Fabian Maidana will headline a nationally televised fight card Saturday night, something his trainer never would’ve believed possible as recently as a year ago.
Not because Maidana lacked the talent to be a main event attraction, but rather he didn’t possess the dedication required of professional boxers looking to take their game to the next level.
“A year ago, Fabian wasn’t focused, had no discipline, didn’t train every day and wouldn’t make weight,” says Robert Garcia, who works with Maidana in Riverside, California. “But Fabian’s a totally dedicated, totally different person for this fight.
“He runs with all the guys in the morning, his body looks slim and in great shape, and he’s totally focused.”
Fabian Maidana (9-0, 6 KOs) hopes all his hard work pays off with another victory when he battles Puerto Rican slugger Jorge Maysonet (13-1, 11 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round clash at Scottish Rite Auditorium in San Antonio (NBCSN, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT). At Friday’s weigh-in, Maidana came in at 143.8 pounds, while Maysonet tipped the scales at 141.
The younger brother of former two-division world champion Marcos Maidana, 24-year-old Fabian Maidana launched his professional career in June 2014 by earning a four-round unanimous decision. A string of six consecutive knockouts followed for the native of Argentina, with four coming in the first round and two in the second.
While the knockout streak conjured comparisons to his older brother—“El Chino” has 31 stoppages in 35 career victories—Fabian Maidana is actually more boxer than puncher.
“Fabian has totally the opposite style of Chino,” says Sebastian Contursi, who manages the Maidana brothers. “He’s a counterattacker who thinks a lot and has a vicious body attack.”
Fabian Maidana put those boxing skills on full display in his last two fights as he earned eight-round unanimous decisions over Peter Olouch last August and Andres Gabriel Amarilla in April. Now he will face by far his toughest opponent yet in Maysonet, the 26-year-old son of 1985 Puerto Rico Olympian Jorge Maysonet Sr.
The younger Maysonet won his first 11 fights, including 10 by knockout—and of those 10 KOs, nine came in the first round. His unbeaten run ended when he dropped an eight-round unanimous decision to Gabriel Tolmaiyan in April 2013, but he’s since rebounded with consecutive victories, albeit against a pair of winless opponents.
To prepare for Maysonet, Maidana logged several rounds with undefeated former two-division champion Mikey Garcia. The younger brother of Robert Garcia, Mikey Garcia served as Marcos Maidana’s main sparring partner for the latter’s most recent fight, a unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch in September 2014.
“Fabian’s a big, smart, intelligent fighter who likes to move around, counter, box and use his distance,” said Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs), who will end a 2½-year hiatus on July 30 when he battles Elio Rojas (24-2, 14 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “Fabian’s helped me to be in better shape for my fight. He’s a little raw with some of the technique, but my brother corrects him.”
If he can get past Maysonet, Maidana will continue a winning family tradition in San Antonio, where Marcos Maidana achieved his greatest career victory on December 14, 2013. On that day at the Alamodome, which is a mere five-minute drive from Scottish Rite Auditorium, Maidana scored second- and eighth-round knockdowns to dethrone 147-pound champion Adrien Broner by unanimous decision.
“My brother’s told me that there are a lot of Hispanics, especially Mexicans, in San Antonio,” Fabian Maidana said. “I’m hoping it’s like that on Saturday, and that fans who remember my brother will be there to support me.
“It’s going to be a tough fight, but I’m learning and gaining experience from Mikey and Robert. My brother is a brawler and I’m more of a boxer, but I’m excited to display my skills in the same city as he fought in my first televised main event.”
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