Not many expected Marcos Maidana to give Floyd Mayweather much of a fight on Saturday night, but “Chino” came to win and gave Mayweather one of the toughest fights of his career at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) remained unbeaten as he unified the WBC and WBA welterweight titles, but he had to put in a lot of work to outpoint Maidana and earn a majority decision.
Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) came out swinging from the start of the fight, as he had done against Adrien Broner last December. Before long, Maidana has Mayweather against the ropes as he clubbed away with punches from various angles to the head and body, bringing the 16,000-plus in attendance to their feet.
As many began to wonder if Maidana would punch himself out, he continued bringing the pressure and putting Mayweather against the ropes or in the corner, while Floyd looked for countering opportunities with the right hand. As the fight progressed, Mayweather began landing not only counter rights, but also sneaky punches to the body and left hooks. The fight, was competitive, entertaining and put Mayweather in the most danger he’s been in since the first fight against Jose Luis Castillo at lightweight.
A headbutt opened up a cut over Mayweather’s right eye early in the fight, but the corner did a great job of keeping it from becoming a problem. Instead, Mayweather pressed on a weathered the many storms that Maidana put together, using his speed to find openings to score points both from the outside and inside. While Maidana controlled the action in the middle rounds, Mayweather began to piece together combinations to steal some of the later rounds.
In the end, scores were 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112 for Mayweather.