It’s not too often fans attending a boxing match featuring Floyd Mayweather have to hold their breath as the result is announced, but that is exactly what happened Saturday at the MGM Grand.
Mayweather was eventually granted the victory over Marcos Maidana, but one of the three judges scored it a 114-114 tie. The other two gave Mayweather the nod by marks of 117-111 and 116-112.
If we were to simplify the fight, we would call it brawling versus boxing. Maidana threw the kitchen sink at Mayweather from the opening moment, while Mayweather sacrificed an early point or two to size up his opponent for later in the bout. Maidana used wild combinations of overhead punches early on, but he appeared to run out of steam in the middle and late rounds.
Who deserved to win the fight?
Mayweather talked about his tactical strategy after the fight, via Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph: "It was a tough, competitive fight. I normally like to go out there and box and move. But he put pressure on me. I wanted to give the fans what they wanted to see so I stood and fought him. But like a champion, I was able to make adjustments."
It was also a case of quality over quantity during the match.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated pointed out just how many punches Maidana landed:
CompuBox has tracked 38 Mayweather fights. Maidana landed the most punches (221) of any against Mayweather.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
In fact, Compubox compiled stats from 38 fights featuring Mayweather, and nobody has landed that many punches against him. Overall, Mayweather landed 230 of 426 punches, while Maidana hit on 221 out of 858.
If you were curious about why Maidana wasn’t awarded the victory, perhaps the fact that Mayweather landed nine more punches than Maidana even though he threw 432 fewer attempts clears up any confusion.
Maidana wasn’t fazed by those punches, though, if his comments were any indication, via Davies:
He never hurt me with a punch. He wasn't that tough, I thought I won.
If I would have had my gloves I would have knocked him out. They took away my advantage. I am the first real man Mayweather has ever fought.
Of course, it is somewhat ironic that Maidana was the one complaining after the fight, because he used a couple of low blows and a full-out tackle at times during the bout.
Such a tightly contested fight might suggest a rematch in the future, but Mannix seems to think that’s not a sure thing:
My guess: Floyd waits to see what happens between Martinez and Cotto. If Cotto wins, Mayweather goes that way. If not, Maidana again.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
Fans would certainly eat up a rematch considering how close Maidana came to winning (especially if we are working under the assumption that the Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight will never happen), but the fear from Maidana’s side would be that Mayweather survived Maidana’s best shot.
It took Mayweather a few rounds to figure out the blueprint for knocking off Maidana, but once he got it, there was no turning back.
It wouldn’t take him that long in the rematch.
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