Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been lauded for his defensive prowess and superior speed and movement inside the boxing ring for the past two decades.
However, it was his versatility that stole the show on Saturday in his majority-decision win over welterweight challenger Marcos Maidana.
Despite coming in as a massive underdog, Maidana challenged Mayweather throughout and made life difficult for the pound-for-pound king with his aggressiveness and powerful overhands.
However, Ring Magazine correspondent Tom Gray noted that the 37-year-old Mayweather was able to win over the judges and produce another impressive result thanks to his ability to adapt:
Maidana threw more than twice as many punches as Mayweather on Saturday night, but landed nine fewer and was unable to significantly damage Mayweather with any big shots.
Renowned for his ability to avoid contact, Mayweather appeared to embrace it on Saturday, as he noted when speaking with reporters after the fight.
"He put pressure on me and that's when I decided to fight differently. I stood there and fought him. He's a good fighter, I take nothing away from him," he said.
According to CompuBox (h/t ESPN.com's Dan Rafael), Maidana landed 221 punches over 12 rounds, but was unsuccessful 74 percent of the time. Meanwhile, Mayweather connected on 54 percent of his punches, landing 230 for the fight.
The welterweight titleholder was able to fend off Maidana with a series of quality right jabs and left hooks.
Mayweather's ability to withstand Maidana's pressure was huge, as the Argentine's aggressive style and power have overwhelmed a majority of his opponents in the past.
Coming into the bout, many analysts felt that Mayweather had to avoid that style of fight in order to prevail.
While Mayweather was still able to make Maidana miss more often than not, his toughness stood out more so than in previous fights where the outcome was never in doubt and his opponents were far more patient.
Mayweather's performance serves as a reminder that he can not only take a punch, but that he isn't going to panic when he finds himself under pressure. His experience and unparalleled confidence are two big reasons why he's able to remain calm and composed in those moments.
It showed against Maidana.
However, the experience and composure took a backseat to Mayweather's versatility on Saturday, as he proved he can win a slugfest even when throwing half as many punches as his opponent.
Mayweather has displayed a plethora of eye-popping attributes over the course of his decorated career, but on Saturday night, it was his versatility that stole the show and propelled him to his 46th professional victory.
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