3 More Rounds

Mayweather-Maidana roundtable preview

Photos: Esther Lin / Showtime

Photos: Esther Lin / Showtime

It’s fight week as Floyd Mayweather will face Marcos Maidana on Saturday night in Las Vegas in a welterweight unification bout.

Mayweather is coming off of a lopsided decision win over Canelo Alvarez, while Maidana is fresh off a career-best performance, having handed Adrien Broner his first pro loss.

As we prepare to find out how things will unfold this weekend, we sit down with our staff to find out how we see the fight play out.

1. Let’s be frank, not many are giving Maidana even a remote chance at upsetting Mayweather. However, what does he bring to the table that could potentially make things interesting?

Ali Shakoor: Wow, I really can’t see how he brings anything to the table that Floyd cannot handle.  Maidana has legit power and throws some punches from awkward angles, so he has the proverbial “puncher’s chance” to the head.  Otherwise, he’ll have to hope that he can crack a rib or two with a body shot.

Moses Vered: The hard nosed Argentine has an unbreakable will. He is relentless no matter how one sided the fight may be going. We saw proof of this in his fight against Victor Ortiz as well as in his last fight against the heavily  favored Adrien Broner. He may lose every round but he won’t stop trying to knock Mayweather’s head off.

Martin Gallegos: POWER. Floyd keeps mentioning it himself, Maidana has an 80% knockout ratio. Also, Maidana is a guy who likes to brawl, whereas guys like Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez are more boxer-puncher types who look to counter. This should make for an interesting fight at least in the beginning because I expect Maidana to try to get in Floyd’s face and attempt to overwhelm him with punches.

Michael Payne: Well I don’t give him a great deal of chance but with his KO ratio, you have to say he will always have a chance. He has to see if he can be the one who can land the big shots that can get Mayweather into the deep water he isn’t used to being in. He can’t out-box Mayweather so his only option is to try and start a war.

Mayweather media day2. We have not seen Floyd slow down even at age 37, so is there any reason to think he could have an off-night?

Ali Shakoor: He’s human, and maybe due for an off night, so it could happen.  However, Floyd always seems to come in fully prepared on fight night.  And at 37, he’s looking as dominant as ever during his past two fights.  I think it’s the best he’s ever looked, as his father has seemed to have taken him to another level when it comes to his movement and counter-punching.  I can’t imagine the Floyd from the past two fights, struggling with the likes of Judah and Hatton for half of a fight.

Moses Vered: The short answer is No. But this is sport where anything can happen.

Martin Gallegos: Anybody can have an off-night. There is no fighter out there that is invincible. However, Floyd Mayweather is as close to invincible as it gets and I wouldn’t bet on him having an off-night. Even though he is 37, he hasn’t been in the types of wars we see other guys get into. Mayweather is a smart fighter and I really believe he could perform at a high level in his mid-40’s if he really wanted to.

Michael Payne: No there is nothing to suggest we will see an ‘off night’ from Mayweather (although I would love to see an upset).

3. If you can say one thing about Maidana, is that he has power and is aggressive from start to finish. Should he elect to stay in Mayweather’s face, would that be too dangerous, or is that his best option?

Ali Shakoor: It’s extremely dangerous, but it is indeed his only option.  Maidana will need to go down swinging, if necessary. Floyd will potshot him with lead rights all night, but Maidana will have to take them as long as he can as he jabs his way in, so that he can eventually land something with power.

Moses Vered: He really has no other option because this is the only way he fights. Maidana needs to stay close and pray that a good shot lands no matter how unlikely the chances are.

Martin Gallegos: It’s not only Maidana’s best option, it’s his only option. Maidana is not going to out-box Mayweather. His only shot is to be aggressive from the beginning and hope to catch him with a big shot. Maidana will probably be the biggest puncher Floyd has faced in quite some time. We saw Shane Mosley catch Floyd, maybe Maidana could possibly do the same.

Michael Payne: It’s his only option. He isn’t as fast or skillfull. He has to try and get Mayweather out of his comfort zone. The only problem is it MUCH easier said than done against Floyd Mayweather, but his only chance is to work to his strength (power and aggression).

Amir Kahn4. We have both Adrien Broner and Amir Khan fighting on the undercard, who would you prefer to see Floyd fight should all three win?

Ali Shakoor: If Khan looks good, I’d like to see him fight Floyd.  Khan has the speed and combination punching ability, that Floyd has not seen in quite a while.  I think we all know that Broner is not a real option at this point.  A storyline in the Sammartino/Zbyszko mold would need time to build, and Broner also needs to beat a legit 140-147 pound opponent, in order to rehabilitate himself.

Moses Vered:  Amir Khan, no matter how fragile he may seem, possesses a different style matchup than we have seen in Mayweather face in the last few years. He has good reach and above average speed so it would be interesting to see Mayweather take on someone different then the slow plodding guys he’s been facing.

Martin Gallegos: Neither to be honest. I think the next Floyd Mayweather opponent should be the winner of a fight between Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman. However, if I had to choose one I guess I’ll go with Amir Khan just because of the speed factor. Broner to me is too small for welterweight. I think Mayweather handles both with ease.

Michael Payne: Amir Khan. Although it will be equally as hard for him as anyone else, Khan has far better hand speed than anyone else Mayweather has been fighting, so it is a different option for him to have to counter. It will show a different fight from the ones we are used to at the moment from Floyd.

5. Why should fight fans care about this fight?

Ali Shakoor: Other than an opportunity to see an all-time great, in the final stages of his career, there is not much of a reason to care about this fight at all.  I’m mostly looking forward to watching the Khan/Collazo co-feature.

Moses Vered: It’s still Floyd Mayweather, the top  fighter in the sport, so no matter how one sided the matchup is people will tune in. And like I mentioned earlier, although the chances of an upset are slim to none, anything can happen in sports.

Martin Gallegos: Fight fans should care because Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter in the sport right now. Some people may not be a fan of his style, but the fact is, you are witnessing a legend every time you watch him. Plus, I think Maidana’s power will make this fight interesting.

Michael Payne: Firstly because it’s Floyd Mayweather and he is the best fighter on the planet right now. Secondly if you are like me and your not a fan of Floyd Mayweather the person, he is fighting a very aggressive fighter and a guy like Maidana will always have a chance (however slim that might be), so you never know….

6. Who wins and why?

MAIDANA-3537Ali Shakoor: Floyd should dominate this fight.  Maidana is too slow and his defense is very poor. Maidana has been hurt badly by blows to both the head and body during his career, by men smaller than Mayweather. I expect Maidana to try his best for the first few rounds, until he inevitably gets discouraged by repeated counter shots.  Mayweather will likely win with a TKO in the later rounds via either referee or corner stoppage.

Moses Vered: Mayweather by UD 118-110

Martin Gallegos: My days of picking against Floyd are over. The man is just a master of boxing. I expect Maidana to cause some problems, perhaps even hurt Mayweather, but in the end Floyd gets it done. Even if it takes him a couple of rounds he always seems to neutralize his opponent’s best attribute. Floyd Mayweather, Unanimous Decision.

Michael Payne: Mayweather unfortunately. I think it will be a lot like most Mayweather fights and a unanimous decision with Maidana chasing shadows. But i am still hoping he can be the one to do it.

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