On May 3rd, welterweight Floyd Mayweather, boxing's best pound for pound fighter, will fight Marcos Maidana 35-3 (32).
Maidana is coming off the biggest win of his career, having defeated the unbeaten at the time and budding superstar Adrien Broner this past December. The flashy Broner, who was hoping to become the top draw and fighter in boxing once Mayweather exited, wilted under Maidana's power and pressure. Maidana, who is really a junior welterweight, found a home for his looping right hands and left hooks repeatedly during the bout. And so it was that the first time he was really tested and met with stern resistance in his 27 fight career, Adrien came up short and was beaten soundly.
As for Maidana, he's being rewarded for his great showing and is getting to fight Floyd Mayweather, which will result in the biggest payday of his career. That's great for him because he deserves every cent he will be paid. Marcos has been a willing and entertaining fighter his entire career and represents a lot of what's good in professional boxing. That being said, he has no shot to beat Mayweather and I'll be shocked if he wins more than a single round of the 12 that I anticipate the fight will go.
There will never be an iota of drama in this bout as to who will win, it will be a conclusive boxing lesson administered to Maidana by Mayweather from start to finish. If you are hoping to see drama or an upset, keep going, because there's nothing to see here.
Once the fight starts it will be obvious that Maidana is too crude and not physically strong enough to make Mayweather uncomfortable or do a single thing he doesn't want to do. The worse type of fighter to try and challenge Mayweather is a fighter like Maidana, who is a small guy who fights like a big guy. Mayweather's physical strength and great defense and punch anticipation will enable him to blunt and nullify Maidana's looping big shots. Not only will Mayweather see everything Maidana throws at him before it arrives, he'll get there first with his straight one-twos and disrupt any momentum and power on his punches. When that starts to happen and Maidana is knocked out of punching range, then what?
Mayweather has faced fighters his entire career who have tried to bring it to him, and only one, Jose Luis Castillo, legitimately beat him, the first time they fought, though he didn't get the decision he earned. In the rematch Floyd was more assertive and won the fight without anyone questioning the decision afterward. Mayweather has already handled two fighters in his last three fights, Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez, who were more of a physical threat to him than Maidana. And yet when Floyd held his ground and didn't move, he out-fought them 90% of the time from the waist up. And neither Cotto or Alvarez load up or loop their punches nearly as much as Maidana does. Translation being - Maidana's punches will be easier for him to pick off and avoid.
It should also be noted that as good as Adrien Broner looked on the way up, he was never tested and he was also fighting above his best weight when he and Maidana fought as welterweights. Mayweather is much more of an elite pro than Broner and forgot more in his sleep last night about boxing than Broner will be around long- enough to know. Unlike Broner, Mayweather won't fold and look for a way out the first time, if it happens, that he's nailed with a big shot that gets the crowd going. No, he'll regroup and switch to something else if Maidana is having a morsel of success. That you can count on.
The sad truth is Maidana, who will no doubt be trying as hard as he can with everything he has from bell-to-bell, doesn't have the right style or the physicality to compete with Mayweather. Another thing going against Maidana is he can't change a bit. He knows he has to win via stoppage or there's no chance of him pulling off the upset, none. So what does that leave? If he doesn't force the fight he'll not land a single punch on Mayweather and it's not like he can try and counter Floyd because he doesn't have the speed or skill to do it. His only option is to bring the pressure and try to land a lottery punch, that's it.
The one thing that is often missed about Floyd Mayweather the fighter is, he's really matured physically and is a very strong welterweight. He isn't a great puncher, but he punches plenty hard enough to control and tame his opponents at 147 to the point to where he can steer them to where he wants them. His legs are strong and even when he's hit flush, he seldom loses his footing or balance. He also understands that straight pinpoint punches, like the lefts and rights he throws, beat looping punches to their target, especially as quick as he gets them off. Once Maidana is fed a steady diet of that he'll soon realize that there's gotta be another way, only there isn't. That's what he's done from day one and he can't change. He'll be stuck knowing that he will need to land a lottery punch to win, only the number will never come up.
Mayweather will jog to an easy victory over Maidana, who is too small and is perfect for him stylistically to dismantle. The only bet that should be posted for this fight is - "Will Maidana win more than a single round?" I say yes, he'll win one round while Mayweather is looking him over.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV