Before Saturday night's fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, it was conceived that Floyd Mayweather would easily juke and jab his way to an easy victory against Marcos Maidana.
After all, Maidana entered the fight as an unheralded fighter and huge underdog.
Marcos Maidana not fazed by odds entering Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight http://t.co/B5KtveaHJQ— ESPN Boxing (@ESPNBoxing) May 2, 2014
Although, once the bell rang, it was quickly discovered that wouldn't be the case.
Maidana's rough, edgy fighting style may be a bit sloppy and chaotic, but it was effective early against Mayweather.
Using his superior strength—and applying a plethora of aggression—El Chino consistently forced Money back against the ropes and unleashed his signature overhand right early and often.
Not many of his punches landed, but the pound-for-pound king was visibly off his game—perhaps he wasn't ready for such an onslaught.
Mayweather was able to right the ship and find his footing over the middle rounds. He kept the fight in the center of the ring and used his athleticism and defensive prowess to counter Maidana's heavy-handed attacks.
Through 10 rounds, it appeared as though Maidana was gassed and wouldn't provide any more fireworks.
Somehow, El Chino's stamina remained intact, and he was able to rattle off a couple more heavy blows on Mayweather in the 11th round.
Both fighters appeared frustrated in the final round, as both continued looking for an opening, but none was to be found.
As we know, the fight came down to a decision. That alone was impressive for Maidana. However, with one judge scoring the bout a tie, losing due to a majority decision was completely unexpected for the underdog.
Floyd Mayweather stays undefeated! He's now 46-0 after winning via majority decision! 117-111, 116-112, 114-114 pic.twitter.com/7NzG8ckeE4— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 4, 2014
Maidana certainly proved to be a worthy opponent for Mayweather.
That's not just because he went 12 rounds or forced a majority decision, but because he maintained his aggressiveness throughout the fight despite coming in against an undefeated fighter—and one of the all-time greats.
Maidana was gritty, he was determined and he was fearless.
When all was said and done, Maidana's onslaught was very apparent when looking at the fight's final statistics:
Total punches, Floyd 230-426, MM 221-858— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) May 4, 2014
Those statistics come with a very telling fact about how Maidana fared against previous Mayweather opponents:
CompuBox has tracked 38 Mayweather fights. Maidana landed the most punches (221) of any against Mayweather.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
Imagine if El Chino could find just a touch of accuracy. Could he possibly beat Mayweather?
We'll have to wait and see if a rematch is in store. Even if it doesn't happen, one thing is for certain: Maidana proved his doubters wrong and solidified a name for himself in the boxing world.