Floyd Mayweather, Jr. calls the complex riddle that is his fighting style the "May-vinci code" and after 18 years of trying nobody has been able to crack it.
In all likelihood there will be no upset for Marcos Maidana when he faces off against Mayweather tomorrow night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. But in the past week Maidana has taken on the role of the pied piper of the west coast as his quiet yet charismatic personality has attracted fans and caused them to come out in large numbers in support of his quest to topple the world's best pound-for-pound fighter. If he were to upset Mayweather it would be colossal. The 30-year-old Argentine has a certain flair and confidence about him and over the past week he has shown up in Los Angeles and Las Vegas dressed to the nines with the look of a South American hitman sent north to take Mayweather out.
"I don't respect nobody in the ring," says Maidana. "I go in the ring to fight and Mayweather's going to see the same thing. I'm not going in there thinking about who he is or what he's done. Other fighters have tried but maybe I am the guy that will beat him."
With that, here are the keys to victory for Marcos Maidana:
(1.) Use his left jab – Floyd’s uncle and co-trainer Roger Mayweather has often said that a fighter with a good jab could defeat his nephew. Roger often points to Oscar De La Hoya who used his jab over the first six rounds at least to disrupt Mayweather, Jr. when they fought in 2007. Maidana has a good left jab and he mixes it well to the body and head. He used it often against Adrien Broner in his last fight and it set up his left hook to the head which avoids Mayweather’s shoulder roll defense. Al Bernstein commented that whenever Maidana threw his double left jab good things happened for him against Broner.
(2.) Use the overhand right – Maidana throws an awkward and unusual overhand right. It is a short, arcing punch and it comes over the top. He used it often in the Broner fight to circumvent the shoulder-roll defense which Mayweather also relies on as a major component of his defense. On the inside Maidana needs to throw that punch to the head as often as possible.
(3.) Back him up – Not only should Maidana pressure Mayweather into retreat but he should push him back as often as possible. In doing so, it will keep Mayweather from getting set and throwing his own punches. Maidana should make every attempt to stay close and pressure Mayweather much like Emanuel Burton and Jose Luis Castillo did.
(4.) Make him work – At 37-years-old Mayweather fights at a pedestrian pace. He throws few punches, moves little and he conserves his energy very well. Maidana has to make Mayweather work outside his comfort zone in an effort to tire out the man that is closer to 40 than he is 30.
(5.) Go to the body - Mayweather is very difficult to hit in general and it is very difficult to land a clean punch to his head. The body is a more stationary and larger target and Maidana should shoot for it at every opportunity. Whether it’s with a jab or with power shots Maidana should go there as it will tire Mayweather and make him drop his hands.