On arguably the biggest sports day of the year, with the Kentucky Derby and NBA playoffs going on, it's fitting that the evening will conclude with Floyd Mayweather, arguably the single biggest drawing card, looking to extend his career-long winning streak to 46 against Marcos Maidana.
There was some controversy after the weigh-in Friday, as Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News reported the gloves Maidana wanted to use were not approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission:
Trying on the 8-ounce glove, Mayweather said the padding was so thin he could feel the outlines of his knuckles. At that point, the state commission ordered representatives from both camps into a room, the source said. Maidana’s camp then produced another variation of the MX model that combines horse hair and foam.
The fight hasn't been cancelled yet, so the assumption is that Glovegate 2014 has been taken care of. Both fighters have too much to lose—financially and publicly—for this bout not to happen.
Regardless of what happens in the media circus before the fight, all that matters is what happens when Mayweather and Maidana step into the ring. We've got thoughts about what to expect Saturday night, right after looking at the latest odds from Las Vegas.
It's no surprise that Mayweather is an overwhelming favorite to win this fight. He's the best pound-for-pound boxer in the sport, winning 45 consecutive bouts and not facing a serious challenge since a split decision against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
How do you pick against Mayweather?
The short answer to that not-entirely-rhetorical question is that you can't. No one in boxing is at Pretty Boy's level right now. He's brilliant in that regard, because even though Maidana isn't close to him on talent, at least one million people will pay premium pay-per-view prices to watch him.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix talked about Mayweather's promotional tactics for this fight and why it's another sign of how deliriously brilliant the fighter is:
With little buzz fight for his upcoming fight with Marcos Maidana — no promotional tour and the dwindling chances of a showdown with Pacquiao will do that — Mayweather declared this fight could be his last. The message: Watch me now or, maybe, never watch me again. Nevermind the tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars more to be earned over the next two years.
What outcome do you want to see?
Mayweather knows he can sleepwalk through this fight and win, which is why he has to make overly dramatic statements about retiring even though that would require leaving three fights on his massive Showtime contract on the table.
Given his standing in the boxing community, Mayweather has had the luxury of hand-picking opponents for years. He made the decision to give Maidana a chance in the spotlight when the 30-year-old defeated Adrien Broner last December.
The one thing you can say about Maidana that gives him a chance against Mayweather is he knows how to punch. El Chino became the first fighter ever to knock Broner down by throwing a flurry of punches in the second round.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Maidana has become a power-punching machine in his last few fights:
Maidana (35-3, 31 KO) won the WBA Welterweight Title in December 2013 when he upset Adrien Broner, a protégé of Mayweather, by unanimous decision. Known for his aggressive power punches, Maidana has knocked out 31 opponents in 35 victories. In his last three tracked fights, Maidana has thrown an average of 60 percent power punches.
If Maidana happens to throw the right punch at the right time, he can put Mayweather on the ground. But considering that Canelo Alvarez, a powerful puncher and better all-around fighter, struggled to touch Mayweather, are we really to believe a less talented fighter is going to break the streak?
This night will be another coronation for Mayweather. His greatness will be celebrated by everyone, which is exactly what he wants. You can't deny Money his pleasures when he goes into the ring and proves his mettle time and time again.
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