Mayweather vs. Maidana: Expert Picks for Main Event

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterApril 30, 2014

Mayweather vs. Maidana: Expert Picks for Main Event

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    Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

    Say what you will about Floyd Mayweather, and volumes have been written about the 37-year-old fighter's transformation from relatively obscure technician to undisputed boxing kingpin. But you can never call the man boring. A Mayweather fight, like this weekend's bout against Marcos Maidana, is more than a boxing contest—it's a spectacle complete with sound and fury, if not substance.

    When the opponent across the ring is a fellow superstar like Saul "Canelo" Alvarez or Miguel Cotto, that attention comes easily. In those cases, the B-side does his share of the heavy lifting, bringing his own fanbase and media profile to the table. It's a recipe for box-office and pay-per-view glory.

    In the case of lesser-known rivals like Maidana, Mayweather has to work a little bit harder. It's why you'll see him everywhere this week as he makes his presence felt across the media landscape. He's already attached his name to the Los Angeles Clippers debacle, the hottest story in sports, and is making noise about this possibly being one of his last fights.

    Floyd is about business, plain and simple.

    Part of the reason he has to rely so heavily on his bag of media tricks is because this fight, as a pure athletic contest, leaves a lot to be desired. Before his upset of Adrien Broner late last year, Maidana was on no one's list of potential Mayweather foes. Although a fun action fighter, he's never been considered one of the sport's true elites.

    It's a little like watching the Harlem Globetrotters take on the Washington Generals. It may be a gaudy thrill show, but the outcome does not appear to be in question.

    Of course, on at least two occasions the Generals shocked the world. Is Maidana the man to similarly shock Mayweather? Our boxing experts discuss.

    Disagree with our analysis? Let us hear it in the comments.

Lyle Fitzsimmons

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Who Wins? When and How?

    It's 46 down, three to go for Mayweather after he overcomes an early hiccup and ultimately slices and dices a game but outgunned Maidana, prompting a referee intervention in the ninth round.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember Most Is…

    When Money storms out of the post-fight press conference after one too many questions come in after his "I don't want to talk about Manny Pacquiao" declaration.

     

    Who Will Be With Floyd During His Entrance?

    He's 2-of-2 with Lil Wayne and Showtime thus far, so there's no reason to believe a third ring-walk accompaniment isn't imminent. Perhaps Marlon Wayans and his family of acting brothers will be called upon for sheer numbers, too. An early guess is that Donald Sterling will not be invited.

     

    Who Will Mayweather Fight Next? When and Where?

    Thanks to his own victory over Luis Collazo on the undercard, it'll be Amir Khan's turn to ring the Mayweather cash register this fall. The promotional gaggle will think outside the box on this one and stage it at London's Wembley Stadium.

     

    Who Will Maidana Fight Next? When and Where?

    The loss, though one-sided in the end, will see Maidana display enough gumption to remain in the main flow of high-end opponents at welterweight. He'll get the similarly beaten Collazo in a "loser leaves the top shelf" match this fall.

Kelsey McCarson

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Who Wins? When and How? 

    Mayweather will defeat Maidana by unanimous decision. The fight won't be much after about Round 3 when he figures Maidana's attack out and shuts him down. The fight will be one-sided, and Mayweather will hardly break a sweat over the 12 rounds for the win. 

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember Most Is… 

    Honestly, it will probably be the moment we realize we were suckered into buying "The Moment" on pay-per-view. Look, Maidana had a great win over Broner, and of the two options Mayweather proposed as his next opponent, he was the better choice over Amir Khan.

    But Maidana isn't even one of the top five welterweights in the world, and Mayweather is an elite pound-for-pounder and the lineal junior middleweight champion of the world. This fight is a showcase bout for Mayweather and nothing more. 

      

    Who Will Be With Floyd During His Entrance? 

    I'm not sure why anyone really cares whom he comes to the ring with during his entrance. The focus should be on whom he comes to the ring to fight.

    Last year, Mayweather fought a showcase bout against Robert Guerrero and then stepped up to face junior middleweight Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. This year, he's taking another showcase bout against Maidana.

    Let's hope he steps up later this year to fight someone who can actually compete with him. 

     

    Who Will Mayweather Fight Next? When and Where? 

    Mayweather will face Amir Khan at the MGM in Las Vegas in November. Khan will look good enough on Saturday night against Collazo for Mayweather and co. to believe they can legitimately sell the promotion. They'll be right, and it will do big numbers for Mayweather but almost nothing for his legacy. 

     

    Who Will Maidana Fight Next? When and Where? 

    Maidana will do the smart thing and go for the biggest money bout he can secure. That's likely a rematch with Adrien Broner, who has practically begged for another shot at Maidana since losing to the hard-hitting welterweight last December. The bout will take place in October at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. 

Jonathan Snowden

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Who Wins? When and How?

    Floyd Mayweather wins by unanimous decision. Maidana has guts and some pop in his punches. What he lacks is the technical savvy to deliver those punches on the "Money."

    I expect Mayweather to frustrate Maidana in much the way he frustrates every hard-charging slugger he's ever fought. Within a round or two, he'll have Maidana second-guessing every decision. That's when the counterpunches will come in gradually increasing increments.

    By the end of the fight, Maidana will be all but helpless.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember Most Is…

    A pun delivered by the new king of combat sports announcers, Mauro Ranallo. The lead play-by-play man for Showtime has quietly developed into one of boxing's great voices, calling the action almost as well as he delivers wicked wordplay that only an English major could truly love.

     

    Who Will Be With Floyd During His Entrance?

    Floyd is a little behind the times here. For his last fight, he had Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne walk him out to the ring—two celebrities who are a bit past their primes. It's time for an upgrade, maybe even a complete paradigm shift.

    The biggest surprise possible in the male-dominated sport of boxing? How about a little estrogen? Dare I nominate Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift for the honor?

     

    Who Will Mayweather Fight Next? When and Where?

    The only appropriate answer is Manny Pacquiao this winter in Las Vegas. But it will probably be Amir Khan, assuming the Brit has a solid performance on the undercard.

     

    Who Will Maidana Fight Next? When and Where?

    I hope we get the fight that should have been made instead of the Mayweather showdown—a rematch with Adrien Broner. This October, in Broner's hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, sounds about right to me.

Kevin McRae

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Who Wins? When and How?

    Think Floyd Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton when you look at this fight. Marcos Maidana has a ton of power, but he’s going to have a very hard time landing it against a defensive master like Mayweather, who sees the punches coming before you throw them.

    Maidana will wing big power shots in the first half of the fight, get very little return on his investment and have nothing left for the championship rounds.

    Mayweather will pick him apart, shredding him with quick counters, and he’ll stop a gassed Maidana, like he did to Hatton, with a check-left hook in Round 10.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember Most Is…

    Maidana will load up and throw a particularly big punch in the opening round. He’ll miss by a mile. Mayweather will smile at him, shrug his shoulders and set the tone for the rest of the fight.

     

    Who Will Be With Floyd During His Entrance?

    Well, that depends. Is Justin Bieber still allowed in the United States? If so, he’ll definitely be with him, as will Lil Wayne (singing him out like he did against Canelo) and, why not: Canelo will make an appearance.

     

    Who Will Mayweather Fight Next? When and Where?

    This is a bit of a tough call. Danny Garcia is an option, as is Amir Khan, should he win. But Khan has previously said that he wouldn’t be able to make a September date with Mayweather because Ramadan falls over the summer, and it would disrupt his training for that date.

    And we all know that Mayweather isn’t going to change his plans to accommodate Khan.

    So whom does he fight? How about Miguel Cotto in September? The Puerto Rican icon has a chance to win the middleweight title in June, and if he does, that gives Mayweather a chance to extend his run into some uncharted territory.

     

    Who Will Maidana Fight Next? When and Where?

    Maidana seems destined for a rematch with Broner. And why not? Depending on how Broner looks Saturday night, he deserves a chance to settle the score and show improvement, and Maidana deserves another significant fight.

    It’ll happen in October at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Briggs Seekins

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    Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

    Who Wins? When and How? 

    Mayweather will win this fight by unanimous decision in another near-shutout. I'd like to think it's possible Maidana will be able to get inside and rough him up. It would be interesting to see the pound-for-pound king in a close fight, but I just don't see it happening.  

    The Argentinian has been an improved fighter under Robert Garcia and looked great against Adrien Broner. But there is a huge difference between Mayweather and Broner. Maidana was beaten by Amir Khan and schooled by Devon Alexander.

    Mayweather will pick Maidana apart from the outside with right-hand leads and frustrate him on the inside with head movement and shoulder rolls. He'll outland him by about 20 percentage points or more and cruise to victory.  

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember Most Is…

    I'm not sure there will be any particularly memorable moments in this fight.

    Maidana will definitely do his best to bull rush and be aggressive early on, but by the middle of the fight, he'll have eaten enough rights and slowed down enough from fatigue that the rounds will take on the basic sameness of all of Mayweather's recent fights. 

    Like a lot of his recent fights, the pageantry will be the most memorable thing. 

     

    Who Will Be With Floyd During His Entrance? 

    I keep hoping that Mayweather will make good on his boast that he could get President Obama to walk in with him. I think I predicted he'd walk out with Miley Cyrus last time, but she's kind of old news now.

    He's been claiming he wants to buy the Clippers, so maybe Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. I'd love to see him come out with Ronda Rousey, to show he has no hard feelings over Dana White's smack talk. With Floyd, you never know.  

     

    Who Will Mayweather Fight Next? When and Where? 

    Maybe the time is right for a Manny Pacquiao bout, but it hasn't happened so far, so I doubt it will now. If Miguel Cotto can pull off a major upset and beat Sergio Martinez, Mayweather is very likely to give him a rematch, so he can add the lineal middleweight title to his resume.

    But I think his most likely next opponent is Amir Khan sometime this fall. His most likely next fight is in Vegas, but if he fights Khan, maybe he goes across the Atlantic and sells out the O2 Arena in London. 

     

    Who Will Maidana Fight Next? When and Where? 

    I'd love to see Marcos Maidana fight fellow Argentinian Lucas Matthysse one of these days. But I think his next fight is likely to be a rematch with Adrien Broner.

    People will be anxious to see him beat up Broner again, so the money will be there. I could see that fight being a main event in November in someplace like Carson, California.