Floyd Mayweather Jr. (46-0 KO’s 26) is the best fighter of this generation. He has remained undefeated his entire career thus far since 1996. Marcos Maidana (35-4 KO’s 31) came into the first fight as a considerable underdog but his style presented many difficulties for Mayweather. Maidana was able to put Mayweather in a position the public hasn’t seen in years, and earned a rematch after a highly competitive bout. Will Maidana be able to make history, or will Mayweather continue to make history?
Here is the breakdown of the fight:
Mayweather possesses a 72-inch arm reach, which is three inches longer than Maidana’s. This will assist Mayweather in outpointing Maidana in the center of the ring.
Maidana on fight night is estimated to weigh in around 160lbs. This is about 10 pounds heavier than what Mayweather is presumably going to weigh in the ring. This will aid Maidana in apposing his physical strength on Mayweather whenever Mayweather languishes on the ropes.
Mayweather struggled against Maidana in his past fight due to his low offensive output in certain rounds. Mayweather contains the best defense in the world, but he allowed Maidana to throw too many combinations while remaining too defensive. Even if he is not getting hit, he is still not winning rounds unless he’s able to connect with his own punches.
In order for Mayweather to increase his effective offensive output he needs get off first, because countering an awkward style such as Maidana proved to be a difficult task. When Mayweather pulls the trigger first he’s backed up against the ropes less often. Not saying Mayweather cannot have success against the ropes, because he still managed to sneak in a few punches but it wasn’t enough to negate Maidana’s activity level in the early rounds. Mayweather must strive to be first and maintain the fight in the center of the ring more often.
Maidana in the first fight came in with a great game plan. His high level of activity allowed him to win the early rounds despite not landing too many clean punches. In the second half of the fight, Maidana was showing visible signs of fatigue, and Mayweather made the necessary adjustments to win the fight. In their rematch look for Maidana to try and maintain the same level of intensity throughout the whole fight; whether he is physically capable of doing so remains to be seen.
Maidana also has to work on being first. This will make him susceptible to counters, but he will have a better chance of driving Mayweather towards the ropes. When fighting in the center of the ring, Maidana needs to utilize his jab to disrupt Mayweather’s offense as he did in the first fight.
Maidana will also use rough tactics as he did in the first fight. Every time Mayweather clinches, Maidana should not accept the hold. He should continue punching until the referee demands the action to stop; this type of action will not hurt Mayweather, but make him uncomfortable which can sway the momentum of a fight. Being a veteran Maidana also knows what illegal blows he can get away with, even with an experienced referee monitoring the fight.
Mayweather is one of the best defensive fighters of all time. His game plan for a more convincing victory is to restrict Maidana’s offense when fighting off the ropes by clinching. This will not allow Maidana’s activity level to take control of the fight. It is also important to not just clinch, but score a few punches then clinch. Not only does this negate Maidana’s offense, but also helps to win rounds. Another great manner to make the fight a lot easier is to try and avoid settling on the ropes frequently.
Maidana has good defense of his own. He shows good head movement, and is sometimes able to negate Mayweather’s offense with a good jab. Maidana’s high level of activity can also make Mayweather a bit more gun shy.
Mayweather is not known to be much of a power puncher in the welterweight division, but has enough for his opponents to respect it. Since he is a very good counterpuncher, he is able to stun opponents at times by hitting them with a punch they don’t see.
Maidana is known as a power puncher, but his goal should not be to try and land one big punch. He should remain active throughout the entire fight, which may lead to the big shot. If Maidana happens to land a big punch on Mayweather early in the fight, he should continue to stick to the game plan and not solely look for another definitive punch. Mayweather has proved he can bounce back after taking a hard shot in the Mosley bout.
Mayweather has a good chin. Along with a good chin he has amazing defense, which makes suffering a knockdown, or a knockout loss very unlikely. Anything is possible, and with a direct hit Mayweather can hit the canvas, but it’s not something someone should place their money on.
Maidana has a good chin as well. He said Mayweather’s punching power did not bother him at all. Mayweather can possibly stun Maidana with a body shot or a punch he does not see coming, but it’s very improbable he would actually make Maidana hit the canvas.
Mayweather has greater footwork, better hand speed, and is able to process things much faster in the ring, which allows him to adapt better than most fighters. This arsenal of Mayweather has played a major role in his success throughout the years.
Maidana may not have the fastest hands in the world but he is not slow by any means. Where his quickness does come into to play is his foot speed. He is deceptively fleet of foot and because of this, he was able to cut off the ring and close the distance and stay on top of Mayweather, not allowing him to maneuver around like he normally does. This presented problems for Mayweather in the first fight and could very well do so in the rematch.
Mayweather in a recent interview has stated, “I do not need to make any adjustments for the rematch because I won.” To a certain extent this is true because Mayweather dominated the second half of the fight by displaying all the necessary components to beat Maidana. The only issue is Maidana was showing signs of fatigue. If Maidana is able to display the same high level of intensity from the first round till the end of the bell, then it should remain a very competitive bout. Maidana’s style should still give Mayweather problems even though it is no longer presented as an enigma. At the end of the night Mayweather should still be able to remain undefeated and earn a competitive unanimous decision victory.