WBA titleholder Marco Maidana said he will "not only carry the weight of my Argentine people into the ring with me but also the pride and glory of Hispanics around the world" when he challenges RING and WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
Along with RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, RING number one-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse and hard-hitting 147-pounder Luis Carlos Abregu, Maidana (35-3, 31 knockouts) is among several Argentine fighters who are chasing the legacy of the legendary middleweight Carlos Monzon.
"I know I not only carry the weight of my Argentine people into the ring with me but also the pride and glory of Hispanics around the world," said Maidana, in a prepared release. "It would mean everything to me to be able to do something that no one has done in this sport before. I know it will bring great pride to Argentina."
The 37-year-old Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) has faced other Argentine fighters during his storied career, defeating Gustavo Cuello in 1998, Carlos Rios in 1999 and Carlos Baldomir in 2006, all three by unanimous decision.
Maidana has won four consecutive bouts, three of them by stoppage, since falling by unanimous decision to southpaw Devon Alexander in his welterweight debut in February 2012.
"Maidana has every possible chance of winning," said Martinez. "He has two bricks in his hands and he's shown that fact on several occasions."
In his last fight in December, Maidana scored knockdowns in the second and eighth rounds of a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Adrien Broner, earning his current belt.
"Marcos has the power to hurt Mayweather. We saw that in the Broner fight," said Matthysse. "If he connects with the right shot and has a chance to connect with more shots, he will be able to beat Mayweather."