SAN DIEGO, September 13, 2014 — It’s time for “Mayhem” at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, a rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana. Their welterweight championship fight will be televised by Showtime as a pay-per-view event. Communities Digital News will host a live online chat starting with the televised undercards at 8 p.m. ET.
Mayweather is overwhelmingly favored to win this fight. Again. Will “El Chino” solve the so-called “May-Vinci Code,” the puzzle that Mayweather presents to his opponents? Oddsmakers think they know and fans think they know, but when human beings face off, there is always a chance. The question is how much.
Conditioned to Win: Maidana came out very quickly in the first half of the fight against Mayweather. He kept the pressure up, he successfully kept Mayweather away from the center of the ring at times, and he threw every little trick (some would say dirty tricks) at Money that he could. He did the same in his surprising defeat of Adrien Broner that won him the opportunity to fight Mayweather. In both fights, Maidana ran out of gas and his punch output slowed way down during the last rounds of the fight.
This time, trainer Robert Garcia and Maidana say they’ve had much more training time and have worked hard on Maidana’s conditioning. We will find out about the sixth or seventh round whether it makes a difference.
Resistance is Futile: This is only the second time Mayweather has agreed to a rematch in his career. The only other boxer to get a second shot at Mayweather was Jose Luis Castillo in April and in December 2012, a lightweight division fight. So what did Castillo learn between the first and second bouts?
Mayweather won two unanimous decisions. Scores in the second fight were closer than the first: 115-113 on two cards and 116-113 in the second fight, versus 116-111 and 115-111 on two cards in the first fight. The big difference between the scores was a point deduction in the first bout against Castillo for hitting Mayweather on the break. Castillo became frustrated when he couldn’t hit Mayweather cleanly. Sound familiar? He didn’t incur the same infraction in the second fight, but his connect rate was about the same; Mayweather did an even better job with his footwork and timing, steering clear of Castillo and directing his own offense to perfection.
Mayweather is like a Borg, a fictional alien race from the “Star Trek” series with the ability to adapt to weapons fire, which becomes ineffective after a dozen shots at most. Even after altering phaser frequencies to penetrate their shields, the Borg adapt more quickly with each change. This is Mayweather in a nutshell. During the course of a fight, what worked in the first few rounds against Mayweather no longer works in the later rounds. Floyd the Borg has adapted and the offense is ineffective. Maidana needs to be unpredictable, and he’s capable of it. But he must have the late round energy to pull it off.
The May-Vinci Code: The quote “The best defense is a good offense” is often said with football or basketball in mind. But it was originally said by heavyweight prizefighter Jack Dempsey. Floyd Mayweather has turned this quote upside down to great success. In Mayweather’s case, the best offense is a good defense. No one has cracked the code to get inside Mayweather’s defense. He presents the smallest possible target. He uses speed and impressive reflexes to stay out of the way of his opponent’s punches.
It doesn’t matter how hard you punch if you can’t hit the target. Maidana cannot use a conventional approach to Mayweather. He needs to give him the least possible room to pivot and move away. The ropes are El Chino’s friends. He needs to punch from odd angles and without any recognizable timing. He needs to surprise Mayweather, a tough assignment against a smart veteran boxer.
Finish What You Started: MarcosMaidana won the opportunity to fight Floyd Mayweather with his upset defeat of Adrien Broner in December 2013. Maidana knocked Broner down twice in the fight, once in the second round and again in the eighth round, the first time in Broner’s professional career that he hit the canvas. But Maidana could not finish Broner off. Maidana had virtually the same thing against Mayweather in their first bout without the knockdowns. He did some damage to Mayweather, but then let minutes tick by without getting past Mayweather’s defenses in the second half of the fight. Physical conditioning aside, does Maidana have the killer instinct to push himself past fatigue and throw caution to the wind to try and win the fight? Mental conditioning is just as important.
In Maidana’s favor is the fact he got through the first fight with Mayweather without being badly hurt. He does not seem intimidated by Mayweather or the spectacle surrounding a big pay per view fight in Las Vegas. Nerves aren’t El Chino’s problem.
My Prediction: Just as with the Castillo rematch, Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 will be a close, competitive contest. No matter what condition Maidana is in at the opening bell, Mayweather has a way of sucking the energy out of his opponents. He fatigues them just as much mentally as physically, and he will wear Maidana down.
This fight will go the distance. There won’t be a knockout. Maidana won’t land enough punches on Mayweather to get the job done. Mayweather hasn’t scored a real knockout since Ricky Hatton in 2007. (Yes, there was the KO of Victor Ortiz in 2011, but Ortiz made himself a sitting duck with a foolish mistake).
Mayweather will win this rematch in another unanimous decision. Backing up his impressive defensive skills, Mayweather does employ an elegant, efficient offense and he hits hard when he goes after his target. He will hit Maidana with more accuracy and a better connect percentage rate as he does with all his opponents. Some fans will go home disappointed, but none of them will go home cheated of an entertaining evening.
Communities Digital News will bring you all the action tonight in Live Online Chat starting with the televised undercard fights at 8 p.m. ET. We provide blow by blow live commentary and real-time photos and invite you to share your reaction to all the action. See you ringside.
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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