Earlier this week, I wrote a piece regarding Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.’s (45-0, 26 KOs) search for his next opponent. Today, on the pound-for-pound king’s 37th birthday, he announced via Twitter that he will be taking on big-punching Argentinian Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs).
As we all know, Mayweather makes the final decision for his bouts. This time, despite a deep talent pool between 147-154 pounds, he only gave himself two opponents to choose from, Maidana and Amir Khan. With that ridiculously small sample size, he made the right choice.
Frankly, Khan did not earn the fight; he has not fought a contender in two years and that contender was Danny Garcia, who is now the 140-pound champ. Garcia knocked out Khan in the fourth round. Maidana earned his shot in December. Mayweather vs. Maidana will take place on Saturday May 3 at a venue to be determined, likely the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Mayweather’s last performance was one of the biggest boxing events in history. It broke several revenue records and boasted over 2.2 million pay-per-view buys. Mayweather put on a boxing clinic for most of the 12 rounds, cruising to victory over previously undefeated Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Up next for Mayweather is another rising latin star. Maidana is coming off a major upset victory over former undefeated three-division champion Adrien Broner. Broner was absolutely rocked in the bout by massive overhand rights and looping lefts for the better part of 12 rounds. Maidana scored knockdowns in the second and the eighth on his way to a clear unanimous decision.
Broner is not Floyd Mayweather, but there is one thing that Maidana did in December that took us all back for a moment. He made the previously untouchable Broner look normal, and he did it with power and stamina. He came forward continuously, never appearing to tire and constantly being active. Maidana is not the slickest boxer in the world, but he does have great weapons, including a very stiff jab and an overhand right that will put anyone to sleep. The storyline will be Maidana’s KO power versus the flawless defense of Mayweather.
Is there a chance the defense of the pound-for-pound king has loosened up in the last eight months? Will this be the bout that Father Time takes a hop out of Mayweather’s step? Maidana is the one who will let us know.