Mayweather -Maidana 2: To box or not to box that is the question?

Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana will meet once again at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this Saturday night live on Showtime PPV. Will Chino’s melee create “Mayhem”, or will it be muscle memory for the money man?

Damn near everyone is convinced that Floyd Mayweather will do a number on Marcos Maidana in the rematch. Isn’t this the same sentiment most fans had prior to the first go round? Maidana was a huge underdog at the sports book, ranging from 12-1 all the way up to 15-1 on a few betting website.

Even though Marcos gave Floyd by far his toughest and roughest fight of his career, barley any one gives him a real chance to get the job done against the future Hall-of-famer.

The first match-up can be separated in to two different fights, the 1st-five rounds and the last seven. That’s not to say either fighter won all of those rounds early or late.

For the first five rounds Maidana controlled distance and pace, with Floyd unable to find much space for clean-punching. Marcos landed to body in combination, and to the head with left hooks and jack-hammer right hands. Mayweather did his best to weather the storm, making progress with a jab to the stomach.

The last seven rounds it was Mayweather who controlled the pace and distance. He mixed in subtle movement making him miss and paying for it. There were moments when Floyd was backing Maidana up, landing heavy shots downstairs, counter left hooks, and straight right hands upstairs.

With such a spirited performance by both men it makes me wonder why Maidana isn’t considered more of a threat to dethrone the P-4-P king. As the old saying goes in boxing, once a counterpuncher figures a fighter out, it’s a wrap. (Ok, so I updated it, sue me)

This time around Mayweather won’t need as much time to calibrate and measure his punches. Plus, Floyd should be sharper in the rematch, having only been out of the gym for a few months, instead of a much longer September to May break between fights.

Maidana’s trainer, Robert Garcia has made some adjustment in camp. One key element for the Argentine will be his weight. Gone from this camp is the world-renowned strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza. Ariza is master at building up his fighter’s body and conditioning. His best work was clearly with Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Both those fighters were able to add on excessive amounts of weight to their frame on the night of the fight. It wasn’t just dead weight which would make most fighters sluggish or even chubby. Their speed and strength were at full capacity even with the added 15-20 pounds.

Garcia claims that carrying the extra weight backfired, and the sole reason for Chino wearing down a bit in the second-half of the fight. Maidana does not fear Mayweather’s strength or power, so for this fight Garcia wants his fighter to be faster, allowing Chino to maintain his frenetic pace for the whole fight.

On paper Garcia’s audible makes sense. The flip-side to that theory would be Mayweather’s body attack being the main reason why his fighter slowed. Nearly every time Floyd landed a stiff jab or hooks with both hands to the body, it stopped Maidana in his tracks, or knocked him off balance forcing him to reset on offense.

What will each fighter have to do to get their hands raised? It’s simple. The same thing they did in May but this time more of it. It’s rare that a rematch lives up to the first bout and maybe that’s the reason so many fans favor Mayweather for part two. One thing we’ll find out on Saturday night will be if Floyd was really fighting a fan-friendly style like he eluded too, or was it simply Maidana’s style that forced Floyd to stand and fight.

Maidana will have to make it a rough-and-tumble contest on again. This time the odds have improved for Maidana as a betting underdog. But, you can bet-your-bottom-dollar the odds that he will be able to get away with foul play the way he did in their first meeting have skyrocketed in the rematch. There’s no doubt in my mind that referee Kenny Bayless will be more involved from the get-go, obviously that would favor the champ.

This fight will feature similar results in the way of entertainment. That’s the main reason why I was really happy heading in to the first fight and still can’t wait to see the second fight. Marcos Maidana brings a winning mind-frame to go along with smothering pressure, and knockout power in both hands. Those facts alone make the rematch worth watching.

I expect this fight to play-out similar to the majority of Floyd’s fights. Not that I see a complete white-washing, like he has done too many of his past opponents. What I mean is we will see more movement out of Mayweather early on rather than the midway point. He usually chooses to stick-and-move on the outside in the early goings remaining patient.

Than he begins to close the distance, just lingering on the outskirts of the pocket, outside of his opponents range but close enough for him to unload. Once he has a fighters timing, it won’t be long before you see Floyd standing right in front of his man. In the pocket behind that shoulder-roll defense, combined with accurate neck-snapping punches.

Will Maidana have his share of oh-shit moments, yep, just not enough of them to come away victorious.
My official prediction is Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision.

Written by Chris Carlson Owner and Host of Rope A Dope Radio & Follow Chris on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio