Boxing’s pound-for-pound king can now say 46 men have tried and 46 have failed, but there’s no denying that Floyd Mayweather Jr. had one of the toughest fights of his brilliant career against Marcos Maidana. Mayweather survived a grueling affair in Las Vegas against the rugged Argentine fighter in earning a majority decision victory in their 12-round WBA/WBC welterweight title unification showdown.
Maidana, who got the opportunity against Mayweather thanks to a dominant WBA title win over the previously unbeaten Adrien Broner, was aggressive from the outset. He was able to rough Mayweather up along the ropes while landing clubbing overhand rights and body punches. It was a fight that took Mayweather out of his comfort zone early on and a rare fight where he had to deal with the adversity of being cut.
Mayweather claimed he had a tough time seeing for a couple of rounds after being cut in the fourth round by an accidental headbutt. Mayweather began to find his range in the second half of the bout, as he started to land crisp right hands and body shots while putting more combinations together.
While Maidana’s output slowed as the fight wore on, he remained highly determined to the very end. He made Mayweather have to dig deep to deal with his aggressive, brawling style. It was a rough, tough affair and one of the more entertaining fights of Mayweather’s highly decorated career.
In the end, Mayweather had the advantage in punches landed by a slim margin of 230-221. Maidana threw the greater number of punches during the fight, but Mayweather showed off his usual pinpoint accuracy landing at an impressive 54 percent compared to his opponent’s 26 percent connection rate.
One judge scored the bout a draw at 114-114, but the other scorecards favoured Mayweather by margins of 116-112 and a surprisingly wide 117-111. After the close call, Mayweather said he was open to a rematch if fans wanted to see it and Maidana also expressed a desire to do it again.
It’ll be interesting to see the PPV numbers for a matchup that most observers saw as a one-sided affair heading in. Mayweather improved to 46-0 with the victory and has just three bouts remaining on his lucrative deal with Showtime. He was guaranteed a purse of $32 million dollars for the contest and Maidana definitely made “Money” earn it.
Maidana performed admirably but saw his record fall to 35-4. He gave the sport’s pound-for-pound king all he could handle and raised his stock despite the setback. There’s already been talk of a possible return engagement in September.
Rick LaFitte is a Boxing Writer for Rant Sports