It’s time to give Floyd Mayweather Jr. his due as the pound-for-pound titan found yet another way to remain undefeated.
This time the man nicknamed “Money” had to rally in a welterweight unification match last Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, as he pulled out a majority decision victory over hard-hitting Marcos Maidana before 16,238 customers.
Playing dirty at times, Maidana came out in the opening round and tried his best to rough up Mayweather, who clearly became frustrated in the early going.
For five rounds this tactic worked to perfection for Maidana, who landed an astounding 221 punches according to Compubox, the most in 38 fights it has charted for Mayweather, who improved to 46-0 with 26 knockouts.
Maidana used elbows, forearms, head butts, low blows, over-the-top shots, clinched, wrestled, and even pushed in order to get the always unflappable Mayweather off his game.
“I described this fight as a tough competitive fight,” said Mayweather, who now owns the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council belts. “It’s what the fans wanted to see. I want to give the fans a good exciting fight. Tonight I gave the fans their money’s worth. He was a tough competitor. I take nothing away from Marcos Maidana.”
In the end, however, Mayweather prevailed because he controlled the pace over the second half by keeping his distance which allowed the Las Vegas resident to unload an array of punches seemingly at will.
Maidana unleashed 100 punches in the first round, but seemed to get tired over the final six rounds as he failed to approach that figure again.
Perhaps taking a page out of Roberto Duran’s first battle with Sugar Ray Leonard in which he earned a one-sided decision partially by roughhousing, Maidana crowded Mayweather at every turn and threw punches from every angle.
“He did dominate some rounds, but the majority of them I dominated them,” said the Argentine Maidana, now 35-4-0 with 31 knockouts. “I definitely thought I won this fight. Floyd did not fight like a man like I thought he would. Other fighters respected him and didn’t go toe-to-toe like I did.”
Maidana added: “I feel I was robbed. I feel I won. I trained hard and I fought a good fight. And I feel this was an injustice. He never hurt me with a punch. I have to give him a rematch because I felt I won the fight.”
In the fourth round Maidana’s head clashed with Mayweather’s, and the end result was a cut above his right eye.
Maidana said afterward the gash wasn’t due to a head butt, but rather a punch he delivered. “I wanted to stand and fight,” said Mayweather, who earned at least $32 million. “He put a lot of pressure on me. After the head butt I couldn’t see for two rounds. But that’s what champions do. True champions adjust to anything. He’s a champ and I’m a champ and we did what we did tonight.”
Either way it was a small annoyance for Mayweather, who finally got into a groove in the sixth round when he kept Maidana at a safe distance.
From that point it was all Mayweather and his incredible skill, will and talent.