This time around, the road to a bout between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana has been paved with believable hype.
That was certainly not the case earlier this year, when fans most likely felt they could skimp on ordering the pay-per-view because Mayweather was still in pristine form and Maidana was a relative unknown in a household sense whose big victories to that point had been viewed as flukes.
A rematch between the two men sparks a revival of the controversy that was Mayweather's victory in their first meeting, when Maidana spammed his way toward eye-popping totals and Money took advantage late.
As seems to be the case every September, Mayweather Promotions has gone all out to craft a superb card that caters to fans around the globe. Below, let's take a look at the confirmed cards, with a preview after the jump.
Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 Information
When: Saturday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas
Watch: Showtime Pay-Per-View
Odds: Courtesy of OddsShark.com as of September 8 at noon ET
Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 Fight Card and Odds
|John Molina vs. Humberto Soto (No listed odds)||10 rounds|
|Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo vs. James De La Rosa (No listed odds)||10 rounds|
|Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz (-10000) vs. Manuel "Suavecito" Roman (+3500)||WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship|
|Miguel "Títere" Vazquez (-390) vs. Mickey "The Spirit" Bey (+300)||IBF Lightweight World Championship|
|Floyd Mayweather (-800) vs. Marcos Maidana (+500)||Welterweight and junior middleweight titles|
|Undercard via ESPN, odds via OddsShark.com.|
There is a wild amount of intrigue on the entire card.
To start things off, John Molina and Humberto Soto go 10 rounds on regular Showtime.
After, Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo makes his return to the ring to encounter James De La Rosa. After that, two title belts are on the line in bouts that feature recognizable names worthy of the spotlight, and even better, both matches seem even on paper.
But really, all the attention is on the main event.
Much has been said about whether or not Maidana deserves a rematch, which is a fair discussion. As Eric Raskin of All In notes, there were others who also were worth a look for the September card:
At the end of the day, though, Money is about, well, money.
For as much controversy as the last fight's decision caused, Mayweather would have been stupid to not honor Maidana's request for a rematch.
Technical fans understand why the result was called in such a manner, but to the naked eye, Maidana certainly played the part of the aggressor—he threw a ridiculous 858 punches. The problem is twofold in regards to Maidana's approach to that bout.
- Mayweather is naturally a backpedaling counterpuncher who allows opponents to push if they so choose. That sort of give-take cannot be taken at face value by judges, even if pleasing to the eye.
- Of that 858-punch barrage, Maidana connected on just 26 percent.
There is no question Mayweather is beginning to show signs of age in regards to his natural speed, but until an adversary can either knock him out or actually utilize Maidana's approach, Money won't be handed a loss.
Even though he does appear to be losing a step, conventional wisdom says a rematch favors Mayweather.
For one, he looked a tad unprepared and nonchalant during the first bout. Regardless of what he preaches and how fans feel about his preparation, 46 wins—perhaps on a subconscious level—has to breed some sort of complacency.
That won't happen again now that Mayweather is so close to his coveted 50-0 and had an ever-so-brief flirtation with that mark getting ruined forever.
Secondly, we have really seen all that Maidana has to offer. He is a bruiser who puts his chin on the line in order to overwhelm with quantity. Mayweather, as the man who should understand best of all, suggests he carries this line of thought into the fight, per David Mayo of MLive.com:
What I can do, what makes me a little different than any other fighter, is I'm well-rounded and very versatile, as far as I can box, I can counterpunch, I can bang, I can do a little bit of everything. That's why I'm at the pinnacle in the sport right now. Can he switch up anything? I don't really think so. I mean, that's just my gut feeling.
Another part of Maidana fans have already seen is his sometimes dirty tactics, whether it be head-butts or apparent attempts at a low blow.
"He's a very, very dirty fighter," Mayweather said, per Mayo. "The cut over my eye didn't come from a shot. It came from a head butt. Low blows, knees. But I can't cry or complain."
Not only will Mayweather watch for these occurrences, the referee surely will too.
All things considered, fans have a great thing on their hands come September 13. It was easy to put an upset past Maidana before the last dance, but he at the very least has infused some shred of doubt about the outcome this time around.
Their first encounter was one of 2014's best bouts, so expect nothing less for the rematch. It will either be another stepping stone for Mayweather on his way to 50-0 or a career-defining triumph for Maidana.
Better stories, not to mention fighters with perfectly contrasting styles, are difficult to find.