By Sean Crose
Floyd Mayweather has proven to be a man of his word. As promised, he is now going to step foot in the ring once more with Argentinian slugger Marcos Maidana on the 13th of September. Mayweather had stated recently that Maidana would indeed be his next opponent, but the fight hadn’t became official until today.
Photo: USA Today
The announcement may not come as a surprise to boxing analysts and fans, but it serves as a counterpoint to many who have argued that Mayweather has avoided tough competition in recent years. For Maidana gave world’s premiere fighter a true run when they first met last May in Las Vegas.
While Mayweather pulled off a decision victory, some were left unhappy, both by Mayweather’s performance and by the performance of the judges who ruled in his favor. It was a tough, rugged affair, to be sure, with the relentless Madiana employing everything from odd angles to illegal tactics against his highly favored foe.
Mayweather is clearly aiming to silence the critics of his last performance by agreeing to meet Maidana again. If he can defeat the Argentinian soundly this time, after all, no one will be able to accuse Mayweather of ring deterioration. The question now is, can Mayweather actually defeat Maidana in the rematch?
Most analysts certainly seem to think so, but then again, most didn’t think Maidana stood much of a chance the first time out. It’s worth noting that Robert Garcia, Maidana’s trainer, has now parted ways with strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza.
The controversial Ariza helped Maidana prepare for the first Mayweather fight. Now, however, Maidana will employ more traditional training practices. Whether these practices will help Maidana through the middle rounds, where he seemed to lose himself in the first Mayweather bout, remains to be seen.
What fans can safely expect in this second go-round, however, is a repeat of elements from the first. Maidana will obviously do what he’s done throughout this career – charge forward with everything he’s got. Mayweather, on the other hand, will obviously try to play the toreador to Maidana’s bull.
This time, however, Mayweather will be expected to spend far less time on the ropes. The slick fighter seemed a bit confused early on the last time out, a strange site in a boxing ring if ever there was one. Maidana, through sheer aggressiveness and boorishness, clearly had his way during the early going.
As the fight progressed, however, Mayweather appeared to figure Maidana’s style out and began landing the seemingly laser guided punches he’s become famous for. It’s hard to imagine Mayweather will need as much time to adjust come September, seeing as how he’s battled Maidana once before.
Mayweather, whose own promotional company will be delivering the bout along with – surprisingly, perhaps – Golden Boy Promotions, will be betting on the fact that fans were surprised and excited enough by the first Maidana fight to pay to see this one in droves.
The first matchup, it should be noted, was rumored to have been a pay per view disappointment – though Showtime hasn’t released the official pay per view numbers. It’s safe to assume, then, that team Mayweather feels replays of the first bout, along with word of mouth, will be helpful in generating excitement for the rematch.
Reaction on Twitter leading up to the official announcement has been less than enthusiastic, however. Suffering from apparent pay per view fatigue, fans may prove more difficult than usual to excite this time around. This is a rematch, after all, to a mathcup many may not have been all that crazy about seeing in the first place.
If anyone can deliver in money department, however, it’s the man they call Money. That’s something even the biggest skeptic needs to keep in mind. It will be interesting, then, to see how Mayweather-Maidana II plays out, both financially, as well as in the ring.