Marcos Maidana is unrecognizable compared to eight years ago. Yes, the Joe Dirt-esque mullet is gone but that’s not what I mean. What I’m speaking of is a complete metamorphosis of the current day Marcos Maidana. As I was researching articles and videos to prove my points, I stumbled across the most perfect piece of evidence I could find; the Maidana vs. Soto-Karass fight. FYI my points are based off the ShowTime commentary if you want to follow along.
After being completely and utterly “waxed” by Devon Alexander, Marcos Maidana thought a new trainer was needed, and rightfully so. Maidana was absolutely shut out through ten rounds, even being arguably dropped in the sixth round. That trainer would turn out to be none other than Robert Garcia. The Maidana that Garcia received was a very rigid boxer. If heart could be measured on a scale, Maidana’s would be near the very top, and if skills could be measured as well, Maidana’s would be near the bottom. No head movement, punch variation, or defense whatsoever. No discredit to Marcos Maidana, as his style was apparently good enough produce a 31-3 record up to that point. However, what Garcia was able to do with Maidana is astonishing. Remember that perfect piece of evidence I found earlier? Lets dig into it.
September 15th, 2012 Marcos Maidana vs. Jesus Soto-Karass. In the first 10 seconds of the fight Soto-Karass touches Maidana with the jab. Instead of immediately retaliating as he normally does, he remains calm. Soto-Karass again pumps the jab but this time Maidana is defensively responsible and dips left, then right to avoid the punches. (Somebody’s been training on a double end bag.) After 15 seconds in, Maidana himself double pumps the jab; this may seem small but consider this. In the Alexander fight Maidana threw a grand total of “91” jabs in 10 rounds according to Compubox statistics. In his next fight he threw “240” jabs. IN EIGHT ROUNDS. To make this point clearer, Maidana went from averaging nine jabs a round to thirty in a single fight. Moving along, after about 21 seconds in he beautifully parries away a body jab attempt. Again this may not seem like much, but Maidana’s idea of defense was offense. Sidenote-with about a minute left in the 4th round, Maidana is trapped on the ropes. Instead of simply absorbing punches as he would normally do, Maidana does his version of the shoulder roll, complete with bobbing, weaving and rolling. I literally grinned and thought, “Man are you kidding me?! Maidana is rolling with the punches! Paulie Malignaggi shared my same enthusiasm by saying, “look at Maidana rolling!”
The way Robert Garcia has carefully crafted around his tenacious style has been done with surgical precision. He has taken one of the hardest punchers in boxing and equipped him with a consistent, and more importantly reliable jab capable of setting up the soul taking punches he wants to throw. The Maidana vs. Broner scrap 3 fights later was perhaps the ultimate compliment to Robert Garcia; a fighter known for his aggressive come forward style was able to beat one of the better boxers in the sport over the course of twelve rounds. Again the jab was a HUGE point of Maidana’s attack. In the first round he was consistently jabbing to the gut of Broner. In second round we found out why; Maidana was setting an early trap, and it worked. In the opening seconds of the second round Maidana started off pumping the jab upstairs and downstairs, both with the same delivery. Shortly after he throws two looping left hands with the same trajectory of the body jab, the second one badly hurting and knocking Broner down. The trap was so well designed by Maidana that Broner literally dropped his hands in anticipation of the body shot and gave him a free shot. After battering a fighter who was bizarrely thought to be the second coming of Floyd Mayweather Jr. throughout the fight, Maidana went on to win a UD, showing that he is more than a one trick pony. Most analysts had Broner shutting Maidana out or eventually stopping him.
As a matter of a fact, a panel of 25 RingTV.com insiders had Broner winning by a vote of 23-2. The reasoning behind the majority of votes was the skill level. It was thought Broner’s technique would trouble Maidana. Oh the irony. I could literally go on and on about Maidana but I’ll stop here. If Robert Garcia had gotten Marcos Maidana in the beginning of this career this article could have possibly been a lot different, for positive reasons of course. The transcendence of Marcos Maidana is real. Marcos Maidana is unrecognizable compared to eight years ago. Yes, the Joe Dirt-esque mullet is gone but that’s not what I mean.