Floyd Mayweather gave boxing fans more of the same Saturday night. Same ability to duck punches, same excellent shoulder rolls, same counters and, of course, the same result on the scorecards.
Mayweather pushed his career record to 46-0 with his 12-round majority decision over Marcos Maidana. The electrifying fight was one of the toughest of Mayweather's career, and at least one judge, Michael Permick, had it as a 114-114 draw. However, Burt Clements had it 117-111 in Mayweather's favor, and Dave Moretti scored it 116-112 to Mayweather as well.
ESPN's JE Sanchez provided the judges' complete scorecards after the fight.
Tarjeta oficial. pic.twitter.com/iq5nSVfG5g— JESanchez (@JESanchez_ESPN) May 4, 2014
Maidana pressed Mayweather throughout the fight and did a good job of keeping him on the ropes, but despite throwing nearly twice as many punches as Mayweather, he was unable to come up with a victory. Still, the incredible effort didn't go unnoticed by the judges, and both fighters received accolades for their respective performances.
For at least one night, boxing proved to be alive and well at the MGM Grand, and there were plenty of key moments from the bout that left fans with much to talk about.
Of course, Mayweather's entrances are difficult to ignore. Mayweather trotted out accompanied by Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber and at least part of an actual circus. Mayweather, who is set to make at least $32 million from the fight as per Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes.com, spared no expense with his Cirque du Soleil understudies and celebrity pals.
The first major boxing highlight came in the fourth round, when Maidana's accidental headbutt opened up a cut over Mayweather's eye, a sight rarely seen throughout Money's illustrious career. Mayweather described the seriousness of the incident, via David Mayo of Mlive.com: "After the head butt, I couldn't see for two rounds but that's what champions do, they survive and adjust."
Mayweather was quick to credit his cutman, Rafael Garcia, for allowing him to continue the fight without further damage to the cut. Via Mayo: "I have a great cut man in Rafael. He helped stop the bleeding immediately. After I could see again, it didn't bother me."
This turned out to be a classic "nobody makes me bleed my own blood" moment, as Mayweather opened up Maidana more and more as the fight went on. Kevin Iole did consider Maidana dominant in the fifth round, however:
Maidana wins the fifth on my card. I have it 48-47 for Floyd. Chino flat out-worked him in that round IMHO. #TheMoment— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) May 4, 2014
But Mayweather was excellent from then on and especially in the 11th, causing Maidana to lunge at him in an attempt to land power punches. Mayweather slipped attempt after attempt due to his excellent positioning.
And, of course, the grand finale. After 12 rounds of incredible prizefighting, both boxers raised their gloves in triumph, per Showtime Sports:
The results of the fight were shocking, as relayed by Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix.
CompuBox has tracked 38 Mayweather fights. Maidana landed the most punches (221) of any against Mayweather.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
Maidana pushed Money to the limit, there was little doubt about that. But Mayweather triumphed due to his accuracy and defensive expertise once again. Mayweather was of course celebratory when the final results were announced, but he was quick to credit his opponent.
Will there be a Mayweather-Maidana rematch?
The majority of the attention naturally turns to a potential rematch between these two fighters. Considering how well Maidana performed, Mayweather could feel pressure to give him a rematch to remove any doubt about the result.
However, it would be a calculated risk for the 37-year-old Mayweather, as he finally began to show some signs of aging during this fight. A brawler like Maidana could eventually catch Mayweather with a powerful punch if given 12 more rounds, and Mayweather has everything to lose with a victory in hand and an undefeated record on the line.