Marcos Maidana: Six of his best
Mark E. Ortega
On Tuesday, Argentinian former titlist Marcos Maidana announced his resignation from the ring after compiling a 35-5 ledger with an astonishing 31 victories coming by way of knockout.
"After a long time out of the rings and after giving it a lot of thinking since my last fight, I've decided to hang up the gloves for good,” Maidana announced via his Facebook account.
“Only through a great physical and mental effort can you mix in the ring with the best of the world if winning is your goal. And I always wanted to win. Today I do not feel motivated enough, do not have the fire inside me to intend to climb those mountains again. That is why I announce my retirement."
Credit to Maidana for calling it a day instead of lumbering on without the passion, the way many fighters often do. Since entering the world scene with a controversial decision loss to then-WBA 140-pound champion Andriy Kotelnik in 2009, the heavy-handed Maidana has given us plenty of memorable battles. Boxing Monthly looks back at Maidana's six greatest fight below.
1. Marcos Maidana UD12 Adrien Broner, 14 December 2013, San Antonio, TX
When this fight took place in the final month of 2013, Broner might have been the most-hated pugilist outside of his “big bro” Mayweather. That's what made Maidana turning Broner into Bambi legs with an eighth-round knockdown so appealing. Maidana had earlier put the unbeaten Broner on the canvas in the second and proved to be too much, earning a clear victory and a shot at Floyd Mayweather along with it. Though Broner's career has since unravelled, Maidana was the first to expose him the same way he did with Victor Ortiz four years earlier. If Maidana was anything over the course of his career, he was a great litmus test to separate the good fighters from the near-greats. There are a handful of fights that Maidana also took part in that rank as more exciting than some guys' entire careers. We were lucky to have him for as long as we did and hope he enjoys his retirement.
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr MD12 Marcos Maidana, 3 May 2014, Las Vegas, NV
If there's one thing unbeaten all-time great Floyd Mayweather Jr. hasn't been very often in the past decade, it's entertaining. He'd hardly ever been in danger of losing his “0” in the near decade dating back to a close win over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 (C.J. Ross' atrocious 114-114 card in the Canelo fight notwithstanding), and Maidana presented a seemingly easy stylistic match-up for the pound-for-pound great. Maidana launched an all-out assault from the opening bell, forcing Mayweather on the ropes for long periods of time with the champion taking the most punishment he's received since a close battle with Jose Luis Castillo in 2002. Though Maidana ran out of gas a bit in the latter part of the fight, he gave Mayweather all he could handle over 12 entertaining rounds. Many ringside observers felt it was a fight that could've gone either way, but Mayweather prevailed on two out of three scorecards to keep his perfect record intact. It was enough to earn Maidana a rematch and another sizable payday – the combination of those two is what will allow Maidana to enjoy the remainder of his life with less worry about finances.
3. Marcos Maidana TKO6 Victor Ortiz, 27 June 2009, Los Angeles, CA
When Chris John's rematch with Rocky Juarez was called off, this fight was elevated to the main event at the famed STAPLES Center, a homecoming of sorts for Ortiz. The fight was also Maidana's American TV debut, it coming on HBO. The Argentine was a sizeable underdog despite his impressive performance against Andriy Kotelnik just prior, but it more had to do with the projected ceiling of an up-and-coming Ortiz. It looked like the odds were right as Maidana tasted the canvas three times in the opening two rounds. Yet Maidana showed his ability to handle adversity, turning Ortiz's face into a grotesque sight while also pasting him to the canvas twice. Ortiz famously elected to quit, and though it wouldn't be the last time, Maidana was the first to expose the vaunted prospect. It was one of many Fight of the Year quality bouts he would engage in over his career.
4. Amir Khan UD12 Marcos Maidana, 11 December 2010, Las Vegas, NV
This 2010 banger was one of the most anticipated match-ups in boxing at the time, with Khan able to avoid Maidana for a long stretch of time before finally meeting him to close out the year. Khan had run off five straight wins since his shock loss to Breidis Prescott, and was a 140-pound titlist coming in. Maidana's eerie similarities to Prescott as a banger made this a pick-em' match-up. It looked like it was going to be over early as Khan blasted Maidana to the canvas with a precise and powerful body shot. Maidana would rally and force Khan into all sorts of trouble, though the Brit ultimately survived. If championship fights were still 15 rounds we might have seen a different result, but at the time this win catapulted Khan from being a questionable champ to a legitimate one.
5. Marcos Maidana MD12 Erik Morales, 9 April 2011, Las Vegas, NV
When Maidana met elder statesmen and future Hall of Famer Morales in 2011, the result seemed obvious: Maidana would batter the out-sized veteran to an early stoppage defeat. However, “El Terrible” proved he had one great performance left in him and his superior class kept him in the fight. Maidana shut one of Morales' eyes after the opening round and it looked like things were going to end early. Morales found his legs and outboxed Maidana for long stretches, even staggering his much fresher opponent at one point. Maidana ultimately did enough to win by 116-112 scores on two cards with a 114-114 draw on the third. What was supposed to be a lopsided fight turned out to be one of the year's best fights – also making Golden Boy's “Action Heroes” PPV the best top-to-bottom card of 2011. It also remains one of my very favourite fights to have covered from ringside.
6. Andriy Kotelnik SD12 Marcos Maidana, 7 February 2009, Rostock, Germany
When Maidana arrived in Germany to face off with Kotelnik, he did so as a 2-to-1 underdog. Maidana was unbeaten but had very little of note on his record, pretty typical of Argentinian title challengers. Maidana came out of the gates quickly, forcing some noticeable swelling on the champ's face after dominating the first three rounds. Maidana also had massive rounds in the 9th and 12th, and won the fight on many observers' scorecards. However, as is known to be the case for a traveling fighter in Germany, the scorecards read in favour of the promoter's fighter. The fight still did Maidana a ton of good, putting him on hardcore fans' radars as must-see. He'd land a fight with Victor Ortiz next off the strength of this performance.