By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Mayweather chooses Maidana for May 3, date
After weeks of speculation, undefeated five-division champion Floyd Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) has rejected Amir Khan to instead accept the challenge of WBA welterweight champion, Marcos Rene Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs). The two will meet in a WBC/WBA 147-pound unification bout to commence on Saturday, May 3, and there is a strong possibility that fight will land at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn, NY on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View.
Mayweather vs. Maidana will be fight number three of a lucrative six-fight pact Mayweather signed with SHOWTIME last year. Mayweather, after fighting his entire career on HBO, bolted the network giant along with the entire Golden Boy Promotions brand and moved over to HBO-rival SHOWTIME. While HBO continues to rebuild their brand with new stars such as Manny Pacquiao, Andre Ward, Gennday Golvkin, Adonis Stevenson, and Sergui Kovalev, Mayweather, SHOWTIME, and Golden Boy Promotions have formed a unique empire that no one boxing promoter can rival.
Mayweather, for months was rumored to be fighting either Amir Khan, or Danny Garcia, who will defend his title once more on March 15, in Puerto Rico before moving up to the welterweight division. Khan appeared to be the most logical choice, but even Mayweather himself said Khan didn’t deserve the fight.
Suddenly, from nowhere to be seen, Maidana pulled off the 2013 Upset of the Year, by pummeling Adrien Broner through twelve rounds for the WBA welterweight championship in December. Since then, the world has strongly backed Maidana as the consensus No. 1-challenger to Mayweather’s unbeaten record. Maidana’s strength, confidence, and execution against the brash, loud-mouth Broner overwhelmingly surprised the boxing public and captured the attention of Mayweather.
“Marcos Maidana’s last performance immediately brought him to my attention,” said Mayweather, who just turned 37. “He is an extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring. I think this is a great fight for me and he deserves the opportunity to see if he can do what 45 others have tried to do before him – beat me.”
Mayweather conducted several opinion polls asking the public whom he should fight next and Maidana obliterated Khan in the polls (except for one poll conducted on Mayweather’s site). The public felt that Khan hasn’t done anything to warrant a fight with Mayweather. ‘Money’ agreed by signing on to face Maidana, who like Khan, Garcia, and Broner are all promoted by Golden Boy with the exception of Mayweather.
It’s nice to see when fighters are in position to give the fans what they want. Mayweather-Maidana isn’t Mayweather-Pacquiao, but it is the most intriguing fight that can be made right now. Mayweather will test his superior boxing skills (some of the best in boxing today) against the aggressive, straight-forward power of Maidana. The 30-year-old Argentine is willing to take three-four punches to give off two-three, and is very aggressive. Maidana isn’t worried about being out-boxed. He isn’t a great boxer to begin with. However, Maidana comes to fight very hard and he knows his only chance at winning is to knock Mayweather out.
“I am extremely happy to be facing Floyd Mayweather because it will give me the opportunity to show the world that I am the best welterweight in the division,” said Maidana, who will represent throngs of Hispanic boxing fans on Cinco de Mayo when he faces the pound-for-pound king. “I just handed a great defensive fighter his first loss and I plan to do the same to Mayweather. I don’t care whether he’s the best and undefeated. I will bring some real Latino power to him on May 3rd.”
As Floyd said previously, 45 have tried and 45 have failed.
Mayweather is simply one of the very best fighters in the world. Mayweather, a former 1996 Olympic bronze medalist in the Atlanta Olympics, won his first world title two years after his professional debut by defeating Genaro Hernandez for the WBC lightweight title.
Mayweather’s performances against Angel Manfredy, Sharmba Mitchell, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar De La Hoya, Carlos Baldomir, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez are classics. Mayweather’s execution of solid defensive skills, sharp combination punching, and knockout power has placed him at the highest level of the sport. Also, over the course of his career Mayweather has generated more than 12.8 million buys and over $800 million from pay-per-view sales.
“This is an extremely dangerous fight for Floyd as Marcos Maidana is a technical knock-out artist and continues to show us that he gets better with each fight,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Maidana showed so much in his last performance, he’s clearly at the top of his game and a great match-up for Floyd.”
Aside from besting Broner in his last fight, Maidana is best-known for his thrilling knockout of Victor Ortiz (TKO 6) to capture the interim WBA junior welterweight title. After three defenses, Maidana lost to Amir Khan in what was one of the best fights in 2010. Maidana also has a victory against Erik Morales, a future Hall of Fame fighter. Since 2012, Maidana is 4-0, 3 KOs under new trainer Robert Garcia.
“Marcos Maidana is a boxer whose fearsome power can change the trajectory of a fight with a single punch,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “Couple that with his ferocity and perseverance and you have the recipe for an incredible fight on the grandest stage of the sport.”