By Kirk Jackson
Floyd Mayweather 45-0 (26 KO’s) and Marcos Maidana 35-3 (31 KO’s) will headline the packed fight card on Showtime Pay-Per-View this weekend, that is entitled “The Moment.”
This is an intriguing match-up featuring fighters who are polar opposites of one another, from a stylistic fighting sense and personality wise.
Maidana is a refined brawler, with power in both hands. He comes across as humble, reserved and is a brand new father. Mayweather is a defensive, crafty, counter-punching wizard. There’s multiple layers to the Mayweather personality, but many view him as arrogant and brash.
Which can leave for a compelling story on who to cheer for?
Mayweather is never one to shy away from any big moment, and many expect business as usual from the long-reigning Pound for Pound King.
In the theme of searching for his moment, the hard-hitting Argentinian Marcos Maidana, will certainly have all senses locked in on his opponent and certainly expects to rise to the occasion.
In fact, Maidana has a habit of taking advantage of every opportunity he’s been afforded.
No one thought he had a chance against Victor Ortiz back in 2009, in fact, he was expected to be a doormat for Ortiz, as many thought Ortiz was ready to leap towards the next level of boxing super-stardom.
Maidana spoiled those plans, as over six action-packed, exhilarating rounds, which saw both men exchange lethal blows back and forth as well as trade multiple knock-downs, Ortiz eventually wilted and succumbed to Maidana’s mental will and unrelenting pressure.
Many thought Amir Khan would absolutely destroy Maidana, and in the early going of their fight, that was indeed the case.
But “Chino” showed his resilience and once again his courage was on display as he furiously fought back and even had the favored Khan on the brink of a knockout late in the fight. Ultimately Maidana did fall short suffering a defeat by decision, but he showed that he is deadly until the final bell.
Many thought Maidana would get outclassed by the younger, quicker, Adrien Broner, a fighter who was anointed as one of boxing’s next super-stars and a guy who was supposed to be the 2nd coming of Floyd Mayweather.
And we all know how that turned out. Maidana mauled Broner over the course of 12 rounds and beat the arrogance out the young brash star.
He has been doubted many times, but he continues to fight balls out and continues to prove many disbelievers wrong.
Maybe he has over-achieved.
Marcos rose from hard times to become one of the greatest sports heroes in his home country of Argentina. His story is an inspiring one and it truly is difficult to not like him or want to root for him. Fans wanting to witness the rise of the ultimate under-dog to the highest level of prominence in this sport will be rooting for Maidana.
But some of the same things can be said about Floyd Mayweather. Yes he has always been regarded as a boxing prodigy, but even with some of his fights, there have been doubts.
Many thought he would lose to the menacing Diego Corrales and some thought it was too much too soon when he fought veteran champion Genaro Hernandez in his first championship bout.
Some thought he would not be able to withstand the power and speed of Shane Mosley, or the jab and left hook from Oscar De La Hoya.
Many thought father time would catch up to Mayweather and that he would falter when facing the younger and bigger Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. But time after time, he proved everyone wrong.
Mayweather has overachieved as well, even though his bar or standard is raised much higher compared to everyone else.
Even though from an early age, people familiar with boxing could sense his latent greatness, but no one could project the success he has sustained as a professional.
And coming from where he is from, he wasn’t supposed to make it this far. It’s the same tale for many great fighters past, present and future.
Many of the great ones fight to escape their environment, fight to escape the harsh realities they are confined to and that ends up translating in the ring. And although there is a contrast in personalities with Mayweather and Maidana, it’s hard to not want to root for greatness.
I would imagine as a fan, you want to see records broken, athletes maximizing their potential and reaching the pinnacle of their respective sports and mastering their craft.
Fans wanting to witness that, will be rooting for Mayweather, who has shown throughout his career much like Bernard Hopkins, that he is a master of the sweet science.