Saturday, May 3, 2014

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana: Does Maidana Have the Blueprint?

By Peter Silkov

 Tonight, Saturday, May 3rd, Marcos Rene Maidana (35-3, 31 koes) becomes the 46th professional fighter to step into the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr., and try to decode the sublime, and up until now,  unbreakable puzzle, which Mayweather Jr. has posed to all his forty five professional opponents so far. Will Maidana be simply number 46, to be teased, tricked, and jabbed into defeat, or will he become that special one; the man who finally breaks the code, and with it a legend?  Maidana comes into this fight off the back of the biggest win of his career so far, his 12 rounds exposure of Adrien Broner.  The big-punching Argentine was just too strong and too busy for Broner, who was billed as the second coming of Mayweather Jr., but shown up by Maidana as more of a bad imitation, rather than an heir apparent. Maidana is a fearless warrior, whose strength and power makes him the most explosive and potentially dangerous, opponent Mayweather Jr has faced in some time.  While Maidana’s victory over Broner was impressive, Broner is, despite the hype, not Mayweather Jr. He doesn’t have Floyds level of speed and skills. However, Maidana still has the style and strength to give Floyd his hardest fight since he fought Miguel Cotto a few years back. If Maidana can pursue and pressure Mayweather Jr. all night, as he did Broner, then Floyd may be forced to dig deeper than usual. Maidana will come forward more relentlessly than any of Mayweather Jr.’s recent opponents, he won’t make the mistake of trying to out-box Floyd as Saul Alvarez did, instead he will march forward, and attempt to blast through Mayweather Jr.’s slick defence. 

Aside from Miguel Cotto, the toughest opponent so far in Floyd’s career has been the Mexican Jose Luis Castillo, from whom Floyd won the WBC World Lightweight crown in 2002.  There are some who view that fight, as being a fight that Mayweather Jr. should have lost.  While that is unfair to Floyd (who won a close but deserved decision), there is no doubt that Castillo’s swarming aggressive-style, which included pinning Floyd on the ropes at times, caused Mayweather Jr problems that he had not experienced previously or since. In the rematch eight months after their first bout, Castillo was still able to make it a tough night for ’Pretty Boy’.

There are certainly similarities between the styles of Jose Luis Castillo and Marcos Maidana; both are come forward, aggressive sluggers, who like to throw punches in wide often-wild combinations.  While Castillo was in his prime was a better boxer technically than Maidana, the Argentine slugger has bigger one-punch power than Castillo. When Floyd fought Castillo, he was a young and fresh twenty-five year old, now he is thirty-seven years old, and while he is a extremely well preserved thirty- seven, the fact remains that over the past few years he has adapted his style to his increasing age, there is more economy of movement, and every punch has to count.  Marcos Maidana’s best chance of victory is to try and drive Mayweather Jr. as hard as he can, from the start of the fight, and make his thirty-seven year old body work at a pace that it doesn’t wish to be. Think Carmen Basilio against Sugar Ray Robinson in 1957, when iron-jawed Basilio out-worked the still brilliant, but thirty-six year old Robinson for a 15 rounds decision victory.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. should come out of tonight’s fight with his record a still unblemished 46-0, but it is likely to be one of his tougher assignments, and for those who don’t appreciate Floyd for his sweet science, one of his more entertaining matches.        

An interesting aspect of this contest is that technically both men come into this fight as ’World champions’ with Maidana holding the ’regular’ WBA World Welterweight title, (which he won from Adrian Broner), while Floyd puts on the line his WBC and ‘Super’ WBA World Welterweight titles.  Somewhat unfairly, Maidana’s ’title’ has almost been completely forgotten in the run up to this showdown. It is Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s show and  despite the various titles, whether they be  WBC or WBA or, the ridiculous ‘regular’ and ‘super’ titles, he is the undoubted number one, and the only real ’champion’ who really matters. This is what Marcos Maidana stands to win if he can pull off the upset in Las Vegas tonight, and become the first to break the Mayweather Jr. code.  If he can, he will become the true champion at welterweight, and the hottest property in world boxing today.

On the undercard to Mayweather Jr. vs. Maidana are two interesting fights, each featuring boxers who are trying to make themselves into prospective Mayweather Jr. opponents, if they can come through these fights in an impressive fashion. 

Adrien Broner (27-1, 22koes) makes his first appearance since his humbling at the fists of Marcos Maidana last year. Broner takes on Carlos Molina (17-1, 7koes) at light-welterweight. Aside from his move down to the light-welterweight division, little seems to have changed about Broner on the outside since his loss to Maidana, he seems to have the same all-round attitude and class (make that lack of class) that he had previously. However, deep down something must have changed; otherwise Broner will fall into the same mistakes that snared him before. Against Molina, Broner should not be too stretched, and this really is a confidence building ‘comeback’ fight for ‘The Problem’. Molina has just one defeat on his record and that was to Amir Khan, but it was a conclusive defeat, which saw him out-boxed and out-punched by Khan, and this will be Molina’s first fight since that loss almost 18 months ago now. This is a fight in that Broner will be expected to shine and put on a devastating performance, in order to show that the Maidana fight was simply a blip, and that he is worthy of another ‘big fight’. Should Broner struggle against Molina in anyway, then it would be another blow to his reputation, an actual loss would be a huge, potentially career ending set back.  Molina’s biggest asset in this fight is that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

In what is another intriguing clash on the bill, Amir Khan (28-3, 19koes) takes on Luis Collazo (35-5, 18koes).  In many ways, this could be the fight of the night, with both boxers evenly matched at this point of their careers. Collazo is a clever southpaw boxer with a decent punch, who gave Ricky Hatton one of his hardest fights, before losing on points in 2006, and lost on points in close fights to Shane Moseley, and Andre Berto.  Collazo’s career seemed to have wound down amid inactivity and personal problems until January 30 of this year, when he scored a stunning 2nd round knockout win over a come backing Victor Ortiz, a win that effectively ended Ortiz’s career and reignited his own back to life. Now, Collazo has the huge opportunity to derail, perhaps permanently, the career of Amir Khan.  For Khan, this is very much a make or break fight, having sat out most of 2013 in the hope of being handed a fight with Floyd Mayweather. Khan, instead, found himself having to prove his worth against the tricky Collazo. Khan has won twice, since his losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, but he was worryingly unimpressive in both fights, especially in his last outing against Julio Diaz, in which he was floored in the 4th round, and seemed lucky to get the decision.  

This will be Khan’s first fight in over a year and if he is to keep his career alive and have any chance of a future match against Floyd Mayweather Jr., then he needs to win and win well against Collazo.  While Khans’ extra speed should give him the edge against the older Collazo, he needs to find a big improvement on his most recent form.  If Khan performs on the level that he did against Diaz last year, then the omens are bad for him.  Collazo has good boxing skills of his own and the kind of punching power that could cause Khan problems.  Much in this fight depends on whether Khans performance against Diaz was due partly to weight making trouble, or else indicative of a decline in his skills and durability.  For Collazo this match offers a chance to go from a forgotten man, back into the big time again, if he can get the win over Amir Khan. 

Amir should come through this fight a point’s winner, but only if he can reclaim some of the form that he had a few years back. 

All in all, this looks like an intriguing and exciting night of fights, whose winners will go on to brighter and better things.  It’s all going to happen under the harsh and unforgiving glare of Las Vegas’ neon lights.

Copyright © 2014 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

No comments:

Post a Comment