Like it or not, the showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas on May 3 is one of the most talked-about events in the sporting world this calendar year.
Thus is the case when it comes to Money.
Never mind the fact Maidana is a one-dimensional fighter at the age of 30 who relies on power punches and knockouts to get his marks in the win column. Anyone familiar with Mayweather understands this is a disaster waiting to happen.
That won't stop any of us from tuning in to see the best in the world practice his craft. Let's take the time to project how the integral stages of the bout will unfold while we wait.
Marcos Maidana Gets Lucky Early
Look, even Mayweather isn't hesitant to admit that Maidana has something to offer in the power department that could fell him outright if not careful. He said as much to Josh Slagter of MLive.com:
He's done something right if he's world champion. I try to prepare all around the board for anything that's coming my way. He's a special talent guy … with 31 knockouts. It's obvious he's doing damage with both hands. I'm not trying to be in the way of those shots.
Golden Boy Promotions echoed these sentiments:
This strict adherence to proper preparation no matter the opponent is part of the reason Mayweather's adversaries have landed just 17 percent of all punches thrown over the course of his last 10 fights, per CompuBox (via Josh Slagter of MLive.com).
Let's throw Maidana a bone in the early goings. Like Canelo Alvarez in Mayweather's last fight, he'll land a few punches that will raise some eyebrows, especially if he can corner Money against the ropes.
Conditioning Takes Over as Floyd Mayweather Pulls Away in Mid Rounds
It just won't last long.
Mayweather is on his way to that coveted 50-0 record in large part thanks to his unreal conditioning, which in tandem with elite speed allows him to bob and weave—and shoulder roll—his way out of trouble at an epic rate.
Maidana's no fool and surely understands a victory via decision over Money is extremely unlikely and doesn't play to his strengths in the first place. With that in mind, he'll be headhunting at a furious pace before eventually running out of gas.
Call it Round 6 where Maidana takes a noticeable drop in production while continuing to get peppered by timely counters. If he's lucky, he will have won one round at a maximum by that point, but it's all downhill from there.
Floyd Mayweather Wins Via Unanimous Decision
Mayweather avoids corners and this one is a wrap.
It's easy to think Mayweather will go for the knockout in the later rounds after decisively winning most of the fight, but the same thing could have been said in the Canelo bout.
It didn't really happen. There's no need to risk a devastating knockout late after controlling the entire fight, so expect Mayweather to coast in the later rounds as Maidana goes for broke.
Truth be told, not even a Manny Pacquiao judge can get this one wrong. Mayweather stays clean after a few hiccups in the opening rounds and gets the easy win. Let the controversy over his next opponent begin.