ARGENTINE Marcos Maidana is the latest fighter to test Floyd Mayweather, snaring the golden ticket not once but twice. The crude but effective slugger earned his May 2014 shot thanks to an upset win over Mayweather-wannabe, Adrien Broner, but a sigh of discontentment greeted news that he would be Floyd’s 46th test.

But the underdog was a revelation, his unorthodox rage causing mayhem, and leading the way after five rounds. By the halfway point Mayweather had figured out his rival, and boxed smartly to take the decision. Like in his last fight, Floyd had to settle for a majority decision (he was favoured by two judges whereas the third scored it all square) after a gruelling affair.

The verdict was not controversial, but Mayweather and Maidana signed to do it all again in September. It was again dramatic. Just before the bell sounded to end the third round, Floyd was forced to take a booming right hand that straightened his legs. Briefly he was in trouble. Undoubtedly he was saved by the bell. But the Las Vegas resident, showing off his incredible talents, was soon in control, and bossed the majority of the final eight sessions to cruise to a points victory.

At the end of the bout, talk switched to Manny Pacquiao. And for the first time in years, Mayweather indicated that he was willing to take on the Filipino.