Marcos Maidana gave Floyd Mayweather a scare in their title fight in Las Vegas, but the Argentinian fell just short, giving Money a victory by majority verdict.
The judges called the fight 114-114, 117-111, 116-112 in favour of Mayweather, and a win here sees his professional boxing record move on to 46 wins, zero draws and zero defeats.
After beating Maidana, Money is now the WBC and WBA welterweight champion. Maidana, dubbed El Chino, will feel he gave a excellent account of himself. According to Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian, he suggested he did enough to win the fight.
The Argentine insisted that he deserves a rematch after troubling Mayweather throughout the 12 rounds, especially in the opening stages of the bout. Mayweather seems all too happy to oblige:
Maidana: "Enough words, just give me the f---ing rematch."— David Mayo (@David_Mayo) May 4, 2014
With a potential Mayweather vs. Maidana II on the cards, reflection and analysis from this recent fight will be absolutely vital.
So with the dust settling on a gripping tussle in Las Vegas, let’s outline the top takeaways from this title-unification brawl.
Mayweather Shows Guts to Complement His Class
When you think of Mayweather boxing, you don’t imagine him getting embroiled in a brawl. He’s an intelligent fighter who sits back, frustrates his opponent and is ruthless in punishing any mistakes made.
On Saturday, the experienced 37-year-old was dragged well out of his comfort zone by an effervescent Maidana.
The Argentine was clear in his intentions: He was trying his best to unsettle his opponent, working hard to restrict Mayweather’s room, giving him no time to pick his shots and riling him with a few underhanded, sly tactics.
Mayweather got pulled down to that level, looking to scrap with Maidana in the early stages of the fight. He held his own, though, toughed it out and eventually fashioned a platform from which he could then assert his class.
Afterwards, the winner admitted it was a hard-fought victory:
So many of Mayweather’s points victories have been a clinic in defensive, counter-attacking boxing. However, he showcased a real steeliness to come through against Maidana.
If there is a rematch, though, Money will likely be a little more considered in his approach.
Maidana Can Cut It at the Top Level
There were few who gave Maidana any chance at all ahead of this one.
He was impressive in defeating Adrian Broner last year, but with a loss to Amir Khan on his record, there were concerns about how he’d handle the more experienced, clinical style of Mayweather.
He wasn’t overawed by the occasion, sticking to his aforementioned game plan. For long spells, it looked to be working. The Argentine made the fight a throughly entertaining contest—arguably the most entertaining involving Mayweather since he fought Miguel Cotto back in 2012.
According to Round By Round Boxing, Maidana was insistent in the aftermath that he'd gotten the better of Mayweather:
After such a gritty performance, few would begrudge Maidana another shot at Mayweather. From his point of view, if he can be a little more reserved in those opening rounds and pick shots with a little more consideration, he could pin Mayweather down for longer periods of the fight.
If he can do that, the power Maidana has when he tees off is enough to give any fighter on the planet problems.
A Rematch Looks All But Certain
After Khan looked extremely impressive in his win over Luis Collazo on the Mayweather vs. Maidana undercard, it seems but a matter of time until the Brit gets his shot at Floyd.
But it won’t be in September, as Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix explains:
Amir Khan makes it clear: He will not fight @FloydMayweather in September. Ramadan comes first. "Push it to November," Khan said.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
The contrast in styles, not to mention the dearth of potential opponents, means that a rematch between the duo in September looks all but certain.
Who would win a rematch?
For Mayweather, it gives him a chance to fill the September slot on his contract, stay fresh and stay sharp ahead of what promises to be a big 2015.
Money could have fights against Khan and maybe even an outside chance of a superfight with Manny Pacquiao to come—given that Pac-Man’s contract with Top Rank expires at the end of the year.
As for Maidana, he’ll get another chance to go at Mayweather and will surely have another meticulous game plan in store to help knock the WBA and WBC champion out of his stride.
How would a rematch go? Tony Bellew thinks that Mayweather would dominate:
I believe Mayweather chose to stand more last night! I think he believed he could get the KO! It happens again he'll win every single round.— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) May 4, 2014
You have to admit, as the fight went into the final stages, it looked as though Mayweather was beginning to suss Maidana out. Money was fighting off the ropes and picking counterpunches with unnerving regularity by the end of the fight.
Mayweather told reporters he could have “made the fight a lot easier” if he’d wanted. It’d be interesting to see if there is any substance behind those words should the duo square off for a second time.