Marcos "El Chino" Maidana hit the jackpot—both literally and figuratively—when Floyd "Money" Mayweather announced that the Argentinian would be his next opponent because no matter the outcome, El Chino will be gaining valuable experience that he will take with him on to future fights.
With an impressive career record of 35-3 (31 KOs), El Chino is perhaps one of the more dominant fighters that Mayweather has seen in recent memory. An 81.58 knockout percentage means that El Chino will be gunning for Money right from the start in an effort to end this fight quickly.
Of course, Mayweather is 45-0. The best pound-for-pound fighter in the world doesn't go down easy. El Chino may need to adjust his strategy mid-fight, and that's something that will help him to grow as a fighter.
Win or lose, fighting Mayweather will inevitably bring on tougher opponents for Maidana. Some notables who he has fought in the past include Adrien Broner, Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz. That type of talent is what Maidana should expect from here on out. After fighting Mayweather, no longer will El Chino go up against fighters from the scrap heap.
In these tougher fights, he must use the experience gained from the Mayweather fight to succeed. He is a powerful fighter who has a propensity to knock his opponents out cold, but that's a fighting style that will become less effective as he ages.
Currently 30 years old, Maidana may need to begin reinventing himself in a few years. He should take a few pages out of Mayweather's book.
As of right now, it doesn't appear as if he has a plan other than to try and knock him out. Here's what he told Boxing News 24:
There's no doubt this is going to be a very difficult fight. There's no doubt that Floyd has very good defensive skills, but I have a great attack, and that's what I'll use. I have to do the same thing I did with Broner. I have go hard from the get go and attack. I know it’s going to be more difficult with a man like Floyd Mayweather.
After a few rounds of attacking, however, Maidana needs to switch it up. Mayweather will win handily according to the judges if he continues to land his lightning-quick body shots while Maidana swings for the fences and misses. El Chino will need to buckle down and make smart, calculated strikes in order to try and keep up with the accuracy and speed of Mayweather.
Making this in-fight adjustment is going to make or break the bout for Maidana. But even if it breaks it, it's the type of adjustment that he can really learn from. A fighter's knockout punch isn't always on (though it almost always has been for Maidana). Learning how to manage a fight is often the key to winning those fights that just seem to grind on and on.
Mayweather is the best fight manager in the sport right now, as he knows how to simply wear down his opponents with a steady attack that often bothers them more than it hurts them. Regardless, he racks up the hits, and the judges have no choice but to rule the fight in his favor.
Maidana is the underdog with a puncher's chance at winning, but he'll more than likely need a strategic adjustment to make it through the fight. Adopting this change and working to perfect it mid-fight is what Maidana will need to take into his future fights. Not being one-dimensional is an essential skill for the best boxers in the world.
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