Every fighter has the proverbial "puncher's chance," although it's hard to argue even that will exist for Marcos Maidana when he steps into the ring with Floyd Mayweather on May 3.
Normally reserved for long shots who specialize in hitting home runs, that chance may never materialize for Maidana against Money thanks to the superior speed and footwork that has made Mayweather the biggest draw in the boxing realm.
So big, in fact, that David Mayo of MLive.com reports Mayweather will reel in $32 million upon arrival in Las Vegas Saturday, whereas Maidana will only bankroll $1.5 million.
Even pay-per-view isn't enough for Money at this stage of his career, as ESPN's Dan Rafael notes the bout will also be shown across the nation in movie theaters:
Regardless of venue, viewers may wind up feeling like the bout is a farce by the time a victor is announced.
ESPN's Myron Medcalf put it eloquently enough:
Maidana is a sluggish robot. Sure, he did some creative things in his last bout against Adrien Broner in December to mitigate a defensive shoulder roll similar to Mayweather's famous tactic, but Broner is not Money.
A tally of 31 knockouts in 35 victories is a nice bragging point, but the semantics of the in-ring relationship between the two on Saturday spell doom for Maidana. His knockout power is immense, but he surely understands that he doesn't stand a chance if the fight goes to the cards.
To that end, he'll search for a knockout early and surely hit an endurance road block by the middle rounds.
Of course, this plays right into Mayweather's hands, with CompuBox (h/t Josh Slagter of MLive.com) indicating that his last 10 opponents have only landed 17 percent of their total punches.
ESPN Stats & Information further elaborates on Mayweather's speed, which by far makes him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world:
Mayweather’s claim as the world’s best fighter is backed by numbers, and not just his in-ring record. According to Compubox, Mayweather owns the sport’s best plus/minus rating (+24). Plus/minus rating is determined by subtracting opponent's connect percentage from a listed fighter's overall connect percentage. In his victory over Canelo Álvarez, Mayweather’s plus/minus was +24 (46 percent to 22 percent).
In other words, more of the same from Mayweather equates to a comfortable win on Saturday.
His quick footwork will allow him to avoid getting pinned against the ropes or the corner, while his superior hand speed will keep Maidana at bay. When he gets within striking distance, a steady flow of typical counters will swing the scorecard in Money's favor.
Maidana's slow style leaves him susceptible to counters from all angles, which will allow Mayweather to act as a surgeon as he perhaps almost literally dances circles around his adversary.
Yes, the power in Maidana's right hand must be respected, but Mayweather can set the pace of the bout from the outset and set the fight on its course, which may very well see Maidana open to a knockout in the late rounds.
Mayweather, well on his way to that precious 50-0 mark, will notch win No. 46 on Saturday night against an opponent whose style is tailor-made to succumb to his biggest strengths.
It may be a boring affair, but the approach has worked 45 times in the past and there's no reason to change it against an opponent who can't handle it.
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