Floyd Mayweather left no doubt that he is still the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and the true kingpin of the welterweight division.
Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) successfully defended his WBC and WBA Welterweight and WBC Super Welterweight World Championships with a unanimous 12-round decision victory in a rematch with Argentine slugger Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) on Saturday in front of 16,144 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, live on SHOWTIME PPV.
The judges had it 116-111, 116-111 and 115-112, all for Mayweather. Source.com had it 119-108 for Mayweather, who controlled the action throughout most of the fight and took less punishment than he did in their May encounter.
Mayweather strategically fought the fight that he wanted, effectively avoiding the looping punches against the ropes that Maidana was able to land in their first bout while keep a sustained attack to the body especially in the early rounds.
“He’s a tough opponent and I did what I had to do tonight,” Mayweather said. “I just didn’t stay on the ropes. I have a couple bumps and bruises because he’s a wild young fighter. My father told me to hit and not get hit, and that’s what we did.
After the fight, a very ecstatic Floyd Mayweather Sr. let anyone within ear shot know how proud he was of his world champion son. “Floyd stuck to the game plan so well he told me everything we had trained for was working perfect by the fourth or fifth round,” Mayweather Sr. said. “Floyd is the better fighter and there should not be any questions this time around.”
Maidana disagreed with the assessment but didn’t plead for a third showdown. The Argentinian slugger was caught by 102 of the 177 power shots thrown by Mayweather.
“I thought I won the fight, but if the judges want to give the fight to a guy who runs that’s their decision,” Maidana said. “I feel like I was the aggressor, and I kept applying the pressure.”
With Mayweather in cruise control, the fight took a bizarre turn in the eighth round.
Maidana leaned into Mayweather, who had him in a headlock. As they wrestled, Mayweather suddenly jumped away and complained to referee Kenny Bayless that Maidana had bitten him on his left hand. After the round was over, he came to the media side of the ring and shouted, “He bit me!”
“He kept holding and pushing and, the ref never did anything about it,” a discouraged Maidana said after the fight.
“He bit my fingers so my fingers were numb,” Mayweather said at the post-fight press conference. “After the 8th round, my hand was numb and I really couldn’t use my left hand.”
After the ninth round, which Source.com scored for Mayweather, an apparently confused Maidana went to the wrong corner and Mayweather ran over to him and pointed in the right direction to the proper one, eliciting laughter from the crowd. Despite the big stakes Mayweather, the showman, always knows how to seize the moment.
With the fight well in hand, Mayweather played defense in the 12th round as Maidana chased after him to no avail. For some crazy reason, Maidana said he thought he won the fight.
After the fight, SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray asked Mayweather if he would like a fight with eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
“I’m not ducking or dodging any opponent,” Mayweather said. “If the Manny Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen. I don’t know who I’ll fight in May, but I expect to fight. Manny needs to focus on the guy that’s in front of him. Once he gets past that task we’ll see what the future holds.”
Kendrick Johnson writes for a daily newspaper and is an independent print journalist and sports television reporter who has covered the NBA Finals, NFL, NCAA football, MLB, NHL, championship boxing and UFC Fights. He’s done numerous interviews with some of the biggest names and personalities in sports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kendrickjohnso.