By Kirk Jackson
This past weekend, the fans were treated to a spectacular quadruple-header fight card, capped off with one of the more entertaining fights of the year thus far, that featured Floyd Mayweather 46-0 (26 KO’s) and Marcos Maidana 35-4 (31 KO’s) in the unification of welterweight titles.
Photo: USA Today
In a gutsy performance, that left many Argentines and Mayweather detractors in attendance disappointed with the decision, the current king of boxing improved on his unblemished record, earning a majority decision over Maidana.
Heading into the fight, Mayweather hinted at pressing the attack early, force Maidana to fight off his back foot and maybe even pursue the stoppage depending on what kind of damage inflicted.
This tactical game plan would certainly be surprise for the viewers and most certainly Maidana himself. This plan never came into fruition however, instead as Mayweather was bombarded by the lethal pursuit from Maidana.
At times this fight would resemble an assault, a mugging, with Maidana forcefully mauling Mayweather against the ropes, with the intention of making it the ugliest fight possible.
Because of the mesh of styles, this did prove to be Mayweather’s most entertaining fight since his bout with Miguel Cotto back in 2012.
Many people thought that because Erik Morales was able to out-box and punish Maidana in a losing effort, or that because Devon Alexander was able to dominate Maidana in his welterweight debut, that Mayweather would probably do the same.
But this was a different Marcos Maidana that stepped into the ring this past weekend. His transformation into a better fighter, manifested when he acquired the services of former World Champion fighter and now acclaimed Trainer Robert Garcia, after losing to Alexander in 2012.
Since this acquisition, and the acquisition of famed Strength and Conditioning Coach Alex Ariza, Maidana has indeed looked like a better fighter.
As far as the fight, both fighters deserve much kudos and respect for their performances. Maidana did what he was supposed to do in this fight. He outweighed Mayweather by nearly 20 lbs., and used his size to his advantage. He did what Canelo Alvarez did not do.
He implored the same strategy boxing legend Mike Tyson would have used if he were to fight Floyd Mayweather.
In an interview last year with Wall Street Journal, Mike Tyson talked about his strategy against Mayweather.
“I would be mean, I would be dirty,” said Tyson. “You would have to do everything to fight him because he’s just so good.”
It appears Marcos Maidana got memo.
He made the fight ugly, placing constant forearms to the throat, landing numerous blows, tons of rabbit-punching, line-backer tackled Mayweather into the ropes late in the fight, he also attempted to knee Mayweather.
All dirty tactics, but if the referee doesn’t warn or take away points, might as well keep doing it. There is an old mantra many live by with competitive sports; If you ain’t cheating, than you ain’t trying. Not that he’s cheating, Maidana was just taking advantage of any opportunity available and rightfully did so. No one can really fault him for that.
Aside from that, Maidana did some other effective things against Mayweather. Despite Floyd intentionally going to the ropes at times throughout the fight, Marcos did a good job of keeping Floyd against the ropes.
He kept his head lodged in Mayweather’s chest, he was able to rake Mayweather with some shots and was suffocating at times. And make no mistake, Maidana did a tremendous job cutting off the ring. There were many times when Mayweather was forced to the ropes and he was definitely uncomfortable.
For Mayweather, despite the poor performance from the referee Tony Weeks and the WWE tactics from Maidana, he was still able to consistently land clean, precise, effective punches, which was what ultimately won him the fight. He slipped and rolled many of Maidana’s punches and landed many body punches of his own as well.
There’s some people who may not want to give the guy credit, but what we saw in the fight, was a welterweight beating a super middleweight. Also impressive, was he fought the other fighter’s style of fight, for a good portion of the bout.
Another thing is Mayweather received a cut from accidental head-butt and was still able to push through. When’s the last time we saw a cut on Mayweather? You’d have to go back all the way to the year of 2000, when Floyd got busted up by Emanuel Augustus.
And for those upset keep in mind, just because a fighter his pushing his pace during bout, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are always being effective, or winning those rounds. We touched on Maidana’s mauling style, as at times he was able to land good body shots and his signature awkward, over-hand right.
But many of his punches were on the hips of Mayweather, some were caught on the elbows, arms, shoulders and on the back of his head. Most judges will not count those punches as scoring blows.
It’s really up to interpretation on how to score a fight. Some prefer aggression and high punch output, while other may prefer precision punching, and defense. There’s many bad decisions that take place in the sport, it’s probably a problem that will truly never get resolved.
This was not bad decision however. The right guy won the fight, and he was the clear cut winner, in a competitive fight. It’s a win-win for everyone. The rightful guy won the match (Mayweather), Maidana’s stock has sky-rocketed, Showtime may have discovered another Pay-Per-View Star in the making, the viewers won, because we saw a great fight and the good thing is we may see this again in September.