Last September, Floyd Mayweather won a 12-round majority decision over Canelo Alvarez, whom many thought would hand Mayweather, then 44-0, his first career loss.
They were wrong.
“Going in, we always expect Floyd to put on a fantastic performance, and obviously September was no different with the fight with Canelo,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said on Ferrall on the Bench. “But there were a lot of fans who truly believed Canelo was the guy to finally give Floyd that ‘L,’ and they all went away disappointed.”
Ellerbe is hoping for a similar outcome May 3, when Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) fights Marcus Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Maidana has never been knocked out. His three professional losses have come to Andreas Kotelnik, Amir Khan and Devon Alexander – all by decision. His biggest victory came in December 2013, when he beat previously unbeaten Adrien Broner and won the WBA welterweight title.
“Things like that happen in this sport,” Ellerbe said. “Maidana’s a terrific fighter, and so is Adrien Broner. You have to give credit to Maidana. He came in and from the opening bell, he was very, very determined to get the W, and at the end of the night, his hand was raised with a terrific victory. Adrien came up short that particular night, but he’ll bounce back and he’ll show what a tremendous fighter he is and he’ll go on and continue to be a superstar.”
Broner, 24, is 27-1 with 22 KOs.
Khan, meanwhile, was considered by many the favorite to fight Mayweather, but the 27-year-old was not given the nod. Instead, he’ll fight Luis Collazo (35-5, 18 KOs) on May 3 as the undercard of Mayweather/Maidana.
Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) was irate when he learned the news, and he took to social media to voice his displeasure.
“That’s just part of a fighter being young and immature,” Ellerbe said. “He must have forgot who’s controlling the sport. He’s never going to be dictating terms to anybody over here. That’s just a fighter being young and immature.
“Floyd wanted him on the card, and he’s on the card. We have a phenomenal card from top to bottom.”
Ellerbe said Mayweather, 37, is training extremely hard for his next fight.
“He’s looking very, very good,” Ellerbe said. “But one thing you must understand: Maidana’s bringing a lot to the table. There are a lot of people out there who think Floyd is going to take him for granted as far as the preparation and the whole nine. But Floyd is working day-in and day-out because he knows this is going to be a tough fight. Nothing is going to be easy about Maidana. He comes and brings it every single fight. He gives it his all. If he gets knocked down, he gets back up. He knocks people down, and he knocks people out. He can crack with either hand. He’s a tremendous puncher.
“(Floyd) has to stay sharp because one punch can change the whole thing.”
Ultimately, however, Ellerbe expects Mayweather to win.
“He’s the best ever to do it,” Ellerbe said. “Many people will come to that same conclusion once his career is all over with. They’ll have a better appreciation for what he’s done with the sport and how he’s put the sport on his back.”