By Rudy Mondragon
Danger Zone is the theme for the highly anticipated showdown between Marcos Rene Maidana and Adrien Broner set to take place in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. This fight is definitely in the zone of danger for both fighters as each has qualities that can disrupt game plans. From Maidana’s great power and ability to take punches and get stronger as the fight progresses to Broner’s ability to set the pace of a fight and outbox opponents. Don’t disregard the scoring in Texas either, many controversial calls have been made in this problematic boxing state. Given that Broner is Golden Boy’s new baby and Maidana will be a fan favorite in Texas, I am not sure who will have the edge if this fight is close and goes the distance.
This will be Broner’s second fight as a welterweight (147lbs). He proved himself in his first welterweight fight against Paulie Malignaggi, a great technical boxer who has a slap for a power punch. Despite Paulie’s outstanding boxing performance and outworking his opponent, Broner was able to squeeze by with a split decision as he was able to land more effective power punches. Styles make fights and in this one, Broner executed a tactic of landing accurate power shots, but connecting at a lower volume as he was in the ring with a pure boxer. Tomorrow’s fight will be interesting because Maidana’s style of moving forward, taking a punch to land one of his own, will play into Broner’s ability to land counter shots and work towards breaking down his opponent.
Maidana is experienced in the welterweight division having scored victories over Soto Karass, Angel Martinez and Josesito Lopez. His first trip to this division greeted him with a defeat at the fists of Devon Alexander. We have learned that Maidana’s power has carried over to this division and is a legitimate threat to boxers who eat a signature Maidana power punch. With the addition of Robert Garcia in April of 2012 following his defeat to Alexander, Maidana has looked a bit sharper in regards to his defense and newborn use of his jab. I recently attended a sparring session between Maidana and Steve Forbes. What I gathered from the 6 rounds was that Maidana is working hard to establish his jab, cut the ring and overwhelm his opponents on the ropes/corner to unleash combos to the body and head. It will be important for Maidana to be mindful that Broner can box on the ropes and can counter accurate shots. Look for this to take place tomorrow night.
Keys to Victory
- Dictate the pace of the fight by slowing it down. Broner will be able to frustrate Maidana and force him to adjust to the speed of the fight that Broner wants it in. Control the pace, control the fight.
- Do not exchange with the powerful Maidana. Broner is a smart fighter, takes after Floyd Mayweather. Broner will need to stay smart and not get sucked into a brawl and fight his fight.
- Pick his counter shots, land his powerful right when able to and set everything up with jabs. This will allow Broner to breakdown Maidana and possibly (small possibility in my eyes) set up a KO/TKO late into the fight.
- It’s a good thing Maidana doesn’t speak English because Broner’s strategy will be to execute mind games. Broner talks a great game, it is part of his holistic game plan. Maidana will need to stay focused and listen to Robert at all times.
- Cut the ring off and force Broner into the ropes and into corners. This will present opportunities for Maidana to land some body shots and head blows. It will come at a cost however, as Broner will land some punches of his own.
- Engage in a dirty, scrappy and uncomfortable fight. Maidana will need to fight at close courters with Broner in an attempt to not let him breath. Overwhelming Broner will create serious adversity. We are yet to see Broner make the necessary adjustments in a challenging fight. Maidana will need to be the first.
I am giving the edge to Broner due to his quickness, boxing skills and IQ. Although his power at the welterweight division is not what it was when he was fight at the 130 and 135lbs limit, he will nonetheless outbox Maidana and collect points round after round. Although Maidana is a better fighter than what we saw when he fought against Devon Alexander, we need to be mindful that Maidana struggles against technical boxers. In my eyes, Broner is a better boxer than Alexander with slightly more power. The key for tomorrow’s fight is that Broner will control the pace of the fight. He will dictate when the fight runs at a fast pace and then he will slow it down when need be. This will frustrate Maidana and force him to look for that one power punch that will put Broner away. That is Maidana’s window of opportunity however. If he can land a game breaker shot, it might put Broner at risk of suffering his first defeat. Broner will be tested physically tomorrow, whether it is by a punch or Maidana making Broner feel uncomfortable. It will be interesting to see how well Broner takes a Maidana power punch. For that to happen though, Maidana will first have to catch the slick boxer. My prediction is that this fight will go to the cards, with Broner winning the fight 116-112 on my card.
Thoughts Blood Money Boxing family??