Trainer Robert Garcia's game plan for Marcos “Chino” Maidana against Floyd Mayweather Jr. will resemble that which the Argentine fighter employed during December's unanimous decision over Adrien Broner.
Maidana's triumph was his fourth straight victory, dethroning the previously unbeaten Broner as WBA welterweight titleholder. Maidana staggered Broner 20 seconds into the fight and his left-right-left hook combinations scored knockdowns in the second and eighth rounds.
Maidana (35-3, 31 knockouts) approached the Broner fight believing he could not win a decision but he did with judges Stanley Christodoulou, Nelson Vazquez and Levi Martinez who scored it 115-110, 116-109, and 117-109, respectively for Maidana. RingTV.com had it for Maidana, 115-110.
"I thought that we beat him convincingly. All three judges had Maidana way ahead. So those are things that are the results of hard work, hard training, dedication, and a good game plan and good coaching," Garcia said during an interview with RingTV.com.
"With Mayweather, we'll try to do the same thing. Broner does fight a lot like Mayweather. So, now, I'm sure we're going to try to come out the same way. Mayweather is a lot different, and we can't fight exactly the same, but they do have similar styles."
Garcia said Maidana's game plan for Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) will be similar to that heading into the bout with Broner, which was to drill shots to the body that would force him to be more stationary and also force his guard down.
Maidana landed 120 more overall punches (269-to-149) than Broner (27-1, 22 KOs), connected on 109 more power shots (231-to-122), and 11 more jabs (38-to-27). Also contributing to Maidana’s domination was his punishing work downstairs, where the 30-year-old Argentine connected on 101 body blows, according to statistics provided by Showtime.
"Before the Broner fight, there were people who were saying that Maidana had no chance against Adrien Broner, and that he was the next Mayweather and the next No.1 pound-for-pound guy," said Garcia. "This is not something that I am just saying because I want to say it. This is something that everybody was saying about him. He was the next star. But in the end, the fight wasn't even close."
Maidana first arrived at Garcia's gym in Oxnard, Calif., as a hard-nosed, heavy-handed determined fighter, yet one who was coming off a one-sided unanimous decision loss to southpaw Devon Alexander in his 147-pound debut in February of 2012.
Garcia gradually improved Maidana's footwork and tightened his defense over the course of the fighter's knockouts in the eighth round over Jesus Soto Karass, the third against Angel Martinez and the sixth opposite Josesito Lopez.
Gone were some of the deficiencies prevalent in Maidana when he lost to similarly skilled boxer-puchers such as Alexander and Amir Khan, and technicians such as Andriy Kotelnik, who have beaten him.
Maidana was a more consistent, more accurate power-puncher than the one who was troubled by experienced ex-beltholders Erik Morales and DeMarcus Corley, against whom he struggled to win decisions.
"Look, the way that we got better is that we took it one fight at a time. We started out with the one fight, then the second fight, and then the third fight," said Garcia. "Then, we were able to pull off a win against Broner, who is somebody that a lot of people were saying was the next Mayweather and who was being compared to Mayweather before the fight."
Aggression, said Garcia, has historically broken down many of the best boxers.
"We know that’s the only way to beat somebody like Adrien Broner, or that’s the way to beat somebody like Floyd Mayweather Jr., and that’s the way that Roberto Duran beat Sugar Ray Leonard the first time," said Garcia, during an intervew within days of the victory over Broner.
“Those are the types of styles that beat the great defensive fighters. Don’t respect them, keep the pressure on them. That’s how Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. was eventually able to beat Meldrick Taylor by knocking him out in the last round, by just constantly keeping up the pressure and throwing punches and not giving him the respect and no chance at all to breathe. That’s what Maidana did to Adrien Broner.”
Still, others have tried to similarly overwhelm Mayweather only to be knocked out, such as Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, Ricky Hatton and Arturo Gatti.
"Floyd Mayweather is the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing right now, and there are some people who think that he could be one of the best fighters in history. So this is definitely a challenge. But styles make fights, and Maidana's style is one of those that I've been able to work with and help him to pull those big fights off," said Garcia, who expects Maidana to begin training in Oxnard on March 10.
"When you go back in history, maybe some of those types of styles, like Maidana's, haven't always been able to pull those big fights off. I know that it hasn't always happened, but it has happened. So Maidana's going to come to the fight in shape, and we'll come up with a good game plan. We'll throw a lot of punches and see how how it goes. Once I've got Maidana here, we'll start training and I will sit down and watch a lot of videos and I'll start coming up with a good game plan for Mayweather."
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