In one of the most exciting fights of his entire career, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (46-0, 26 KOs) defeated Marcos Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) by majority decision to add to his already impressive legacy.
While many fans and experts expected the undefeated welterweight champion to dominate Maidana throughout Saturday’s fight, but that was far from the case. The Argentinean challenger attacked with an aggression that few other fighters have ever used to attack Mayweather.
The aggressive style led to Maidana winning several rounds in the early stages of the fight, but it look as if Mayweather settled in around Round 6 and the challenger began to lose stamina as Money began attacking.
|Mayweather-Maidana Punch Stats|
Ringside judges Burt Clements (117-111) and Dave Moretti (116-112) scored the fight in favor of Mayweather, but there was a vocal majority of the fans in attendance and at home who believed Maidana did enough to earn a draw.
One of those who believed Maidana did as much as Mayweather on Saturday was judge Michael Pernick, who scored the fight 114-114. He was far from the only one that scored this as a potential draw.
ESPN.com’s Nigel Collins also saw the result differently:
As Mayweather told Dan Rafael of ESPN.com following his victory, this was one of the toughest fights of the last several years for the undefeated champion:
This was a tough, competitive fight. This is what fans want to see. I want to give fans an exciting fight. Normally, I box and move. Tonight, I gave fans an exciting fight. He put pressure on me and that's when I decided to fight differently. I stood there and fought him. He's a good fighter, I take nothing away from him.
English boxer Tony Bellew talked about Mayweather’s decision to stand and trade shots with Maidana and what would have happened if he stuck to his prototypical game plan:
The tough fight showed signs that Father Time was truly catching up with Mayweather, but he overcame all of the issues he faced in the ring. While his defense was still tough as nails, Maidana’s relentless attack found several holes in Money’s game plan and landed some heavy shots.
There will be experts who point to Mayweather’s struggles in this fight as a sign of the end for his career, but this is the kind of adversity he needed in the ring to reignite his fire. He is already one of the greatest boxers of all time but almost watching his unblemished record disappear should give Money the motivation he needs in the waning fights remaining in his career.
Mayweather still used his elite footwork and elusiveness to avoid much of the power that Maidana possessed, and that is what Money’s legacy is all about. He will never be known as the best puncher or a knockout artist, but he could easily be the best defensive fighter in the history of the sport.
Even against a fighter like Maidana who managed to throw an astounding 858 punches, Mayweather only allowed 221 shots through his defense and only allowed his challenger to connect with 26 percent of his punches.
Mayweather landed 54 percent of his strikes.
Despite the undeniable fact that Maidana found more success against Mayweather than any fighter since Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, the fact that the 37-year-old legend managed to push through adversity to secure the win furthers his legacy.
Mayweather is the best fighter of this generation and one of the greatest fighters of all time. The incredible career is far from over, though.
*Stats via BoxRec.com.