By Chris Robinson
The next opponent for former WBA junior welterweight champion Marcos Maidana appears to be set, as an intriguing match with Riverside’s Josesito Lopez looks to be a go for June 8th in Carson, California at the Home Depot Center.
During a recent swing through the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, I caught up with Maidana on the eve of a light training session and he spoke on the danger of his next assignment.
“Difficult opponent,” Maidana said with respect of Lopez. “Throws a lot of punches, but I am training to come out as a winner.”
It was announced last April that Maidana would be training with Garcia and he has since spent his share of time in camp in Oxnard. Maidana’s first fight under Garcia saw him score a dramatic 8th round TKO over Jesus Soto Karass this past September and he followed up that effort with a third round blitzing of Angel Martinez in his native Buenos Aires in Argentina in December.
As he continues to mesh with Garcia, Maidana seems pleased with his progress thus far.
“I feel very comfortable with the work that has been done with Robert and Cecilio Flores, my conditioning coach,” said Maidana. “The sparring partners are great. I feel very comfortable and plan on continuing with the team for a while.”
I asked Maidana about one day facing some big names near his weight class, specifically his countryman Lucas Matthysse as well as WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
“Those are big names, very big fights,” Maidana conceded. “Very important fights that could happen.”
One fight that Maidana will surely be watching is the May 4th match between undefeated pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather and interim WBC welterweight champion Robert Guerrero.
Maidana feels the odds are rightfully in Mayweather’s favor and admits he would love a crack at the evening's victor.
“Boxing is very interesting and you never know what could happen,” Maidana stated. “But Mayweather is just very good and I feel that Mayweather is better. But anything can happen in boxing. I just wish that I could get a shot at the winner in the future.”
Guerrero is coming off of a pair of bruising victories over Selcuk Aydin this past July and Andre Berto in November. In each fight, Guerrero dished out his share of punishment while weathering some solid blows himself.
Still, nothing special stood out to Maidana.
“Not really,” Maidana said when asked of Guerrero. “With Berto, I just seen that he did a dirty fight but he didn’t show me much.”
Mayweather is coming off of a physical match with Miguel Cotto this past May that had its share of compelling moments.
Having turned 36, an age when most athletes are noticeably on the decline, Mayweather is still near the top of his game, according to Maidana.
“I think Mayweather is still the best and he’s proven it,” Maidana said. “If he continues fighting and taking care of himself health-wise, he’s going to continue to be the best for a while.”