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Mayweather takes on heavy-hitting Maidana this May

Floyd Mayweather Jr. will clash with Marcos Maidana in a welterweight unification fight on May 3. (AP file photo)

MANILA, Philippines – After weeks of speculation, including feedback from fans across an array of social media platforms, WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather will face the power-punching WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana on May 3 at a still undetermined site.

The 12-round title unification bout is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, and will be produced and distributed live by Showtime pay-per-view. It is Mayweather’s third fight of a lucrative six-fight deal with Showtime Networks Inc.

The fight will pit one of the world’s finest pure boxers against one of the sport’s heaviest punchers.

Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) is coming off of a spectacular 2013 in which he continued to display his ring prowess with dominating victories over Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez. In Maidana, Mayweather is arguably facing the most demanding and troublesome opponent of his heralded, 17-year Hall Of Fame career.

"Marcos Maidana's last performance immediately brought him to my attention," said Mayweather, who celebrates his 37th birthday Tuesday. "He is an extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring. I think this is a great fight for me and he deserves the opportunity to see if he can do what 45 others have tried to do before him – beat me."

Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs), of Margarita, Santa Fe, Argentina, captured the attention of boxing and sports fans around the world with his thorough defeat of the highly regarded and undefeated Adrien Broner on Dec. 14, 2013. The 30-year-old impressively dominated Broner from the opening bell and registered two knockdowns against the three-time world champion. Maidana connected with a punishing 231 power punches in the bout en route to a unanimous decision by margins of 117-109, 115-109 and 115-110.

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The resounding victory over the heavily favored Broner was the fourth in a row for the crowd-pleasing, offensive-minded Maidana. A former WBA 140-pound world champion, Maidana's hard-charging, aggressive style has earned him knockouts in 82 percent of his wins. The remarkable ratio of knockouts ties the late Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo for the highest knockout percentage of any Mayweather opponent to date and is one of the highest of any current fighter at the world-class level.

"I am extremely happy to be facing Floyd Mayweather because it will give me the opportunity to show the world that I am the best welterweight in the division," said Maidana, who will represent throngs of Hispanic boxing fans on Cinco de Mayo when he faces the pound-for-pound king. "I just handed a great defensive fighter his first loss and I plan to do the same to Mayweather. I don't care whether he's the best and undefeated. I will bring some real Latino power to him on May 3rd."

"This is an extremely dangerous fight for Floyd as Marcos Maidana is a technical knock-out artist and continues to show us that he gets better with each fight," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "Maidana showed so much in his last performance, he's clearly at the top of his game and a great match-up for Floyd."

Mayweather set in motion a flurry of online polls following a message posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts (@floydmayweather) on Sunday, Feb. 2, asking fans to voice their opinion on who he should face between Maidana and British Amir Khan. Through the accumulation of more than 100,000 votes on the various online polls, more than 100,000 comments on Mayweather's Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as nonstop fan Tweets, Mayweather saw an overwhelming majority favor Maidana.

"In Marcos Maidana, Floyd Mayweather may be in for his toughest opponent ever," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "Maidana is the type of fighter who will find out if Floyd still belongs on top of the pound-for-pound list. He's strong, tough and aggressive. He in giving Adrien Broner his first loss, he showed that he won't be intimidated by talk, a big fight atmosphere or an unbeaten record. I give Floyd a lot of credit for stepping up to the plate and testing himself once again. He is a true warrior, and the fans will be the winners on May 3rd."

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