When it comes to Floyd Mayweather, we are talking about the greatest boxer on the planet. With that in mind, criticism of his performance against Marcos Maidana is all relative; it was not a bad display, but by his outrageously high standards, it could have been much better.
Maidana was a huge outsider going into the bout, but most would not have realised that after five rounds of their bruising encounter in Las Vegas. One judge had the Argentine three rounds ahead at this stage, and although the other two judges did not agree, there was certainly an argument for "El Chino."
Tarjeta oficial. pic.twitter.com/iq5nSVfG5g— JESanchez (@JESanchez_ESPN) May 4, 2014
His intense, come-forward style seemed to overwhelm "Money" at times. Maidana threw a huge amount of punches, and Floyd was taking more punishment than anyone is used to seeing him receive.
After 15 minutes of pugilism, it looked like an enormous shock could be in the cards; this is where Mayweather’s genius kicked in, though.
Maidana tired, and Money showed few ill effects of the difficult start, except a cut by his right eye. The middle rounds then returned to what we have come to expect from Mayweather, as he kept his challenger at bay and left little doubt about who was in charge.
El Chino was not finished, however, as he rallied at the death to take the final round. Judge Michael Pernick saw this as enough to leave the scores level at the end of the bout, but it was not enough to convince Burt Clements or Dave Moretti, who went for Money by six and four, respectively.
Maidana may disagree, but at the close of the bout, most would have gone for Mayweather. Against El Chino, though, there was not expected to be any room for debate at all.
As good as Maidana was against Adrien Broner last year to set up this clash, it must be remembered that he was schooled by Devon Alexander in 2012. There is no doubt that the Argentinian is an elite contender, but Mayweather at his best would not have been troubled as badly as he was on Saturday.
It is much easier said than done, but Maidana showed how to get at the pound-for-pound king. Through a monumental work-rate coupled with some heavy hands, Mayweather can get in trouble. Had El Chino been able to keep that up for a round or two longer, then it could have been a different result.
In that way, Mayweather did look vulnerable at times despite his majority-decision win.
Will Floyd Mayweather retire undefeated?
Challengers must put up an all-out-attack, or else Mayweather will be in control. When Maidana’s assault lessened, it was evident he could not get near his foe, but when he was firing on all cylinders, he was a constant threat.
If there is a contender out there capable of getting in the shape necessary to keep up that level of attack for more than 50 percent of the fight, then he could have success against the champ. The likes of Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, all still in their 20s, may well think they can do just that.
Money took the victory and earned it, but that doesn't mean it was a convincing performance from the undefeated title-holder.