In one of the toughest challenges of the last five years of his storied career, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (46-0, 26 KOs) defeated Marcos Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) via a hard-fought, mixed decision, but many questions remain.
On the surface, it looked like Mayweather was able to dominate enough of the fight to pull off the unanimous decision, but that wasn’t the case. Judge Michael Pernick scored the fight a draw at 114-114, while Dave Moretti had it 116-112, and Burt Clements scored it 117-111.
The 114-114 scorecard has raised questions about the outcome of the matchup, and Mayweather must answer the doubts by taking on Maidana again, removing any and all doubts that he is the better fighter.
ESPN’s Nigel Collins only added fuel to the controversy fire:
Watched Mayweather-Maodna at movie house. Excellent picture. Six rounds each, 114-114— Nigel Collins (@ESPNFNF) May 4, 2014
Boxing fans love watching Mayweather in the ring, and a rematch of his most interesting bout since fighting Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 would have most happy. Maidana earned plenty of fans with his performance, but Floyd Mayweather Sr. is not one of them.
It was a superb fighter against an MMA fighter. He (Maidana) hit him on the balls. He hit him on the hip. He hit him with his head, butted his eyes. Beat him in the back of the head. Maidana don't deserve nothin'. With all that stuff that Maidana did....if I was Floyd, I wouldn't fight him again.
While Mayweather Sr. is not far off with his comments about Maidana’s wild punches and physical style, that is what made the challenger so successful against Mayweather Jr. As lead trainer, the elder Mayweather knows that this is a bad match and will try to get his son to avoid another chapter in this bitter battle.
Mayweather Jr. is his own man and knows he can beat Maidana again, but he’s not alone. English boxer Tony Bellew has a strong view on the possible rematch:
I believe Mayweather chose to stand more last night! I think he believed he could get the KO! It happens again he'll win every single round.— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) May 4, 2014
Logic may point to better options with other fighters; the verbal war between Mayweather and Maidana was only amplified after their first fight. According to Gary Parrish of CBS Sports, Dan Rafael of ESPN and David Mayo of MLive.com, the post-fight press conference was a breeding ground for animosity heading into a possible rematch:
"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
Maidana: "Enough words, just give me the f---ing rematch."— David Mayo (@David_Mayo) May 4, 2014
Not only is there legitimate heat between the two fighters, but this may also be Mayweather’s only marquee option considering Amir Khan will not be available, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:
A rematch makes sense for Floyd. Khan doesn't want to fight in September because of Ramadan in July.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
Khan will likely get his chance to fight Mayweather during the early portion of 2015, but that leaves a void in the schedule for this fall. Many boxing fans will speculate and dream about a bout against Manny Pacquiao, but Mayweather has proven time and time again that he doesn’t consider that a viable option.
Which fighter wins the rematch?
Using his legs and elite defense, Mayweather would move much more and keep the challenger from ever getting a real rhythm. That style makes for boring fights, but Mayweather must do whatever it takes to protect his undefeated record.
If that means fighting a rematch in the fall, boxing fans should be ready for Mayweather vs. Maidana II.
Stats via BoxRec.com.