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Countdown to Baldomir vs Mayweather!

Two weeks from tonight, at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV on November 4, Pound for Pound King "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather will step into the ring to face WBC Welterweight Champion Carlos Manuel Baldomir.

Mayweather, now campaigning in his fourth weight class since turning pro, made his welterweight debut November of 2005 with a systematic sixth round stoppage of Sharmba Mitchell with a bodyshot.

Surely, a Judah vs Mayweather fight, for the Undisputed Welterweight Championship of the world, was bigger than ever following Mayweather's victory over Mitchell. Certainly, it was atop the lists of many boxing fans experts most anticipated showdowns. Judah vs Mayweather was perceived as boxing's biggest superfight at that time, biggest in any weight class south of the heavyweight division.

However, there was one road block (one that was not initially viewed as threatening, however) that stood in the way of the Undisputed Welterweight Champion. One obstacle that he would have to overcome, to ensure that his major showdown with Mayweather could transpire into the event it was being perceived as. This obstacle went by the name of Carlos Baldomir, an unknown Argentinian journeymen, who had not lost a fight in eight years.

Baldomir, widely perceived as boxing's modern day Cinderella Man, burst onto the scene earlier this year, when he claimed the WBC Welterweight belt by scoring a dramatic upset via unanimous decision over 18-1 favorite and then Undisputed Welterweight Champion Zab Judah at Madison Square Garden in New York, which is Judah's home turf. That victory is still in the running for the award of Upset of the Year for 2006.

In his first title defense on July 21, 2006, Baldomir would enter a ring in a favored opponent's hometown, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, for the second consecutive time, to beat up and stop boxing's drama king Arturo "Thunder" Gatti, whom Mayweather had practically demolished almost a year and a month to the day at the exact same venue.

Two common opponents can be found on the professional boxing records of Mayweather and Baldomir. Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti. As one can see, Baldomir defeated Judah first, as Mayweather faced Judah just a few months later. Nonetheless, Mayweather stopped Gatti prior to Baldomir's destruction of him 13 months later. Two common opponents. Mayweather and Baldomir have a combined record of 4-0 with 2 KOs against those two opponents.

Such a sequence of events has led us to this moment, just two weeks before Baldomir and Mayweather. The contest, billed as "Pretty Risky," is one that carries risks of different types on both sides. Mayweather, the pound for pound king, puts that title on the line when he steps into the ring, as Baldomir looks to defend his Welterweight title against a fighter the world regards as the greatest in the sport today.

Out of all of Mayweather's previous opponents, Baldomir is definitely the biggest and strongest guy Mayweather has ever faced. It is my belief that Baldomir is Mayweather's greatest challenge in the last four years, with the last legitimate challenge of Mayweather being Jose Luis Castillo in 2002. Castillo, like Mayweather, is a strong fighter who applies constant pressure on his opponents and looks to out work them.

Baldomir possesses much of the same style as Castillo (Castillo probably has the faster hands), but his size will be something that Mayweather has never seen in a professional boxing ring. However, Mayweather's speed and skill level are certainly advantages that no other opponent of Baldomir has ever brought into the ring against the Argentinian.

The HBO Countdown to Baldomir vs Mayweather premieres Friday, October 27 at midnight. The fight, itself, can viewed Saturday November 4 live on HBO Pay Per View!