It is not every day in any sport that fans get to witness a historically important undefeated record get put to the test, but that is exactly what will happen Saturday, May 3, when Floyd Mayweather goes up against Marcos Maidana in the boxing ring.
The American Mayweather sports an astounding 45-0 career record with 26 knockouts, while the Argentinian Maidana checks in at 35-3. However, the thing that immediately jumps out about Maidana’s resume is the fact that 31 of his 35 victories came in the form of a knockout.
Few boxers in the sport bring that type of knockout ability to the table, and the argument can be made that Maidana is the most powerful boxer Mayweather has yet to face during his undefeated run.
Robert Garcia, Maidana’s trainer, discussed his boxer’s plan of attack and referenced the possibility of a knockout in the process during a media day interview, via Lace Up Boxing:
Styles make fights. One punch can change everything. I don't think Mayweather has been hit as hard as Maidana will hit him. But we aren't looking for a knockout. We don't want to just rely on maybe a lucky punch. Maidana is preparing to win all 12 rounds, and dominate.
The fact that Maidana isn't relying solely on a knockout should be encouraging for his fans, but if this turns into a technical bout that lasts all 12 rounds, it is difficult to see him beating the undefeated Mayweather.
As to be expected given his career dominance, Mayweather is the heavy favorite, but he must be wary of Maidana’s power if he wants to add a 46th victory in as many tries to his resume.
One thing working to his advantage when it comes to avoiding the power punches and combinations is his reach. According to Showtime, Mayweather sports a 72-inch reach, while Maidana checks in at a 69-inch reach.
Maidana can’t knock out what he can’t reach, so if Mayweather can use that reach advantage to keep him at bay, he should control the match. He seems to be preparing to do just that:
Outside of simply keeping Maidana at bay with his reach, Mayweather must dictate the tempo. There are few fighters as aggressive as Maidana is, so Mayweather can’t fall into the trap of attempting to match that aggression, which could lead to sloppiness.
Mayweather brings elite quickness and defense to the table, and his ability to avoid punches make him nearly impossible to hit on a consistent basis. Presuming he brings all of that to the table, like he has in every fight of his career thus far, it’s nearly impossible to see Maidana winning this fight.
Mayweather is faster than Maidana, is better on the defensive and often strikes at the most opportune time with a flurry of punches. The only area Maidana has an advantage in comes in the power department, but if Mayweather dictates the tempo with his quickness and deception, that won’t even matter.
Then everyone can finally get back to what really matters in boxing: endless chatter about a potential matchup between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
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