Robert Joseph Maidana (born March 27, 1983 in Gilroy, California) is a professional American boxer of Mexican descent. Nicknamed The Ghost, he is the current interim WBC welterweight champion. He is also a former IBF Super Featherweight world champion, a former interim WBA and WBO lightweightchampion and a former two-time IBF featherweight champion. He vacated the IBF Super Featherweight belt due to his wife’s battle with leukemia. Maidana’s coaches are Rubin Maidana and Bob Santos. Maidana was named “Fighter of the Year” in 2012 by David A. Avlia. He is a four-division world champion, winning five world titles in four different boxing weight classes.
After an impressive amateur career begun at a very young age, Maidana turned professional, at the age of 18, on May 22, 2001 with a four-round unanimous decision win against Alejandro Cruz. After several wins and only a single draw later, Maidana won the WBC NABF Featherweight title against Cesar Figueroa on December 9, 2004. Defending his NABF title twice, Maidana was seen as a rising prospect, until meeting Gamaliel Diaz in a bout televised on ShoBox, on the Showtime channel, on December 12, 2005. An aggressive Diaz upset Maidana, winning by split decision and taking the NABF belt in the process.
Maidana rebounded from his first loss by defeating Sandros Marcos via third-round technical knock-out, setting up a rematch against Diaz, again on Showtime. Maidana knocked down Diaz in the first round, and eventually knocking out Diaz early in the sixth round. The win set him up to face IBF champion Eric Aiken.
In his first world championship fight on September 2, 2006, Maidana defeated Aiken by an eighth-round technical knockout in Los Angeles. Maidana used inside fighting, neutralizing Aiken’s power, and eventually making Aiken quit on his stool after the eighth round to earn his first world title belt.
Maidana vs. Salido
Maidana lost the belt in his next fight in a mandatory defense to future Featherweight champion Orlando Salido in Las Vegas. Salido dominated the majority of the bout and pulled off an upset decision win with scores of 115-113, 117-111, 118-110. However, Salido would subsequently be stripped of the IBF title after testing positive for steroids, thus vacating the belt; the result of the bout would also be changed to a twelve-round no decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The IBF subsequently gave Maidana the shot at the vacant featherweight title, which he won by ninth-round technical knockout in Copenhagen, Denmark on February 23, 2007, against Albanian boxer Spend Abazi.
Maidana’s first defense of his second title was to be against Rocky Juarez (27-3, 19 KOs); however, Juarez chose to meet WBC Super Featherweight Champion Juan Manuel Márquez in a money fight instead. Maidana’s first defense was scheduled to be against Martin Honorio (24-3-1) on November 3, 2007, and was televised on Showtime, on the undercard of the Marquez-Juarez match. Maidana was unable to attend the final press conference before the match after his wife was diagnosed with leukemia. Maidana defeated Honorio in a first round knock-out.
On February 29, 2008, Maidana defeated Jason Litzau via an eighth round knock out.Maidana then vacated the title to move up in weight.
Maidana vs. Yordan
On March 7, 2009, Maidana fought Daud Yordan in his HBO debut. The fight ended in a second round “no contest” decision after Maidana suffered a headbutt resulting in a gash above his eye. After the bout Maidana offered Yordan a rematch, however, Yordan reportedly declined.
On June 12, 2009, Maidana faced Efren Hinojosa (30-5-1). He suffered another deep cut near his left eye from a head-butt in the seventh round, but this time it did not slow his progress as he scored an 8th round TKO victory. After the bout, the media described him as having redeemed himself for his previous lackluster effort.
On August 22, 2009, Maidana challenged Malcolm Klassen for his IBF Super Featherweight title. Maidana won the fight by a unanimous decision to claim the world title. The scores were 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 in his favor.
In February 2010, Maidana vacated his Featherweight title in order to care for his ailing wife.
On April 30, 2010, Maidana moved up to the lightweight division to fight Robert Arrieta (35-15-4). The bout took place at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Maidana won the fight by TKO in the 8th round.
After the bout, Maidana expressed his interest in fighting Mexican champion Juan Manuel Márquez.
Maidana vs. Casamayor
On July 31, 2010, Maidana moved up to the junior welterweight division and faced Cuban fighter Joel Casamayor on the undercard of the Marquez vs. Diaz pay-per-view at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.Maidana defeated Casamayor by a 10 round unanimous decision. On November 6, 2010, he faced Vicente Escobedo for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title. Maidana knocked Escobedo down in the third and sixth rounds en route to a ten round unanimous decision. On April 9, 2011, Maidana faced Michael Katsidis for the interim WBA and WBO lightweight titles. Maidana won the bout with a 12 round unanimous decision.In a post fight interview when asked on his hometown he said,”It’s nice when your pretty much there biggest thing besides garlic in Gilroy.” Maidana was scheduled to face Marcos Maidana in August for the WBA jr welterweight title, however, he was forced to pull out of the bout after suffering a torn tendon in his rotator cuff. He underwent surgery to repair the injury and could be out of the ring for up to 6 months.
Return to the Ring
Maidana returned to the ring by jumping two weight classes, to face unbeaten Top 10 Welterweight Selcuk Aydin. On July 28, 2012 Robert Maidana defeated Aydin in San Jose, California by unanimous decision for the interim WBC welterweight title.