Undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather (45-0, 26 KO) will face one of his toughest tests of the last five years against the hard-hitting game plan of Marcos Maidana on Saturday, and all eyes will be on how the two fighters deal with each other's contrasting styles.
Maidana (35-3) has racked up 31 knockouts over his career. There's no doubt he will be looking to use his power to throw Mayweather off his game and potentially land a huge punch to alter the bout.
On the other hand, Mayweather has become world renown for his methodical defensive style. With his opponents wasting energy early in fights, Mayweather has become proficient in landing counterpunches with both force and precision as he takes control of each bout from start to finish.
Mayweather has remained on top by turning his elite defense into offense.
With the main event set for May 3, here is a closer look at the style of each fighter and how they will match up.
Breaking Down Floyd Mayweather’s Style
There will never be a shortage of criticisms for the undefeated champion, but the talent Mayweather showcases every time he steps in the ring is undeniable.
Mayweather became known as a knockout artist early in his career with 13 stoppages in his first 15 bouts. As he has matured as a fighter, however, his game has evolved and he has been more than happy dragging fights through 12 rounds and gaining a decision victory.
While boxing fans yearn for knockout finishes, he is now doing whatever he can to protect his perfect record, so he isn't likely to take many chances.
Father Time has taken away a bit of Mayweather’s speed, but he is still one of the most explosive fighters in the sport. Using his defensive style, the champion entices his challengers into using their energy early while absorbing little damage.
Once a fight against Mayweather gets past Round 6, the tables are turned and he begins to land his shots at will. In fact, since 1999, Money has 11 stoppages (TKO, KO or RTD), and only one has come before the sixth round. That came via his controversial fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz in 2011.
He will never be mistaken as the most devastating power puncher, but his accuracy will make Maidana feel every shot Mayweather lands.
With the ability to avoid the power of his foes using his head movement, quick feet and innate ability to stifle punches with his hands, Mayweather will frustrate Maidana throughout the fight and execute his game plan to perfection once again.
Breaking Down Marcos Maidana’s Style
Marcos Maidana isn’t the flashiest fighter in boxing, but he has an incredible amount of power in his hands and knows how to knock people out. Mayweather can’t take Maidana lightly.
As Adrien Broner found out in his previous bout against Maidana, the hard-hitting Argentinean has unparalleled power in both hands. Broner was knocked down in the second and eighth rounds by the challenger, and Maidana was awarded a decisive decision.
Broner was undefeated and the heavy favorite entering the fight, just as Mayweather will be on May 3.
While Maidana’s ability to land his heavy shots consistently was an issue in losses against Amir Khan and Devon Alexander, he has been more focused than ever during his four-fight winning streak.
With the help of trainer Robert Garcia—the man in his corner for each of the last four bouts—Maidana will be able to strategize a way for him to land his powerful punches on one of the most elusive fighters of the last 25 years.
Maidana was already known for his ability to go all 12 rounds with power and speed, but his endurance will be put to the test against Mayweather. The key to victory for Maidana will be relentlessly attacking his opponent until he finds an opening.
If Mayweather makes a mistake and Maidana catches him with a right cross, Money’s undefeated streak could be finished.
Which Style Wins Out?
There is no question that Maidana has the power to knock out Mayweather, but the real storyline coming into this bout will be if Maidana has the speed and accuracy to break down Mayweather’s elite defensive game plan.
As we have seen in the past, none have been able to knock Money off his throne.
Mayweather is looking to add another decisive win to his record after the majority-decision victory over Canelo Alvarez in his last fight, and Maidana has looked very beatable in the past.
If Mayweather sticks to the mindset that his offense will come from effective counterpunching, the undefeated champion will once again be victorious via decision.
Prediction: Mayweather via unanimous decision
*Stats via BoxRec.com.