Preview: Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Marcos Maidana

Sports Mole previews the rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas will once again be the setting when Floyd Mayweather Jr defends his four world title belts against Marcos Maidana for the second time in the space of 19 weeks.

Their first encounter saw Mayweather Jr weather a storm from the Argentine before emerging with a majority-decision victory, but the competitive nature of the bout, as well as a lack of pay-per-view boxers being available for the date, has led to the two fighters renewing their rivalry in Nevada.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at the lucrative rematch while also having a glance at the undercard which involves Leo Santa Cruz and Miguel Vasquez.

1. Mayweather Jr vs. Maidana

Ever since announcing himself on the world stage in a close defeat to Amir Khan in 2010, Marcos Maidana has been regarded as one of the top names at light-welterweight and welterweight, but he wasn't considered as a fighter who had enough in his repertoire to outclass the very best in either weight division.

However, after producing one of the biggest upset victories of 2013 against the previously-unbeaten Adrien Broner, Maidana opened doors to an array of future opportunities and after a three-way saga involving Floyd Mayweather Jr and Khan, he eventually penned a deal with the pound-for-pound king to face him in a his second home of Las Vegas.

Maidana was given a puncher's chance of denying Mayweather Jr an untouchable legacy but the Argentine replicated his explosive start that had overwhelmed Broner to take the five-weight world champion out of his comfort zone, and there was little doubt that the South American had earned, at the very least, a share of the opening four rounds.

Floyd Mayweather Jr of US slams a right to the face of Marcos Maidana from Argentina on May 3, 2014© Getty Images

From that point onwards, Mayweather Jr took control and won seven of the remain eight stanzas, regardless of what one judge deemed to be a draw, and the 37-year-old was a clear winner on a night when he had to adapt to a rugged style that he had rarely faced before during his glittering career.

In the aftermath of the match, Mayweather Jr was quick to dismiss his initial struggles by insisting that he wanted to box an entertaining fight for the fans before picking off Maidana as he slowed in the later rounds, but regardless of how he approached the first 12 minutes, Mayweather Jr displayed in the following 24 that he was a class above his beaten opponent.

Maidana brings a lot to the table. He's a big puncher, he's never been stopped, and he has an unpredictable style that can cause any opponent trouble during the first half of a fight. What separates Maidana from the very best is that he lacks variety, and that is capitalised on by boxers who can adapt and find a solution to take Maidana's main artillery away from him.

Some suggested that Mayweather Jr had showed signs of slowing in the first contest, and while that may be true to an extent, he still had enough in the tank to dominate the second half of the fight. Only time will tell whether the American has lost any more spring in his step on Saturday night but he has the tools to cope with anything that comes his way.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates after defeating Marcos Maidana by majority decision in their WBC/WBA welterweight unification fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 3, 2014© Getty Images

Maidana will no doubt start fast and look to impose him early, but after aspects of his last performance were criticised, don't expect Mayweather Jr to care much for entertaining the fans in the rematch. With the benefit of having already stepping into the ring with the 31-year-old, it wouldn't come as much of a surprise if Mayweather Jr won every round in a shut-out victory.

2. Undercard

Leo Santa Cruz will hope to follow up Carl Frampton's excellent win over Kiko Martinez by defending his WBC super-bantamweight title against Manuel Roman to potentially set up a unification clash with the Northern Irishman.

John Molina Jr will be looking to recover from his defeat in the fight-of-the-year contender with Lucas Matthysse by overcoming 75-fight veteran Humberto Soto, while middleweight Alfredo Angulo will return after over a year out of the ring to face James De la Rosa.

IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vasquez, who had been linked with a Wembley match with Kevin Mitchell earlier in the year, makes his first appearance since February against American Mickey Rey.

Carl Frampton in action during his IBF Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight match against Raul Hirales on May 26, 2013
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