By Luis Sandoval
Floyd “Money” Mayweather (46-0, 26KOs) secured the 46th victory of his career but it didn’t come easy as he scored a majority decision victory over the ever relentless Marcos “Chino” Maidana (35-4, 31KOs) with scores of 114-114, 116-112 and 117-111 in front of a crowd of 16,268.
While nobody has been able to crack the MayVinci code as Mayweather likes to call it, Marcos Maidana tried harder than any other of Mayweather’s recent opponents to solve it and gave a great fight and account of himself. It was Maidana’s constant pressure versus Mayweather’s boxing and countering and even though it was a tougher assignment than most expected, Mayweather prevailed with a gutsy performance.
There are already talks of a rematch between both combatants for Mayweather’s already scheduled September 13th date and if the second fight is anything like the first one, fans will be in for a nice treat.
The big story heading into the fight was there was probably not going to be a fight at all as Team Mayweather had an issue with the gloves Maidana was going to use in the fight. The padding in Maidana’s custom Everlast MX gloves were called into question by Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and even a second pair approved by the commission was rejected by Team Mayweather.
After much uncertainty and various information, the fight went ahead as planned with Maidana still being able to wear Everlast gloves but using a different style; he wore Everlast Power Lock instead of the Mexican style MX.
According to West Coast Everlast representative Ernest Gabion, the difference between both gloves is the MX gloves are a foam and horse hair glove made in Mexico which has a softer leather and is considered a pure punchers glove.
The Power Lock is an all foam glove with a stitched thumb for optimal thumb positioning making it extremely streamlined. The Power Lock glove was also worn by Josesito Lopez in his fight with Victor Ortiz and by Ruslan Provodnikov against Timothy Bradley.
The padding on the gloves obviously would make an impact on the fight but all that was put to the side when both men stepped in the ring. For the first time in a long time, a fighter was able to pressure Floyd Mayweather for a full 12 rounds as we saw Mayweather dig deep in the face of adversity.
As expected, Maidana started the fight like a bull in a china shop as he went right at Mayweather and rained right hands trying to land anything he could. Floyd weathered the storm as he lay on the ropes and used his defense to try to evade Maidana’s shots.
Most fighters have said pressure is the key to beat Floyd but once they get in the ring, their game plan changes. Maidana may have not been landing all he was throwing but he never stopped swinging or coming forward. The Argentinean did his best to trap Floyd on the ropes and overwhelm him as Floyd was content laying on the ropes.
Floyd would throw a lead right that caught Maidana in the second round but it wasn’t enough to deter the determined Argentinean. Even when tied up, Maidana looked to work with his free hands which got him a warning for hitting Mayweather behind the head.
One of Mayweather’s best attributes is his ability to adapt to his opponent. Even if things start shaky, he eventually figures out the man across from him and after a clash of heads, Mayweather had to also overcome a cut to his right eye brow as it’s hard to remember when was the last time Mayweather was cut in a fight.
In order to slow Maidana down, Floyd never stopped jabbing to the body but his activity appeared to drop as he had to deal with Maidana constantly rushing in and roughing him up on the ropes. Maidana’s activity and attack was winning him rounds.
Things began to change in round 6 as Mayweather looked to stand his ground and instead of getting pushed to the ropes, he started being more offensive. A counter left uppercut landed flush on Maidana as did a follow up left and right hand. If Mayweather was going to get Maidana off him, he’d have to do it with punches and countering him on the way in.
And he did.
Floyd’s patented pull counter showed up in round 7 as he landed it flush on Maidana and landed a second for good measure. Mayweather’s output began to rise as he used it to match El Chino’s continuous pressure. Maidana was the busier fighter while Mayweather was the more accurate as they landed almost the same amount of punches but achieved it differently; Maidana by throwing more punches, Mayweather throwing less.
In the 9th round, Maidana was able to trap Mayweather in a corner and a left hook was blocked by Floyd and he returned a hard right hand that stopped Maidana in his tracks. Mayweather had chosen to fight as he began throwing more punches and coming forward.
The same pressure and relentlessness that gave Adrien Broner trouble last December was applied on Mayweather and while it made for some uncomfortable moments, the reigning pound for pound king was able to overcome it.
Down the stretch Mayweather decided to press on the gas instead of putting it on cruise control; but so did Maidana who continued to look to land his big shots. After 12 hard fought rounds, Mayweather became the unified welterweight champion after a hard fought victory.
Mayweather continues to reign as king of the sport that he’s dedicated his life to for the past 18 years. Maidana served as the 46th victim to fall to Floyd but from all the talks from both fighters it looks like Maidana will get a chance again as the 47th opponent in a rematch.
If a rematch happens this will only be the second time Mayweather has rematched an opponent and he vowed during his post fight press conference that it would be a different fight. Mayweather had promised to not move and stay in front of Maidana and he points to that as the reason the fight was competitive.
Mayweather had a rougher fight than expected but says he won’t ever be able to please everyone.
“People are used to me boxing and beating guys and people not seeing me lose a round. It was a competitive fight. It’s a catch 22; If I beat a guy it’s a boring fight, if I’m in a competitive fight I’m old” said Mayweather.
As for Marcos Maidana, he reached a new level in his career and he earned it the hard way; by beating whoever they put in front of him. His victory over Adrien Broner last December punched his ticket into the Mayweather Sweepstakes and while he wasn’t successful, he has nothing to be ashamed about.
Maidana and his team felt they were victorious and welcome a rematch just as much as Mayweather. While Mayweather feels he won the fight convincingly, he’s up to doing it a second time.
“If he feels he wants it, he can get it again.”
Even after a year layoff, Amir Khan (28-3, 19KOs) looked impressive as he dismissed Luis Collazo (35-5, 18KOs) with scores of 117-106 and 119-104 twice. Khan’s Welterweight debut was a successful one as he dominated the action and managed to put Collazo down three times in the process.
Amir looked crisp from the onset as his right hand continuously found a home on Collazo. Khan used every inch of the ring as he circled and boxed Collazo as Collazo fought like a guy who was trying to duplicate his last knockout performance.
The New York native resorted to chasing Khan around the ring with his hands down and loading up on shots looking to land something big. All the meanwhile, Amir was the one scoring with his punches and winning rounds.
In the 4th round, a right hand by Amir in an exchange put Collazo down for the count. The slick Collazo most are accustomed to seeing was more interested in fighting as he pressured Khan but often paying the price by getting countered. The only knock on Khan was his excessive holding as he halted the action numerous times.
In the 8th round, referee Vic Drakulich inexplicably took a point away from Collazo for hitting low. He would then negate the point deduction by finally taking a point away from Khan for holding much to the crowd’s delight. Collazo also had his best round as he was able to land some hard lefts on Khan as he got his attention.
In the 10th round, Khan would mount his offense as he put Collazo down for a second time with a hard left uppercut. Collazo would beat the count but Amir would jump on him immediately and while Collazo tried to complain to the referee, Amir would drop Collazo a third time with a flurry. Khan finished strong as he battered Collazo while he lay on the ropes.
Collazo would finally be able to put Khan on the canvas but it would be off a low blow. Khan took his time to recover and continued his dominance over Collazo for the remainder of the 12th round.
Adrien “The Problem” Broner (28-1, 22KOs) made his return to the ring after his first loss last December and outpointed a game Carlos Molina (17-2-1, 7KOs) over 10 rounds with scores of 99-91, 98-92, and 100-90.
Things didn’t exactly start off great for Broner who showed there are still some defensive liabilities in his game as Molina was able to land an overhand right and a combination at the end of the 2nd round. Molina found success for some of his punches but in the 4th round, Broner turned the fight around as he became more offensive.
He peppered Molina with jabs and short right hands as he mounted points and punches. By round 7, Broner was in complete control and was landing some uppercuts and coming forward looking to punish his opponent. Molina never stopped firing but he simply didn’t have enough fire power to bother Broner.
Broner was successful in his return but he garnered more attention during his post fight press conference where he once again proclaimed himself the “Can Man” and called out Manny Pacquiao.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter & Instagram @Truewest007.