Floyd Mayweather won a rather routine victory over Marcos Maidana on May 3, but one wouldn't know it, as the public has leveled a credibility hit in his direction, with many believing the challenger should have been given the decision.
It's an honest mistake. Maidana threw more than 800 punches and had the look of an aggressor. Fine, but boxing is about accuracy, which Maidana had little of that night, as Mayweather avoided 75 percent of his stunning output.
But again, the naked eye is the majority. It buys the pay-per-views. It goes to the movie theaters to see the events. It even makes the trip to Las Vegas.
In that regard, Money has some work to do in the credibility department. Besides, he's known to take the fight worth the most, well, money. A rematch with Maidana trumps all possible matchups outside of the fabled and highly unnecessary bout with a guy named Manny.
The general consensus is that Mayweather wants to grab a 50-record and call it quits. But as he told the media before the bout with Maidana, that narrative is a bit off, per Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News:
Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) gave voice to that concern on Tuesday, admitting he considers retiring from the sport on a near daily basis. He could even step away after Saturday's welterweight unification match with Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 knockouts) at the MGM Grand on Showtime PPV, he said. It was perhaps the first time that Mayweather, 37, had ever publicly uttered the idea of walking away following a fight.
"I'm not really worried about [GOING 50-0]," he told reporters. "I'm being honest- I be contemplating every day... getting out of the sport now. I'm very comfortable. Very comfortable."
Look, 50-0 has to be the goal. To that end, Maidana is actually a threat in comparison to the other fighters available. Danny Garcia has looked weak in recent bouts. Amir Khan is inconsistent. A rematch with Miguel Cotto makes sense, but he's arguably past his prime.
As Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix points out, one of the top contenders can't give it a go due to schedule conflicts:
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
The public understands this, too. Mayweather is often criticized for cherry-picking easy opposition to pad his record, but it's not like the current era of boxing is littered with quality challengers.
But the good news is simple—Mayweather has made it abundantly clear he is willing to do the rematch, as captured by CBS Sports' Gary Parrish:
"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
Should Mayweather book the rematch?
If the rematch comes to fruition, one has to think Maidana will continue his attacking ways once more in the hopes of landing a lucky knockout, while Mayweather can use the experience of the last fight to win the majority of the rounds en route to a likely decision.
Confirming the rematch is the first step toward acceptance for Mayweather in the eyes of the general public. Another win will put down any thought of a previous bad decision or decline, much like Manny Pacqiuao's recent win over Timothy Bradley did.
As an added bonus, Mayweather will move closer to that coveted 50-win mark in the process.