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Mo' "Money," mo' problems. And this is a pretty big problem.
Boxing's premiere superstar returns to the ring later this evening (Sat., May 3, 2014) when Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks to extend his 17-year win streak against the thunderous punches of Argentina's own Marcos Maidana. The Welterweight warriors will collide inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, headlining a four-fight pay-per-view (PPV) card on Showtime.
In the co-main event, the loser of the "Money May Sweepstakes," Amir Khan, will attempt to put his name back in the drawing against Luis Collazo, last seen finishing Victor Ortiz in two rounds. The evening's second fight will see the return of Adrien Broner from his humiliation at Maidana's hands, squaring off at junior welterweight against once-beaten Carlos Molina.
Proceedings open with a super middleweight bout between Team Mayweather's J'Leon Love and Marco Antonio Periban.
All that's just the accouterments, though. Let's look at the main course, including a Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana prediction:
Name: Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Record: 45-0, 26 KO
Last Five Fights: Saul Alvarez (unanimous decision win), Robert Guerrero (unanimous decision win), Miguel Cotto (unanimous decision win), Victor Ortiz (knockout, round four), Shane Mosley (unanimous decision win).
Notable Victories: Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, Zab Judah, Jose Luis Castillo (twice), Diego Corrales
Name: Marcos Maidana
Record: 35-3, 31 KO
Last Five Fights: Adrien Broner (unanimous decision win), Josesito Lopez (technical knockout, round six), Angel Martinez (knockout, round three), Jesus Soto Karass (technical knockout, round eight), Devon Alexander (unanimous decision loss)
Notable Victories: Adrien Broner, Erik Morales, Victor Cayo, Victor Ortiz
Maidana has excellent power, deceptive hand speed, and a significantly higher output than many of Floyd's recent opponents. The possibility of the knockout is definitely there.
It's just not happening.
Mayweather is nothing short of a genius in the ring. His defense is impeccable, his timing is excellent and he's ridiculously accurate. Though Maidana's boxing skills have improved tremendously, he's going to eat dozens -- if not hundreds -- of right hands all night.
To win here, Maidana has to completely commit to working the body. He has to be prepared to hit forearms, elbows, shoulders -- anything he can get his gloves on. One may point to the Broner beatdown as evidence that Maidana has a shot, but Broner is not nearly as defensively savvy nor so great an absolute bastard in close-quarters. Maidana landing that arcing right hand over the shoulder will be made quite difficult by Mayweather's elbows.
Maidana has historically thrown a large number of punches per fight and carries his power late, but it's hard to gauge his cardio in his recent welterweight bouts. Against Soto Karass, Lopez and Broner, he had moments where he seemed spent before suddenly roaring back with a huge punch.
He needs to be throwing 70-80 punches a round.
At the end of the day, though, even if Maidana is in the best shape of his life and fights the best fight of his life, Mayweather is Mayweather. His defense isn't a bunker you can crack with repeated impacts, it's a bunker that gets up and walks away by the time you fire the missile. He's going to make Maidana miss and repeatedly buffet him with right hand leads. Though he's not cowing Marcos with anything short of one of the ring posts, he can handle that madcap aggression and punish it for all twelve rounds.
Prediction: Mayweather via unanimous decision
Always interesting to see an all-time-great ply his trade against someone who refuses to give ground.
See you later tonight, Maniacs.