Although Floyd Mayweather Jr. turned 37 in February, the sport of boxing's pound-for-pound king has shown little sign that he is slowing down heading into Saturday's defense of his RING and WBC welterweight championships against WBA counterpart Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand on Showtime Pay Per View.
Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) recently countered the notion of the power of Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) being as much of a factor as many are making it out to be, given Mayweather is coming off September's majority decision over Saul Alvarez for the RING, WBA and WBC junior middleweight belts, marking the third time he has fought at 154 pounds.
The 30-year-old Maidana had stopped three consecutive opponents before December's unanimous decision dethroned the previously unbeaten Adrien Broner, whom he floored once each in the second and eighth rounds for his current belt.
The triumph represented Maidana's fifth fight as a 147-pounder, his last loss having been by unanimous decision to southpaw Devon Alexander in his welterweight debut in February 2012.
RingTV.com sought the opinions of 46 boxing insiders for their thoughts on what will transpire in Mayweather-Maidana, with the results as follows.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I like Floyd Mayweather by a decision. I think that Floyd is just too fast and too skilled and that he will break him down as the fight goes on.
I see Marcos Maidana having success early on but as the fight goes into the later rounds, I see Floyd taking over, frustrating Maidana and maybe getting an easy unanimous decision.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I've got to go with Floyd Mayweather. He's just still on his game and he proved that in his last fight. I thought that he was going to have a hard time in his last fight with [Saul] "Canelo" Alvarez and he made it an easy fight.
I can't see him losing to Marcos Maidana. If he maes it another two more fights, then he should win all of them. I think that he will win a unanimous decision on the way to retiring undefeated.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I like Floyd Mayweather by decision. It will be interesting to see if Marcos Maidana can get close to him and land a few shots.
I think that, ultimately, this will be something that we've seen before — the superior combination of speed and defensive ability and tactics. That will carry Mayweather through again.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I think that it's going to be Floyd Mayweather by unanimous decision, 119-109.
I don't think that he takes too many chances. Maybe I'll give Marcos Maidana one round, just to be nice.
Otherwise, I think that Mayweather will be too fast for him. If "Canelo" Alvarez didn't have too much success, I can't see Maidana having any.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. TKO Marcos Maidana: I'm picking Floyd Mayweather by TKO. This will be a boxing clinic, just like his last three fights. There's no way that Marcos Maidana can beat Mayweather, who is too good, defensively.
Mayweather is too good of a counter-puncher. Maidana would have to get super lucky to drop Mayweather and Floyd's not in the lucky business. I'm taking Floyd Mayweather in the seventh or eighth.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: That's going to be a shut-out for Floyd Mayweather. To me, that's not an interesting fight. It's going to be an easy fight for Mayweather.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I think that Floyd Mayweather wins by a score of 120-108. It would be lovely to think that Marcos Maidana's going to land one of those big haymakers on Floyd Mayweather.
I'm sure that a lot of other people have said this but the trouble is, when Maidana throws, he throws off-balance a lot of times. He's falling in and he's there for the check hook from Mayweather.
Mayweather's very good at stepping back for the counters with the right hand and that straight right hand and the lead rights. I don't begrudge Maidana his opportunity. I think that Maidana can capitalize on a mistake.
But apart from some extraordinary slip or slide or mistake from Floyd Mayweather, I think that we see Mayweather meticulously picking up round by round by round and it wouldn't surprise me if he wins 11 or even 12 rounds of the fight.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I want to believe Floyd Mayweather in his insistence that he is the bigger guy and intends to fight accordingly. There is truth to the statement.
But while he figures to pick apart Marcos Maidana, I don't foresee the threat of a knockout ever surfacing.
Maidana has his moments but nothing like was the case in his dominance over Adrien Broner nor will Floyd ever fight that careless or sloppy to put himself in that position.
Record: 5-3 [Last pick: Shumenov W 12 Hopkins]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I just think that Marcos Maidana is a lot smaller than Floyd Mayweather is and moves forward, lunges a lot and gets caught often, repeatedly.
Floyd, I think, will tend to continue to score although I do forsee him maybe capitalizing on his opportunity to break the knockout drought and finally get one. Mayweather could do that with a late-round knockout, given who he is. But I think he wins by unanimous decision.
Record: 7-4 [Last pick: Hopkins UD 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. W 12 Marcos Maidana: Even the very best prizefighters in the world hide their weaknesses and dress them up as strength. It's a common human trait. For Floyd Mayweather Jr, that weakness remains very carefully hidden but perhaps it's to his body. In promotion for "The Moment," Mayweather was asked about Maidana's vulnerability to bodyshots and he fluffed off the question before dancing around it.
In the past, speedy boxers have caught Mayweather's chin and buzzed him up good but rare is the fighter who's had success in rattling Mayweather's ribcage. Against Adrien Broner, a powerful attack to the body was the key that opened the door to victory for the Argentine. Against Mayweather, look for an eerily similar assault.
Watch as Maidana ignores the head early and targets Mayweather's midriff with power punches. Fans will be surprised and hopeful of an upset when Maidana hurts Mayweather downstairs at some point in the first three rounds. Those same fans will then be terribly disappointed when Mayweather recovers, slows the pace, makes his adjustments and cruises the rest of the way.
Mayweather will take a wide unanimous decision win that includes a table-turning body blow of his own late in the fight to take the remaining starch out of Maidana. Mayweather wins going away but the story of the night becomes about the moment he was hurt to the body, and how that plays into the boxing blueprint for the future architects of his destruction.
Record: 8-3 [Last pick: Hopkins W 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I've got Floyd Maywether. I don't think that Marcos Maidana has done anything to prove that he can solve the puzzle that is Floyd Mayweather, who is one of the best defensive fighters and one of the best boxers of all time.
Maidana's very good but anytime that you go in against Floyd, you're going in a couple of steps up in class and not just one class. It will be a unanimous decision, probably 10-2.
Record: 3-1 [Last pick: Bradley W 12 Pacquiao]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: My pick is based on a few facts. First, the sum of Marcos Maidana's parts are not known to trouble Floyd Mayweather. The Argentinean is a suffocating power-puncher, who attacks relentlessly.
But whilst Maidana is a handful for most fighters, he appears tailor-made for Mayweather. If Floyd struggles with the jab, speed and athleticism, then I’m afraid Maidana carries none of the above and this fight has a 120-108 shutout written all over it.
Finally, Floyd has scored four knockouts in 10 years and one of them, Victor Ortiz, was a gimme. I can't see Mayweather halting Maidana but he will make a real mess of him over the distance. Please note that I also picked Adrien Broner to demolish Maidana but this is not a drill.
Record: 8-2 [Last pick: Hopkins UD 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I'll go with Floyd Mayweather for obvious reasons — skill. Marcos Maidana is slow. Same reasons people gave for the Adrien Broner fight.
After that performance against Broner, you can't write him off completely, so I give Maidana a shot. Maybe he'll land a big punch or two. Maidana's a tough cookie but I see it going down similar to how the Robert Guerrero fight went.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: That's an easy fight for Floyd Mayweather. It's an easy fight for Floyd. Floyd can only make it difficult if he chooses to make it difficult. Maidana had a problem with Devon Alexander and he has had a problem with a lot of boxers.
Mayweather's much faster than anyone he's facing, going down the line of all of the guys. Maidana has a problem with movement and Mayweather can counter-punch him because Maidana throws slow shots.
It's a pick-off fight for Mayweather. He'll be picking him off all night. The only question is: Can he stop him? I think that's what Mayweather needs. So if he wants to one-up Manny Pacquiao one more time, then he needs to stop somebody.
Record: 9-2 [Last pick: Hopkins UD 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: That's going to be a rough one, I think. But I believe that Marcos Maidana is going to be there for all 12 rounds, even though Floyd Mayweather outboxes him easily.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Marcos Maidana won't really be able to hit him early, so then, when he does hit him, I think that he'll be scared to throw too much power behind it.
Then, late in the fight, there won't really be anything on it. Mayweather will win by a unanimous decision pretty easily.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 over Marcos Maidana: If Marcos Maidana bum-rushes Floyd Mayweather once the bell rings Saturday night, the Argentine brawler will find a smart, poised, prepared opponent waiting for him and not an overwhelmed motormouth more equipped to talk about it than to be about it.
Maidana might make Mayweather uncomfortable at times with his awkward aggression and he'll never stop throwing bombs. But Mayweather will patiently pick apart his hungry opponent with crisp counterpunches and win with relative ease.
If Maidana manages to land something big against perhaps boxing’s best defensive fighter, Mayweather has shown he has the survival skills and recuperative powers to overcome some trouble and still win convincingly.
Record: 8-3 [Last pick: Hopkins UD 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I see it for Floyd Mayweather 120-108. Marcos Maidana's not going to hit him in the fight. If he thinks that he can go from Adrien Broner to Mayweather, then that's like the difference between me and Wilt Chamberlain.
Record: 0-1 [Last pick: Bradley W 12 Pacquiao]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: This fight should be the most competitive Floyd Mayweather figtht since Miguel Cotto and I am expecting early fireworks. I see Marcos Maidana engaging forcefully early with Mayweather's counter-right off the roll not being enough to back him off like most his recent foes.
About mid-fight, Mayweather will figure "Chino" out and win most every round from the fifth or sixth on. We should expect a real "Hail Mary" in the last two rounds when trainer Robert Garcia tells Maidana that he needs a knockout to win. Dont expect a humble acceptance of a loss like "Canelo" Alvarez. "Chino" will go out on his shield, making the final two rounds memorable.
Record: 2-2 [Last pick: Alvarez UD 12 Angulo]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I think that Floyd Mayweather, just like he is, is a long way from being beaten. He hasn't been in trouble in a while; he looks as fresh as ever in his fights. I'm not picking against Mayweather until I see that he's in trouble and I haven't seen that yet.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I think that we're going to see a Floyd Mayweather cakewalk. Marcos Maidana, no question, earned this position. But slow-footed, slow-handed power-punchers are right in Floyd Mayweather's wheelhouse.
The only guy that's going to be able to beat Mayweather is a guy with speed and Maidana doesn't have that. This is a fight that is going to be a 11-1 or a 12-0 decision.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Marcos Maidana has the proverbial puncher's chance. If May 3 is the date where Floyd Mayweather ages overnight, with the Argentine somehow blunting the American's punch output by pressuring him into the ropes and setting him up to land the heavy artillery, then Maidana can win.
But that's one too many variables. I feel Mayweather's fitness will keep him fresh enough for 12 rounds; his intelligence will cause him to anticipate his foe's advances and his accuracy will allow him to take advantage of an off-balance Maidana with counters all night long.
Record: 1-0 [Last pick: Alvarez W 12 Angulo]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. KO 8 Marcos Maidana: I don't believe that it's going to be a very competitive fight. Marcos Maidana has lost to two boxers and I think that Floyd Mayweather is boxing on a whole other level than the guys that Maidana's lost to.
Mayweather is extremely elusive and he has a size advantage that I think will be important. So I give it to Mayweather by a knockout by about the eighth round.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. KO 6 Marcos Maidana: My pick in this is Floyd Mayweather by knockout in six rounds. I think that Marcos Maidana's willingness to engage and wanting to engage will provide excitement and fireworks.
But I think that that will cost him in the end with Floyd's speed. He's going to make him pay and sting him and hurt him. I'm picking Floyd In six rounds.
Record: 7-4 [Last pick: Hopkins UD 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. W 12 Marcos Maidana: Here's what I give Marcos Maidana: He can punch and he's wild and unpredictable and if you wanted to craft the perfect opponent who might have a chance against a prime Floyd Mayweather, it would include someone who punches with power from awkward angles.
It also would include someone who walks through danger and carries his power late into fights, which Maidana does. What it wouldn't include is someone whose technique is so raw that it's hard to envision him winning a round. In spite of his most recent fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz, Mayweather doesn't usually knock people out, he wins fights 12-0 and against one of the least-polished fighter he has faced since Carlos Baldomir in 2006, that's what happens here.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: It's an interesting fight. It's a good match. Marcos Maidana's a tough fighter. I think that Maidana's a more stronger fighter than Floyd Mayweather.
But Mayweather always has the advantage of his skills. So Mayweather will be the winner by a unanimous decision.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Are you serious? Am I supposed to think that Marcos Maidana has a chance? Well, maybe a tiny one. Not that it would please me no end to see Floyd "Money" Mayweather get devalued but it ain't gonna happen May 3.
Mayweather has that quality of making his foe look downright ordinary and Maidana is made to order. I'd like to say this ends early for Mayweather but I don't want to give him THAT much credit.
Record: 5-1 [Last pick: Hopkins W 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I'm going with Floyd Mayweather by unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana. I'm pretty sure that it will go the distance but that he will dominate the fight.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Floyd Mayweather outboxes Marcos Maidana by unanimous decision or maybe even a late-round knockout.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: This will be similar to Robert Guerrero and "Canelo" Alvarez. This is a man who will come to Floyd, who is still quick and still accurate. He picks people off who fight like Marcos Maidana.
I think that given the brave and hurtful fighter that Maidana can be, he's tailor-made for Floyd and that's we'll see something resembling the last two master classes against his top-level opponents.
It's good to watch always because we're not going to have him forever. So let's admire what he can do because he's a very special fighter and this will be another showcase exhibition fight.
I think that probably Maidana goes the distance because he's game and he's got a good chin and Floyd won't take risks against him because he's a good puncher. It will probably be a comprehensive points decision.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. TKO 9 Marcos Maidana: Floyd Mayweather chose Marcos Maidana instead of Amir Khan for two reasons. He will prove an easier opponent to manipulate — as only "Money" can — and ultimately to knockout despite the Argentinean’s recent impressive run of wins far superior to anything Khan has achieved of late.
Although Maidana has proved himself a worthy welterweight, Khan beat him one weight down and the undefeated Mayweather will do likewise this weekend. Whether this is achieved with the panache expected of the THE RING's pound-for-pound champion remains to be seen. But victory number 46 will come via a late-round stoppage.
Record: 0-1 [Last pick: Bradley UD 12 Pacquiao]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I think that with Floyd Mayweather, we've already seen this fight, to be honest with you. It's sort of like the last one with "Canelo" Alvarez.
I mean, this is just a continuation of a guy who is so much faster with his feet and hands and with his defensive skills; he's going to be able to pick apart Marcos Maidana.
Again, it's the safest pick and it's the proper pick. Unless you really want to look like a buffoon, you have to say Mayweather by unanimous decision.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. W 12 Marcos Maidana: Since Robert Garcia took over as his trainer, Marcos Maidana is undefeated in four fights, scoring three of those wins by knockout. With a new outlook and improvements in footwork and defense, Maidana faced heavily-favored Adrien Broner last December.
The hard-hitting Maidana abused Broner for 12 rounds, flooring him in rounds two and eight. Can the "new" Maidana hand Floyd Mayweather the first loss of his 18-year professional career?
Not likely. Mayweather is not Broner. His defense borders on artistic. His boxing I.Q. is near genius. Maidana's come-forward style is tailor-made for Mayweather. I see a competitive few rounds slowly giving way to a sheer boxing exhibition by Mayweather — leading to a 12 round unanimous decision.
Record: 8-3 [Last pick: Hopkins UD 12 Shumenov]
Chris Ray, Bernard Hopkins' cutman
Floyd Mayweather Jr. KO 9 Marcos Maidana: I have Floyd Mayweather Jr. in nine to top this guy, Marcos Maidana. I know that he hasn't stopped anybody in a while.
But Mayweather is really hard to hit and hard to beat when he rolls that shoulder. He'll land a series of right hands, no hooks and he'll knock this guy out.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I think that Floyd Mayweather is going to be too fast, too accurate. I don't think that Marcos Maidana will be able to catch up to him. I think that Floyd is going to pot-shot him for a lopsided 12-round decision.
Maybe even if he is able to break him down, Mayweather could get a late knockout.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. KO 6 Marcos Maidana: Marcos Maidana has the proverbial puncher's chance. However, it takes a lot more than that to beat Floyd Mayweather. Besides the power punching, Mayweather is better than Maidana in every way and it will be clear once the bell rings.
I know the conventional wisdom these days is to pick Mayweather by decision but Maidana gets hit. A lot. And often. If Mayweather can land half the amount of shots a typical Maidana opponent does, the referee will have no choice but to stop the slaughter inside the distance.
Record: 7-3 [Last pick: Hopkins W 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Marcos Maidana always has a couple of good spots. He'll have a couple of good spots against Floyd Mayweather. But Maidana is out of his league and Mayweather will win at least 10 round if not all 12.
Mayweather could potentially stop Maidana late in the fight. That is unless Mayweather's legs get old overnight and that's not going to happen. Mayweather wins a unanimous decision.
Record: 7-4 [Last pick: Hopkins W 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Marcos Maidana turned in the performance of his career against Adrien Broner, slugging his way to a surprising victory that earned him new respect. The problem for him now: Broner is no Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The number one fighter in the world will do to Maidana what he has done to the vast majority of his opponents, leave them frustrated because of his defensive skills and on the short end of one-sided scores.
Record: 5-3 [Last pick: Pacquiao W 12 Bradley]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I see no reason yet to go against Floyd Mayweather. Adrien Broner was a great win for Marcos Maidana and he is as live of an underdog as you can get.
But in my eyes, Floyd is still Floyd. I don't think this will be any closer than Floyd's fights with Miguel Cotto or "Canelo" Alvarez.
Record: 5-2 [Last pick: Hopkins W 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. late-round KO Marcos Maidana: Floyd Mayweather has always told me that he's wanted to be in a dogfight. This goes all the way back to when he first sat down on our show way back in 2004 and I think there will an opportunity for that against Marcos Maidana in May.
Maidana has the type of style that is going to make it a rough tough fight. Floyd may be slowing down a little bit although we didn't see too much decline in the fight with "Canelo" Alvarez.
But I think that Floyd Mayweather can actually stop Marcos Maidana if he wants to. Maidana's shots are so wide and so telegraphed that Floyd will see those shots coming from the Mandalay Bay — and the fight's at the MGM.
So the timing is going to be there; the shots are going to be there and if he chooses to, he's going to stop Marcos Maidana. And if not, he wins an easy decision.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Here is the thing: With Floyd Mayweather Jr., people say that Teddy Brenner or maybe Bruce Trampler are maybe the best matchmakers of all time but actually, that's Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. knows how to watch a fight and say, "I can beat this guy. I can't beat this guy." Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the smartest boxer in and out of the ring.
That's why I think that I'll never pick against Floyd Mayweather. If you look at Maidana's fights, he's tough but he has poor balance and poor coordination.
But he's really wide open when he punches. I think that Floyd Mayweather Jr. could probably beat him with his eyes closed. This is a boxing match; this is a fight and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is going to win this boxing match, maybe 120-108.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. TKO 10 Marcos Maidana: The two words that come to mind when assessing this fight are "Target Practice." Floyd Mayweather will pummel Marcos Maidana into submission in the late rounds as "Chino" has the exact style that Floyd performs best against.
Maidana is awkward and can punch but is smaller than Mayweather and won't find Floyd's chin easy to touch, especially not with wide and looping punches. Furthermore, Maidana does not have a good enough chin to withstand the punishment Floyd will dish for 12 rounds.
Oscar De la Hoya laid the blueprint as to how to be competitive with Mayweather into the late rounds. De la Hoya used a great jab, but still had enough hand speed and boxing ability to be in the fight until the end.
Unfortunately for Maidana, his style couldn't be more different than De la Hoya's. It will take Floyd about a round-and-a-half before he starts tattooing Maidana with every counter right hand. Maidana is the bigger puncher in this matchup but Mayweather has a better chance to win the fight inside the distance.
Record: 5-1 [Last pick: Hopkins UD 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: You can't pick against Floyd Mayweather. You just can't. I mean, he's too quick,and he's got too much savvy in the ring. He's just got everything going for him except power. So, I mean, it's a fight that is going to go the distance.
If Marcos Maidana happens to land a lucky punch, well, maybe something can happen from that. But other than that, I think that it's going to be an easy Mayweather victory and a unanimous decision.
Record: 5-0 [Last pick: Hopkins W 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Marcos Maidana has won the lottery ticket of a life time with a mega-bout against Floyd "Money" Mayweather. Unfortunately, that's all he will win against Floyd on May 3. Sure, he has a lucky chance of landing just as I do winning the state lottery.
Record: 5-4 [Last pick: Hopkins MD 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. W 12 Marcos Maidana: I suspect that Floyd Mayweather will do what he does best: Use his speed and smarts to pick openings over the slower-footed Marcos Maidana early on.
I can see Maidana having a moment or two but those moments will be few and far between. I see Mayweather posting a master class, winning a wide unanimous decision.
Record: 7-3 [Last pick: Hopkins W 12 Shumenov]
Floyd Mayweather Jr. UD 12 Marcos Maidana: You can never pick against Floyd Mayweather. I think that he'll outbox Marcos Maidana; I think that he will out-craft him. He'll be the better fighter all the way down the road and it's just as simple as that. Mayweather by unanimous decision.
By a landslide margin of 46-0, the insiders favor Floyd Mayweather Jr. to roll past Marco Maidana, adding the loser's WBA 147-pound belt to the RING and WBC championships he already owns.
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