Mayweather – Maidana II: Beginning of the end or business as usual?

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Back on May 3rd, Floyd Mayweather Jr defended his illustrious WBA and WBC Welterweight titles against hard-hitting Argentine Marcos Maidana. Whilst it wasn’t the fight the public asked for, it was to be one of the most entertaining fights that has included Mayweather in recent history. Most people expected another relatively arduous encounter, with Mayweather moving around the ring and countering off the back foot. Whilst there was times where his immense reflexes were on display, we saw Mayweather get caught flush an awful lot more than usual. Furthermore, we were treated to seeing Mayweather forced into trading on the inside for the first time in what feels like forever. To his credit, he battled very well and stood up to Maidana’s power. It had echoes of Mayweather’s previous fight with Castillo which was also a tightly contested battle (And another – including their own encounter and Maidana’s – that Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya believes Mayweather lost).

The contest went the entire 12 rounds with Mayweather deservedly getting the majority decision. Maidana is an exciting fighter, a great pressure fighter and has a puncher’s chance against anyone. Is he a top tier fighter? No. Is he a particularly skilled technician? No. So how was it that he was able to have such a close and visually enjoyable fight with Mayweather?

 

Floyd Mayweather Jr v Marcos Maidana Betting Odds:

Floyd Mayweather Jr -1000

Marcos Maidana +550

Draw +2500

(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

It cannot be stressed enough how much styles make fights. Mayweather’s three closest fights (subjectively of course) have been against Castillo, De La Hoya and Maidana. Each one of those fighters is an expert at swarming their opponent and putting them under constant pressure. De La Hoya was obviously far more technically proficient in most areas than the other two, but in terms of style there are some comparisons to be drawn. Even Ricky Hatton caused Mayweather some grief initially, but was soundly outclassed by the end of the fight. Whilst it is clear that Mayweather struggles with pressure fighters, he has ultimately came out on top every time (by the judges scorecards at least).

It is entirely possible that Mayweather is starting to slow up a little, which allowed Maidana to have more success than he was entitled to. Mayweather’s head movement is the best in business, but an awful lot more of those overhand rights from Maidana got in than he would have liked. It’s a scrappy windmill of a swing, but it was getting through where many others have failed. To his credit, Mayweather’s chin withstood the power of Maidana’s (who boasts 31 KO’s from 39 fights). There was of course some controversy on the glove situation. Maidana wears a custom set of Everlast gloves which are built with the intention of projecting power. Mayweather refused to fight if Maidana was to use his standard gloves, so a compromise on non-custom Everlast gloves was suggested. This did little to dissuade Mayweather’s stance however, so Maidana was forced to use different gloves to those he trained with for the fight.

 

It’s likely that Mayweather signed the re-match believing he has worked out his way to a much easier victory against Maidana, with a more concise and effective game plan. Evidently, Maidana knows he can his Mayweather and thinks he can make those hard-swinging right hands count for a bit more. The smart money says this will be more like Castillo’s second match with Mayweather; a standard 12 round unanimous decision. However, Mayweather looked vulnerable last time out and can only remain athletically sharp for so long. If anyone is going to knock-out Mayweather, Maidana could be the man to do it.

 

Betting Instinct tip – Another points victory for Mayweather is -250 with Intertops.eu

 

 JAKE COLLINS  is passionate about literature, music and sports. He currently works in  London and lives in Essex. Read more of his work in Jake’s blog, or follow Jake on Twitter and Google+.

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Mayweather: An all time great or overrated?

Will Mayweather's ultimate legacy suffer from a lack of elite opposition?

Will Mayweather’s ultimate legacy suffer from a lack of elite opposition?

The vast majority of boxing fans sit in one of two camps when forming a judgement on Floyd Mayweather Jr. There’s the more sincere fans, who firmly see Mayweather as one of the defining icons of the sport and up there with the very greatest. Opposing that view, are those who believe Mayweather has had things arranged in auspicious circumstances and has never beaten a ‘peak’ top fighter himself. Wherever you see yourself, credit where credit is due; the man is unbeaten regardless and continues to fight at a high standard even at the age of 37.

His next defence of  his WBC Welterweight belt (and for the WBA equivalent, belonging to the challenger) is against the aggressive Argentine Marcos Maidana. Despite losing in the fan poll on who Mayweather should fight next, Maidana was eventually chosen as the next contender against the unbeaten Mayweather. The fight is scheduled for the 3rd of May and is being hosted at the illustrious MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas – where Mayweather’s previous 8 fights have all been held.

 

Floyd Mayweather Jr v Marcos Maidana Betting Odds:

Floyd Mayweather Jr -1429

Marcos Maidana +700

(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

Mayweather is expected to dominate the fight against Maidana, who many see as a lacklustre appointment at this level of boxing with three losses to his name (one of which was against Amir Khan, who was hotly tipped to have a tough style for Mayweather to battle against) and only a few victories of note to his name. This adds to the argument of Mayweather’s critics, who have often accused him of ‘cherry picking’ his fights, choosing the easier of two options.

Many felt that the sleek and sharp Khan would prove a different test for Mayweather, and – despite the aforementioned poll – Maidana was chosen. Maidana has some real power behind his gloves and is always a threat to knock a fighter out, but he isn’t the fastest or neatest boxer in the world and this is certainly the style of fighter that suits Mayweather perfectly. On the flip side, Maidana has recently embarrassed the somewhat opulent Adrien Broner who fights in a similar manner to Mayweather. He won on a unanimous points decision over 12 rounds after battering Broner without looking to be in trouble a any point. The problem there being that Broner isn’t anywhere near as good as ‘Money’.

 

So, let’s look at Mayweather’s CV. There’s a cornucopia of household names, some of which would be considered ‘greats’ by a lot of venerable boxing pundits. The likes of De La Hoya, Moseley, Hatton, Marquez, Ortiz, Cotto and even the young Alvarez have all been dispatched by Mayweather. Out of those names – and ALL of the names of the fighters he has beaten – only one of those came down to a split decision, which was the fight against De La Hoya.

Typically, Mayweather fights come down to a unanimous decision; he isn’t a KO artist and will generally prefer to wear opponents down throughout the the 12 rounds. In fact, only 26 of his 45 victories have come by way of knockout. In fairness, there are a plethora of fighters who would be very happy with that percentage but you would expect a little higher from the number 1 pound for pound fighter. He perfected the somewhat infamous shoulder roll technique and operates a defensive fight. An expert at fighting on the back foot, Mayweather works best when the ring is spacious and offers him plenty of room to manoeuvre around and avoid attacks.

 

Now, you’d generally consider De La Hoya and Moseley as the highest ranked in terms of overall quality against those other names there. It cannot honestly be said that Mayweather defeated a prime De La Hoya or a prime Moseley, and there is a case for claiming he has never beaten an in-form fighter who will be considered ‘one of the best’ – the arguable exception is Marquez, though many would not put him in the De La Hoya/Moseley bracket.

This isn’t Mayweather’s fault of course; he can only fight who is put in front of him. It would have been great to see him go toe to toe with a certain Filipino, but for reasons owing no doubt to both sides, that has yet to materialise. This is the main criticism against Mayweather and it’s a difficult one to argue. Look back to the days of Marvin Hagler. He had the likes of Duran, Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard  in contention. Four absolutely world class boxers who all operated on a platform most fighters could and can only dream of. The fight with Pacquiao that was first discussed a few years ago might turn out to be the biggest loss Mayweather will ever suffer.

 

However you look at it, Mayweather is an objectively polished fighter and certainly knows how to sell his fights. His talent is undeniable and I can’t think of a fight he’d currently go into without being the absolute favourite. That being said, to quote Carl Froch “If you retire undefeated it means you didn’t fight everyone you were supposed to”.

 

Betting Instinct tip – Floyd Mayweather Jr to win by decision or technical decision is -161 with Intertops.eu

 

 JAKE COLLINS (jcollins91) is passionate about literature, music and sports. He currently works in  London and lives in Essex. Read more of his work in Jake’s blog, or follow Jake on Twitter and Google+.