Whatever difficulties pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jnr had in his first fight against Marcos Maidana in May, they are ancient history.
Mayweather put on a boxing master class in their rematch, cruising to a unanimous decision to retain his welterweight and junior middleweight world titles before 16,144 last Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The judges had it 116-111, 116-111 and 115-112, all for Mayweather.
The rematch was a far cry from the action-packed first fight last May 3, when they met to unify welterweight titles and Maidana nearly pulled the upset. The wild-swinging Maidana relentlessly attacked him and gave Mayweather perhaps the most difficult fight of his brilliant unbeaten career, but Mayweather won a majority decision, also at the MGM Grand.
So with no other obvious opponent — a Manny Pacquiao fight, as everyone knows, simply was not in the cards — Mayweather granted Maidana a rematch, only the second of his career; he beat Jose Luis Castillo in lightweight world title fights twice in 2002.
Whatever studying he did on the first fight was more than enough as Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), 37, of Las Vegas, didn’t allow Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs), 31, of Argentina, to land the kind of heavy overhand right hands he did in the first bout, and he didn’t allow Maidana to put him on the ropes as much as last time.
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Instead, Mayweather danced, moved, countered and kept the fight in the centre of the ring for long stretches in a very effective tactical performance.
“I think the difference was I didn’t stay on the ropes and I did a lot of movement and turning,” Mayweather said. “He’s a tough competitor. I do have some bumps and bruises but I listened to my dad trainer Floyd Mayweather Snr, who always says hit and don’t get hit and that’s how you last in this sport.
“I felt sharper in the first fight. My rhythm was a little off. I gave myself a C, C-minus. I thought I could have done a lot better. I got hit with some shots I shouldn’t have.”