by Z. Tanner
Well, Maidana got his wish. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (46-0-0, 26 KOs) chose to fight a rematch against Marcos Maidana (34-4-0, 31 KOs) rather than fighting Amir Khan (a boxer who in my opinion deserves a tilt against Money), after completely outclassing him in the last fight. Maidana did land some good hits over the course of the first fight, but statistically the fight was lopsided. According to Compubox, Maidana threw over twice the total punches Money did, and still landed less total punches. Mayweather, Jr. won the numbers game, and looked impressive doing it – although most agree that the first fight was the closest fight he’s fought in years (much closer than his match with Canelo).
This fight in the MGM Grand on September 13th should be a bit less aggressive. Money has had time to change his strategy, and I’m sure he has no intentions to let himself get caught with those few wallops to the head early on. Maidana, meanwhile, will likely throw less punches in an attempt to conserve his strength – the power punches he threw in the late rounds last year were a far cry from the flurry he let loose early on, and his trainer needs to remind him to control his aggression and conserve his resources if he wants to win late rounds. Maidana is only 3-3 in full 12-round fights.
The aging Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is nearing 40, and may be entering the twilight years of his boxing career.
Money is getting older, as are we all. The more fights I watch of his, the more curious I grow about the number of years he has left. Regardless of how you feel about Floyd Mayweather, Jr., the day he hangs the gloves up for good will be a sad day for boxing, and an immense void will be left to be filled by younger boxers. Whether any have the talent, drive, and (most importantly) the marketability of Mayweather, Jr. is another story, and the fate of boxing viewership will hinge on the next generation of boxers.
There are a few young boxers I like that have the chance to take the next step. Amir Imam, the 23-year-old undefeated boxer fighting out of Brooklyn, has had some very good wins and knocked Jared Robinson clean out of the ring in a match earlier this year. 25-year-old Adrien Broner, adept at drawing the ire of boxing fans, has a very clean record with one bad loss to the boxer who got a rematch with Money. The hard-hitting Canelo Alvarez is still very young. Undefeated Danny Garcia also has an impressive résumé.
The likeable Léo Santa Cruz will face a tough test on September 13th.
Léo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 15 KOs) will face off against Manuel “Suavecito” Roman (17-2-3, 6 KOs) in a junior featherweight bout which should be very entertaining. Santa Cruz is fun to watch, with excellent outside punching and solid high defense. His tendency to keep his gloves so high leaves him susceptible to body shots, though, and if Suavecito is wise he will stay back and try to hurt his body. Unless Roman surprises with an outstanding performance, I think Santa Cruz wins.
Miguel Vazquez defends his lightweight title against Cleveland native Mickey Bey.
27-year-old Miguel “El Títere” Vazquez (34-3-0, 13 KOs) will fight relative unknown Mickey Bey (20-1-1, 10 KOs) in what is Bey’s first title challenge, and Vazquez’s sixth title defense. Vazquez is a bit of a taller, lankier fighter with a dangerous left uppercut and a slower-paced, defensive style. Bey, 31, is a very impressive fighter but Vazquez represents the largest challenge he has faced yet. This should be a very even fight until late, where I expect Bey to pull away. Vazquez doesn’t have the raw arm strength that Bey possesses, and this could go to knockout.
The last time we saw Alfredo Angulo, he wasn’t looking very good.
Alfredo Angulo (22-4-0, 18 KOs) is coming off two losses, both knockouts in the tenth round. He faces James De La Rosa (22-2-0, 13 KOs) in what should be a lopsided affair. De La Rosa just isn’t very good, and has faced many out-of-the-ring issues including a bankruptcy which forced him to switch promoters. He is 2-2 in his last four fights, and I don’t see him beating Angulo on September 13th.
Did anybody else watch Deontay Wilder’s tune-up fight against Jason Gavern? Wilder (32-0-0, 32 KOs) has yet to go beyond four rounds with an opponent, and the Olympic bronze medalist is entering his prime. It appears he will fight Bermane Stiverne in November for the WBC heavyweight title. Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) is no pushover, and I expect him to be the first fighter to take Wilder to five rounds or beyond due to his incredible chin and stamina. He stood there taking blow after blow from Chris Arreola, where most fighters would have gone down. However, I don’t expect anybody to beat Wilder anytime soon.
Gennady Golovkin, the famous Kazakh middleweight nicknamed “GGG”, has drawn a huge amount of hype on the Twitterverse, more so than Wilder. Golovkin (30-0-0, 27 KOs) has a rabid following among the international community and will fight Marco Antonio Rubio at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA on October 18th. Rubio (59-6-1, 51 KOs) presents a different challenge than what Golovkin is used to, but I still expect GGG to roll.
Watching Kell Brook win the IBF welterweight championship was very special. Brook (33-0-0, 22 KOs) deserves to get a chance to fight fellow limey Amir Khan. Khan (32-3-0, 19 KOs), likely stewing over the upcoming rematch between Money and Maidana, has a lot to think about regarding that match. If he loses to Brook, a fight against Mayweather, Jr. won’t happen.
For bettors, here are my predictions for all televised fights for Mayhem: Mayweather vs. Maidana II on September 13th:
Floyd Mayweather (46-0-0, 26 KOs) vs. Marcos Maidana (34-4-0, 31 KOs) by split decision
Leo Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 15 KOs) vs. Manuel Roman (17-2-3, 6 KOs) by TKO
Miguel Vazquez (34-3-0, 13 KOs) vs. Mickey Bey (20-1-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision
Alfredo Angula (22-4-0, 18 KOs) vs. James De La Rosa (22-2-0, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision