Floyd Mayweather Jr. Must Remain Focused on Marcos Maidana to Win Defining Bout

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2014

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. listens during a news conference Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Las Vegas. Mayweather will face Marcos Maidana in a welterweight title fight on Saturday, May 3.  (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

We all know Floyd Mayweather for his monk-like devotion to his craft that has coincided with his rise to the top of the boxing mountain, but, as of late, it seems things have started to unravel as his fight with Marcos Maidana looms closer.

It's not that Mayweather hasn't been training and the like, but the consistent knock many fans point to is his arrogance.

Approaching a fight he's heavily favored in—for good reason—have the odds and general consensus that Maidana represents a walk in the park gone to his head?

Mayweather has spent plenty of his time leading up to the fight flaunting his riches. He's bringing in $32 million just to show up in Las Vegas on Saturday, and, per Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press, via the Boston Herald, the MGM Grand just bought him a new Bugatti worth $1.6 million for selling out the fight.

Oh, Mayweather's flexing is part of his mystique, but he's setting himself up for plenty of hate and finger-wagging if he gets caught napping in the ring with Maidana.

But it doesn't stop there.

Mayweather has made it clear he wants to splurge and buy the Los Angeles Clippers, as captured by Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times:

There's also a very public date with one Justin Bieber that has been grabbing headlines:

Look, Mayweather can do as he pleases before a fight as long as he steps up and keeps his record pristine.

The issue is age itself. At some point, pre-fight antics, in tandem with a natural regression of skill, will catch up to Mayweather if he's not careful.

Will Maidana be the one? It's doubtful, but there is a shred of possibility that a man who has 31 knockouts in 35 career victories could get lucky. He's no stranger to lucking out in the underdog role, as he did in his last fight against Adrien Broner.

Mayweather says, via Farmer, that his career is all about one thing:

"The legacy," said Mayweather, who is on the third fight of a six-fight deal he signed with Showtime. "When you mention boxing, all I want you to mention is one man, and that's Floyd Mayweather. When my career's over, I don't want y'all talking about nobody else."

Mayweather sounds and sometimes appears via his opponent selection that he is coasting to obtain a 50-0 record, but he's adamant that isn't the case:

A lot of the time, I'm fighting the media, fighting the critics, fighting the jealousy. I'm fighting a little bit of everything. My whole life has been a fight and a struggle. But I always know how to rise to the top because I'm a natural-born fighter, a natural-born winner at whatever I do.

A lot of times you hear people say, 'Is Mayweather just protecting his record?' The thing is, when I fight a fighter is when I fight a fighter. We fight who we fight. I don't think I'm going to get the props that I truly deserve until my career is over.

If he's not careful, a singular mark may enter the loss column and forever stain that legacy beyond repair.

None of this is to suggest Mayweather hasn't been training like his usual self. But at some point, the out-of-ring charade will bleed into the squared circle, right? Money's character, sometimes comparable to those in the WWE business, sounds exactly like Mayweather acts.

Which is fine, until it isn't and can be blamed for a misstep in the ring. At this point in his career, Maidana is a defining bout like any other as Mayweather approaches 50 wins, both because of his incredible tear and for the propensity for it to all come crashing down with one thunderous right hand.

There's never been a focus issue for Mayweather, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern where his head is at with a very winnable bout on the horizon. After all the antics, he may very well go out and destroy Maidana as advertised.

We could just do without the fluff in the days leading up to it. In hindsight, it may turn out he could have, too.


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