COMMENTARY | Floyd Mayweather may be in the right place at the right time to reap the unexpected benefits coming from "Baby Bro" Adrien Broner's upset defeat last Saturday night.
Marcos Maidana's shockingly easy dismantling of Broner Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas has immediately placed the hard-hitting Argentine at the top of the list of possible foes for "Money" Mayweather's proposed May 3 return date in Las Vegas.
Maidana, who out-worked, out-toughed, and generally outclassed the always cocky Broner, took the WBA welterweight title via decisive unanimous decision and immediately earned a place among the very best in the 147 lb. class. The effort put forth by the earnest, honest battler simply reinforced his reputation as one of boxing's most compelling performances and, in this case, may make the case that a showdown with Mayweather could (and maybe even should) take place next.
It isn't exactly a well-kept secret that Broner has patterned both his in-ring style and outside-the-ring image after Mayweather. The similarities have actually inspired some to label Broner "Mayweather Light" and have been the focal point of attacks against the three-division world champ before Maidana ever got a chance to knock him down a few pegs.
The similarities between Broner and Mayweather make it easier to sell a Maidana-Mayweather clash without it being laughed off as a hopeless mismatch between an elite-level superstar and a glorified gatekeeper.
Maidana's victory over Broner does make it easier to imagine the tough Argentine doing similarly well against Mayweather. At least superficially, fans now know that Maidana's wild-swinging style can be effective against a quick, athletic fighter dedicated to using the shoulder roll defense. Fans also saw evidence that Maidana, indeed, belongs on the main stage and can deliver a world class effort when facing stiff competition and long odds.
Of course, in reality, there are only superficial similarities between Broner and Mayweather. Most knowledgeable observers recognize that Broner is simply not as good as Mayweather and is deeply lacking in the type of knowledge and character needed to do what Mayweather has done in the sport.
While Mayweather has spent years developing his genius-level ring IQ, fine-tuning his defense and counter-punching technique into a nearly-unbeatable combination, Broner was busy perfecting the image-associated details of Mayweather's rise to fame. The 24-year-old from Cincinnati, nicknamed "The Problem," played with stacks of cash, spoke of owning the sport, and relied heavily on pure athletic ability in climbing the ladder to boxing stardom.
However, as Broner learned Saturday, athletic ability and heavy hype may bring you to the main stage, but they can't keep you there. In hindsight, the defeat should've been predictable as Broner's ego seemed to be in collusion with several glaring deficiencies in his technical ability. Few, though, ever imagined that Maidana could exploit Broner's weaknesses to such an extent that he would strip all the luster from Broner's rising star.
And while this destruction of Broner is fresh in the minds of fans, punctuated by two legitimate knockdowns of the trash-talking hip-hop bad guy, it may be time for Team Mayweather to jump at the chance of making a Maidana fight. The casual fans may be sold on the legitimacy of the match-up because of the superficial similarities between Broner and Mayweather and even some hardcore fans might be intrigued by the possibilities.
Given the available and realistic options for Mayweather in his next bout, Maidana has to rank above Amir Khan and any other fighter recently rumored to be in line for a shot at Mayweather. Even in a worst case scenario, if Maidana finds himself well above his head against the five-division champ, fans would at least be guaranteed an honest effort from the heavy-handed brawler.
It could be argued that recent wins over Broner, Josesito Lopez, and Jesus Soto-Karass have earned Maidana the shot at the biggest of all money fights and Mayweather, who would probably cruise to an easy victory over Maidana, would be foolish not to jump at this "right time, right place" match-up.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Marcos Maidana
- Adrien Broner