SAN DIEGO, May 2, 2014 – Boxer Floyd Mayweather’s biggest challenge at this point of his career is keeping himself front and center, keeping fans entertained, and keeping the money rolling in.
Winning a fight? Oh right, that too.
Mayweather did his best to entertain a crowd of over 8,000 fans at the MGM Grand Arena at Friday’s weight in for his upcoming bout Saturday against tough customer Marcos “El Chino” Maidana of Argentina. The weigh-in came complete with entourages, ringwalks, and entertainment by rapper 2 Chainz.
The weigh-in itself was tame. During the traditional face-off, Mayweather didn’t talk to Maidana as he usually does with his opponents. Perhaps it was because he knows Maidana doesn’t speak much English, perhaps because Maidana shows an impressive poker face. The waistband of his trunks did the talking. They read “Cuidado con mi perro” (“Careful with my dog”), which is the brand name of a clothing company in Latin America.
Both fighters came in under the 147 pound welterweight limit, Maidana at 146.5 pounds and Mayweather at 146 pounds. Both looked in exceptional condition.
Earlier this week, Mayweather ensures the spotlight remained fixed on him by mentioning he’s interested in buying the Los Angeles Clippers; claiming he broke up with his girlfriend Shantel Jackson when she had an abortion; and posting video of himself with Justin Bieber at a Las Vegas spa enjoying pedicures on Instagram. Distracted? Nope, all in a day’s work for the man nicknamed “Money.”
Mayweather will earn a minimum guaranteed purse of $32 million. Maidana’s purse is $1.5 million, the largest of his career. Maidana will earn additional income from pay per view fees in Argentina and some other promotional deal.
Mayweather controls much of the additional revenue for the event as one of the fight promoters, including pay-per-view and marketing. He was the highest paid athlete in the world for 2013 at $72.5 million, and some people think it’s closer to $90 milliion.
It’s not that Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) faces a truly fearsome challenge from Maidana,(35-3-0, 31 KOs) who is coming off an impressive unanimous decision against Adrien Broner in December, a fight in which Maidana put Broner on the canvas twice. He doesn’t.
But imagine missing this fight and risking the outside chance it could be the first loss for the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. Upsets happen, and serious fight fans would be crushed to miss “The Moment.” So fans will cough up their $60 (or $70) for the pay per view, or if they’re a high roller, several thousand dollars for a ticket at the MGM Grand Arena.
You don’t have to cough up the cash. Whether you’re watching or not, join Communities Digital News for a live chat giving you real-time insight on the action, punch for punch and moment for moment. The chat begins Saturday at 9 p.m. ET with the televised undercard fights.
The five-time champion Mayweather is known for his tremendous defensive skills and smart tactics in the ring, with his accurate connect percentage sometimes a distance third. Mayweather is sometimes criticized for doing just enough to win without engaging his opponent more than necessary.
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, and it’s why he got this opportunity over British boxer Amir Khan, who is instead fighting on the undercard against Luis Collazo.
Has Maidana got a shot against Mayweather? He’s got more of a chance than Mayweather’s last few opponents. “El Chino” defeated an overwhelming favorite in Broner who affects a similar defense style to Mayweather. Maidana is the right kind of aggressive. 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. He may get one, perhaps two chances to hit Mayweather hard, and those punches must count. It’s possible for Maidana, but he will have to look for opportunities, be patient, and be willing to engage. If he tries to throw too many punches looking for his chance, he will wear himself out.
What Maidana has going for him is the ability to throw punches at odd angles, without his feet under him. He has enough power to still make these kind of punches hurt. He has to put power plus accuracy together, and count on a little luck.
Maidana can take a punch, and if Mayweather hits him it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. But accumulated damage will slow Maidana down, and he cannot afford to lose a step against Mayweather.
NEXT: Keys to the fight and predictions
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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