As Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana make their final preparations for Saturday's bout, one word must be on each of their minds: patience.
Patience will go far for each fighter, as Mayweather looks to keep his unblemished record alive, and Maidana looks to exit boxing obscurity and become the first fighter to take down the pound-for-pound king.
Money and El Chino have far diverse boxing styles.
Mayweather is more calculated in his approach. He is agile and quick on his feet. He thrives in the center of the ring, outmaneuvering his opponents and using his accuracy to land scoring punches.
On the other side, Maidana has more of a brute approach. He isn't afraid to take punishment and go toe-to-toe with other fighters due to his steel chin and heavy punches.
Marcos "El Chino" Maidana's trainer Robert Garcia feels his fighter has the style to defeat Floyd Mayweather:... http://t.co/97PeEMYyVf— Inside The Ropes (@InsideTheRopes1) April 5, 2014
That said, each fighter must exercise a great deal of patience in order to emerge victorious.
For Money, patience means avoiding being overly aggressive while keeping out of Maidana's range. He must use his superior agility and ring intelligence to keep his opponent on his heels and chip away.
This will do two things.
First, it will keep Mayweather from absorbing any of Maidana's brutal blows. One advantage El Chino has over Money is pure strength. If Mayweather isn't cautious and jumps the gun on an attack, he risks leaving himself wide open for punishment.
Mayweather: I’m looking for a knockout against Maidana http://t.co/kcvGFHg7CU— Boxing News 24 (@boxingnews24) April 29, 2014
Second, Mayweather has a huge advantage in the stamina department. We've seen him go the distance countless times before, having plenty of gas left in the tank at the end. Maidana looked good against Adrien Broner in the early rounds, but he appeared fatigued near the end of the bout.
"You asked me if I wanted to be remembered as the greatest boxer of all time and I said 'yes.' A few years ago that would have been it. But now? Well, now it's more about the legacy. Yes, I want to be the greatest. But I want to be the smartest even more."
Showing patience against Maidana will certainly help his cause.
For El Chino, patience means picking his shots.
He isn't as nimble as Mayweather and won't be able to keep pace. Maidana is rather heavy on his feet which should allow Money to dance around him and prod him with relentless jabs.
Maidana: I Have To Attack Mayweather Early Like Broner - Boxing News http://t.co/8C0sdrdaRK— Joe Gallagher (@gallaghersgym) April 27, 2014
Since Mayweather is a master of defense, Maidana can't simply jump in with his over-aggressive style in this bout. He needs to maintain his patience, focus and pick his spots when going on the offensive.
If Maidana can keep his guard up and look for opportune moments to attack Mayweather with little chance of a counter, he not only could go the distance, but he will make this fight much closer than many anticipate.
We should be able to see which of these fighters remain disciplined during the opening rounds of the fight. Whoever that may be will have the greater chance for success.