On Tuesday, boxing star Marcos Maidana announced his official retirement from the ring. It did not come as a complete surprise. He has not fought since September 2014, when he lost in a rematch to Floyd Mayweather. Still, the Argentine gunslinger has been one of the most exciting fighters of his generation. Fans will miss him.
The Argentine gunslinger turned professional in 2004, but he emerged as a world-class talent in 2009, when he lost by split decision in Germany to Andriy Kotelnik, a far more experienced fighter. He then made his United States debut against blue-chip prospect Victor Ortiz.
Against Ortiz, he was knocked down three times in the first two rounds. But he hung tough and dropped Ortiz in Round 6, forcing him to quit. It was a classic Maidana performance.
Maidana came up on the losing end of one of 2010’s best fights, when he was narrowly decisioned by Amir Khan. At moments during that fight, Khan looked to be levels better than him technically. But Maidana’s tenacity and toughness allowed him to put Khan in extremely uncomfortable situations.
Maidana signed on with elite trainer Robert Garcia following a one-sided loss to Devon Alexander in 2012. Garcia elevated his craft, teaching him to use a very good jab to cut off opponents. As a result, his career took a big bump.
Maidana knocked out Jesus Soto Karass in 2012 and Josesito Lopez in 2013. Both fights were highly entertaining slugfests. In 2013, Maidana derailed the Adrien Broner hype train, knocking the cocky upstart down twice and sending him from the ring in tears, following a bruising, one-sided decision.
Maidana will be best remembered for his two fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Heading into the first bout in May 2014, he was a heavy underdog. But he used a slight size advantage and his relentless, attacking style to force Mayweather into the toughest fight of his late career. The verdict was a majority decision for Mayweather, but the bout was close enough to raise demand for a rematch.
The second bout was much more decisive in Mayweather’s favor. But Maidana remains one of just two opponents who fought the undefeated Mayweather close enough to justify a rematch.