It's not the fight the whole boxing world wants to see, but it's certainly better than what could've been.
Boxing's pound-for-pound king and WBC welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather will meet WBA titlist Marcos Maidana May 3 in a unification showdown at either the MGM Grand in Las Vegas or the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, live on Showtime pay-per-view. Mayweather made the announcement on his Twitter account late Monday.
For months, former junior welterweight champ Amir Khan of England had been rumored as Mayweather's next opponent - a prospect that infuriated most knowledgeable fight fans. While Khan beat Maidana by narrow decision in 2010, he has since been knocked out by 140-pound champ Danny Garcia and is regarded as a fighter with a weak chin and on the decline.
And while "Money's" opponent will not be Manny Pacquiao in a fight that would turn the boxing world on its head, the Argentine powerpuncher is a more than acceptable option.
"El Chino" Maidana, 35-3 (31 KO's), recorded a career-best win last Dec. 14 when he upset superstar-in-the-making Adrien Broner by exciting decision to win the WBA 147-pound title. With trainer Robert Garcia in tow, Maidana has shown a marked technical improvement since a disappointing loss to Devon Alexander in 2012. He hurt the faster Broner almost immediately with looping overhand rights, and his physical condition carried him through a bruising fight.
Even in losses, Maidana has shown a steely determination, a granite chin and an uwavering will to win. Many felt he was robbed against Khan, and his victories over Victor Ortiz and Erik Morales in 2009 and 2011 were among the best fights of those years.
He lost a 2009 fight to Andriy Kotelnik, also by close nod.
Mayweather, 45-0 (26 KO's), turned 37 Monday. He has not fought since September, when he won an easy decision over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in Las Vegas. Before that, he shut out Robert Guerrero in May 2013. He has not had a competitive fight since May 2012, when he won a tough decision over Miguel Cotto.
With his power, experience against elite competition and killer instinct, Maidana is easily Mayweather's most compelling opponent since Cotto.
How that translates to pay-per-view buys may depend on what Golden Boy Promotions does with the undercard.