Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. will (did) defeat Marcos “El Chino” Maidana by 12UD in Saturday’s Showtime PPV main event.
There, I did it. I successfully wrote a pre and post-fight write up on Mayweather-Maidana in one sentence. It is essentially all you need to know before the fight starts and, most likely, all you will have learned after the fights inevitable conclusion.
By now you’ve probably read or at least skimmed through your share of analytical breakdowns. Some have been extremely insightful, some as dull as the subject matter itself. But a few scribes have found a way to look beyond the apparent mismatch and hone in on the ongoing rhetoric that surrounds a typical Mayweather event.
The undertone associated with this fight based on the shared attitude of fans and media alike is a disappointing one. Yet, I’m not entirely sure what I find so discouraging?
What is so unattractive about Mayweather-Maidana? Is it the obvious mismatch or the obviousness of the mismatch? Few can argue the fact that they dislike this weekend’s main event attraction based solely on the lack of competitiveness because an assumed lack of competitiveness has become an accepted staple in a Mayweather bout.
Does it then become a question of degree? Is Maidana too much the underdog? The distinction in speed is undeniable, so is the separation of pugilistic integrity. But Maidana does maintain a certain allure in this matchup.
No one should disagree that Maidana, unlike the many who’ve come before him, can alter the dynamics of the fight if he can touch Mayweather with something significant. But it is the degree of significance that separates Maidana from the rest, the other side of the coin, if you will.
Maidana doesn’t have to connect as flush as others in the past would have had to in order to do something incredible, and that fact gives him a… well, a… an um… oh yeah, puncher’s chance.
Still, I don’t think anyone can argue that possibility alone is enough to place any real hope in seeing the unthinkable.
So what does this come down to and what is it that makes this event so unappealing in my opinion? After all, Golden Boy has stacked the undercard in a way that makes me believe Bob Arum’s theory on PPV undercards isn’t shared amongst the overwhelming majority of promoters.
The problem is the way this fight manifested and the ruse Mayweather perpetrated in the first place. It started with the “you pick ‘em” poll Floyd initiated amongst fans. He began by saying he would let the fans pick his opponent, but the catch was there were only two options and picking between Amir Khan and Maidana was a decision between the lesser of two evils.
For me, the decision was between a guy with the slightly higher probability of actually defeating Mayweather (Khan, in my opinion) and the person that actually deserved it (Maidana).
It came down to the fact that while I do believe Khan poses a bigger threat of unraveling the mystery that is Mayweather, at least compared to Maidana, I didn’t think the degree of separation was as great as Maidana’s current position in the sport. Khan may have a better chance of beating Floyd, but it isn’t by much and it is still a radical improbability. However, Maidana deserved the fight much more than Khan based on the events that transpired over the last couple years. Maidana’s merit as an opponent far surpasses Khan’s probability of victory.
Even with the bogus poll, this promotion has been a categorical disappointment.
I alluded to some of the other Mayweather-Maidana content floating around the web and Bart Barry (15rounds.com) has one of the more profound pieces of writing on the subject. http://www.15rounds.com/mayweather-maidana-a-masters-secrets-to-making-money/
Barry wrote about the staleness as it relates to the Mayweather coverage and it made me realize that there is little separation between the footage we’ve been privy to since Mayweather jumped ship to Showtime. In all fairness, it was becoming just as unappealing towards the end of his HBO run.
The most attention-grabbing incident on All Access this time around was the fan that heckled Floyd while he was dining in Las Vegas one evening, and even at that, it was only exciting because I’m not a party to the countless occasions where someone calls out Floyd for not fighting Pacquiao. It was funny to me, but probably just another day at the office for the Mayweather posse.
His brand has become bland, the hijinks are played and the shock value has worn thin. While his ability in the ring has shown little evidence of decline, his market value as a polarizing figure in boxing is fading fast.
But it isn’t just the off-boxing shenanigans by “Money May” that are wearing thin, it is the business moves that relate to his in-ring limitations that are becoming very tiresome. And perhaps that is the underlining problem with this weekend’s main event. The very thought of this matchup only serves to remind everyone of just how thin the opponent pool is getting for Mayweather. But the problem isn’t the lack of options, it’s the political bureaucracy associated with those lack of options.
Assuming the imminent prevails, what do we have to look forward to after Saturday night? Mayweather-Khan?
What’s so deflating about Mayweather-Maidana is it represents the current climate of boxing while simultaneously reminding everyone of Mayweather’s general acceptance of the way things are – I’d go far enough to say Mayweather-Maidana is a token of Mayweather’s participation as an enabler in boxing’s “Cold War.”
I won’t pretend that Floyd alone is to blame or that he initiated the circumstances because this has been boxing’s predicament since before Floyd’s reign began, both as the “Pound for Pound” best and top box-office draw.
But in the last couple of years fans have been treated to moments of reassurance that tend to falsify hope. Fights like Martinez-Chavez Jr., Canelo-Trout, and Garcia-Matthysse have blurred our vision and upcoming fights like Cotto-Martinez and Canelo-Lara can produce the kind of optimism that make us balk at Mayweather-Maidana.
It would be great if Maidana can shake things up with a win, or at least humanize Mayweather with some dramatic moments in a spirited loss. I’m not praying for a Floyd loss, just hoping something changes because it is clear that “Money” has no issues with staying the course and regurgitating the same tedious act over and over.
If I’m going to be a realist, perhaps my only genuine hope is that after Floyd racks up his 46th win he will call it a career. He’ll get no arguments here.