Floyd Mayweather had his hands full at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, but he managed to emerge with a majority decision victory over Marcos Maidana. Talk of a rematch has already occurred, though it would be a mistake for Mayweather to schedule another bout with El Chino right away.
Majority Decision (114-114, 117-111 & 116-112) for winner and STILL UNBEATEN @FloydMayweather— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) May 4, 2014
In improving to 46-0, Mayweather bolstered his resume while also planting some doubt as to whether he was truly invincible in the ring.
It didn't look that way in Saturday's fight, as Maidana used a flurry of combinations—albeit not always successful ones—to knock Mayweather out of rhythm, and force him to bear down and use his technical savvy to come out on top. Mayweather praised his opponent for providing him with a tough test in the welterweight matchup, per Showtime Sports:
Maidana stated before the fight that the contract Mayweather signed had a rematch clause, per ESPN's Dan Rafael:
After the fight, Mayweather seemed to hint at the idea, suggesting that fans would want to see him battle Maidana again, per Showtime Sports:
Floyd wants to go again right now. He just said "let's go put the ring back up."— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) May 4, 2014
But there should be plenty of others who side with the school of thought projected by Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, with regard to the rematch and a potential super fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao:
I'm OK with Mayweather and Maidana moving on. There are too many rematches in boxing. Give me Khan, Thurman or Porter next. New blood.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
You want to bring back Maidana next year? Fine. But boxing is suffocating under a crush of stale, uninspired matches. On both sides.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
It's funny just how many fans still want to see Pacquiao-Mayweather. Definitely has lessened, but strong support for it is still there.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
Yes, the fight was undeniably entertaining and Maidana made it closer than many thought it had any business being. Even with that established, there would still be a feeling of "been there, done that" if Mayweather elected to go the rematch route.
Battling Maidana somewhere else down the line would be acceptable, but doing so in the next fight would seem redundant. That's not to take anything away from Maidana's extraordinary effort—it's simply rooted in a desire to see Mayweather move on to bigger, better and—most importantly—different opponents.
Mayweather creates such a massive draw whenever he takes the ring that it shouldn't be about the payday at this point. The rest of his career should be geared towards proving his versatility; that his style is malleable to any fight. Defeating someone for a second straight time doesn't prove anything new, adjustments in tactics from both fighters aside.
What should Mayweather do regarding a potential Maidana rematch?
Plus, Money has far more to lose if he doesn't move on to an alternative adversary.
Should he fall to Maidana in a rematch after having a full 12 rounds logged against him to tweak his strategy accordingly, Mayweather's profile would plummet. Money would be met with criticism for not taking on worthy challengers such as Pacquiao or 27-year-old Brit Amir Khan instead, and it would be a sad way to suffer the first blemish to his professional boxing record.
To succinctly summarize all of these ideas, there is more to be gained from fighting someone else in his next bout. A new rival would allow another to get his crack at the world's best pound-for-pound active boxer.
In a sport craving more star power—and in need of bolstering the resumes of their current marquee names—this is a great chance for Mayweather to set a precedent for high standards as he approaches the twilight of his career.