When Floyd Mayweather steps into the ring with Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas on May 3, his strategy to overcome the slugger must look awfully familiar if he's to remain undefeated.
We've been down this path with Mayweather before. How can the savvy veteran possibly move past this younger up-and-comer who swings for the fences and routinely overwhelms the opposition?
Rinse. Repeat. Money.
Maidana is 30 years young with a 35-3 record, which has 31 marks in the win column via knockout. In other words, he's the perfect cannon fodder for Mayweather, just as Canelo Alvarez was before getting manhandled by Money in 2013.
In the weeks leading up to the fight, Maidana will be hyped to the moon, as was Canelo. That's a smart way to get pay-per-view buys, but viewers will simply be treated to another public dissection.
Mayweather and Co. aren't stupid. Now 37 years old, he's aged exceptionally well and continues to pick opponents that don't mesh well against his style.
For the uninitiated, Mayweather thrives when his opponent is on the attack. He sits back and perfectly picks his spots to unleash violent counter combos that add up over the course of the bout.
This is the exact reason Maidana was hand-picked. That's not to say he isn't deserving of a Mayweather fight—who is?—but his reckless style that relies on knockouts for victories won't work. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix put it best:
This is where Arum's argument goes off the rails. Is Mayweather-Maidana a blowout? Yes. But given the options, who should he have picked?— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 13, 2014
Still, that won't stop Maidana's trainer Robert Garcia from hyping the bout, via Lem Satterfield of Ring Magazine:
I guess that it's true about those who have tried to come forward against Floyd. But the fact is that Floyd never has faced a fighter with the power and the heart and the determination of Maidaina, who is one of those guys who is not worried about who is front of him. He's not worried about fighting the best fighter in the world, or the best fighter in history.
If Mayweather has never faced a boxer with as much power as Maidana—which is very debatable—the Argentine has never encountered a boxer who can counteract his strategy so well.
There's a reason that over his past 10 fights, Mayweather has landed 41 percent of his punches on average, while his adversaries have hit on a measly 17 percent, per CompuBox via Josh Slagter of Mlive.com.
So yes, the same old strategy will convincingly work once more—as long as Mayweather is approaching the bout with the same seriousness as all encounters while blocking out any potential distractions—such as an unnecessary but much-requested fight with Manny Pacquiao. This doesn't sound as if it will be an issue, per David Mayo of Mlive.com:
"I try to focus on just Floyd," Mayweather said after a recent training session at his gym here, where he is preparing to face Marcos Maidana. "I don't try to focus on nobody else."
"I feel people tend to stumble, trip and make a lot of mistakes when they tend to worry about other things instead of focusing on themselves."
Given his impeccable track record, it's hard to fathom Mayweather taking Maidana lightly. The tried-and-true formula of letting the opposition bullishly come to him while his elite speed and precision rules the day will work for yet another 12 rounds on May 3.
It's often called boring but never really leaves a shred of doubt. Mayweather's classic approach that has doomed so many in the past requires little tweaking against Maidana.