By Sean Crose
People had a weird feeling going into “Mayhem,” Saturday’s highly touted rematch between pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather and his rugged Argentine challenger, Marcos Maidana. For starters, Maidana had given Mayweather quite a run in their first bout – enough of one to warrant the rematch. What was more, Mayweather had been on the receiving end of some very bad publicity leading up to the bout, standing accused of everything from illiteracy to physically and emotionally abusive behavior. How, some wondered, would the man hold up in the ring when such intense pressure was bearing down upon him outside of it?
Indeed, the lead up to this particular Floyd Mayweather extravaganza proved to be unique. Mayweather’s wealth and extravagance were showcased, of course (thanks largely to Showtime, which was broadcasting the fight via par per view) but it just wasn’t the Floyd Mayweather show – not like it had usually been. One couldn’t help but get the feeling that Mayweather might be, well…past his prime. In short, the man had something to prove to the world on fight night.
Before the bout, Mayweather hung out with – of all people – celebrity billionaire Warren Buffett. Even in the intense hours just before a fight, the man was getting attention, not only with his calm demeanor, but with his odd choice of pals. One thing that couldn’t be denied, though, was that Mayweather was cool under pressure. Who else who would seem as unfazed as Mayweather did during such a moment?
When it was almost time for the bout to begin, Mayweather went into the ring without his usual fanfare. No celebrities. No circus atmosphere (or even a circus, for that matter). With a serious look on his face, Floyd looked prepared to take care of business.
And take care of business, he did. Mayweather dominated the entire fight. Oh, he may have lost a round here or there, but not enough to truly matter. He knew enough to keep away from his rugged foe this time. He knew enough not to engage. Maidana may have gotten in a few clean shots, Mayweather may have held a bit more than he should have, Kenny Bayless was perhaps more proactive than a referee should have been, yet none of it mattered.
Mayweather clearly proved that he was the better man, as well as the better fighter. Aside from a possible bite on Mayweather’s glove, there was no controversy this time around. Floyd, simply put, took his opponent to school.
The chatter will now turn to exactly HOW good Mayweather looked in this rematch. Some will still say that Mayweather is a man on the way out, that he’s taking more shots than he ever did, that he’s showing signs of weakness. Mayweather himself even claimed he didn’t do all that well against Maidana this time around. Such a line of thinking, though, takes away from exactly how good the pound for pound king was and is.
After the fight, Jim Grey pushed hard for Mayweather to talk about a possible fight with Manny Pacquiao (with Showtime commentators now pushing for the fight, you know it’s time to make it happen). Mayweather, however, remained coy and illusive as ever in his responses.
Again, though, the subject at the moment among fight fans should be just how good Mayweather was on Saturday…and how good he’s been throughout this career. For here is a man who, like him or not (and there’s certainly serious things not to like about the guy) is truly the most dominant fighter of this era. For Mayweather not only reels in the victories, he reels in the fans, dollars and attention that his chosen sport definitely needs.