Floyd Mayweather to fight slugger Marcos Maidana on May 3

February 24, 2014

Marcos Maidana's recent victory over Adrien Broner did more than just revitalize his place in the welterweight division, it also landed him a big payday on Saturday, May 3, in the form of a Showtime pay-per-view bout with Floyd Mayweather, the sport's pound-for-pound king.

Mayweather, the WBC Welterweight Champion, had been debating for weeks between Argentine brawler Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) and Britain's Amir Khan, and had even listened to feedback from fans across several social media platforms.

The fight is not nearly as interesting as Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao at 147, or Mayweather-Sergio Martinez at 154, but it certainly is far better than the potential farce a Mayweather-Khan bout would have been.

"Marcos Maidana's last performance immediately brought him to my attention," said Mayweather, who celebrates his 37th birthday today. "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."

Maidana's upset of unbeaten Adrien Broner in December 2013, caught the attention of many in the sport because he was able to hurt a very fast opponent who utilizes a similar defensive stance to Mayweather.

The 30-year-old Maidana scored two knockdowns against Broner and connected with 231 punishing power shots en route to a unanimous decision by margins of 117-109, 115-109, and 115-110.

However, Broner is a naturally smaller fighter who had recently moved up to welterweight, and thus, perhaps was not ready to face the power of the stronger Maidana.

In contrast, Mayweather already has faced bigger men than "Chino," so the power of the offensive-minded Maidana might not be a factor.

In fact, Maidana's elite punching power at 140 pounds still might not have carried over to 147.  He complained about the weight after losing to Devon Alexander several fights ago, and his recent four-fight win streak consists of boxers who primarily campaigned at lower weights, such as Broner.

Nevertheless, it is not the punching power that makes the fight interesting, so much as the unorthodox style, intangibles, and intelligence that Maidana brings to the ring.

Overlooked in Floyd Mayweather's outstanding career has been his mental approach, as few are better at adapting to their opponents mid-fight.

In Maidana, Floyd faces another guy who can think, adapt, and figure things out in the ring.  Maidana has shown a knack for overcoming faster and better boxers with his timing and subtle traps, Broner being a perfect example.

"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."

The fight will be a 12-round unification bout for Mayweather and Maidana's respective 147-pound titles, and is the third fight of a lucrative six-fight deal Mayweather has with Showtime.

Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs), a 10-time world champion, is coming off of a spectacular 2013 in which he continued to display his ring prowess with dominating victories over Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez.

"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."

Mayweather gets a pass this time for not fighting Pacquiao because the timing of Manny's win over Rios did not lend itself to properly promoting a May mega-fight with Floyd.

But should Mayweather get past Maidana, and should Pacquiao get past Tim Bradley in the spring, there is no other fighter acceptable to the boxing public for Mayweather to select in September other than Pacquiao.  The only other boxer similarly challenging, Sergio Martinez, would need more time because he is fighting Miguel Cotto in the summer.

During Mayweather's extraordinary career, he has amassed wins over numerous world champions, including Zab Judah, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, and most recently Canelo.

But if one is honestly assessing those wins, none exactly makes one evoke comparisons to Leonard, Hearns, or Duran.

Judah and Canelo both were young and dangerous quality opponents at the time, and Mayweather should get credit for beating those two very good, but not great, fighters.

Guerrero and Ortiz, although young, were two joke opponents manufactured by the Golden Boy Promotions machine, who nobody believed had an honest shot at taking down Mayweather.

Marquez and Hatton had no business fighting Floyd either, as they were simply "name" lower-weight fighters who were too small to fight Floyd at 147, especially when Floyd did not even make weight against Marquez.

Mosley and De La Hoya, although both relevant in the sport at the time, fought Floyd after their primes, so even those wins are somewhat tarnished.

So Mayweather, contrary to his proclamations about his "0," needs a win over Pacquaio to cement his legacy as a boxer.  Monster pay-per-view numbers are cute and all, but ultimately are irrelevant when assessing one's legacy as a fighter.

Which brings us to the final question of which man was hurt the most by this bout?

Not Pacman or Floyd, that fight would not have happened until September 2014 at the earliest.

Nor Martinez, who still must prove he can regain his health against Cotto first.

Certainly not Khan, his chin was not ready for Floyd, and he still needs another quality win at 147 to generate interest for that matchup.

The answer: Broner, who wanted a rematch with Maidana to set his career right.

If Mayweather beats Maidana as expected, and Broner then seeks a rematch with Maidana after the fight, any Broner win will be diminished because Maidana will be perceived as "damaged goods."

Interesting, considering that Broner and Floyd are good friends, with Broner often referring to him as a "big brother."

In the business of prizefighting, apparently money trumps brotherly love.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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