Floyd Mayweather may currently be the top fighter in the world, but he must not overlook Marcos Maidana in his coming fight if he hopes to continue to stay undefeated.
The two fighters will be going head-to-head on May 3 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and Mayweather is the heavy favorite. At 45-0, Money has continued to dominate opponents despite currently being 37 years old.
Money hasn't lost a step yet, but that could change against the next opponent.
Maidana has gotten to this point after winning four straight fights. His last loss came back in February of 2012 in his first match at the welterweight title, but he's improved dramatically since then. His last fight was the most impressive, pulling off a surprising upset against Adrien Broner, knocking him down twice and winning by unanimous decision.
There's a lot that Maidana brings to the table that could pose a threat to Mayweather. In 38 career fights, El Chino has gone 35-3 with 31 knockouts, meaning that when he wins, he usually wins by sending his opponent to the canvas. Along with some power behind his punches, Maidana also brings durability and a strong chin, never losing by knockout.
A number of Maidana's opponents feel that he has a shot at taking down the champion, especially after beating an opponent with a similar fighting style. Jesus Soto Karass, a former opponent of El Chino, thinks that Maidana has a shot, 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. Floyd’s style is very comparable with Broner’s style and look what happened to Broner. He got knocked down a couple of times.
Motivation will be another potential factor in this fight. Mayweather has been on top for a while, and for some athletes, that kind of consistent success can eventually lead to complacency. That has yet to be the case for Mayweather, but it's hard to believe he's as hungry as Maidana, who has a chance to change the course of boxing history by dethroning the top fighter in the world.
According to Elisinio Castillo from BoxingScene.com, Maidana's main motivation isn't the money, with El Chino saying:
A lot of people think I'm going to the United States for the purse money. But I am going for the title and glory. I know I am going to win. I have all the desire to defeat Mayweather to make boxing history. I watched a lot of Mayweather fights looking for his mistakes, although he rarely makes them. He is smart and dirty. I will have to be as well.
For Mayweather, he'll have to bring the same level of intensity as Maidana. At the same time, he will have to continue to use his speed and avoid El Chino's big punches. Money has acknowledged this, according to the Showtime Sports Twitter account, saying that the key is to make Maidana miss and wear him down.
Although Mayweather has been known to make people miss, there's a chance that his age might begin to creep up on him in the near future. It could be down the road, but at 37 years old, he could be slowing down sooner rather than later, and that could spell trouble if it happened in this fight.
Still, Maidana is a heavy underdog, but Mayweather must be focused on not overlooking this contender as he looks to finish his career with his undefeated record intact.