Floyd Mayweather is looking to take down yet another opponent, this time in Marcos Maidana, and there are a number of storylines to watch for as the fighters begin to prepare for their big match in Las Vegas.
The fight will take place on May 3 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino with the WBC, WBA and The Ring welterweight title belts up for grabs. Both Mayweather and Maidana are over 30 years old, but that doesn't mean that this fight won't be one of the most exciting to watch all year.
As both fighters begin making their final preparations for the fight, let's take a look at some of the top storylines for both sides as well as a prediction for the event.
Maidana Looking to Pull Off Major Upset
As much as Maidana would like to think that he's the favorite to win this fight, he understands that taking down Mayweather would probably be one of the biggest upsets the sport has seen for a while.
That won't keep Maidana from giving 100 percent effort, however, as he's proven the critics wrong recently. Back in December, when going up against Adrien Broner, Maidana was a significant underdog but ended up knocking down his opponent twice on his way to a unanimous-decision win to take the WBA welterweight title while ruining Broner's undefeated record.
Some may consider Maidana just another fighter that Mayweather will breeze by, but El Chino brings a lot to the ring in terms of power, durability and heart. Jesus Soto Karass, one of Maidana's former opponents, believes that El Chino's power could play a big role in the fight, according to TheBoxingBlog.com, saying:
Broner had the same style as Floyd, but Maidana’s punching power will play a big role in the fight. His (Mayweather’s) speed will not be able to affect it,’’ Karass said. “Floyd’s style is very comparable with Broner’s style and look what happened to Broner. He got knocked down a couple of times.
With 31 of his 35 wins coming by way of knockout, Maidana will have to come into the fight aggressive and try to find a way to make Mayweather uncomfortable early. If he can do that, then El Chino has a chance to make boxing history, but it's not going to be easy.
Will Mayweather's Age Play a Factor?
At 37 years old, Mayweather has yet to show any signs of slowing down. In his recent fights, Mayweather has continued to toy with his opponents, dodging countless shots and coming back with a few of his own.
Still, Money isn't going to be able to fight forever, and age will eventually get to him. Given the power that Maidana brings with his punches and his durability throughout fights, now would not be an ideal time for Mayweather to start slowing down.
Perhaps Mayweather's most important attribute is his speed, as he's capable of constantly dodging opponents, but with age he may begin to lose a step. According to Showtime Sports, Mayweather still plans to use that speed, as he hopes to make the powerful Maidana miss and wear him down.
. @FloydMayweather - "He obviously punches extremely hard. That's his best attribute. But if you throw a lot & don't land, you fatigue."— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) April 23, 2014
Given the picture that Lace Up Boxing tweeted of Mayweather, he still looks like he's in terrific shape.
However, even if he still looks just as fast and dominates El Chino, Money will eventually start to slow down. The only question is when.
Maidana may have the power, but it's going to be very hard for him to come away with a win here.
Who will win this fight?
Getting through Mayweather's defenses is going to be a huge problem for Maidana. According to CompuBox, Canelo Alvarez landed just 22 percent of his total punches and 15 percent of his jabs in Mayweather's last fight. Maidana may be able to land a few more punches with some more power, but it's going to be very hard for him to get through Money's defenses.
Still, I think El Chino will make this a competitive one. He has the durability to hang in there with some of the best, and after coming off of a big upset win against Broner, he'll be looking to do much of the same again in this one. Since Mayweather isn't usually a knockout fighter, this fight should go the distance, but it'll be closer than Money is used to.
Prediction: Mayweather wins by majority decision