The May 3 clash between Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Marcos "El Chino" Maidana may look one-sided on paper, but there is little doubt that the combatants will deliver a fight to remember.
With a perfect record of 45-0, the 37-year-old Mayweather is the biggest draw in boxing. Maidana has a long way to go before he reaches anywhere close to that level; however, the Argentine star is gaining quite a following for himself as well right now.
Maidana is coming off the biggest win of his career as he beat Adrien Broner by unanimous decision late last year. Many boxing observers have called Broner a younger version of Mayweather, so it stands to reason that Maidana is well prepared heading in to this fight.
Despite Mayweather's immense popularity, his bouts don't always scream excitement. Mayweather is one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time, and while it is awe-inspiring to watch him perfect the sweet science, Mayweather isn't one to get involved in slugfests.
Quite the opposite is true of Maidana. He has 35 victories in his professional career, and 31 of them have come by way of knockout. He isn't afraid to brawl, and he could very well turn his May 3 bout into a slobberknocker.
Even Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe admitted that Maidana has a penchant for keeping things exciting, according to Golden Boy Promotions on Twitter:
It won't be easy for Maidana to implement his usual style since Mayweather tends to frustrate his opponents with his elite quickness, but that isn't likely to stop Maidana from pressing forward and putting some pressure on the undefeated champion.
Despite the huge challenge that sits in front of him, Maidana is confident that he can give Mayweather a run for his money, and he intends to entertain in the process, per LaceUpBoxing.com:
I will give Mayweather a much better fight than any of the other contenders will. I have trained very well, and I'm in great shape. The only pressure is to perform well. I am a fighter and I come to fight. I don't respect any opponent when I'm in the ring. I'm in this fight to win. (...) This is going to be a great fight that fans will not want to miss. They know my style is to come forward. They know I like to be the aggressor. They know I throw heavy punches that can seriously hurt my opponent.
Mayweather is obviously well aware of Maidana's raw power, so one can only assume that he will take a cautious approach in hopes of avoiding a potential knockout blow. Even if Mayweather is methodical, the contrasting style of Maidana will make it an intriguing contest.
Deep down, Maidana probably knows that he either needs to stop Mayweather or at least hurt him in order to win this fight. Mayweather excels at nickel-and-diming his opponents before ultimately winning on the scorecards.
If this fight goes the distance, then Maidana doesn't stand much of a chance. Mayweather has proved to be impossible to knock out thus far, but Maidana has the type of power that few others in the welterweight division possess.
Because of that, he has a puncher's chance. That is more than many of Mayweather's past opponents could say, and that could set the stage for a more aggressive fight than Mayweather is used to.
Although Mayweather isn't known for his power, he is somewhat underrated in that regard. He has 26 knockout wins, and he is perfectly capable of ending a fight early when the opportunity presents itself. Most of Mayweather's knockouts admittedly came early in his career, but he has managed to stop the likes of Victor Ortiz and Ricky Hatton.
If Maidana throws caution to the wind, then it may open the door for Mayweather to throw hands a bit more than usual as well. If Mayweather sees an opening for a knockout, then he'll be more than willing to take it.
The end result of Mayweather winning this fight is essentially a foregone conclusion, but upsets can never be ruled out in boxing. Even if Mayweather does come out on top, though, fans in attendance and watching around the world should get their money's worth.
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