Argentine boxer Marcos Maidana is the underdog going into his showdown against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., but a boxing promoter warned that Maidana possesses incredible punching power that can change the complexion of the fight.
Mayweather ended weeks of speculation Tuesday when he announced that he would fight Maidana on May 3 in a welterweight bout, choosing the Argentine over Britain’s Amir Khan.
“He is an extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring,” Mayweather said of Maidana in a statement.
It is this knockout power that makes Maidana such a dangerous opponent even for Mayweather, who is widely regarded as the best defensive fighter of his era.
“Marcos Maidana has the game-changer in his punch, in his fists,” Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com. “With one punch, he can change the game of boxing.”
“Mayweather is undefeated, but with that one punch, Marcos Maidana can certainly change it all for Floyd. Floyd has to fight the perfect fight. Is he capable of doing that? Of course,” he added.
The question is whether Maidana can land the perfect punch on Mayweather, who has neutralized other big punchers in the past with his slick footwork and shoulder roll defense.
But Schaefer pointed out that Maidana was able to overwhelm the erstwhile unbeaten Adrien Broner – thought by many to be a “clone” of Mayweather – when they fought last year.
“Can Maidana connect for that one moment? Yes, of course,” Schaefer said. “We saw it in the Broner fight. How is Floyd going to react once he gets hit by Maidana?”
Maidana’s concussive power clearly gave Broner all sorts of trouble, but Mayweather is still in a different class.
Schaefer believes, however, that the Argentine can weather Mayweather down over the course of their fight.
“Maidana is like the Energizer bunny – he keeps coming and coming, and you can’t stop him,” said the promoter.
Maidana, in a statement, expressed his confidence that he can do to Mayweather what he did to Broner.
“I am extremely happy to be facing Floyd Mayweather because it will give me the opportunity to show the world that I am the best welterweight in the division,” he said.
“I just handed a great defensive fighter his first loss, and I plan to do the same to Mayweather. I don’t care whether he’s the best and undefeated,” Maidana added.