As a boxing fan, you might know the name Maidana – even if you haven’t heard of Fabian Maidana. Fabian is the younger brother of two-division world titleholder Marcos Maidana – something of a boxing folk hero, best known for giving Floyd Mayweather Jr. hell and handing Adrien Broner his first loss of his career.

Now Fabian will face interim welterweight titleholder Mario Barrios on the undercard of the Saul “Canelo” AlvarezJaime Munguia headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 4 (Prime Video PPV).

Maidana (22-2, 16 KOs) has had an up-and-down professional career – one that has seen his more prominent older brother’s name overshadow his own. A loss against Venezuelan veteran Jaider Parra might have been easy enough to write off. But the second defeat – to little-known Mexican fighter Francisco Mercado – could have been the death blow to the younger Maidana’s career. In the modern era, two off-television losses to low-profile opponents is, at the very least, a recipe for harsh criticism. Yet Maidana has stuck to the path and stayed intent on making his own name. The first step? Beating Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs). 

“I never see myself as in the shadow of anybody,” Maidana said in a virtual press conference. 

Maidana enters the Barrios bout on a four-fight win streak, each of which came in Maidana’s native Argentina.

There is reason to believe that Maidana’s early professional struggles could be a blip. Fabian, 31, put together an above-average amateur career that included a silver medal at the youth world championships in Baku in 2010.

In his first fight in the United States, the opportunity has arrived for Maidana to cement his own legacy.

“My brother was a boxing great, and I admire him, but I forge my own way – proudly so,” Maidana said. “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.”

Barrios, 28, has become a beloved figure over the past five years. His willingness to take hard fights and rebound from crushing defeats has made him a darling of old-school fight fans.

The Maidana bout also serves as Barrios’ first defense of his interim welterweight world title, whose winner could conceivably find himself as one of the division’s outright titleholders in the coming months.

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

Lucas Ketelle is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and author of ‘Inside The Ropes of Boxing’ (available on Amazon). Contact him on X @LukieBoxing.

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