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Marcos Maidana vs. Phil Lo Greco in play for June

Marcos Rene Maidana Alex Ariza Phil Lo Greco

By Mike Smith: Marcos Maidana’s strength & conditioning coach Alex Ariza says they’re interested in matching him against Phil Lo Greco (28-4, 15 KOs) for his comeback fight in June, and they want the weight for the fight to be either 152 or 153 pounds. Lo Greco, 34, wants the fight to take place at 154, says Ariza. Either way, Maidana’s team wants the Lo Greco fight.

Former two division world champion Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) has been out of the ring for five years since retiring following his 12 round decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their rematch in September 2014. Maidana, 35, was initially well over 200 lbs when he started his training camp three weeks ago, and he’s already lost 23 1/2 lbs, according to Ariza.

“It’s day 17, he’s taking baby steps right now,” said strength & conditioning trainer Alex Ariza to Fighthype about the training for Maidana. “It’s very realistic that we’ll be able to pull this off [Maidana getting his weight down low enough for him to fight at 152 or 153 lbs for his June fight].”

Ariza doesn’t expect the weight to keep flying off at that pace though. Maidana is currently at 190 lbs, so he’s roughly slightly less than 40 lbs away from the 152 to 153 lbs that Ariza is aiming for him to be at in June when he makes his comeback fight against Lo Greco or whoever. Maidana in reality needs to take off far less than 40 lbs to get back to his old fighting weight of 160 to 165 lbs. If Maidana decides to fight at 160, which is what he weighed for his second fight with Mayweather, then he has 30 lbs to lose in three months. That’s easily an attainable weight. If Maidana opts to fight at 165 lbs, and dehydrate down to 147 for his fights, then he merely has to lose 25 lbs. Given that Maidana recently lost close to 25 lbs in just three weeks, it shows how easy it’s going to be for him to make for his next fight in June, be it 147 or 152. Since Lo Greco is asking for the fight to take place at 154, that’ll be even easier for Maidana. It won’t matter whether the fight is at 147, 152 or 154. Lo Greco is someone that Maidana will likely knock out right away. Lo Greco hasn’t fought in 11 months since being stopped in the first round by Amir Khan in April 2018. Besides that, Lo Greco has lost three out of his last five fights. He was a decent fighter at one point in his career, but he’s not that same guy anymore, and he’s staying active for some reason.

“It was like three weeks ago, and it was 23 1/2 lbs,” Ariza said in making it clear that Maidana didn’t lose 25 lbs in two weeks like what had been rumored.

The diet that Ariza put Maidana on during the first three weeks of training likely is what accounts for the rapid weight loss. Maidana wasn’t taking in as many calories as before, so the weight came off quickly. But he’s not likely going to continue to lose weight as rapidly as he did initially. That’s not how it goes. Unless the training is hard, Maidana will slowly take off the weight depending on how whether he sticks with the diet, and doesn’t cheat by gorging fast food or drinking alcohol.

“We’re looking at it like we’re going to go to 147 lbs,” Ariza said in Maidana’s training for his June fight. “That’s what we’re trying for. Should that Lo Greco thing come to fruition, apparently he said he could fight anybody he wants, so that’s who he wants to fight. Lo Greco is the one that wants to start at 154. I would prefer we get to 153 or 152. Yeah, because he [Lo Greco] wants to be a 154 pounder, but we’re willing to take that fight,” said Ariza.

What a lot of boxing fans want to know is WHY Maidana has chosen to make a comeback now after being retired for five years? The fans want to know if Maidana is broke after having made millions in his two fights against Mayweather in 2014. Maidana isn’t saying whether he needs money or not. But with the high possibilities of big money fights for Maidana against Adrien Broner and Manny Pacquiao, it makes sense for him to return to the ring, if only for those fights. Maidana would have made a lot of money had he continued fighting in 2014 instead of retiring. Maidana was fighting at a high level when he retired at age 31. There was no reason for Maidana to retire. One can speculate that Maidana might not have been excited at the prospects at the time of making considerably less in his fights following the two Mayweather matches. When a fighter gets a taste of big money against top fighters, it’s sometimes difficult for them to return to making the smaller money. But if Maidana had just kept fighting all this time, he would have made money like Broner has, and he’d be seating well. Broner hasn’t been a world champion since 2016, and yet he’s made tons of money as the B-side opponent in fights against Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter. Being signed for big money by a promoter also is where a fighter like Maidana can make good money.

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