Marcos Maidana will have the toughest bout of his life on Saturday in Las Vegas. The 30-year-old will take on Floyd Mayweather in a welterweight title fight.
Mayweather has proven to be the greatest fighter of his generation. Through 45 fights, he has yet to lose, and he’s seemingly getting better with age. In 2013, the undefeated boxer took care of both Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez with ease. At 37 years old, he’ll look to take down Maidana.
Simply put, Maidana must have the best fight of his life on Saturday. He has defeated some competitive fighters, most recently getting a unanimous decision over Adrien Broner, but he’s never stepped in the ring with anyone like Mayweather.
In boxing, though, there’s always a chance for an upset. Maidana was a heavy underdog in his last bout, and emerged with the victory. How can Maidana shock the world and beat Mayweather?
If the fight goes the distance, Maidana won’t have much of a chance. In a 12-round bout, he’ll be lucky to win more than two or three rounds against Mayweather. Maidana needs to be aggressive throughout the fight, in order to remain competitive.
Maidana must utilize his jab, in order to set up his left hook. The strategy worked against Broner, especially in the early going. In the first two rounds of his last fight, Maidana landed 57 punches, compared to his opponent’s 13 punches. If Maidana wants to have any chance of beating Mayweather, he’ll need a similar start on Saturday. Landing those early body shots could slow down Mayweather in the later rounds, where he often excels.
Maidana can’t let Mayweather control the pace of the fight. With Mayweather dictating the tempo, he’ll pick apart the less skilled Maidana, sticking his jab and not allowing the challenger to get in much offense.
While Maidana must be aggressive, he’ll also have to fight smart. Getting into a brawl with Mayweather won’t do him any good, and the champ’s defensive skills would give him the edge.
In 38 fights, Maidana has recorded 35 victories. Just four of those wins have not ended in a knockout. He’s a power puncher, and his best chance is to catch Mayweather with one or two punches that could end the night.
Even if Maidana follows his game plan perfectly, he’ll need a lot of luck to hand Mayweather his first loss. There have been 45 attempts to defeat Mayweather, and all have fallen short. Saturday will likely be no different.