Many of us wrote that we thought that Floyd Mayweather would have an easier time with Marcos Maidana this second go around and it happened just that way. With Mayweather-Maidana II done and over with, it’s time to look at the potential for Mayweather’s next fight. Who’s the man to beat him, and what kind of attributes does he need?
The Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight has been brought back to the discussion these days. And now, it just very well may happen.
Why’s that, you ask, years after it would have been at its best and most compelling? Because when you watch the current versions of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight, it’s clear for everyone, Mayweather included, to see that Pacquiao would be yet another win on Mayweather’s resume.
Where Maidana Went Wrong in the Rematch
This time Mayweather moved quickly off the ropes and neutralized Maidana’s inside arsenal by feinting expertly and tying him up. When the referee Kenny Bayless elected to let Mayweather utilize this tactic freely without warnings the fight was essentially over.
Maidana is a very determined but one-dimensional fighter. Ultimately, while he has the heart of a lion, he was unable to make any of the adjustments necessary to defeat Mayweather. He was able to connect on 221 punches in the first fight but this number dwindled to 128 in the rematch, with a connect rate of only 22%. This begs the question, yet again, what attributes would be required in a fighter to defeat Mayweather?
How to Defeat Mayweather
At the top of my list would be a fighter with a crisp effective jab who could keep Mayweather off balance and cut down on his ability to accurately pot shot his opponent. If you look at the fight stats for the night, Maidana did not jab enough and Mayweather was clearly able to hit Maidana at will, connecting on 51% of his punches. Mayweather’s punching accuracy is unparalleled and it was clearly on display Saturday night.
Next, a fighter would have to be able to cut off the ring on Mayweather while keeping himself within punching distance at all times. Effective aggressiveness is something that Maidana did not show in this fight. He was unable to corner Mayweather this time, and whenever he fought Mayweather in the middle of the ring he was on the losing end of the exchanges.
Marcos does not have great footwork or balance so he could not take advantage of the few openings that were there. If Maidana really bit him, and close-ups were inconclusive in my judgment, it was only another mark of frustration that many fighters have felt when faced with a consummate artist in the ring.
I would want to see a fighter with hand speed and the ability to punch in combinations, especially up the middle, to negate Mayweather’s counterpunching stance. Maidana was waiting too long, did not initiate enough exchanges and he just did not get off first.
Of course you would want someone who punches hard enough to gain Mayweather’s respect. Especially in the 4th Round, Maidana did connect well one or two times as the clock wound down on the round. Unfortunately, his excellent end of round work did not make much of a difference except to perhaps win him two of the three rounds that he managed to win on my scorecard.
Also I would want a fighter with the kind of ring generalship and thinking man’s game that would not allow Mayweather’s holding tactics to be so completely effective. I was surprised that a trainer with the credentials of Robert Garcia would not have worked the referee a bit more on this pivotal issue which was pointed out on many occasions by the ringside commentators.
Why Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Will Happen Now
So where do we find such a fighter with all the attributes required to beat Mayweather? Unless Mayweather can fight himself, I’m afraid that the fighter that we need for this matchup is not on the horizon. It certainly isn’t Manny Pacquiao, either.
Perhaps the Pacquiao of several years back would come close, but I think that Mayweather beats the current version. Don’t think for a moment that Money Mayweather will let this financial windfall just slip by. The skills that he possesses are still at a very high level, while Pacquiao is starting to show more signs of decline.
Mayweather is in the driver seat and he will make the match only at the perfect time for him… and that time is fast approaching.