The rather impressive showing of Marcos Maidana of Argentina against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their world welterweight has proven one thing: the flamboyant American is no deity in the ring. In short, he can be beaten!
But before proceeding to Floyd’s weaknesses as a fighter, it is very clear that Marcos Maidana of Argentina was one of the most underrated fighters until his fight with the American. And he was way underrated when he fought a then unbeaten Adrien Broner in a vicious one-sided beating on December 14, 2013. Broner tried to ape the style of Mayweather when he faced Maidana, which perhaps increased the confidence of the Argentinian when he eventually faced the Mayweather.
Yet to say that Maidana cracked the code on how to beat Mayweather is giving too much credit to the Argentinian, since it was Oscar Dela Hoya in tandem with Freddie Roach who almost beat Mayweather; that was way back in May 5, 2005 when Dela Hoya was still not past his prime.
In what is still the richest fight in boxing, Mayweather beat Dela Hoya via split decision in a fight billed “The World Awaits.”
In the fight, Dela Hoya was able to bother Mayweather from rounds four to eight by using his left jab, and his having a four-inch height advantage over Mayweather proved useful. The jab wasn’t used by Dela Hoya to primarily knock out Mayweather, because the jab is not a knockout punch; rather the jab kept Mayweather at bay and harassed the American.
But alas, Dela Hoya was no prolific jabber, and his money punch was the left hook. And it what seemed to be an abandonment of the game plan Roach cooked up for him against Mayweather, Dela Hoya stopped using of the left jab as a main weapon in the later rounds that gave Mayweather the chance to land his vaunted punches and combinations. It’s really hard to teach an old dog new tricks!
In the Maidana fight, however, the Argentinian found a new formula on how to beat Mayweather: punch, punch, punch and keep the American off-balance. At the end of the fight, Maidana landed 221 punches against Mayweather, the most from an opponent in many years. On the other hand, Dela Hoya landed 122 punches on Mayweather.
Another thing going for Maidana is his punching power. With 31 knockouts in 35 wins (with three losses), Maidana can really punch! Maidana can also throw from weird angles, and he demonstrated that in his fight against Broner.
So what is the formula to beat Mayweather? As demonstrated in his fight against Dela Hoya, a fighter with a prolific jab can unsettle the American. And in the Maidana fight, it was very clear that Mayweather has a hard time dealing with a volume puncher with respectable power. And it looks like that a fighter who approximates the size or is bigger than Mayweather has a better chance at beating the American. Having an iron chin also counts, and it is very clear that Dela Hoya and Maidana are fighters who do not easily crumple from a well-landed power punch.
So who are the granite-chinned fighters out there who have a prolific jab and can punch in bunches with power? Let’s hope he emerges before Mayweather retires.