By Jake Donovan
Every time he walks in boxing circles, Fabian Maidana gets to hear the comparisons made to his more famous brother, former two-division champ Marcos 'Chino' Maidana.
Adding to that pressure, he now gets to headline his first U.S. TV show just a mile away from where his brother racked up the biggest win of his career.
The unbeaten 24-year old from Argentina tops Saturday's edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC Sports Network, as he faces Puerto Rico's Jorge Maysonet, Jr. at Scottish Rite Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. The venue is practically down the road from the Alamodome, where Marcos transformed from TV-friendly fighter to cult hero after becoming the first to hang a loss on the career of Adrien Broner in Dec. '13.
None of this is lost on his younger brother, who's happy to have Marcos at ringside tonight and also appreciative of the fact that he can parlay who he knows into showing the boxing world what he knows.
"I'm happy to be headlining my first TV show. It's very exciting," Maidana (9-0. 6KOs) told BoxingScene,com. "I know this opportunity is partly due to my last name and who my brother is. That's fine. I'm going to use that opportunity as a springboard for my career."
Fortunately for Maidana, he is on a show loaded with boxing talent who can relate to his situation. His opponent, Maysonet Jr. is the son of former welterweight contender Jorge Maysonet Sr., who came up short in a world title bid versus Simon Brown in 1989.
On the undercard, Alan Castaño aims to surge past his brother Brian, who is viewed as a red-hot prospect - and also owns a sound points win over his Alan's opponent, Aaron Garcia last December.
Opening the telecast is 19-year old super bantamweight prospect Brandon Figueroa, whose older brother is former lightweight champion Omar Figueroa.
At the very least it takes the pressure off of Maidana, who is far from the only cat in the building who has to honor a family name. Even in his own corner, Robert Garcia Jr. assumes the reins as head trainer in place of his father Robert Sr., who is in Las Vegas this evening working the corner for light heavyweight Oleksandr "The Nail" Gvozdyk.
All in all, there exists a level of confidence that Saturday will serve as a breakout evening rather than one littered with comparisons.
"I had a really good training camp, no injuries. I'm grateful to get to work with guys like Mikey Garcia and (local prospect) Hector Tanajara," Maidana notes of the experienced boxers he gets to work with at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy, in addition to observing from afar all that his brother accomplished in the ring.
Perhaps it even helps that the former super lightweight and welterweight has no real designs on returning to the ring anytime soon.
"I'm just here to support Fabian," said Marcos, who looks slimmer than in past photos that have recently circulated, but still a long way from an alleged comeback. "The fans will be in for a real treat (tonight). He's improving with every fight and will show the world he deserves the spotlight."