Mayweather’s WBC welterweight title and Maidana’s WBA belt will both be on the line. The site is still not set, with the MGM Grand in Las Vegas the likely venue amid some talk that Brooklyn’s Barkley Center might be feasible.
If anyone has a puncher’s chance of beating the 37-year-old Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts), who is the top fighter pound-for-pound in boxing and is considered by a few veteran observers to be the best ever, it’s Maidana, probably the most devastating puncher in the welterweight ranks.
He’s coming off a resounding upset of Adrien Broner last December in which Maidana (35-3, 31 knockouts), who is from Argentina, landed numerous thunderous blows and knocked Broner down twice.
As it became a safe assumption that Maidana would be the opponent for Mayweather in May, there’s been some grumbling that he’s no match for Mayweather, some citing Maidana’s loss two years ago to Devon Alexander, who, like Mayweather is a defensive specialist. Maidana also has lost to Amir Khan, but he got the nod over Khan for the May 3 date.
Those naysayers may be overlooking Maidana’s association since the Alexander loss with trainer Robert Garcia and the improvements that have resulted at Garcia’s Oxnard training center.
It will be interesting to see what sort of odds are posted. They’ll be at least 5-1. Maybe Mayweather will be a more prohibitive favorite than Sonny Liston was on this date 50 years ago, when he was at least a 7-1 choice to silence young challenger Cassius Clay. Clay won what arguably was the most important bout in boxing history and soon announced he would henceforth be known as Muhammad Ali. You know the rest.
I won’t be betting on Mayweather-Maidana. I got roughly 7-1 odds to bet against Mayweather last May against Gilroy’s Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (whose 2011 shoulder injury dashed a matchup with Maidana) and put up $300, you may recall. But I don’t usually bet on sports – despite my winning bet on the Clay-Liston bout.
I won a nickel – from my mother.Too bad it was a straight-up bet, because 35 cents went a long way in 1964.