Coming up on September 13, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have the first rematch of his career against Marcos Maidana. Back in May of 2014, the two faced off and it was arguably the toughest fight of the champ’s career – ending in a majority decision, with one of the judges even calling the fight a draw. Mayweather will be defending his WBA, WBC, and The Ring titles and going after his 47th career win, which would get him one step closer to Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record.
In their first bout, Mayweather barely escaped Maidana in a majority decision that was scored 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112 in his favor, making it one of his closest fights. Maidana is very well known for his unrelenting, and sometimes awkward, approach, and in the first part of the fight, it really seemed to bother the defending champ. In the first five or six rounds, Floyd seemed willing to stand toe-to-toe and box with the Argentine and that got him into trouble. If the champ wants to get his 47th victory, he will need to rely on the quick counter-punching and defensive style that has gotten him to this point.
Maidana had a very good gameplan coming into the first bout between these two; constantly moving forward, getting into Mayweather’s body and refusing to let the champ sit back and counter. For the first six rounds, this approach worked completely to Maidana’s advantage, with Mayweather looking visibly confused on how to react. Most fighters are afraid to use a relentless approach against Mayweather because of his defensive acumen and his quickness with his counterpunches. The Argentine’s ability to not retreat and keep getting into Floyd’s body is what made the first fight so intriguing and close, and he will have to emulate that same approach in the upcoming rematch.
What eventually won the first fight for Mayweather was his ability to turn the last half of the bout into a boxing match rather than the slugfest it was becoming in the first half. After reviewing the tape of the first fight, the “Money Team” will absolutely see that Floyd needs to use his quickness throughout the fight. What helped him near the end of the first fight was also his conditioning, as Maidana seemed to truly wear down when it got to the 10th round and beyond. For Floyd, part of his success has been his ability to outtrain his opponents and always come into fights in better shape, and he will need to do that once again if he wants to beat Maidana for the second time.
For Maidana to win this rematch, he will need to use the same approach, but come in better conditioned to keep getting into Mayweather’s body, even in the last few rounds. In the first fight, he landed more punches on Floyd than anyone ever has and to win the rematch he will probably need to land even more. Of course, that is an enormous task considering Floyd’s incredible defense, but what is a tremendous advantage for Maidana is his unique style. He positions himself very awkwardly for punches in comparison to other boxers and that may have been part of the reason Floyd looked out of sorts in the first half of the first bout. Maidana’s unconventional style will only help the Argentine in his quest to dethrone the pound for pound king; he just needs to be able to keep coming at Floyd throughout the match.
For Mayweather to win the rematch, he needs to stray a little from his game plan in the first fight. Now that he has faced Maidana and knows more about his awkward style, his camp should be more equipped to come up with ways to counteract it. He can take away the good things he was able to do in the latter stages of the first fight, but he needs to implement them in the opening rounds, which he was unable to do in the first fight. What worked tremendously in the champ’s favor in the first fight was the jab to Maidana’s body, which really screwed with the Argentine’s rhythm and ability to land combinations. Look for a lot of body jabs to come from Mayweather in the rematch since the punch worked so well to throw off Maidana in the first bout. To win this fight, Floyd needs to use what he learned from fighting Maidana the first time and get back to what has always worked for him: his quickness, defense and counterpunching ability.
The rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana is highly anticipated because of how great the first fight was. This is the first time the champ has ever had a rematch in his professional career and it is with the man who probably gave him his toughest fight. This fight is set up to be one of the best of the year and fight fans will be hoping for an exciting bout just like these two had in their first matchup.
Commentary by Max Petkevicius