SAN DIEGO, February 25, 2014 – The speculation is over. Let the speculation begin.
No, that’s not a mistake.
Five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. confirmed Monday what most of the boxing community talked about all weekend. Mayweather will face Argentinean fighter Marcos “El Chino” Maidana on May 3. The location is still to be determined. It would be a surprise if it took place anywhere other than Las Vegas.
In the same way the news broke on Twitter via comments by spurned possible opponent Amir Khan, Mayweather used Twitter to confirm Maidana as his opponent after months of speculation over the name, which included everyone from Manny Pacquiao to Miguel Cotto to that guy at the dry cleaners.
Mayweather set the date of his fight before naming an opponent. In his last fight in September, Mayweather defeated Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to maintain his undefeated record of 45 wins with 26 of them by knockout.
Maidana (35-3-0, 31 KOs) is coming off an impressive unanimous decision against Adrien Broner, a fight in which Maidana put Broner on the canvas twice. This fight will be a welterweight unification title bout for Mayweather’s WBC belt and Maidana’s WBA belt. The fight will be shown live on Showtime Pay Per View.
“Marcos Maidana’s last performance immediately brought him to my attention,” said Mayweather in a news release. “He is an extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring. I think this is a great fight for me and he deserves the opportunity to see if he can do what 45 others have tried to do before him – beat me.”
Maidana has always been a well-respected, crowd-pleasing aggressive fighter with a high knockout percentage rate. His victory over the heavily favored Broner raised his stature among many fans.
“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,” said Maidana, “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. I will bring some real Latino power to him on May 3.”
Mayweather asked fans to vote on his next opponent via his social media accounts. One hundred thousand votes were reportedly cast in these online polls. Mayweather claims the vote was strongly in favor of Maidana. Who knows whether it’s true or not, it’s a good story backing up the choice.
There was no announcement about undercard fights. The boxing community has speculated that Broner and Khan might face off as a co-main event.
Now that speculation about his opponent is over, speculation can begin anew among boxing writers and fans. Has Maidana got a shot against Mayweather? He’s got more of a chance than Mayweather’s last few opponents, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. “El Chino” defeated an overwhelming favorite in Broner who affects a similar defense style to Mayweather. Broner is Mayweather Light; Maidana may have knocked him down but wasn’t able to seal the deal.
In his favor, Maidana is the right kind of aggressive for a fight with Mayweather. He’s won four fights since signing on with trainer Robert Garcia. But like anyone who faces Mayweather, Maidana will have to find the target before he can test his power against the world’s number one pound for pound boxer.
What remains to be seen is whether all of this is enough to make fans cough up $75 or so for the pay per view. High quality undercard fights will help.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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