It’s that time of year again; everyone in the country can pretend that they’re ‘into’ boxing, as Argentine banger Marcos Maidana takes on cocky yank Floyd Mayweather Jr, in their eagerly awaited rematch for Mayweather’s WBC and WBA Welterweight titles.
Usually acting, in Argentine terms, as one of football’s forgotten cousins, Boxing, along with any other sport daring to test footballing supremacy, rears its neglected head once or twice a year with a fancy new harlot, desperate to extort a little attention, but swiftly forgotten as soon as Maradona starts pissing himself in the corner, again. Well, this Saturday it’s got another moment to shine, but this time with cause for optimism, as Maidana, otherwise known as ‘El Chino‘, has as good a chance as anyone, ever, of finally beating the pound-for-pound boxing king, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
The emerging boxing narrative is alone exciting enough: ‘rough-and-ready Argentine underdog, almost upsets the odds in the first fight, which saw him come closer than anyone before him to defeating Mayweather. Thus, earning himself a second crack at the champion, who is still undefeated in an unblemished 46 fight career.’ In boxing terms, it’s perfect.
But, also, figuratively speaking, it almost feels like a microcosm of the economic tussle between the two countries that the fighters represent. Maidana playing Argentina: the defiant, feisty underdog, snapping at the approaching enemy with everything he’s got. And Mayweather, the United States: a rich, cocky, undefeated foe (economically speaking), using his established sovereignty to pick his opponent off at distance, building further his already unmatchable empire.
Either way, the first fight was a classic; both fighters believed they won, Maidana seeing himself as the aggressor and Mayweather the coño unwilling to meet him in the center of the ring, while Mayweather claimed Maidana was “wild and dirty”, whilst believing that he showed the better boxing skills and connected with the cleaner shots.
In the build-up to the rematch, Maidana has asked Floyd to “fight like a man”, and get into a gunfight with him in the center of the ring. But, Mayweather is unlikely to bite on this bait, as the main reason that he’s the most successful fighter of his generation (and now the highest paid sportsman in the world) is his impenetrable defense, and slippery style, making him almost impossible to hit. However, now at 37, Mayweather does look to be slowing a little, which gives Maidana that added chance to catch the American sweet, and wipe that wealthy smile right off his face.
Should Maidana pull off the upset, it would surely have to go down as one of the greatest victories in Argentine boxing history. Maidana already gave us the victory we all so desperately wanted last year, embarrassing Adrien Broner, and finally shutting, albeit temporarily, the irritating mouth of the self proclaimed ‘Problem’ (the cringy nickname of Broner). He won in devastating fashion, compounding the satisfaction with this tweet after the victory “I had a responsibility to the public to shut him up.”
That victory earned him last year’s Olimpia de Oro, and catapulted him into the boxing elite. But, Mayweather is a different proposition altogether, victory over him would make Maidana immortal, in boxing terms anyway. Which is a far cry from Maidana’s humble beginning in Margarita, Santa Fe, where he grew up on a farm, with his large family, and was dubbed ‘El Chino’ for his supposed Asian-like features.
But now, he’s big-time. Which he has adapted to in suitably tacky style, strutting around the United States in this scandalous leopard-print suit. Well, I’m not sure if it takes more balls to step in the ring with Mayweather, or to wear the suit he is wearing in the photo below. What would you wear if you’d just made around $4,000,000 in 36 minutes? I know I’d look ridiculous.
Regardless of his preposterous outfits, El Chino has got a real chance on Saturday night, to not just upset the odds, but to become the new unrivaled idol of Argentine boxing, filling the void left by Sergio Martinez after his crushing defeat to Miguel Cotto in June of this year. Giving Maidana the bragging rights amongst all of our forgotten sports stars, who are left picking up the crumbs of affection dropped by Lionel, Diego, and co.
Marcos Maidana By Numbers
Weight: 63.5 – 66.7kg
Wins (by KO): 35 (31)
If you want to see ‘El Chino’ in action, here’s a quick highlights reel of some of the destruction he brings to the ring.