Several Mexican boxing legends recently took some time to talk about the Argentine of the moment - Marcos Maidana. Last May, "El Chino" went the distance with pound-for-pound boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr., before losing a decision.
On Sep. 13 the two will rematch. Whether Maidana can once more test Mayweather or not, he's already earned the respect of several Mexican boxing greats. Julio Cesar Chavez, Israel Vazquez, Erik Morales and former 154 pound champ Raul Marquez all had great praise for Maidana.
Speaking of characteristics stereotypically associated with Mexican fighters, all four Mexicanos seem to see a bit of themselves in Maidana. "I must confess I was amazed to see how courageous Maidana was. He squared up in front of Mayweather and just went at it with everything he had," Chavez said.
"He is brave and powerful and from the moment he steps into the ring, he fights like there's no tomorrow."
Morales seemed eager to claim Maidana for Mexico, at least in spirit. "When you think of what makes a great Mexican champion, you think of determination, aggressiveness, heart and the guts to get the job done," he began.
"That's what it means to be a great Mexican warrior. You leave everything in the ring, your heart and soul are out there...Maidana left his heart in the ring. He fights with passion and aggressiveness. He leaves it all out there."Vazquez was impressed by more than Maidana's fighting."Besides being a very good fighter, Marcos has a very nice characteristic - he's truly humble," he said.
"That's a feature you don't find that often in boxers of his caliber."
Marquez believes that Maidana can at least go the distance once more against Mayweather, in the rematch. "He can go the distance, if he wants," he said.
"[Maidana] made all Latinos proud. He stood in front of Mayweather like true Mexican champions do."
Or, as Maidana would likely say, all Argentine champs do.