After 24 rounds of boxing with Marcos Maidana, Floyd Mayweather is still the undisputed pound-for-pound champion.
Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) successfully defended his WBC and WBA Welterweight and WBC Super Welterweight World Championships with a unanimous 12-round decision victory in a rematch with Argentine slugger Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) on Saturday in front of 16,144 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, live on SHOWTIME PPV®.
“Money” strategically fought the fight that he wanted, effectively avoiding the looping punches against the ropes that “El Chino” was able to land in their first bout and pivoting back to his domain – the center of the ring.
The five-division world champion was decidedly more effective and efficient, landing 58 percent of his power punches compared to Maidana’s 26 percent. The 37-year-old also landed 43 percent of his jabs compared to 17 percent for Maidana and 51 percent of his total punches compared to Maidana’s 22 percent.
Unlike their first meeting in May – a majority decision for the 11-time world champion – there was no controversy in the judges’ decisions. Judge Guido Cavalleri had the fight 115-112 while Dave Moretti and John McKaie scored it 116-111.
“He’s a tough opponent and I did what I had to do tonight,” Mayweather said. “I just didn’t stay on the ropes. I have a couple bumps and bruises because he’s a wild young fighter. My father told me to hit and not get hit and that’s what we did.
“I felt sharper in the first fight. I felt a little dry and dead in this fight. I give myself a C, a C-minus. I could have been better. I got hit with some shots tonight that I shouldn’t have gotten hit with. But that comes with the sport.”
Maidana disagreed with the decision but didn’t plead for a third showdown.
“I thought I won the fight but if the judges want to give the fight to a guy who runs that’s their decision,” Maidana said. “I feel like I was the aggressor and I kept applying the pressure. He kept holding and pushing and the ref never did anything about it. Instead, the ref took a point away from me.”
While the decision was clear, the fight was not without controversy. Frustrated with Mayweather’s clinching, Maidana seemingly bit his opponent’s left hand in the eighth round, causing a break in the fight while referee Kenny Bayless inspected the champ’s gloves.
“He bit my fingers so my fingers were numb,” Mayweather said. “After the 8th round my hand was numb and I really couldn’t use my left hand.”
“Maybe he thinks I’m a dog, but I never bit him,” Maidana said. “He was rubbing my eyes with his glove. Maybe he had his glove in my mouth, but I don’t think I bit him.”
After the fight, SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray asked Mayweather if he would like a fight with eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
“I’m not ducking or dodging any opponent,’’ Mayweather said. “If the Manny Pacquiao fight presents itself let’s make it happen. I don’t know who I’ll fight in May but I expect to fight. Manny needs to focus on the guy that’s in front of him. Once he gets past that task we’ll see what the future holds.”
Mayweather-Maidana and Santa Cruz-Roman will air on SHOWTIME next Saturday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/P T immediately followed by the premiere of ALL ACESS: Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 Epilogue.