Maidana’s dilemma

December 19, 2013 10:22 pm
Ed C. Tolentino

Ed C. Tolentino

Argentinean slugger Marcos “Chino” Maidana became the latest “Cinderella Man” of pro boxing after he recently tamed previously unbeaten and extremely cocky American Adrien “The Problem” Broner for the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight (147 pounds) championship. Maidana has been the recipient of several heartbreaking decision losses in the past and boxing fans rejoiced when he finally pulled through against Broner.

For 12 rounds, Maidana was all over Broner like sauce on spaghetti. He came out with both guns blazing and floored Broner in the second round with two howitzer left hooks. Broner was able to beat the count, but the self-proclaimed second coming of Floyd Mayweather Jr. never found his rhythm as Maidana relentlessly pursued him all over the ring. Broner, 27-0 going into the fight, resorted to pushing and shoving in a futile attempt to ward off Maidana. In the 8th stanza, Mai-dana unloaded a left to the breadbasket that again deposited Broner to the canvas. Broner threw caution to the wind in the 12th and final round in a last-ditch attempt to salvage a win, but Maidana traded with gusto.

When the rosin of battle settled, all three judges gave the fight to Maidana with scores of 117-109, 115-109 and 115-110. Post-fight statistics showed that Maidana landed 269 punches while Broner made good on only 149. Out of the 269 punches Maidana landed, 101 were body blows.

Boxing fans at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas erupted with glee when Maidana was officially declared the new WBA welterweight king. For all his skills, Broner has been a huge turn-off because of his outrageous antics. He has been seen flushing money on a toilet in a wanton display of his newfound wealth and was just recently embroiled in a sex video involving two strippers. Broner is also never at a loss for words when it comes to belittling his adversaries.

Maidana clearly played the role of the good guy in the Broner fight, but this perception about his character is guaranteed to change if reports that he cheated his way to victory turn out to be accurate. As of this writing, the Texas Boxing Commission is reportedly studying the video of the fight, which shows Maidana taking what appears to be a pill during the rest period in-between rounds. Under the rules of the Texas Boxing Commission, a boxer is only allowed to consume water during the rest period. If it is established in the investigation that Maidana took an illegal substance, his victory over Broner will be set aside and the result may be changed to a No Contest. Maidana is likely to face a hefty fine and suspension, too.

Maidana (35-3 with 31 knockouts) going from hero to heel will be a huge disappointment considering the struggles he went through before becoming a boxing star. Maidana went unbeaten in his first 25 fights before dropping a close split-decision to Ukraine’s Andriy Kotelnik in February 2009 for the WBA junior welterweight (140 pounds) crown. A year later, Mai-dana nearly knocked out Briton Amir Khan but still lost on points in another failed bid for the WBA junior welterweight title. Maidana finally collared the WBA junior welterweight diadem in September 2011, when he stopped Russian Petr Petrov in four rounds. But Mai-dana’s stay on the 140-pound throne was brief, as he immediately moved to the more lucrative welterweight division. Maidana was supposed to fight Timothy Bradley Jr. for the WBO welterweight crown, but the fight fell through after Maidana sustained a back injury in a car crash in June 2013. Fortunately for Maidana, he was still given a shot at Broner’s WBA crown and he was able to make the most of the opportunity.

Everything Maidana accomplished will however vanish into thin air if it is proven that he cheated. Already, some observers are saying that the “pill” may be the reason why Maidana’s energy level was at an all-time high against Broner. Thus far, nothing conclusive has been established and fans can only hope it stays that way because a positive finding figures to be another black eye to the sport.

* * *

For comments, the writer can be reached at atty_eduardo@yahoo.com.