his erratic punch patterns and multi-punch combinations are still the bread-and-butter of his game.

That, and his power, Shields reminded me.

“Maidana is so strong that he can punch with both hands…he just put everything together and it all worked for him. Even his jab was working.”

It sure was. While Broner fought back hard, he just couldn’t seem to get out the way of Maidana’s punches. It all added up to a huge, huge upset.

“He caught Broner on a great night,” said Shields.

He sure did.

And for my money, I’d rather pay $70 to see Mayweather fight a guy like Maidana, someone who has already shown he can come through against long odds against a similar-styled opponent.

Because maybe he can catch Floyd on a great night, too.

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Comment on this article

leon30001 says:

Have you fallen for Floyd's false dichotomy? NEITHER of them should be on the table for Mayweather! Watch the Marcos-Alexander fight. How the hell is he gonna be competitive with Floyd?

Radam G says:

Trainer Rob "Grandpa" G made all the difference. The Maidana who fought Devon Alexander is not the G-schooled one who put down Broner.

I don't believe that he will trouble Money May. I think that long-tall Amir Khan will be troublesome for a couple of round before he get KTFO. Hehehe! No way Maidana is going to sleep. He will lose in a stinkfest. Holla!

SouthPawFlo says:

People have to understand that a trainer change can make a HUGE difference in a fighter. Chino is totally different under Robert G... Hell Floyd has been virtually untouchable since he went back to Big Floyd as his Trainer.....

the Roast says:

If the only choice is Maidana or Khan it should be Maidana. Maidana beat Broner and took his belt. Khan hasn't even fought in quite some time. Mayweather beats both of them easy but Maidana has the better chance to win cuz he has a better chin and is a bigger puncher than Khan. Maidana's only chance would be to land a big punch or two and get Floyd out of there. That is highly unlikely but stranger things have happened. Just make the Floyd vs Pac fight already.

leon30001 says:

True that the trainer can make a difference but I just feel the atheltic talent gap is insurmountable in this matchup. Would love to be proved wrong though!

Radam G says:

You won't be proved wrong. Money May will/would shut Maidana out, regardless of the new trainer. And Money May would kayo Amir Khan late instead of because of the new trainer teach a bit of avoidance of getting tapped recklessly and blindly early. Holla!

ericfarrell85 says:

I don't know that I buy into the idea of Khan getting lit up and knocked out. Khan usually gets into trouble when he stops boxing and starts brawling. Are we really going to see Mayweather bang away with Khan? Whether he deserves it or not, I think Khan is the better fight. I just don't see Maidana catching Floyd and Floyd's too good at tangling up his opponent for Maidana to give the kind of damage he gave to Broner. I've yet to see anyone beat Khan when he boxes from range and Floyd won't swarm, giving Khan all the range he needs. I think it's an interesting fight, if only for the first 1/3 of the fight.

amayseng says:

I don't know that I buy into the idea of Khan getting lit up and knocked out. Khan usually gets into trouble when he stops boxing and starts brawling. Are we really going to see Mayweather bang away with Khan? Whether he deserves it or not, I think Khan is the better fight. I just don't see Maidana catching Floyd and Floyd's too good at tangling up his opponent for Maidana to give the kind of damage he gave to Broner. I've yet to see anyone beat Khan when he boxes from range and Floyd won't swarm, giving Khan all the range he needs. I think it's an interesting fight, if only for the first 1/3 of the fight.


Good assessment and welcome to TSS

ericfarrell85 says:

Thanks for the welcome. I should go back and look at Floyd's fight with Judah. I can't think of anyone else who matched May for speed. Khan is longer than Judah, with better footwork (when he's on his game) and strings 4-5 punch combinations effectively (albeit without great intention sometimes). I don't know, stylistically I just like this match up. If, for a moment, we can move away from the knockout, glass jaw scenario, can Khan give Mayweather problems?

brownsugar says:

2 year ago I said many times that Khan could conceivably out hustle and out score Mayweather if he stuck to using his advantages.. Marathon runner like perpetual movement ... A straight automatic jab that keeps repeating like a scratched CD... and his ability to land paralyzing shots to the head and body. Deep within Khan that guy is still there and he's still a threat... But Khan goes and seems to self implode at times leaving observers wondering what he's really made of... He sometimes resembles the self fulfilling prophesy of Murphy's law.

Then he fails to prove his mettle by sitting on the sidelines like a gold digger trying to get a date with an NBA star. ..... By-passing Devon Alexander along the way. Now Porter is the recipient of the hype that Khan should have received because he paid his dues ( I'd rather see Porter vs Floyd for that very reason...any day)...

If Khan could have earned that distinction, they could named the fight " The Wrath of Khan"

Now they'll call it " A mere Con versus May weathers Cool Breeze".
In a fight that May weather has EVERYTHING to lose..... Khan is absolutely under no pressure because he already knows where he stands.

On the other hand Maidana is tried.... tested and guaranteed to bring out that Mayweather offense that we don't get to see that often... And he's a true warrior ...built to last... I voted for Maidana 8 times and he still supposedly lost the vote...
Where did the count the ballots at? FLORIDA?

amayseng says:

2 year ago I said many times that Khan could conceivably out hustle and out score Mayweather if he stuck to using his advantages.. Marathon runner like perpetual movement ... A straight automatic jab that keeps repeating like a scratched CD... and his ability to land paralyzing shots to the head and body. Deep within Khan that guy is still there and he's still a threat... But Khan goes and seems to self implode at times leaving observers wondering what he's really made of... He sometimes resembles the self fulfilling prophesy of Murphy's law.

Then he fails to prove his mettle by sitting on the sidelines like a gold digger trying to get a date with an NBA star. ..... By-passing Devon Alexander along the way. Now Porter is the recipient of the hype that Khan should have received because he paid his dues ( I'd rather see Porter vs Floyd for that very reason...any day)...

If Khan could have earned that distinction, they could named the fight " The Wrath of Khan"

Now they'll call it " A mere Con versus May weathers Cool Breeze".
In a fight that May weather has EVERYTHING to lose..... Khan is absolutely under no pressure because he already knows where he stands.

On the other hand Maidana is tried.... tested and guaranteed to bring out that Mayweather offense that we don't get to see that often... And he's a true warrior ...built to last... I voted for Maidana 8 times and he still supposedly lost the vote...
Where did the count the ballots at? FLORIDA?


Agreed on all accounts my friend.

The votes were BS. It was not a legitimate count.


What boxing fan would not want to see Madaina who put on a violent beating of the sweet science on a
young gun who was suppose to be the "next big thing" in boxing?

I watched the Prescott fight and sure Khan is a different fighter, but Floyd is SO accurate he will have Khan hurt enough not to be in the pocket using his speed and reach advantage.

amayseng says:

Thanks for the welcome. I should go back and look at Floyd's fight with Judah. I can't think of anyone else who matched May for speed. Khan is longer than Judah, with better footwork (when he's on his game) and strings 4-5 punch combinations effectively (albeit without great intention sometimes). I don't know, stylistically I just like this match up. If, for a moment, we can move away from the knockout, glass jaw scenario, can Khan give Mayweather problems?


Judah is/was a super phenom athlete. Faster and quicker than Floyd and could crack. Just never had it upstairs to put it all together.

Khans speed and combinations along with his in and out movement could cause Floyd some issues. However I just thing Floyd is so accurate Khan will be buzzed just enough to freeze up and get glass chin weary and reluctant.

Madaina is at least a bigger and stronger hitter who can come at you for 12 rounds. Sure his feet are not as quick but he will walk you down all night long and punches with you. He has a good chance to give the 37 year old some trouble.

On the other hand, what do I know.......ha

Carmine Cas says:

Not too crazy about either match up both pose different skill sets to Floyd. Maidana will be in there for the long haul, constantly pressuring Floyd (he doesn't give up and you have love that warrior mentality within him. He might bother Mayweather in the beginning with that awkward jab/hook but Mayweather will adapt and turn it into a stink fest (unless Uncle Roger is in the corner, then we'd be in for a treat hehehehe)

Amir Khan will bother Mayweather for a few rounds until "King Khan" steps on lil Floyd's tail and brings out the fire breathing dragon that we saw in the Mosley fight. Mayweather will go on to end his KO drought and stop the spaghetti legged Khan.

Maidana has done more recently than Khan, but Khan brings more tools to the table for Mayweather to think about. Either way I think Khan and Maidana should settle the score and have a rematch and make lil Floyd sweat for another opponent, it would be a nice smack in the face.

Now that would be funny.

Carmine Cas says:

Judah is/was a super phenom athlete. Faster and quicker than Floyd and could crack. Just never had it upstairs to put it all together.

Khans speed and combinations along with his in and out movement could cause Floyd some issues. However I just thing Floyd is so accurate Khan will be buzzed just enough to freeze up and get glass chin weary and reluctant.

Madaina is at least a bigger and stronger hitter who can come at you for 12 rounds. Sure his feet are not as quick but he will walk you down all night long and punches with you. He has a good chance to give the 37 year old some trouble.

On the other hand, what do I know.......ha


It's a shame Zab Judah has turned out the we he did, but they say boxing is mostly mental.

Carmine Cas says:

Judah is/was a super phenom athlete. Faster and quicker than Floyd and could crack. Just never had it upstairs to put it all together.

Khans speed and combinations along with his in and out movement could cause Floyd some issues. However I just thing Floyd is so accurate Khan will be buzzed just enough to freeze up and get glass chin weary and reluctant.

Madaina is at least a bigger and stronger hitter who can come at you for 12 rounds. Sure his feet are not as quick but he will walk you down all night long and punches with you. He has a good chance to give the 37 year old some trouble.

On the other hand, what do I know.......ha


It's a shame Zab Judah has turned out the we he did, but they say boxing is mostly mental.

ericfarrell85 says:

I've been watching some of Khans previous battles and one thing stands out like a sore thumb. Khan is horribly uneconomical in his movements. Watch the first few rounds of almost any Khan fight and you'll see a fighter who gets off first, is very quick and utilizes a potent offense as a viable defense. Towards the middle of the fight you'll see a completely different fighter. One who throws less and begins his circle marathon. By the close of the fight you're left with a fighter whose energy is spent and hops around limply avoiding confrontation. If only he was more economical with his movements, perhaps he wouldn't be so washed up by rounds 10-12. I still feel the reaction to the Diaz fight was a little overblown, as apart from the knockdown and the closing rounds he was in control of the fight, and Diaz did smell blood after all, which can give any fighter an enormous rush of confidence. He shattered Molina in the fight previous to Diaz if I remember correctly and Peterson was caught with that good s*&$ subsequent to the Khan fight, no? I can't help but think Khan has gotten the somewhat snitty end of the stick somewhere along the publics journey of opinion.

amayseng says:

I've been watching some of Khans previous battles and one thing stands out like a sore thumb. Khan is horribly uneconomical in his movements. Watch the first few rounds of almost any Khan fight and you'll see a fighter who gets off first, is very quick and utilizes a potent offense as a viable defense. Towards the middle of the fight you'll see a completely different fighter. One who throws less and begins his circle marathon. By the close of the fight you're left with a fighter whose energy is spent and hops around limply avoiding confrontation. If only he was more economical with his movements, perhaps he wouldn't be so washed up by rounds 10-12. I still feel the reaction to the Diaz fight was a little overblown, as apart from the knockdown and the closing rounds he was in control of the fight, and Diaz did smell blood after all, which can give any fighter an enormous rush of confidence. He shattered Molina in the fight previous to Diaz if I remember correctly and Peterson was caught with that good s*&$ subsequent to the Khan fight, no? I can't help but think Khan has gotten the somewhat snitty end of the stick somewhere along the publics journey of opinion.


I agree, especially the Chino fight Khan was on fumes for excessive rounds trying to make it to the finish line. He put on a good performance the first half of that fight and Chino came on late.

However, to fight the number one guy on the biggest boxing event of the year you should be coming into the fight with great momentum, not staggering in half decently. If Khans team was smart he would have taken a December or January fight and looked phenomenal doing so to give himself some fans pushing for him to get the fight. However, they didnt and he has been idol for way too long.

ericfarrell85 says:

Yeah, I think that was the original plan, to fight in December (Alexander?). After the Diaz fight Schaffer mentions December as the next Khan fight. The problem is of course the fickle Mayweather sweepstakes. I'm sure somewhere along the way Khan realized that this may be his only opportunity to get the fight and in a sense his poor performance following Diaz was contributory. Would Khan have landed the fight if he looked great against Alexander? It's tough to say, but reason enough to take the lottery ticket when it's available.

ultimoshogun says:

Let's not forget Khan got absolutely wrecked by Danny Garcia...from what I remember it was a tactical fight. I agree with amayseng, Floyd's sniper like accuracy will have Khan hurt several times before he gets KO'd. To me Maidana is the better matchup.

Radam G says:

I'm just the opposite. Maidana would get smoked by Money May. A clean shutout. Amir Khan would put up a fight for minute, no doubt. Then he'd get exhausted from mental pressure and Money May jabbing and stabbing him to the torso and the head. Then KaBOOM! AK will drop as if he is dead.

He would do that great dead man fall. In the eleventh round is my call. Holla!

ericfarrell85 says:

Yeah, I see it the same way. Maidana needs closer quarters than he'll get from Floyd and I think he's too small to outmuscle him and send him to the ropes (which in itself is not necessarily effective). The one thing I like about Maidana is his utter lack of respect in the holy circle. Just watch the first couple of seconds of his fight with Khan, who throws up his arm to give Maidana a respectful pat and Maidana responds by trying to take off his head with a hook. Too much respect from being given the opportunity is handed to Floyd before the opening round. This almost always make his fights anticlimactic compared to the pre-fight histrionics.

Grimm says:

Yeah, Maidana is a mofo.

And yeah, Maidana has some serious flaws that Floyd would exploite to the max.

And yeah again, Khan would be the more competitive alternative - and finally fail.

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