Boxing spotlight

Floyd Mayweather refuses to look past Marcos Maidana in upcoming bout

 

Special to the Miami Herald

With the first weekend in May approaching, that means another Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight.

For the third consecutive year, Mayweather will make a ring appearance and headline another pay-per-view event once the calendar flips to May. On Saturday night, Mayweather will face Argentina’s Marcos Maidana in a welterweight title unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“I know Maidana is going to come and bring his best, so I know that I cannot overlook him, so I’m in training every day and dedicating myself,” Mayweather said in a conference call last week.

Mayweather’s praise for Maidana is based on his opponent’s recent performance that helped him land the coveted date with Mayweather. Maidana won a convincing, unanimous decision against Adrien Broner to claim the World Boxing Association welterweight belt in December.

“I think he’s more confident now than he was when he faced the kid from St. Louis, Devon Alexander,” Mayweather said of Maidana’s 10-round decision loss against the ex-welterweight champion two years ago. “So I think he’s more ready and tough. If you have more confidence, it’s going to make you fight harder.”

Although Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) may be credited for additional confidence, the majority of the boxing public gives him minimal chance at defeating the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter.

In his recent bout last September, Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) moved up to the 154-pound weight class and won a sound majority decision against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The victory earned Mayweather a second title stint at the super-welterweight division.

Mayweather had the brief fortune of holding two weight division belts until recently vacating the title he won against Alvarez to return to the welterweight class and continued defending his World Boxing Council crown.

“We cannot overlook the guy,” Mayweather said. “I can’t just say he’s going to be an easy fight because he’s not going to be an easy fight for me.”

Saturday’s fight will be Mayweather’s third of a six-bout deal the sport’s most popular fighter signed with Showtime.

• Nearly five years after his previous local appearance, Victor Cayo returns to South Florida in the hopes of cracking contending status in the talent-rich welterweight division.

Cayo, of the Dominican Republic, will face Roberto Garcia on Thursday night in the main event of the first boxing show at Hialeah Park and Casino.

When he defeated Julio Diaz at the Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena in July 2009, Cayo (32-4, 23 KOs) became a fringe contender in the junior-welterweight division. Cayo later fought and suffered losses against eventual champions Maidana, Lamont Peterson and ex-titleholder Nate Campbell.

A native of Mexico, Garcia (34-3, 22 KOs) has won six consecutive fights since losing a 10-round decision against former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito four years ago.

Thursday’s card also will feature unbeaten middleweight prospect Jonathan Gonzalez of Puerto Rico. Gonzalez (17-0-1) will face Rogelio Medina (32-5, 26 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round middleweight bout. Both fights will be on ESPN2.

• Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse (35-3, 33 KOs) overcame two knockdowns and knocked out John Molina (27-4) in the 11th round of their thrilling junior-welterweight fight late Saturday in Carson, Calif.

Matthysse (35-3, 33 KOs) floored Molina in the eighth and 10th rounds and finished him in the 11th with a combination to the head that sent Molina (27-4) to the canvas a third time. Referee Pat Russell waved the 10-count and ended the fight at 22 seconds of the round.

The fight Molina’s was first since his decision loss against Danny Garcia in a failed world title bid last September.

On the same card, Omar Figueroa (23-0) successfully defended his WBC lightweight title with a split decision win against Jerry Belmontes (19-4), while Clearwater resident Keith Thuman (23-0, 21 KOs) retained his second-tier WBA welterweight title with a third-round technical knockout over Diaz (40-10-1).

• Part-time Hollywood resident Wladimir Klitschko successfully defended his multiple heavyweight titles with a fifth-round TKO over Alex Leapai Saturday in Germany. Klitschko, whose second heavyweight reign now spans eight years, improved his record to 62-3 with 52 KOs.

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