Last night Marcos Chino Maidana went to Vegas to take on the best pound for pound fighter on the planet for the WBC & WBA unification title fight that no one gave him a chance of winning. What happened in the ring was nothing short of excitement and gave the baying fight fans a glimpse of Floyd on the ropes for much of the first half of the fight. With Maidana coming off a truly spectacular win against the brash Broner that opened up this opportunity which he couldn’t turn down. Maidana’s heavy hitting power was always going to be a risk for the Mayweather camp and a war of brute strength was inevitable in the lead up of this title fight, but Mayweathers unbeaten record was never in question at any time.
The fight began with Maidana taking the fight to Mayweather and forcing the unbeaten champion onto the ropes where he was able to unleash some brutal combinations with few landing due to Floyd’s unique style of defence which has made him the worlds highest paid sportsman of all time and without doubt the best fighter of this generation.
Maidana instigated pressure from the off and we were all in for a thrilling 12 rounds of the sweet science. Maidana kept to the middle of the ring and was able to corner Mayweather against the ropes to go the body and head with swinging over hand rights, which if connected might of seen Mayweather in trouble, but this didn’t appear to phase him at all. In round 4 the two men’s head clashed and opened up a cut on Mayweathers right eye, which was well taken care of by Mayweathers cutsman and the corner kept their man calm under the pressure which he was under. He did look rattled and angry by the cut as he sat in the corner and you could see his body language change from relaxed and calm to one of anguish and concern. However, as any fan of boxing will know that the thing about Mayweather is that he has the ability to change style and pace at a moments notice with devastating consequences for his opponent, as our very own Ricky Hatton experienced in their thrilling title fight in 2008. This was however the last time Floyd has been properly tested by such an aggressive fighter as the hitman.
From rounds 6-12 Floyd did what he does best and changed his tactics very subtly by keeping his distance and jabbing and moving which eventually was confusing Maidana with the execution of his offensive. Mayweather was elusive, defensive and showed his class by not being dragged into Maidana’s style of aggressive fighting against the ropes. His footwork got him out of trouble at every opportunity and he came back with some genius counter punching from every angle. The final bell sounded and the two men threw their hands up indicating themselves as winning the fight. The scores were read out with one judge scoring it 114-114 and the crowd at the MGM Grand fell silent as an upset might literally be on the cards. Jimmy Lennon Junior announced the other cards as 117-111 & 116-112, which no one could argue with, except Maidana who had just been through a real battle which took the best of the best the full fight distance.
In the after fight interviews Maidana claimed victory and the compu box figures showed that Maidana connected with Floyd more times than any other of his previous 45 opponents. Not a bad achievement by anyone’s standard. Then Floyd was interviewed by showtime and a rematch was talked about, which Floyd openly stated that he would be happy for this to go ahead. Floyd Mayweather showed he is still top of his game, but also there are a few chinks in the solid armour of his defence against such an aggressive fighter as Maidana. But after that performance, no true fight fan of the sweet science can argue with the fight happening again so soon, and I for one cannot wait.