Fabian Maidana Determined To Forge His Own Path Away From Brother Marcos

April 27, 2024
3 weeks
Fabian Maidana will contest the biggest fight of his career against Mario Barrios

If the name sounds familiar, then it should. Fabian Maidana is the younger brother of former two-weight world champion Marcos Maidana and is himself a professional boxer.

The younger, active Maidana might not be as well known as his retired older brother, but that will soon change. He fights Mario Barrios for the WBC interim welterweight title on the undercard of Saul Alvarez’s undisputed super-middleweight bout with Jaime Munguia in Las Vegas next month.

Maidana (22-2 16 KO) has endured a mixed career so far and suffered a pair of potentially damaging defeats either side of the pandemic lockdown. Losing to Venezuelan veteran Jaider Parra in 2019 could be considered a blip, but a unanimous points loss to little-known Francisco Mercado in December 2021 – in what was only the Mexican’s sixth fight – is a little harder to discard.

Yet, Maidana has responded admirably to the stumble, reeling off four straight victories to resume his steady climb up the welterweight rankings. He is now the second-ranked Argentine at 147lbs, behind only the unbeaten and highly-rated prospect Jose Angel Gabriel Rosa.

In Barrios, though, he faces by far the biggest step up in his career. The American (28-2-0 18 KO) is one of the best fighters in the division whose only defeats have come at elite level against Gervonta Davis and Keith Thurman.

Maidana Set To ‘Make My Own Name’

Maidana, however, simply views it as an opportunity, especially as he aims to raise his profile in the United States away from just being Marcos’ brother.

“I never see myself as in the shadow of anybody,” Maidana, 31, said in a virtual press conference in the lead-up to his bout with Barrios. “My brother was a boxing great, and I admire him, but I forge my own way – proudly so.

“I’m going to get into the ring on May 4 and deliver a battle that people will enjoy. That’s how I make my own name.”

Ironically, “delivering a battle people will enjoy” is exactly the way his brother made his name. Marcos Maidana was a fearless, ferocious fighter; his come-forward, heavy-handed style guaranteed blockbuster bouts.

His fight with Amir Khan, which Maidana lost on points, was named Fight of the Year in 2010 and was an all-time classic, while the Argentine’s domination of the widely unpopular Adrien Broner further cemented his status as a fan favorite.

Barrios A Big Step Up

Maidana also had two fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr and their first bout was arguably the toughest challenge the American faced in his career. The second bout was not quite as close or entertaining, but he still gave a good account of himself before soon after announcing his retirement.

Fabian Maidana’s bout with Barrios will be the first time he has emulated is brother in some way by competing in a high-profile event with all the Las Vegas glitz and glamour. Maidana has fought five times previously in the United States but always on smaller bills at more modest venues.

He was also scheduled to fight former world champion Yordenis Ugas but an eye injury scuppered those plans.

“Of course, that small cut p****d me off,” Maidana said. “Everything happens the way it’s supposed to, and look at me now.”

Now Maidana has the big fight against an elite opponent he’s been waiting for, and he aims to make the most of it.

“In order to win big fights, you have to throw a lot of punches,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to do.”

Barrios And Maidana Aim To Shake Up 147

Wary of the Maidana name, Barrios insisted he will not be taking his opponent lightly, saying: “I understand what kind of fighter he is. I’m expecting a hard fight, a brutal 12 rounds.”

The welterweight division is as stacked as ever but is set to experience plenty of change this year. Terence Crawford, the king at 147 and holder of three titles, is already moving up to 154 to face IBF world champion Israil Madrimov. It’s unclear whether he will return to 147.

Crawford is expected to be joined at super-welterweight by former rival Errol Spence Jr, along with former 147 champions Thurman and Danny Garcia.

However, in their place are plenty of fighters ready to fill the void. Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis is the new IBF title holder and is set to be a major star, while the likes of Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney are expected to step up from super-lightweight.

Barrios is on the cusp of being mentioned alongside these names and a stylish win over Maidana would solidify his status at the top of the division.

For Maidana, a shock victory would catapult him among the elite, but even a competitive defeat would see him establish himself as a credible contender.

If he’s anything like his brother, then we can be sure it will be entertaining to watch.