Floyd Mayweather Jr. used the occasion of his 37th birthday on Monday to announce via Twitter that his next fight will be on May 3rd against Marcos Maidana, a WBA welterweight titleholder. Although the venue has not been determined, it will be carried by Showtime PPV. Both the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where Mayweather, the current WBC welterweight titleholder, fought his last eight opponents, and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., have expressed interest in hosting the fight.
The tax implications of holding the fight in New York are unfavorable, but switching up the venue from the MGM Grand may help drum up more interest in the bout. Richard Schaefer, the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes both fighters, has said that both the venue and ticket information will be set within the next couple of days.
This fight marks the third of the six fights Mayweather is under contract for with Showtime and CBS. The contract, signed last February, is worth over $200 million. Mayweather has announced plans to retire when the contract is finished.
Mayweather’s record is 45-0 with 26 KOs. He won world titles fighting at both junior middleweight and welterweight. As announced today, he will fight his second defense as welterweight against Maidana, whose record is 35-3 with 31 KOs. Maidana is a favorite among diehard boxing fans who hails from Argentina. The bout against Mayweather will mark his first defense. His world title was won with a dramatic upset of Adrien Broner on Dec. 14 at the San Antonio Alamodome, a fight which led to him being awarded the Mayweather fight over another former titleholder, junior welterweight Amir Khan.
Mayweather calls Maidana an “extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring.” Mayweather believes that Maidana will match up well against him and that he has earned an opportunity to attempt to beat him.
For his part, Maidana expressed happiness at the prospect of fighting Mayweather and is looking forward to the chance to prove to the world that he is the “best welterweight in the division.” Maidana further added that he will “bring some real Latino power” to Mayweather.
Mayweather’s last fight was an easy win on Sept. 14 over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The fight set the record for the largest pay-per-view gross in history with $150 million as well as for the biggest live gate ($20 million). All told, the fight sold over 2 million pay-per-view units, which is second only to the 2007 Mayweather/De La Hoya fight, which sold 2.5 million. The Mayweather/Maidana fight is not expected to draw as many fans willing to pay $75 for the pay-per-view telecast due to the fact that Maidana is less popular and an even bigger underdog than Alvarez was. However, Maidana is one of the best punchers in the sport of boxing, which means that at any moment, one solid punch could completely change the fight.
Maidana will enter the Mayweather fight on the heels of four wins in a row. Although his power could hurt Mayweather, he will have to be ready to fight against the defense and speed which his opponent possesses. Expect the anticipation and hype to continue now that the fight has been set and announced.
By Jennifer Pfalz