May 3, 2014
OK, here’s the deal:
Maidana has NO chance of winning. He never did. It doesn’t matter who’s training him. He simply does not have what it takes to beat Mayweather. In fact, his style is pretty much tailor-made to make Floyd look very good. Fortunately, most people already know this, so there is more complaining than excitement leading up to tomorrow.
That being said, don’t be surprised if you see Mayweather get a stoppage against Maidana, because this fight has all of the makings of another Mayweather-Hatton, where a relentless brawler is too one-dimensional to stop pursuing a master counter-puncher and finally absorbs one too many check-hooks (or, in this case, straight rights as Maidana is delivering an overhand right).
Yes, there is a way to beat Mayweather, just like there is a way to beat every other fighter, but NO, Maidana does not have the tools to employ the strategy that would work against Floyd, even if you taught it to him over and over again.
How do you beat Mayweather? I’ve answered that question many times, but I’ll give you a short summary. There are four basic tactics that a fighter must follow in order get the best of “The Best Ever”
1.) EXPLOIT HIS NEED FOR CONTROL- In order for Mayweather to dominate a fight, he first needs to make sure that his opponent is fighting the type of fight that’s easy for Floyd to direct. Mayweather’s a counterpuncher, so he needs for his opponent to pursue him while throwing many punches so that Floyd can lead the opponent exactly where he wants him to go, all the while countering and blocking and scoring. Once him and his opponent have gotten into that groove, then it’s smooth sailing through the rest of the fight. An opponent who does not follow Floyd and does not punch when Floyd wants him to will take away Floyd’s best game and force him to go to Plan B.
2.) EXPLOIT HIS NEED FOR PREDICTABILITY- Unfortunately for many fighters, Floyd DOES have a plan B, and it’s really good. If he can’t control you outright, then he can still easily dominate you as long as he knows exactly what you are going to do. Take Guerrero, for example: He followed rule #1 nicely. When Mayweather retreated to the ropes, Guerrero stayed in the center of the ring and did not give chase. He also did not allow Mayweather to grab him and move him around, but instead began hitting Floyd whenever he tried that. However, once he was in the center of the ring and there was no tussling going on, Guerrero had no more tricks up his sleeve, and Floyd saw that, so he just landed lead right hands the whole rest of the fight. How? Because Floyd was finally able to predict what the Ghost’s moves were going to be, and it wasn’t exactly hard, since all Guerrero did was stand in the middle of the ring with his hands up in a pretty poor guard. Once Mayweather knows what you are going to do, then he knows how he’s going to counter it, and he is a MASTER at countering. In order to keep him from figuring you out, you need to be the type of fighter who has the physical skills to switch tactics many times throughout a fight, as well as move all around the ring so that Floyd never locks onto you.
3.) EXPLOIT HIS NEED FOR ACCURACY- Notice how the first three things on this list are things that can be exploited in Floyd, but most of the time these very same things are referred to as Floyd’s strengths. Why? Because A STRENGTH CAN EASILY BE EXPLOITED. How does this work? It’s easy. Human nature dictates that a person will rely much heavier on their strengths than their weaknesses, and the easiest way to exploit something is if a person relies on it heavily. Floyd is an accuracy puncher, not a volume puncher. He relies on being able to land the punches that he throws as close to 100% of the time as possible. This is a strength, which means (say it with me) that it can be EXPLOITED. How do you exploit this? That’s just as easy, by employing a tragically underused tactic known as HEAD MOVEMENT. Look at the Castillo fight. People often thing that Castillo’s pressure was what Floyd had so much trouble with, even though Mayweather has eaten up other equally high-pressure fighters with no issue. Go back and look at how much Castillo moved his head. I’ll bet it was a lot more than you remember. That first fight, Floyd had the hardest time locking onto his target, which was Castillo’s dome (remember, Floyd is not that much of a body puncher). You take away one of his best assets, and then Mayweather starts to look a lot more mortal, and that’s exactly what we saw that night. You wanna know who knows how to move his head and is on the elite level? Timothy Bradley. You heard it here first.
4.) EXPLOIT HIS NEED TO NOT GET HIT- Money doesn’t like getting hit. Period. He always talks about how it’s not cool to take punishment. He always boasts about how he can hit-and-not-get-hit. However, the truth is that he does all of this because he REALLY does not like taking punches to the face. It disturbs him, partly because it hurts (Duh), and partly because it disrupts his rhythm, which is exactly what he is supposed to be doing to his opponent. This one is simple: You keep hitting Mayweather, and you will keep beating Mayweather. Why does no other fighter do it if it’s so simple? Because in order to consistently land on Floyd, a fighter must employ an equally tragically underused boxing tactic, and that is called…… Wait for it….. THE JAB. There is a reason that Mayweather likes fighting guys like Maidana, and that is because they have no jab. The last time Mayweather fought a guy who truly knew how to jab, he almost lost to an over-the-hill De La Hoya. He got lucky that DLH had stopped training by that point in his career and he ran out of gas after the 8th round. Otherwise, Floyd would be 44-1.
That’s it folks, plain and simple. Can Maidana do ANY of these things? Of course not, but if he could, would he have even gotten this shot? Doubtful.