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How many punches will Maidana land against Floyd?

maidana433By Bob Smith: It is early spring, and thus again it is time for a Floyd Mayweather Jr (45-0, 26 KO’s) fight on Cinco De Mayo against WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana (35-3, 31 KO’s). Who will win, the pointless rhetorical question proclaims? Of course it will be Mayweather. Again, this intends no disrespect for Maidana, he is easily a top 10 welterweight, and arguably, given the improvements he has made with excellent trainer Robert Garcia, a top 6 welterweight. Of course, he is champion, but he took it from Adrien Broner, who was not the strongest welterweight champion in recent memory.

The fight that I would really like to see is Maidana vs. Robert Guerrero, that would be an excellent fight and probably a toss up, though I would give the slight edge to Guerrero due to superior boxing skill and experience.

So, then, given that we have a Mayweather win, the fun question will be how many punches Maidana will land. Maidana has a strong chin, and Mayweather is not a power puncher, and will be wary of giving Maidana any opportunities to get back in the fight, so while I do see Mayweather getting a knockdown or two, I don’t see a KO.

Actually, I will say that I read an excellent article by Bob Smith on this issue about 9 months ago when he made predictions for the Mayweather vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight:

Alvarez will land fewer than 7 punches per round en route to a clear loss

While his thesis was largely correct, I do fault the author for his punch count prediction – the author argued that Alvarez would land 85 +/- ten punches in the end, whereas the actual punch total landed was 117. To be fair, the precise total he predicted was 92, and thus Alvarez landed 15 more punches than the author predicted. So, I hope that he was chastened by that fact, and has come around to respecting Alvarez more, especially given the big win of Alvarez overAlfredo Angulo.

I will say this: though Maidana is champion, he is an underrated champion, and has improved greatly and perfected a style suited to his natural aggressiveness with trainer Robert Garcia. Mayweather will take a few rounds to time him, and he has more of a puncher’s chance than Guerrero. The key question is whether or not Mayweather will be able to fully tame him and then punish him with his left hooks and wide variety of straight rights. This is an open question for me.

To summarize the Bob Smith article briefly: in the past eight years, the four highest punch totals against Mayweather were: De La Hoya, 122; Alvarez, 117; Guerrero, 113; Cotto, 105. Where will Maidana stand compared to these fighters? Will Maidana give Floyd as tough a time as did Cotto, or will he hand as many as did Alvarez?

My prediction is that Maidana will give Mayweather a much tougher fight than expected and will hurt him once or twice in the fight, as Shane Mosley did, but will not knock him down. I predict Maidana will land 108 punches against Mayweather, and will do roughly as well as Miguel Cotto did. But, Mayweather will get the UD, and will lose at most 3-4 rounds.

Please let me know what your prediction is for the number of punches Maidana will land.

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