Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Marcos "El Chino" Maidana are set to square off on May 3 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in what is sure to be an epic battle full of compelling storylines to follow throughout.
People pay attention whenever an athlete as polarizing as Money Mayweather is in the ring. The best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport takes his unblemished record of 45-0 into the ring to face a guy that, while not undefeated, has posted a strong career record. Maidana is 35-3 in his career with 31 knockouts, and Mayweather will have to be on the lookout for his powerful blows.
This is going to be a great fight. It's one you don't want to miss, but it's also one you want to watch knowing what the top storylines are. This way you can get the most out of the action.
Money's Quest for 50-0
Mayweather wants nothing more than to retire with a flawless record. That would further support the notion that he is the best fighter of all time. He'll have to get through Maidana first, but let's just assume he does (for the sake of this argument).
It's not a lock given Maidana's strengths, but a Mayweather victory would put him four wins away from a perfect 50-0 mark. Currently in the midst of a 30-month contract he signed in February of 2013, Mayweather has said that he is intent on retiring once the contract ends, via ESPN.co.uk:
"In 30 months my career is over," Mayweather said at the time. "I want to rack up my six victories and hopefully do commentating and keep the sport of boxing alive. That's what I'm focused on."
A lot can change from now until then. For one, Mayweather could lose en route to the 50-0 record he seeks. But let's say he ends up going 50-0. Who's to say that he won't decide to keep fighting?
He certainly wouldn't have much to gain from continuing his career (except money, of course), but he'd have oh so much to lose.
Rest assured that this goal is on Mayweather's mind in the week leading up to the bout. Mayweather wants everyone to know that he is the best fighter in the history of the sport, and a 50-0 record is certainly good evidence to justify such a claim.
Is Manny Pacquiao on the Horizon for Either Fighter?
A super fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao has been rumored too many times to count. Just on the sheer fact that it is still being talked about, let's keep it in the back of our minds as a possibility for Money before he calls it quits.
Just imagine a scenario in which Money is 49-0 and fights Pacquiao for his 50th win. It gives me chills just thinking about it. But I digress. That's all conjecture (and a bit hopeful, to be honest).
Pacquiao could be on the horizon for Maidana, however. At least, that's what Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph thinks:
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.
Davies was on point with his prediction about fighting Mayweather, so it's not out of the realm of possibility to think that he could also be right about Pacquiao. I think it takes a win from Maidana in this bout to guarantee a future match against Pacquiao, but a closely contested battle with Mayweather could also do the trick.
Maidana likely isn't thinking ahead that far, but he's smart enough to know the possible implications of this fight.
Will Maidana's Power Make Up for his Lack of Quickness?
Mayweather and his camp closely analyze potential opponents before announcing against whom Money's next fight will be. There's a reason he's currently 45-0. Aside from the fact that he is a workout freak that is naturally gifted, Mayweather is smart. He analyzes an opponent's strengths and weaknesses against his own before making a decision.
Such was the case here. Instead of fighting Amir Khan on May 3, Mayweather chose Maidana. When analyzing why, it really does make sense.
While Maidana may hit extraordinarily hard, he doesn't deliver his blows particularly quickly—nor does he move that quickly in general. This is a huge disadvantage against Mayweather. Money is lightning-fast and will capitalize on lapses in Maidana's defense.
Mayweather is known for his footwork and unbelievably quick jabs and combinations. Maidana can certainly deliver the killer blow at any time, but Mayweather's consistent attack will wear his opponent down.