Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. will put his unblemished record and welterweight crowns on the line May 3 when he steps into the ring against challenger Marcos Maidana.
However, virtually no one is giving Maidana a chance in this fight. The reason being that the 30-year-old Argentine has three losses since 2009 and has yet to face anyone of Mayweather's caliber.
With the stage set for a David vs. Goliath showdown, let's take a closer look at how the two fighters match up and where they each stand coming in.
|Floyd Mayweather Jr.||Marcos Maidana|
|Wins by KO (%)||26 (57.8%)||31 (81.6%)|
Money Looking to Stay Perfect
Mayweather's record is easy to remember considering there's always a zero at the end. Since earning his first professional win over Roberto Apodaca in 1996, that's all Mayweather has done, winning 45 consecutive fights to this point in his career.
More than half of those wins have come via knockout, but Mayweather hasn't won a stoppage since his controversial fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz back in 2011.
Still, his skills haven't diminished a bit at age 37. After getting banged up against Miguel Cotto in May 2012, Money returned to his defensive roots and has since looked untouchable in back-to-back wins over Robert Guerrero and Saul Alvarez.
Despite his brilliance of late, Mayweather isn't overlooking his next opponent, according to The Detroit Free Press' David Mayo:
I think Maidana, obviously, he's done something right because he's a world champion...Whatever guy we choose, that's the guy we fight. We've got to prepare for every fight in the same way. I try to prepare for everything that's coming my way.
It's obvious he's a special-talent guy. He's doing damage with both hands. Like I've said before, I'm not trying to do get in the way of those shots. We'll see how it plays out on May 3rd.
If Mayweather brings his A-game to Las Vegas, the only thing that could beat him is a lack of focus. It's difficult to imagine Maidana being able to land many clean shots on a moving target, especially one who demonstrates anticipation skills that are second to none in the sport.
Maidana Eyeing Career-Defining Victory
As already mentioned, Maidana appears to be overmatched in this fight and will have an awfully tough time winning over the judges, let alone earning a stoppage.
While 31 of his 35 professional wins have come via knockout, the competition level has been underwhelming when compared to Mayweather.
Although Maidana won as an underdog in his most recent bout with Adrien Broner, Mayweather is a mighty step up in terms of speed, skill and experience. Therefore, Maidana's best chance at victory will be to open up his offensive arsenal and approach this fight with a nothing-to-lose mentality.
Even then, the South American will more than likely struggle to hurt Mayweather, who is unrivaled when it comes to defense. Not to mention Mayweather will have a three-inch reach advantage.
Nonetheless, Maidana should be thrilled about the opportunity in front of him. The Miami Herald's Santos A. Perez breaks down what it means:
A bout against Mayweather immediately enhances a fighter’s profile and payday. Recent Mayweather opponents and eventual ring victims Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero can attest to the sweetened purses they received for their fights with Mayweather.
Now Maidana has his moment of top billing in the welterweight unification title match. But transcending the occasion and turning it into an upset for the ages remains daunting.
It goes without saying that a win over Mayweather would make Maidana's career regardless of what he does afterward. But keep in mind that Maidana is already a big winner as he's set to come away with a fat paycheck, win or lose.
You can't fault Maidana for having defeated 35 of the 38 fighters put in front of him since 2004, but, at the same time, it's unlikely any of those bouts have prepared him for what he'll see from Mayweather.
While many times age can be a disadvantage for a boxer, it's without question an advantage for Mayweather, who boasts tremendous experience and has seen and been a part of it all over the past two decades. And when you factor in his skill, movement, defensive prowess and awareness, it's no wonder he's never been beaten.
Watch for Mayweather to put on a clinic inside the ring this May en route to another comfortable victory. He'll have to respect Maidana's power and knockout prowess throughout, but the difference is that the Argentine lacks the speed required to put Mayweather on the mat and to ultimately convince the judges he's the better fighter.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.