Next Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, and on Showtime PPV, Marcos Maidana will look to do what no man has ever done before. Beat Pound for pound King Floyd Mayweather Jr. In the words of Floyd Mayweather the answer to beating him is simple. 45 have tried, 45 have failed. Marcos Maidana will be no different. But if history tells us anything about the hard hitting Argentinean fighter, it’s that he’s pretty good at beating the odds. In fact, he has become an expert at it.
Five years ago Marcos Maidana was coming off the first loss of his career, a split decision let down to Andriy Kotelnik. The loss was controversial in the eyes of many who thought that Maidana did more than enough to win the fight. However Maidana was the visitor fighting in Germany, and as often as it is when a visiting fighter visits another country to fight another fighter in his home, it’s very hard to win a decision. Despite the loss, the opportunity to face Victor Ortiz presented itself six months later. The fight was a showcase fight for Ortiz. The night before the fight Oscar De La Hoya appeared on Friday Night Fights on ESPN saying that Victor Ortiz would be the next superstar in boxing. Maidana would be a stepping stone for Ortiz to get into the lime light. Unfortunately for Golden Boy, Maidana had other plans. Maidana found himself down once in round one, and again in round two to the hard hitting Ortiz and it seemed that Ortiz would be on his way to a victory. However Maidana weathered the storm unleashing furious punches on Ortiz. He answered being knocked down in the first round by knocking Ortiz down in the same round. After being down in round two, Maidana continued to lay the leather on Ortiz despite being hurt twice. In round six, Maidana would drop Ortiz and eventually force him to quit, pulling off the biggest upset of his career with a 6th round TKO win over Ortiz.
Maidana’s huge win over Ortiz followed with three good wins including one over the undefeated Victor Cayo, another fight where Maidana was supposed to be the opponent so that Cayo could be showcased. Just like Ortiz, Maidana stopped Cayo in round six of their fight derailing yet another young star’s hopes.
Once again, one year later, Maidana would be in the ring to showcase rising superstar Amir Khan. And once again, Maidana would find himself as the underdog in the fight. Maidana was down in round one, and lost a point in round five for a low blow. But Maidana would come on strong battering Khan over the course of the fight. By round eleven he had Khan wobbling to stay on his feet and nearly stopped him. Somehow Khan’s heart allowed him to survive and Khan would go on to win the fight by a very close unanimous decision. Despite losing a decision to Khan, he gained more fans with his valiant effort and if he hadn’t had lost those two extra points, he would have won the fight.
It would’t be long before Maidana built up two more wins to get a shot at Devon Alexander. The fight would be the first fight in his career where he was totally outclassed. Alexander’s southpaw stance and speed appeared to be too much for Maidana who could never get close to Alexander. After the fight Maidana would switch trainers and go with the highly regarded Robert Garcia.
“I better now that I been working with Robert Garcia.” Maidana said. “I feel much better. My punches are connecting even stronger now because the punches are being thrown in a better location and with precision. I feel a lot better. I feel much, much better now that I've been working with Robert Garcia.”
The statement is not false. Since taking over as Maidana’s trainer two years ago Maidana is 4-0 with 3 KO’s under Robert Garcia. And one of those wins came last December in a fight where Marcos Maidana was again used as a showcase fighter to put Adrien Broner into the spotlight. It was a fight that Broner was supposed to dominate coming in as a 5-1 favorite to beat Maidana. But as in the case of Victor Ortiz, Victor Cayo, and Amir Khan, Maidana wasn’t going down without a fight. From the opening bell Maidana came at Broner with everything he had. In round two he dropped Broner for the first time in his career. The undefeated Broner never had an answer and found himself out willed and outworked for the entire fight. Maidana would again drop Broner in round eight and go on to win a unanimous decision ultimately leading him right into the position he is in now, one week away from a fight against pound for pound King and undefeated welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather.
So what does Marcos Maidana bring to the table? He doesn’t bring Cotto’s experience, Mosley’s speed, Ortiz’s youth, or Canelo’s fan base. He’s not flashy and isn’t a showcase name. Despite all of that Maidana brings much more than most people give him credit for. He brings heart, determination, and he’s not afraid to lose or get knocked out going for it all. He’s been on the canvas and has come back to win, he’s been beaten soundly, he’s been upset, and he has defied the odds numerous times to win fights that he shouldn't have. He knows what it’s like to be the underdog and doesn't care. Maidana is coming to fight. And with 31 KO’s in 38 fights, he knows how to hurt people. He may be a 12-1 underdog, but if you ask Marcos Maidana, it’s the position he feels most comfortable being in. It’s the position he’s used to being in. After all, the biggest wins of his career have come as an underdog. On May 3rd, he will try for the biggest one of them all.