Mayweather vs. Maidana Predictions: Projecting How Every Round Will Play out

Sean HojnackiFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2014

Floyd Mayweather prepares for Saturday's fight against Marcos Maidana.
Floyd Mayweather prepares for Saturday's fight against Marcos Maidana.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather squares off against Marcos Maidana on Saturday in a bout pitting the greatest boxer in the world against a 30-year-old Argentine hoping to knock off a second consecutive undefeated opponent.

It presents a unique matchup, but the blow by blow for each round will still play out like virtually every other Mayweather fight from the last five years: an unspectacular domination ending in a decision for the champion. 

Here are the round-by-round predictions for Saturday's dustup


Where: MGM Grand; Las Vegas, Nevada

When: Saturday, May 3, card begins at 9 p.m. ET

Watch: Showtime pay-per-view (no stream)


Round 1

Mayweather has been steamrolling opponents for the last decade without fail. He raked in a record $41.5 million for pummeling Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last September, and the man nicknamed "Money" continues to add to his fat stacks as well as his sterling record. He now stands at 45-0, despite the judges rendering a curious majority decision in that dismantling of Alvarez. 

He will be eager to set the tone after falling short of his usual unanimous decision last time out. Alvarez tried to hurt Floyd in the first round, and Mayweather settled for jabs and defense as he opted to dodge and counterpunch for the full 12 rounds. 

He will be more aggressive from the outset to sap Maidana's confidence. 

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 2

Maidana (left) lands a head-turning left hook on Jesus Soto Karass.
Maidana (left) lands a head-turning left hook on Jesus Soto Karass.Isaac Brekken

Maidana has won his last four fights, three by knockout, and his unanimous decision over a previously undefeated Adrien Broner in December 2013 vaulted him to the next level. However, he lost to Devon Alexander in February 2012 by unanimous decision, and Amir Khan beat him up for a unanimous decision win in December 2010.

His career is at a tipping point, and if Maidana can even hang around for 12 rounds with Mayweather without getting jabbed into a stupor, it will cement his status near the top of the sport.

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 3

Sep 14, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (blue gloves) and Canelo Alvarez battle it during their during their WBC and WBA super welterweight titles fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mayweather's stunning quickness allows him to simply dodge most of his opponents' shots, and his Olympic background ingrained in him the necessity of scoring points and landing a high percentage of punches while putting up a tremendous defense. He'll be scoring early and often.

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 4

Maidana compiled his impressive 35-3 record largely on his knockout ability as a power puncher. He garnered 31 wins by knockout, and he will look to make hay in the same fashion against Mayweather. Unfortunately, Maidana has never seen a defense as good as Mayweather's because no one on the planet has comparable defensive abilities to the champ. 

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 5

By contrast, Mayweather is not a knockout puncher. His Olympic style prompts him to throw tons of jabs while juking and jiving away from punches. According to BoxRec, he has won only one fight by straight knockout (not a TKO) since the turn of the century. Expect the usual from Money. 

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 6

As Mayweather stated at his recent workout made open to the media, and captured by Showtime cameras, Maidana's ability as a puncher cannot sustain him for the full fight: "He punches extremely hard if he has an 80 percent knockout ratio. That’s obviously his best attribute, but a lot of times when a guy’s swinging a lot of big shots and they’re not landing, you get fatigued like that."

And when people get fatigued against Mayweather, bad things happen. 

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 7

Isaac Brekken

As noted by CompuBox, in Mayweather's May 2013 win over Robert Guerrero, "He landed 60 percent of his power shots, while Guerrero landed just 19 percent of his total punches. Guerrero (averaged) just 48 punches thrown per round after averaging 71 in his previous two welterweight fights."

Mayweather can usually dictate the pace after the initial four rounds or so have been completed. By then, his opponent has punched himself tired trying to hurt him early, and the effort of missing on all those punches can be devastating as the defense sags toward the canvas. 

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 8

Since Maidana will be "swinging a lot of big shots" and "not landing" them, he will become open to more damage as the fight progresses. Mayweather fights like a judo champion and uses his opponent's aggression to his own advantage.

With Maidana struggling to land power punches as he pursues the diminishing possibility of knocking Mayweather out or even hurting him, Floyd will stun him and send the Argentine to the canvas for the first knockdown of the fight. 

Result: Mayweather 10-8


Round 9

Despite cruising to a decisive victory as usual, don't expect Mayweather to notch a knockout. Not counting TKOs, he has only knocked out one opponent since the turn of the century.

Nevertheless, Mayweather's defense, quickness and counterpunching present a matchup nightmare for opponents, like a speedy power forward or an athletic tight end. Maidana's only hope by this stage will be to score a knockout, and a Mayweather counter could seriously hurt him. 

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 10

Percentage of punches landed is often a stat that Mayweather dominates, as he did against Canelo Alvarez, who landed only 22 percent of his punches, per CompuBox. As with previous Mayweather opponents, Maidana will have to abandon jabs and the little stuff in the face of an insurmountable deficit. 

Only a knockout will cut it for Maidana at this stage, and he will not be able to hit what he can barely see. His face will be puffy and swollen at this stage from absorbing dozens upon dozens of Mayweather jabs.

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 11

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 15:  (R-L) Jesus Soto Karass lands a right to the head of Marcos Maidana during their WBA intercontinental welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 15, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty
Josh Hedges/Getty Images

The primary consolation at this stage for Maidana will be knowing that he will still earn a generous chunk of change for losing to Mayweather. Maidana will already look like the losing fighter, while Floyd will appear as if he had just returned from a brisk jog around the neighborhood. 

Result: Mayweather 10-9


Round 12

Hey, sometimes the media is right. Mayweather wins easily. Maidana gets his face rearranged, but a nice consolation paycheck will await.

Result: Mayweather 10-9

Final Result: Mayweather def. Maidana by unanimous decision