ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas feels that WBA/WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr (47-0, 26 KOs) did just enough to win last Saturday night in his 12 round unanimous decision victory over Marcos Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Atlas thinks Mayweather played it safe too much by holding, running and throwing pot shots instead of standing and trading with the hard hitting Maidana. Atlas thinks that if a prime Sugar Ray Leonard was in the ring with Maidana last Saturday night, he would have knocked him out with his combinations and power punching.
“He [Mayweather] didn’t show enough offense. He did enough to win. If that’s Sugar Ray Leonard in there, he knocks out Maidana,” Atlast said to ESPN.com. “Floyd is a good defensive fighter, but he does just enough to win. He had a choice [to] use his legs to grab all night long and fight in spots. He did that good. He could have moved his head and looked to counter. He didn’t want to do that. He didn’t want to give Maidana a chance with that free-wheeling style to get lucky with something. But he had a choice. He could have gone into his offense a little bit, punch a little bit more and keep Maidana from getting in.”
It sounds like Atlas wanted Mayweather to fight similar to the way he did last time he fought Maidana, except he was hoping that Mayweather would throw more combinations to shut Maidana down. That’s asking a lot of a 37-year-old fighter known for being a pot shot artist. Even in his prime, Mayweather wasn’t the type of fighter that threw a lot of sustained combinations. He always more of a 1-2 punch fighter who would land shots and then move away. Atlas seems to have Mayweather confused with a prime Leonard, because he’s a fighter who was known for throwing a lot of combinations.
If Mayweather had thrown combinations last Saturday night instead of pot shotting, he might have run into something and been knocked out. Earlier in the fight, Mayweather was hurt in the 3rd round when he tried to exchange with Maidana near the end of the round. I think that experience scared Mayweather a little, because after that he used more movement and focused more on throwing one shot at time instead of combinations.