Floyd Mayweather entered the ring on Saturday night against Marcos Maidana looking to celebrate another night of being the best boxer in the world and making a ton of money to defeat a vastly inferior opponent.
What he got instead was a 12-round war that saw Mayweather escape with his perfect record intact and a nasty cut over his right eye. The judges scored the bout 116-112, 117-111 and 114-114 for the undefeated champion, which marks the second consecutive fight he hasn't scored a unanimous decision.
There was a lot of talk after Mayweather's win that a rematch was in order, something the champion didn't shy away from in the post-fight interview and press conference.
"If the fans want to see it again we can do it again." -- Floyd Mayweather (So the rematch comes later this year.)— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) May 4, 2014
Fans are always tempted to call for a rematch after a fight because they have just seen something they didn't expect. It's like wanting to see a sequel to a great movie, expecting lightning to strike twice.
But let's be real, there just aren't that many great or worthy sequels out there. Maidana would certainly love a rematch with Mayweather, because that means more money and exposure than he can get against anyone else.
What's in it for Mayweather?
We know that money is the driving force behind every decision Mayweather makes, but he just collected a minimum of $32 million that doesn't include his cut of the pay-per-view revenues.
He's also not beholden to a quality opponent the way Maidana or virtually every other boxer with the exception of Manny Pacquiao is. The fact his nickname is "Money" isn't an accident, as Mayweather has three fights left on the record-breaking deal he signed with Showtime Sports in 2013.
Mayweather could fight a broom tomorrow and still walk away with a fortune the size of Brazil's gross national product. That's the power he's built up after all these years of winning.
But there are some foundational cracks starting to show. Mayweather is not a young man anymore. He's 37 years old and has taken a lot of punches in those 46 victories, none more than against Maidana.
According to CompuBox, via Josh Slagter of MLive.com, Maidana landed more punches against Mayweather than any other fighter in the 38 bouts tracked by the site.
CompuBox has now tracked 38 of Mayweather's 46 professional victories, and says Marcos Maidana's 221 punches landed Saturday night is the most of any fighter. …
Maidana threw 858 punches over the 12 rounds, connecting on 26 percent overall. He connected on just 11 percent of his jabs (36 of 318), but 34 percent of his power punches (185 of 540).
Mayweather may not have been close to going down in the fight, which isn't a surprise given how well he defends, but the one problem Maidana gives opponents is a wild, aggressive, attacking style.
Who should be Floyd Mayweather's next opponent?
It worked as well as it possibly could have for Maidana in this fight. It's over, Mayweather got what he wanted and needs to move on. Who knows what the future holds for boxing's best fighter?
The legacy question is one that Mayweather obsesses over. It's not an accident that his contract with Showtime runs through his 49th fight, which would match Rocky Marciano's undefeated record if he makes it through unscathed.
Maidana wasn't the cake walk it seemed like he was set up to be. His victory over Adrien Broner was special and a defining moment in his career. It also helped him score the fight with Mayweather.
But this isn't a case of Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, where the judges scored an even fight in favor of one side so many times that it demands a second, third or fourth viewing.
There's nothing for Mayweather to gain by stepping back into the ring with Maidana. In fact, based on what we saw and what the numbers say, there is only danger lurking for "Money" if he decides to take the rematch.
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