Mayweather won the battle but Maidana can win the war

The fight is being billed as 'Mayhem'.. Will the rematch live up to expectations? (©GettyImages)

Society normally believes in giving sinners a second chance to right their wrongs. This is mirrored in sport where the story of someone’s ‘shot at redemption’ is a familiar and popular narrative which has resonance with the fans because they can relate to it. After all, everyone makes mistakes, everyone has regrets. Therefore the average person has an affinity with someone who has fallen from grace but is resolving to restore their former glories.

However, in the harsh and unforgiving environment of boxing you are seldom ever given a second chance. The vast majority of fighters in the sport, however deserving they may be, rarely even get one shot at major success. It can be considered a minor miracle then that Floyd Mayweather has granted Marcos Maidana a second chance by agreeing to a September rematch. Furthermore, when you take into account how much trouble Maidana caused the usually unflappable Floyd Mayweather in May it makes it even more remarkable that he has decided to do it all again with Maidana next month.

In this article I suppose I am appealing for a second chance as well because after the initial bout between the two men, I wrote that there was really no merit in a rematch. Sure the first fight was a close, competitive contest, but the result was not controversial. Mayweather clearly deserved to get the decision.

Yet I have revised my initial estimation that the rematch will be irrelevant because I now believe that the outcome can be different. In short, in the first fight, Maidana did more to lose it than Mayweather did to win it. He had a golden chance to win the first fight but he ruined it by gassing out due to throwing hundreds of wild, wasteful punches that were way off target. Consequently, the second coming of Mayweather vs Maidana will only have a different conclusion if Maidana can learn from the mistakes he made in the first match up.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity was repeating the same actions over and over again but expecting different results. Yet it doesn’t take someone with the intellect of Einstein to predict that Maidana will suffer a similar fate in the rematch if he repeats the game plan he employed in the first fight against Mayweather.

New gameplan 

Even though his strategy in the first fight yielded relative success, it was the execution that was fundamentally flawed.

Maidana must aim to set the same frantic pace and apply similar levels of relentless pressure on Mayweather. He however cannot expect to prevail against a prizefighting genius and a defensive master by simply pinning Mayweather on the ropes and swinging recklessly with his power punches. There must be more method and less madness from Maidana if he is to have his hand raised in the rematch.

In the big fight build up Maidana’s trainer Robert Garcia has been at pains to emphasise that Maidana will paint a different picture this time. Garcia insists that instead of falling victim to insanity and repeating the same actions but expecting different results, this time Maidana will be more measured in his approach. I would echo Garcia’s sentiments. When Maidana has Mayweather at his mercy on the ropes, he must make him pay by replacing his unmitigated madness with the method of launching precision power shots to the head and body.

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Composure is the key 

There is no point trying to overwhelm Mayweather with reckless offensive onslaughts. Restraint and composure are the keys to victory for ‘El Chino’. Maidana has to cut off the ring and road block the escape routes of the elusive Mayweather, of course he does. On the other hand, he cannot close the distance to the point where he smothers his own punches as this will only serve to suffocate his chances of success.

Undoubtedly Maidana is lucky to get a second chance in the Mayweather lottery. Now he must use his shot at redemption to prove he is the man to decipher the ‘May-Vinci’ code.

This boxing fan now believes that Mayweather can be broken by Maidana. Do you?

Thanks for reading- I look forward to reading your comments.
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