Floyd "Money" Mayweather's quest to remain an undefeated 46-0 will run through Marcos "El Chino" Maidana on May 3 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
The city of Las Vegas will be in for a fantastic fight, as both Mayweather and Maidana have plenty on the line. Money is, of course, looking to maintain his unblemished mark against a fighter in Maidana that is very confident heading into the bout.
Maidana, while not undefeated, boasts a strong career record of his own (35-3 with 31 KOs). The Argentine is powerful and will look to deliver finishing blows to Mayweather throughout the match.
Any fight with Mayweather is worth the watch. He's one of the best athletes in the world right now and anytime he steps in the ring is a spectacle. This will be no different. Maidana is a very good fighter, making this fight must-see TV on May 3.
Here's everything you need to know heading up to the fight.
Maidana: Confident or Cocky?
Maidana, 30, is confident that he'll be able to take down Mayweather in Las Vegas, per his personal Twitter account:
Thanks a lot to everybody who supported me around the world! I'll give it all to give you a victory on May 3rd!— Marcos René Maidana (@ChinoMaidana) February 25, 2014
I'm just happy to face Mayweather but it doesn't feel like I hit the lottery like he said. Only beating him it will— Marcos René Maidana (@ChinoMaidana) February 25, 2014
But, is he cocky? In a call with The National, Maidana had this to say:
"I deserve to be in the ring with Mayweather. I have proved it. I believe I have what it takes to beat Mayweather, and that is my determination."
An experienced fighter in his own right, Maidana is definitely very skilled and will certainly put up a strong fight against Mayweather. Likely with more power than Mayweather at this stage in both careers, Maidana will have the upper hand early if Mayweather finds difficulty guarding against the big blows.
Marcos Maidana is enjoying himself with his new mouthpiece. pic.twitter.com/QNtjEHqn7b— FightNights.com™ (@boxing) April 23, 2014
That said, Maidana does not have the resume of Mayweather. Maidana has not been disrespectful in his pre-fight comments regarding the bout, but he's leading people to believe that this is just another fight. Technically, it is. But in reality, this fight has major implications for both fighters' careers.
A win for Mayweather keeps him perfect. A win for Maidana will forever immortalize him as the man that took down Money. No matter what else he does in his career, that's a title that will stick.
There's no doubt that Maidana is confident, but he has certainly been a little cocky at times, too. While unlikely, that cockiness might show up at times in the ring.
A Win for Maidana Might Lead Him to Manny Pacquiao
Back in December, Maidana defeated Adrien Broner to win the World Boxing Association welterweight title. Following the win, Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph opined that the Argentine may have earned himself fights against the best of the sport:
On this performance, Maidana provided enough evidence to suggest that he could prove a worthy opponent for either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. Maidana has as much tenacity, self-belief and conditioning as any fighter in the world.
He obviously earned the fight with Mayweather, but could Pacquiao be next? Anything can happen, but I think the only way that fight is guaranteed to happen is if Maidana comes out on top on May 3.
This potential match would be a treat for fans of boxing. Pacquiao and Maidana are two of the most powerful fighters in the sport and would deliver punishing blows to each other as the rounds go by. Defense of these strikes would be the key to the match but watching two fighters go blow-for-blow in this way would be a thrill.
It all starts with the Mayweather fight, though. If Maidana wins, he gets Pacquiao (in my opinion). He might even still get Pacquiao if the fight is a close one. If he loses, though, I don't think there are any guarantees.
The Mental Stability of Mayweather
Pacquiao is also still on the radar for Mayweather. The potential superfight has yet to come to fruition, but Mayweather is likely hoping to use this upcoming fight as an invitation. He may want Pacquiao to see that he's very much ready for a fight.
Don't expect this prospect of looking ahead to alter Mayweather's mindset, however. Mayweather is one of the most mentally strong professional athletes in the world. I mean, it's hard not to be when you can maintain his level of success with the media circus that follows him everywhere he goes.
Plus, he's one of the best competitors in sport. It's all fun and games for him until he steps into the ring. At that point, it's all business. Which, up until now, has undoubtedly been fun. At 45-0, Mayweather is looking to make history and possibly go 50-0 before he retires at some point in the future.
David Mayo of MLive.com provides a tidbit from Mayweather on how he stays so focused heading into a bout: "I try to focus on just Floyd. 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."
Look for supreme focus and determination on fight night from the man looking to stay unbeaten.