The best of the best have climbed into ring with a game plan to be the first to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Instead, they got stuck with a different number: Oscar De La Hoya was the 38th boxer to lose to Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez the 40th, Miguel Cotto the 43rd and Saul Alvarez the latest at 45.
So if those well-known, highly regarded boxers – among others like Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley – couldn’t come close to beating Mayweather, why should little-known, lightly regarded Marcos “El Chino” Maidana of Argentina have a chance Saturday night in Las Vegas?
Because Maidana, the World Boxing Association welterweight champion, has the technique and mindset to pull off boxing’s biggest upset since Buster Douglas, another relative boxing unknown, beat Mike Tyson in 1990.
Maidana is an 11-1 underdog against Mayweather with a betting line of plus-750 – meaning for every $100 you bet on the underdog, you win $750.
What oddsmakers may not see is a hungry 30-year-old brawler with a nothing-to-lose, everything-to-win attitude. Maidana is a high-risk, high-reward fighter who will attack Mayweather early, unlike any other opponent he’s faced.
Maidana was a plus-400 underdog when he won the WBA belt last December with a unanimous decision over Adrien Broner, who patterns his boxing style – solid defense, stick-and-move – and flamboyant lifestyle after Mayweather. Maidana attacked early, knocking a shocked and overwhelmed Broner down twice.
Of Mayweather’s eight big-name opponents since 2007, Maidana is the biggest underdog. But every dog has one day in the sun, or under the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.
– Victor Contreras
Who will win Saturday’s WBC-WBA welterweight title fight?
• Marcos Maidana
• Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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