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Mayweather, Maidana and Magic

BY Kelsey McCarson ON April 29, 2014
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Every now and then the unthinkable occurs. A moon beam pierces through the night’s sky, down through the billowy clouds, slithering through the overgrown branches of protective oak trees to reveal an ethereal gleam on the surface of the earth.

Science would tell you this is just a reflection of the moon’s light, a reflection of a reflection, really, of the sun’s light to the moon, and from the moon to the slippery green moss which hides below the trees in the deep darkness of the forest.

But really, this is magic. How else could the light from a star bring something to life so very far away? How could it be seen so very rarely unless it was so very important? Why else would the moss glimmer in its brilliance as if to say it knows how special this singular moment has now become?

If magic exists in this world, as I propose, one might say Marcos Maidana used some of it in his last fight. Maidana was a huge underdog to the enigmatic and talented Adrien Broner. But everything was in its right place for Maidana on this night. It was as if a play was unfolding right before our very eyes. Here now you boo the villain, the trash talking Broner in all his hateful guile. There now you cheer for the hero, Maidana, as he valiantly thrashes the dragon and banishes him from the kingdom of the undefeated.

This was no single act play, one gripping scene of courage and diligence. No, this was the whole shebang. The battle lasted 12 full rounds. Maidana hurt Broner early but was hurt himself midway through the fight. But Maidana found more magic by the championship rounds. Or maybe it is more correct to say that the magic found him. Whatever the order, Maidana ended the evening with a crown atop his head while Broner hobbled back to his dressing room a disheveled mess of brokenness.

Truth be told, Maidana would probably need more than magic to beat Mayweather. The latter is the preeminent fighter of his era, a defensive savant and one of the most talented and skilled fighters in the history of our sport. If he’s at his best, Maidana loses. Period.

But Mayweather is 37 years old now. It’s conceivable, or at least in the realm of possibility, that he’s begun the slow slide down Mount Olympus to his final resting place among the mortals. Oh sure, he didn’t look it in his last fight against Canelo Alvarez, but Father Time has a way of imperceptibly sneaking up to us and pulling our pants down to our knees. Physical tasks and movements that once just worked without thought suddenly feel out of place. It’s just a little at first, maybe you’re just having a bad day, and then one day your youth is gone and you are forever just a shadow on the wall instead of the object absorbing the light.

But what if the unthinkable occurs? Every now and then it does, you know. What if Mayweather is suddenly old, and what if Maidana uses the opportunity and a bit of Maidana magic to make himself master over the undefeated Mayweather?

What would it mean to both?

Maidana, it would seem, would enter the status of legend, the category specially reserved for only the best and most brilliant of hapless pugs who, despite their stature, take the bone away from the biggest and baddest dogs on the street anyway. He’s revered already now for his bruising style and hard-punching efforts in a sport it’s incredibly hard to be revered in. Beating Mayweather would take him to the next level. He’d ascend into the stratosphere as king of the tough guys, a real life Rocky Balboa.

The more interesting question, though, would be of Mayweather. Losing to Maidana would be a cut most unkind. Great champions never want to lose, but if they do, they’d certainly prefer it to happen to someone of their ilk. Maidana is no Mayweather and never will be, no matter how many times he surprises us. Mayweather is Mayweather precisely because it never surprises us when he wins. Most of that is a good thing. Mayweather is the favorite in most all of the bouts he fights, and has been in virtually all of them since he grew into his prime, because he’s just that good.

But the other part of the equation is this: Mayweather never tested his greatness in its fullest measure. Good reason or not, he never fought the other most prominent great fighter of his era, Manny Pacquiao. Good reason or not, he didn’t fight Miguel Cotto until the Puerto Rican had already proved vincible. Good reason or not, he made Juan Manuel Marquez jump two divisions up in their fight and then didn’t even bother to make weight for it. There are numerous other examples in his career of this kind of thing, and while the same can be said for numerous other fighters, historically speaking, there just seems to more of it written down in pen in Mayweather’s ledger. So much so, in fact that one at least has to give pause to the thought of Mayweather fighting in the era someone like Sugar Ray Leonard.

Think about it. Would Mayweather have tested himself against Leonard? Or Roberto Duran? Or Tommy Hearns? Or Wilfredo Benitez? Or Marvin Halger? Or would there have been good reasons for him to avoid those tests, too?

If Mayweather loses to Maidana, if magic strikes and time prevails, if an even better play unfolds before our eyes on Saturday night than the one we saw happen last December at the Alamo Dome, the question for Mayweather will be this: Did he live up to his potential? Was he really that great? Did he do enough with the time he’d been given?

Or did he just let it all slip away, failing to recognize the gravity of the moment, all those little moments, until the moon-giving magic receded back behind its natural cover?

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Comment on this article

oldschool says:

I agree with you and have been trying to make this point for quite some time.
At one point Floyd said Rickey Hatton was his toughest opponent, now he says Emmanuel Burton ?
The plain fact is that Floyd has never had the defining fight like Hearns - Leonard Hagler- Hearns , Ali-Frazier,etc.

jzzy says:

A guy with a punch could pull off an upset, Floyd cannot defy age forever so that's what sells this fight. Maidana has to turn this into a fight, while Mayweather
would be smart to keep this a boxing match. Maidana needs to keep Floyd working for 3 minutes every round whether on defense or offense and hit
the body, arms, shoulder's whatever. But these PPV fights at $75 bucs are getting steep and will turn off a lot of fans.

deepwater2 says:

I'm not paying 75 for it. I'll get live updates and catch it for free the next weekend. Floyd 12-1 fav, Broner 50-1 fav . Collazo is a good fight I think he will win easily but not worth 75. No desire to see love. He is a convicted cheater. After Mickey bay tested positive it seems even more TMT fighters failing drug tests. TMT the medicine team.

oubobcat says:

I plan to head out the the theater and plunk out the $20 instead of the $75 for the PPV at home. I tried this for the first time for the Canelo-Angulo fight and came away pretty impressed by the theater experience. And quite a bit cheaper as well.

deepwater2 says:

I plan to head out the the theater and plunk out the $20 instead of the $75 for the PPV at home. I tried this for the first time for the Canelo-Angulo fight and came away pretty impressed by the theater experience. And quite a bit cheaper as well.

Good idea, you can grab a bite and a drink before the fight and still come out with money in your pocket.

The Shadow says:

I agree with you and have been trying to make this point for quite some time.
At one point Floyd said Rickey Hatton was his toughest opponent, now he says Emmanuel Burton ?
The plain fact is that Floyd has never had the defining fight like Hearns - Leonard Hagler- Hearns , Ali-Frazier,etc.


He's always said Augustus, he's said that for years and so has his uncle/coach.

You're right, though, he hasn't had a defining fight in terms of competitiveness but he's had defining fights in terms of other things like records and championship fights.

Shame there's no welterweight Roy Jones around. That would be epic. Jones proved he could crack that defense. Or if Ward was still a welter.

And speaking of defining fights, I thought about something...The reason Leonard-Hearns is so iconic is because Leonard for whatever reason was "blowing" it and managed to dig deep and win.

Floyd doesn't have those lapses in concentration that allows for adversity to mount. The opponent may start to build some momentum, mentally, but Floyd will dig deep -- right then and there -- before it can manifest into real adversity in the form of being behind on the scorecards or needing a stoppage to win.

Also, when Floyd digs deep, it's not visibly apparent because if his body language and composure. He really did so vs. Cotto.

Barring a few exceptions, he always looks in command which looks more like fighter b's weakness rather than Floyd's strength.

The Good Doctor says:

I plan to head out the the theater and plunk out the $20 instead of the $75 for the PPV at home. I tried this for the first time for the Canelo-Angulo fight and came away pretty impressed by the theater experience. And quite a bit cheaper as well.


I think this could be a huge revenue stream for boxing if they pushed it. What I have noticed is that alot of people still don't know about it. I have done this twice and loved it each time. The experience is great, the people that come a true die hard fans, and as stated above the pricing is a whole lot cheaper. Interestingly enough, is that during the rounds, unlike a bar it is really quiet.

brownsugar says:

If Mayweather was around during the era of the four kings, Leonard hagler Duran hearns, all four of the afore mentioned fighters would have retired or moved up in weight before Floyd grew into a proper welter. He would have been fighting the likes of Aaron Pryor and Arguello. At 147 he would have had to eventually faced Milton McCory Donald Curry and Marlon Starling. Perhaps Benitez and Duran......because his longevity in the sport would have pit him against the next 2 generation of fighters. I don't think he would have gone undefeated but I think he would have avenged any losses.

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