After months of anticipation, Floyd "Money" Mayweather will finally enter the ring to put his 45-0 record on the line against Marcos "El Chino" Maidana on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Though Mayweather comes in undefeated, Maidana is a successful fighter with a wealth of confidence and a 35-3 career record. With 31 KOs to his name, Maidana has the ability to change the outcome of a fight with just one punch.
But Mayweather has always lived up to the moment and risen to the challenge on the big stage. Whether it was Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton or Miguel Cotto, Money entered MGM Grand and came out on top numerous times throughout his career.
Before the match officially gets underway on Saturday, here's a look at the pay-per-view info and a full breakdown of the match.
Mayweather vs. Maidana Match Information
Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas
When: Saturday, May 3
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Watch: Showtime Pay-Per-View
Live Stream: Sho.com
Maidana Coming In With Swagger
Money is on a quest for 46-0, but El Chino has his own set of plans for Saturday night.
Rather than be a stepping stone to an already historic career, Maidana wants to be the fighter who stopped the Money train on the world's biggest stage. Maidana even went so far as to boast that he would win the fight for his fans, per his official 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
The challenge against Mayweather is clearly one that Maidana is ready to take head-on. And with his heavy hands and overpowering style, the Argentine might have a better shot than some would think.
Maidana spoke to the media about his style and mindset coming into the epic clash:
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.
... My fans know I am going to give it my all, my absolute best. I am excited and very confident. I am ready for May 3 and I'm ready for Floyd Mayweather.
Despite his confidence, Maidana comes into the match against the top fighter in the world. With the bright lights on and the entire boxing world watching, how El Chino responds to critics and backs up his words could shape his entire career.
Manny Pacquiao Next for Winner?
One fighter has been begging for a bout with Manny Pacquiao for years, while the other has worked his way up in hopes of a clash with the Filipino boxer.
Given the fact that Mayweather vs. Pacquiao looks like a watered-down version of what might have been years ago, the likelihood of the two matching up seems like wishful thinking. But with Maidana's rise in popularity and a potential win over Mayweather under his belt, a fight with Pac-Man could be on the horizon.
On the second episode of Showtime’s All Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana, Maidana's trainer Robert Garcia spoke about the potential for a bout with Pacquiao, saying, "After Mayweather, we want Pacquiao, too." Maidana chimed in, "Not even witchcraft will save him."
Following the huge win over Adrien Broner in December, Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph wrote that he also believes Maidana deserves a shot at Pac-Man:
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.
Even if El Chino doesn't succeed against Money, his skills in the ring might ward off the 35-year-old Pacquiao from agreeing to a fight. Much like Juan Manuel Marquez, Maidana's ability to change a fight with one swing makes it a difficult matchup for Pacquiao.
While it might be a difficult task, matching up Maidana against Pacquiao after facing Mayweather would give the boxer a chance to prove his worth against two of the sport's top names.
Money Not Overlooking Maidana
Mayweather is one of the biggest names in the sport of boxing for a reason. Not only does he dominate inside the ring, but he's proven that preparation is key outside of it.
Who ya got?
No fighter is prouder of the lifestyle that he lives, but Money has never slacked off in the gym. While Maidana doesn't have the same following as Pacquiao, no one will accuse Mayweather of looking past any boxer.
Despite all of the lead-up and talk about how Maidana comes in overmatched, Mayweather has remained focused, per David Mayo of MLive.com.
"I try to focus on just Floyd," Mayweather said. "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."
His defensive style and patience in the ring has led to multiple decisions rather than knockouts, exactly the opposite of his opponent. And with his extensive amount of preparation, expect Mayweather to come in the ring and once again prove that he can defeat any fighter on the big stage.