Multi-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jnr takes on hard-punching Argentine Marcos Maidana on May 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. As is custom with a May-Per-View event, it is Floyd who is the odds-on favourite, however, El Chino, 30, is being portrayed as a big dog with a real bite – if he wins, he’ll be bigger than Lionel Messi. The reality is, though, that he will do well to even win a round.
Marcos Maidana overcame Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner in their highly anticipated WBA welterweight title fight on Saturday night by a unanimous decision. The official scorecards were 115-110, 116-109 and 117-109 all in favour of the Argentinean. This meant that ‘El Chino’ took Broner’s title off him in his first defence, which he won against Paulie Mallignaggi earlier this year.
The haters got what they were hoping for. At the Alamodome in San Antonio, on Saturday, December 14, Marcos Maidana not only beat, but brutalised, Adrien Broner. The heavy-hitting and humble Argentine took the brash American’s zero and knocked him off his perch…
El Chino Marcos Maidana shoved an excitable Adrien Broner as he made his way to the scales at the weigh-in yesterday, unfazed at the American’s domineering theatrics, before engaging in a mandatory stare-down and refusing to bow to Broner’s bluster. Both men comfortably made weight and look particularly strong…
The Home Depot Center in Carson, California will be the site of one of the most intriguing clashes of boxing’s summer season, as Argentinean knockout artist Marcos Maidana faces off against Josesito Lopez in a 12 round fight for Maidana’s WBA intercontinental welterweight belt in the main event of a Showtime tripleheader set for Saturday, June 8.
The card will also feature a 12-round junior middleweight showdown between all-action warrior Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo and number one rated WBC super welterweight contender Erislandy Lara. There is also a clash for the vacant WBC super middleweight world title between number one contender Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika and Mexico’s Marco Antonio Periban, the number four rated 168 pounder.
“If you’re a fan of action fights, there is no better card to see than this one on June 8th,” said President of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya. “All three high-stakes bouts have the potential to be the main event and the winners who walk out of the Home Depot Center with their hands raised will know they’ve been in a fight.”
Stephen Espinoza, General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports added: “Like all of our recent fights, the fight between Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez is a matchup in which there is no clear-cut favorite. You can make a legitimate argument for either fighter. Maidana is one of the most exciting fighters in any division, and he’s facing an opponent, Josesito Lopez, who scored the biggest upset of 2012 and is now back in his most natural weight class.
“Top to bottom, this card is filled with fan-friendly, all-action fights. There is no question that Maidana versus Lopez will be one of the most entertaining, hard-fought matchups of the year, and the Angulo-Lara and Bika-Periban are sure to be hotly contested and action-packed as well.”
On his opponent, Maidana said: “Josesito Lopez is a tough challenge, but I’m ready for everything he will bring to the ring on June 8th. Beating him is the next step to getting a world title shot and I know I’ll get the victory.”
Lopez said: “I fight my best at home, and with the fans in my corner on June 8th, Maidana doesn’t have a chance. He’s going to push me hard from start to finish, but that’s when I truly shine. I promise this will be a great fight for the fans.”
On Lara, Angulo stated: “[He] is one of Cuba’s greatest talents, but I’ll have the California fans on my side and I’m determined to do whatever it takes to win. This is the most important fight of my career and I will perform like it when the bell rings.”
Lara added: “Angulo hits hard and is a tough fighter making this a classic boxer vs. puncher match up. I’m really excited for this fight. Come June 8th, I’m going to put on a boxing display and finally get the ‘W’ over a top fighter that has been taken from me in my past fights.”
Bika thanked Golden Boy: “I’m thankful to Golden Boy Promotions and the WBC for giving me this opportunity and I will make the most of it. Ever since I turned pro, my only goal was to win a world championship and on June 8th, Marco Antonio Periban won’t be able to stop me from getting that belt.”
“I’ve trained hard, I’ve made many sacrifices and I feel that my time is now to become Mexico’s next world champion. Sakio Bika will be my toughest challenge, but I have the skills, determination and heart to beat him. I’ll beat him and become the first Mexican super middleweight world champion and make history for all of Mexico.”
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Heavy-handed Argentinean slugger Marcos Maidana, the current incumbent of the ‘Regular’ WBA junior welterweight title, is in debt to 147lb southpaw Victor Ortiz as, according to the fighter himself, it is he who gave Maidana his name due to their 2009 thriller where both fighters exchanged multiple knockdowns. Ortiz believes he is owed either a thank you, or a rematch…
Exciting Oxnard power-puncher Ortiz, 25, was stopped by Maidana three years ago and, even though he has gone on to capture a world title at welterweight and secure a lucrative showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr (albeit one he was unsuccessful in), Maidana too saw his status rise since ’09 and has shared a ring with Amir Khan, Erik Morales and Devon Alexander.
“[Maidana] owes me a thank you or a rematch because I gave him his name,” spat Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko), who is in action himself on Saturday, June 23 as he takes on Josesito Lopez in a 12-round duel for the lightly-regarded silver title sanctioned by the WBC.
“Right now the main focus is on Lopez because he’s no walk in the park,” he continued. “I don’t disrespect anyone. There’s a dangerous fighter in front of me who is on the same path as I was a year ago before I fought [Andre] Berto, but the difference here is I’m too hungry to let my chance go.”
Ortiz has not fought since his defeat to Mayweather nine months ago. A rematch with Berto, slated for earlier in the year, was postponed as the Floridian suffered an injury to his bicep and so the bout was pushed back to June 23, however, Berto then failed a drug test. Ortiz’s opponent was duly changed but the date was salvaged as Lopez (29-4-0, 17ko) was brought in and, even though he has not locked leather in a professional environment since September last year, Ortiz is eager to return to the ring with a bang.
“If [Lopez] wants to go to war, we’ll go to war. If he wants to box, then we’ll box. It doesn’t really matter. I’m there to take what is rightfully mine.”
All Pictures: Ed Muholland/ HBO
Despite providing the main support to the Scottrade Center, Saint Louis main event – headlined by hometown favourite Devon Alexander and heavy-hitter Marcos Maidana on February 25 – Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner stole the show due to his headline-grabbing ring-walk, the undoubtedly elite-level performance he produced against a high-calibre challenger in Eloy Perez and, of course, his fight-ending knockout of the erstwhile undefeated Californian.
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
The talent-rich welterweight division just got even more saturated as Devon Alexander, criticised for three straight underwhelming performances at super lightweight, outboxed, outclassed and even out-hustled the fierce power-punching Marcos Maidana for each and every round of their entertaining 147lb bash at the Scottrade Center in Saint Louis, Missouri on Saturday, February 25.
Official verdict: Alexander wins unanimous decision (100-90 x 2 and 99-91).
Alexander outboxed Maidana in the opening round as he circled Maidana, who attempted to make himself a small target when Alexander unleashed one-twos and one-two-threes. While the Argentinean came out firing in the second round, it was the home fighter who was connecting with the cleaner shots with two punches connecting flush in swift succession while, later, the right cross attached to the introductory southpaw jab also confounded El Chino.
In the third, tones of a brawl began to hang over the contest like an ominous cloud that was, before the fight began, adjudged to have been a style tactic Alexander would not feel comfortable with and, even though he was cut to the outside of Devon’s eye, he closed the stanza well as he coped well with Maidana’s bigger punches but, crucially, fired back with as good - if not better – than he got.
At the start of the fourth, both fighters exchanged lowblows yet the illegal shots went unnoticed by referee Steve Smoger. Traditionally famed for his boxer-punching capabilities at super lightweight, the welterweight transition appeared to have heightened Alexander’s power as there was enhanced pop in his right jab, overhand left, right hook and all these punches, combined with the bodywork, had a clear effect on Maidana.
When Maidana went to throw in the fifth, Alexander would counter with a right, a body shot, a left cross… he was sharp-shooting, connecting with damaging shots and, throughout the entirety of the first half of the contest, looked exquisite. Maidana had been felled with a body shot by Amir Khan during their 2010 classic and, perhaps with this in mind, the methodical beating to the body continued in the sixth. Alexander’s superiority was punctuated with a legitimate knock down from a straight shot to the head but Smoger ruled the droppage a result of a slip, much to the crowd’s chagrin.
In round seven, Maidana slowed considerably… so much so, that Alexander was able to pick the pace up further, land a combination consisting of four to five punches, without anything coming in return from the blue corner fighter.
An inside battle erupted in the eighth with Maidana focusing on uppercuts while Alexander insisted on hooks. A body punch from Alexander was the catalyst for a flurry that troubled Maidana and, moments later, had backed himself into a corner, spoiled and received an Alexander forearm pressed into his face before Smoger separated the increasingly rough pugilists.
Alexander’s speed and sheer volume of work prevented Maidana from really letting his fists go in the contest’s penultimate round and, with Maidana so convincingly behind on the scorecards, required a Hollywood finish if he wanted to boost his win record.
In round ten, Alexander popped the one-two and the three punch combo with such speed and accuracy that, again, Maidana’s own attack was inhibited because he was so focused on keeping himself protected. Following a four shot flurry, he’d clinch, which again denied Maidana from throwing. It was, very much, punch perfection from Alexander who, at welterweight, boxed in a far more convincing manner than he had in his final three bouts at super lightweight.
Speaking to HBO: World Championship Boxing after his breakout display in his new weight class, Alexander said: “Me and my coach returned to the drawing board… we were doing the weight wrong, I was fighting 140 since I was 15-years-old. We now got the weight sorted.”
As convincing as a 100-90 scorecard is over ten threes, the margin of victory could have been even greater had the knockdown been scored by the referee: “That was a knockdown, it was a clean shot,” Alexander stated. “My power is there at 147. It don’t matter who’s next.”
Maidana, meanwhile, tipped his cap to Alexander but hinted that the voyage to welterweight weakened his strongest assets: “He’s very fast, a leftie, we’re not in my division but I did what I could.”
With the win, Alexander rose to 23-1-0, 13ko while Maidana dropped to 31-3-0, 28ko in defeat.
Ibrahim Harb – Birmingham
The names of Breidis Prescott and Amir Khan have seemed synonymously linked for so long because, since the former’s toppling of the latter in such extraordinary circumstances five years ago, the Colombian has hounded Khan in the press as he campaigned for a second go. Four losses in a two year period damaged his cause but the banger is back, has put Khan behind him and now wants to blast his way through the super lightweight elite.
In Prescott’s first 20 professional outings he amassed a staggering 18 stoppage victories, including the first round blowout over Khan which, to this day, remains one of the greatest upsets in British boxing history.
The 28-year-old had built up a reputation as a fierce puncher… one of the pound-for-pound biggest hitters in the sport, but the limited style was eventually figured out by Miguel Vazquez and Kevin Mitchell. Prescott (25-4-0, 20ko) altered his style, began to increasingly incorporate a hard and accurate jab into his repertoire and became a more multi-faceted fighter, as demonstrated by his April, 2011 decisioning of Bayan Jargal.
Two defeats followed the Jargal triumph. The first, a contentious one to Paul McCloskey in the Northern Irishman’s backyard and the second to fellow big-hitter Mike Alvarado. Neither of which Prescott takes lightly, indicating that it was his own mistakes that cost him the wins… against McCloskey he paid the price for accepting the match-up in McCloskey’s home town and against Alvarado he lost focus.
“I made a mistake against Alvarado in getting tired of hitting him,” Prescott conceded recently. “And McCloskey ran for his life and his neighbors, the judges, gave him the fight. These mistakes will never happen again. I want a title belt around my waist and no one can stop me ever again.”
The 140lb weight class is one teeming with talent… from the pinnacle of the division – title-holders Lamont Peterson and Timothy Bradley – to the contenders, Marcos Maidana in particular, there are many who can hold their own as a main event player and Prescott, unafraid, has called them all out to do what he believes Khan has been afraid to, get back in the ring with him.
He said: “If [WBA and IBF super lightweight world champion] Lamont Peterson was down from Amir Khan’s powder-puff punches, he won’t wake up for a week from one of mine. Same thing goes for Marcos the Maiden [Maidana]. If Khan can put you down, then I can put you to sleep. [WBO titlist] Timothy Bradley seems to have a long list of guys he’s afraid of. Am I another one? Ask him.”
Having lost twice in the latter half of 2012, it was important for Prescott to return to winning ways and his representative, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, was delighted with his charge’s third round teekayo over Joel Cassiani at the Coliseo Cubierto in Puerto Colombia, Colombia on January 27.
“Breidis needed a victory like this,” beamed Margules. “The bad decision to McCloskey and then running out of gas when he was hammering Alvarado were both disappointing setbacks, but a win like this will help him put it all back together.”
On the defeats to McCloskey and Alvarado, Margules commented: “Those were two elite contenders in the 140lb division and Breidis beat McCloskey anywhere but Ireland and was putting a serious beating on Alvarado for most of their fight. If anything, it proves he belongs among the best of the best.
“We’ll be looking to put him in with another top opponent in the near future.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
A classic stylistic match-up between the archetypal boxer against the feared heavy hitter takes place on February 25 at the Scottrade Center in Saint Louis as former super lightweight world champion Devon Alexander clashes with macho El Chino; Marcos Maidana. Alexander is relishing the bout – to be competed at 147lbs – and has indicated that he will be ready in order to compete against a Maidana who has one intention – decapitation.
“These last few fights at 140 pounds were hard for me to make weight,” said Alexander (22-1-0, 13ko) in St Louis this week. “I’m going to be stronger and faster at 147. Maidana is coming to tear my head off, but I’m going to be ready, 110 per cent.”
Trainer Kevin Cunningham echoed the sentiment made by his fighter and pointed out the potent threat El Chino poses: “We’re bringing a killer into Devon’s hometown who is going to try and take him out, but that’s the business of boxing. Devon is going to slay the killer on February 25.”
Alexander, despite his boxing skills, still has to convince commentators and fight fans that he is a big-time contender. The 24-year-old looked every bit of a world-beater in 2009 and 2010 when he scalped Junior Witter and Juan Urango, however, his three fights since have been questionable.
Against Bradley, in a two-belt unification contest in January, last year, he lost a technical decision in the tenth round due to cuts, however, he attracted criticism for the manner in which he appeared to willingly seek an exit route out of the fight. His heart, desire and willingness to take a punch at elite level consequently came into question. And, in the fight both before and after Bradley, Alexander was the main benefactor of fishy judging and hometown cooking as he secured dubious points victories over Andriy Kotelnik and Lucas Matthysse.
Following the censure regarding his heart, Alexander, however, has been moved into what should be applaudable fights as he has taken on two of the biggest pound-for-pound punchers in the modern game one directly after the other. What would have been more convincing would be to do so away from St Louis.
“I’m excited to fight in the United States again,” said Maidana (31-2-0, 28ko), unflustered by the prospect of trading leather in the city his opponent was born and raised in. “This [the US] is the Mecca of boxing. I dedicate my life to boxing and I’m taking this fight very seriously.”
Maidana’s adviser, Sebastian Contursi, added: “We are happy to be here. It’s been a long road with the cancelation of the Guerrero fight, so Marcos is very anxious to back in the ring.
“As usual, we will bring a war to St. Louis and, as everyone knows, Marcos always delivers!”
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