Nobody in boxing needs to be told that this weekend is the next mega-fight for Floyd Mayweather, this time facing Marcos Maidana in a rematch of their last fight. Maidana won several early rounds in the previous bout, using an all action, swarming style that pushed Mayweather back against the ropes and forced him to contend with a barrage of close hooks that were thrown from strange angles, curling around Floyd’s famous guard in a way that few fighters have been able to do. Many more punches were landed on Floyd than in previous fights, which led many to have high hopes for Maidana’s potential win as the early stages of the fight took shape. Floyd’s success, however is not based only upon a perfect defense, but more so on the ability to observe the opponent’s attack and make crucial adjustments that will render offenses useless. Predictably, the last fight took this pattern, Maidana winning early rounds and then beginning to become less and less effective as the fight progressed. This was not due completely to Maidana becoming more tired as the rounds piled up, but instead because of him being less effective as Floyd figured him out, and adjusted to compensate.
Floyd has now seen El Chino for twelve rounds, and if there is any potential for victory on Chino’s part, it will come in the form of an offense that Floyd has not seen yet. He simply must come into the fight throwing different punches than the last time. The short hooks that were so effective against Broner and Floyd in the early stages of their fights will not work for very long, as Floyd has had ample time to figure out how to compensate and turn them into a counter-punching opportunity. Maidana needs a new punch combination in order to give Floyd a different view that he has not yet seen.
While watching “All Access” recently, we noticed that Robert Garcia is doing just that, and trying to develop different punch combinations that will disrupt Floyd’s defense. One in particular stands out, it being a quick one-two power combination that is thrown in a way that looks like a jab. Chino fires his right as a hard jab, then throws a power left without turning his body, using his reach to connect. This could potentially pay dividends for Chino, as the right will cause Floyd to tuck deep behind his shoulder and committing to a defensive posture. If he pulls all the way in to that stance, the power left may be able to connect to Floyd’s head on the open side. The question is “will Chino have the ability to actually execute the strategy, or will he simply go back to his natural style once Floyd counters him?” This remains to be seen.
In a nutshell, if Chino can use his new combination to connect to Floyd’s left side, then flurry using the short hooks that were effective in the early rounds last time, there is a possibility that he could hurt Floyd early. If he does enough body work he could also slow Floyd down in the later rounds. These two offenses are very different, however, and chances are we will only see one or the other, not both body work and head combinations as well.
Floyd doesn’t need to change anything in this fight except potentially staying off the ropes more than he has recently. The fight is Maidana’s to win, if he can keep Floyd guessing long enough to potentially catch him with something big. Smart money is still on Floyd by decision, or potentially by a mid-fight knockout….but it has the potential to be interesting if Chino can stick to the game plan.