Former two-weight world champion Marcos Maidana could eventually make a sensational return to boxing after all.
‘Chino’ is preparing for what’s being billed as a last hoorah. But it may also be the beginning of a new run in the sport.
Maidana is pencilled in to face Jorge ‘Acero’ Cali, a 46 year-old heavyweight kickboxer under boxing’s Queensberry Rules.
The contest has been made public this week. Trailers for the event are already doing the rounds.
Ticket information is due to be released soon.
It’s believed the match-up could either confirm Maidana’s final retirement or set the Argentinian up for a comeback.
— Chino Maidana Promotions (@chinomaidanabox) November 10, 2019
Even at 36, Maidana has been out of action for five years already. He made the decision to step away after making over $10 million in two fights with Floyd Mayweather.
The first in May 2014 was close. The effort earned Maidana a second bite of the cherry five months later. Sadly for him, Mayweather won more convincingly.
Trotting off into the sunset, Maidana had been bossing retirement. He was consistently pictured smoking cigars and kicking back with all his faculties intact despite a career of wars.
An attempt was made to step back inside the ropes earlier this year. Maidana had accepted a three-fight deal from Al Haymon in 2018. In the end, Maidana decided against it.
This time, with an exhibition-style offering against a well-known compatriot, Maidana will give it a shot and see where he’s at mentally.
Explaining where the idea came from, representative Ernesto Ricci spoke about the thought process.
“Marcos Maidana returns to boxing because he wanted to accepted the challenge of ‘Acero’ Cali,” Ricci told Télam.
“They had been exchanging messages and videos since January of this year. They spoke before Marcos went to the United States to prepare for the return that did not happen.
“But this is serious. It’s a fight,” he added.
On whether this would be the swansong for Maidana, Ricci added: “It is a way to say goodbye to the fans of Argentina. It’s something he could not do before.
“But with Marcos, nothing is ever set in stone. Perhaps when he dusts off the gloves he is bitten by the bug again. He could then target a world-class fighter. Offers are certainly not lacking.”
Despite a weight advantage, Cali believes the rules of engagement give Maidana the edge in the 85 kilograms (187 pound) encounter.
Cali said to Télam: “It is clear that I am at a disadvantage in this because it will be under the rules of boxing. But in my career fighting with an athlete of Maidana’s status motivates me. It drives me to train and be in the best shape possible.”
Maidana vs Cali will be made official for April 2020. A press conference in Argentina is scheduled for November 15.