On Saturday mornings the day of big fights, my routine is pretty well established. Wake up, hang out with the family for a little bit, grab a cup of coffee and pound out a brief preview of that evening's fight.
That routine was a little different today as it involved a panicked wake from sleep, followed by a dash to the laptop to see if the Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana glove controversy had been settled overnight.
It hadn't, and, as I write this, the fight is still very much in the air. Mayweather's manager has gone as far as to say that the fight is off -- you know, unless they get their way.
The safe bet is that the fight does go on. Mayweather likely makes $50 million for the fight, Maidana is guaranteed somewhere around $3 million (despite the "official payout" being listed at $1.5 mil), Showtime stands to make their money, as do the promoters. So the idea that anyone walks away over a last minute glove dispute would seem ridiculous.
The analysis for this Mayweather fight can be summed up in the same way as pretty much all Mayweather fights. Floyd is the heavy favorite. He's the heavy favorite because he's the better fighter. In fact, he's the best fighter on the planet.
Mayweather doesn't actually adjust his style too much for each opponent. He uses movement and defense to stay out of danger and counter while he also looks for openings for his perfect straight right hand. That right hand will land over and over again against Maidana, as it does against everyone.
For Maidana it's really a simple fight. Can he catch Floyd cleanly enough with a punch to knock him out?
Maidana certainly hits hard enough to make it happen. He caught Adrien Broner who was (quite lazily and inaccurately) sold as a "baby Mayweather," dropping him several times to earn that decision. So, yes, he hits hard enough that the "puncher's chance" is in play.
It's just that the doubt that Maidana can catch Mayweather runs deep. Mayweather very rarely gets caught, and Maidana isn't exactly creative in his offense.
There are other factors that one can look at if you're truly looking for reasons to think "hey, maybe this time will be different!"
Mayweather is dealing with "distractions," again. He recently took to Facebook to explain that he left his longtime girlfriend when she had an abortion, terminating a twin pregnancy. That he did would make that public is just typical Mayweather treating people like garbage. That he would do it at 3am a few days out from the fight is maybe slightly more concerning.
And then, there's the glove thing. So...maybe that's a distraction, too.
But, Mayweather won a tough fight with a jail sentence set to follow. So, distractions don't really make for that much of a concern beyond a desperate search for reasons that tonight will be the night Mayweather finally loses.
Maidana has to cut off the ring, get inside and land clean, hurting Floyd. A knockout is the only chance at victory, he simply can not win a decision here.
And he isn't going to get that knockout.
I'd be surprised if Maidana wins a round, shocked if he wins two.
Can Floyd get a stoppage? That's where the question lies.
I'll say Maidana guts it out, Mayweather by wide unanimous decision.