Forty-six up, 46 down. Floyd Mayweather is not of this world.
Mayweather defeated Marcos Maidana by majority decision on Saturday night in Las Vegas to become the unified welterweight champion. The judges scored it 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112, per Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole:
Mike Pernick, 114-114, Burt Clments, 117-111 and Dave Moretti 116-112 for Mayweather.— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) May 4, 2014
This was arguably Mayweather's toughest fight in years and maybe of his career. His wins sometimes get labeled as being boring, but there was nothing boring about Saturday's main event. Maidana brought it and in turn surprisingly set the tone of how the fight would unfold. This was much more of a brawl than you've come to expect from a Mayweather fight.
As a result, you can't help but be amazed at his continued dominance. He simply finds a way to outclass his opponent each and every time. Even when he's off his game, he gets the job done.
He left the door open for a possible rematch, per Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, and who's to argue?
Mayweather: "The fans want to see it again, we'll do it again."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
Maidana started out the fight with guns blazing. He went right after Mayweather with overhand rights, some of which were connecting. But there's a fine line between being aggressive and being desperate, and he was close to crossing it:
maidana’s fighting like he’s got some place to be. you can’t keep that up for long, for one of many reasons.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) May 4, 2014
The big question was whether Maidana would punch himself out. He was throwing a lot of heavy punches that weren't connecting. That's bound to tire out even the most physically fit fighter:
Tough round to score. Maidana?? Id be concerned with his stamina. A lot of haymakers missing. #TheMoment— Robert Flores (@RoFloESPN) May 4, 2014
For the first half, though, Maidana's strategy was working wonders.
Mayweather is normally so adept at feeling out his opponent in the early rounds and then reacting. On Saturday night, Maidana's unorthodox style was giving Money all kinds of problems. He couldn't figure out what was coming next, which left the door open for El Chino that much longer.
In the fourth round, Mayweather even suffered a cut above his right eye:
Mayweather is cut over his eye. Pawing at it. Blinking to get the blood out.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
As expected, though, Maidana was unable to keep up with his breakneck pace. You could see that he was running out of gas a little bit, which allowed Mayweather to regain his footing and begin winning rounds.
Maidana's haymakers became a little easier for Mayweather to dodge, and he connected with enough offense to impress the judges.
But El Chino continued to hang around. He somehow found the stamina to keep throwing huge right hands in the hope of sending Money to the canvas or, at the very least, stealing some rounds. Take a look at the final fight stats, per SHO Stats:
#ShoStats: Total Punches Landed/Thrown thru 12 Mayweather [230/426, 53%] Maidana [221/858, 25%]— SHO Stats (@SHOStats) May 4, 2014
Maidana threw over 400 more punches than Mayweather. He went for broke, and it nearly worked.
What's next for Mayweather is likely a fight with Amir Khan, who picked up a decisive win over Luis Collazo on the undercard. That bout was looked at as a kind of stepping stone for Khan if he wanted to take on Mayweather down the road. Considering the fact that he passed with flying colors, he would seem to be Money's logical opponent for his next bout.
Manny Pacquiao is always going to be discussed, no matter how far the superfight between him and Mayweather is from actually happening. Until one of those two retires from the sport, fans will continue to hang on to whatever slim chance exists of Pacquiao and Mayweather stepping in the ring against each other.
No matter what Mayweather does, you can be sure that the fans will follow.