Marcos Maidana didn't bow to Floyd Mayweather Jr. quite as submissively as some had supposed prior to their bout on Saturday evening, with "Money" further advancing his unbeaten career record, now reading 46-0.
SportsCenter confirmed the extension of Mayweather's supreme streak, vindicating his status as still being one of the best in boxing:
And in some ways, the majority decision victory was a more beneficial result for Mayweather and his reputation, proving that he had indeed taken on a tough opponent in the form of Maidana.
That wasn't the view expressed by all sides of the media, however, as Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix can attest, quoting Top Rank CEO Bob Arum on the matter:
Arum continuing to lecture media about criticizing Mayweather-Maidana. Says it's the media's obligation to call it a crappy fight.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 13, 2014
It was a gritty affair that, at points, looked as though it may have produced Maidana as the overall champion, but in unifying the WBA and WBC welterweight titles, Mayweather has further extended his world-class billing.
As such, Money will remain in control of whom he fights next, be it a rematch with Maidana, as ESPN.com's Dan Rafael states, or any other number of contenders such a Amir Khan or Manny Pacquiao:
Floyd says if there's a rematch he doesn't want Tony Weeks as ref. Complaining he let Maidana get away with too much. #MayweatherMaidana— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) May 4, 2014
In his 16-year career, Mayweather has arguably never been through a battle as difficult as the one he faced at Las Vegas' MGM Grand this weekend. He was opened up for the first time in his professional tenure, albeit through an accidental headbutt.
But it takes nothing away from the veteran's legacy, only enhancing it. At 37 years of age, for Mayweather to still be facing the top names of his division is a feat. For him to have maintained an unbeaten record and unifying championship belts in the process, is something far greater.
Eight months ago, Canelo Alvarez gave him a run for his money which, again, many were supposing might bring an end to the streak, but again, a close competitor has been done away with.
And already, the question being asked is "who next?" Not only by the fans and those within the industry, but by Mayweather himself, who in his post-fight comments was more than happy to entertain the idea of a Maidana rematch, per Mannix:
Mayweather: "If [Maidana] feels he won, September--he can get it again."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
Some of the biggest names in the sport have fallen by the hands of Mayweather, and though Maidana's fixture may not have had the same all-encompassing hype that the likes of Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez or Miguel Cotto had coming into their bouts, there was no sacrifice in terms of quality in the fight itself.
Edging closer to the highly coveted 50-0 record that would so poetically sum up his achievements, Mayweather can, for a brief moment, revel in the success of the most recent notch on his belt, fully deserved and belonging to its new owner.