Although Floyd Mayweather Jnr’s (46/0, 26KO’s) fight with Marcos Maidana (35/4, 31KO’s) failed to ignite the desire of fans when it was initially announced, this WBA and WBC welterweight unification contest quickly caught fire when the action started last Saturday at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
So much so that before the fight had even ended there was already a clamour for an immediate rematch. Whilst I wouldn’t entertain the thought of a rematch with the same disdain many fans and pundits showed for Mayweather’s decision to choose Maidana in the first place, I really cannot comprehend a scenario where the second coming of Mayweather versus Maidana would have a different outcome.
I also fail to understand the common consensus among many fans that it was a ‘controversial’ decision.
It was certainly a very close, competitive contest but it wasn’t controversial at all. It was clear that the judges’ scorecards would favour Floyd Mayweather because his perfect timing and precision accuracy allows him to land the cleaner, more eye catching punches.
Mayweather Jnr is a master at making sure his punches translate to points on the judges’ scorecards. Whereas although a lot of Maidana’s wild, swinging punches elicited excitement from the fans, they would not have been deemed as effectively aggressive by the judges because, barring some excellent body work and a few sporadic blows to the head, he simply wasn’t finding the target with enough regularity to merit winning a decision on the judges’ scorecards.
It was more story of so near yet so far for Maidana as he was forced to settle for a series of near misses and marginal hits instead of a barrage of fatal blows. In saying that, he still managed to land 221 shots from the 858 punches he threw throughout the fight, and as consequence he now holds the record of landing the most punches against Mayweather in all of his 38 contests that have been tracked by Compu-Box. But, overall, Maidana’s punch connect percentage still only stood at 26% in comparison to 54% of Mayweather.
Yet irrespective of how accurate Maidana was, he still deserved to win five rounds simply due to his willingness to take risks, throw lots of punches and force the action. Yet, just because he was clearly the aggressor does not mean that he was dominating the fight. Sure, Maidana’s performance had some of the vital ingredients such as pressure and power but the absence of panache and precision meant he would never find the recipe of success against Mayweather. It was clear the Argentine would taste defeat when it became apparent that Floyd Mayweather was able to resist his relentless pressure and reckless punching style.
When you consider that Floyd Mayweather has spent a significant percentage of his life inside a boxing ring, being pinned back onto the ropes by the brute force of Maidana held no fears for him whatsoever. He is calm, almost serene when under pressure, and thus all the near misses and manic pressure from Maidana served to strengthen Mayweather’s resolve as opposed to sap his spirit.
It was all part of the plan. That the plan has never failed him before in 45 previous professional fights means he places his full faith in his ability to execute and persevere with his game plan. At the same time, he relied on instinct and ring intellect to make the necessary adjustments to neutralize Maidana’s game plan and negate his strengths. His tactic of retreating to the ropes was no accident, it was entirely by design: he knew Maidana would be unable to suppress his bloodlust when he had his prey backed up onto the ropes and as a result would wail away with reckless abandon instead of launching composed attacks. It was a case of blunt force versus finesse as Floyd Mayweather somehow remained calmness personified to pick his shots with surgical precision to land a frighteningly accurate 230 punches from only 426 thrown.
The great paradox is that Maidana’s success in putting Mayweather under pressure and being so aggressive showed us exactly why he was destined for failure: he didn’t have the presence of mind to apply the pressure in a proper manner and harness his aggression to pick his shots carefully when he had Mayweather at his mercy against the ropes.
Being recklessly aggressive and applying constant pressure will not crack the ‘May Vinci’ code, fast and accurate combination punching could maybe solve the Mayweather riddle though.
Funnily enough, the fastest and one of the most accurate combination punchers in the sport of boxing was just recently crowned a champion again in the same weight class as Floyd Mayweather. What a coincidence, who would have thought?
But in boxing, it is no longer reasonable to expect the best to want to take on the best so I will abandon that fanciful notion right now. Certainly by the evidence on Saturday night it is now abundantly clear why Floyd Mayweather Jnr has elected never to meet Manny Pacquiao within the confines of a boxing ring: the Filipino’s unorthodox punching style and ability to execute crisp and accurate combinations rich in power for 12 rounds would cause Mayweather all kinds of problems. But Mayweather proved he has the heart of a true champion and the mind of chess grand master, and would probably engineer a way to prevail against any opponent who was put in front on him.
Whilst it was an intriguing clash of styles, it was most definitely not the ‘instant classic’ that Showtime analyst, Steve Farhood called it. In relative terms, for a Floyd Mayweather fight the action was gripping but still, it was not a great fight.
Consequently, I cannot really understand the clamour for a rematch. I think the calls for a rematch on the premise that the 1st contest was a competitive fight are more a reflection of how little we have come to expect from Mayweather’s opponents, and more broadly speaking Mayweather’s fights in general, as opposed to the conviction that the outcome could be different in the second coming of Mayweather and Maidana.
But since the fans will probably never get ‘what they want to see’- a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao- we can console ourselves with the fact we would at least get our money’s worth in a rematch with Marcos Maidana.
Thanks for Reading.
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Boxing News 24 Fans: Do we really need to see a rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Marcos Maidana? If not, who should Floyd Mayweather fight next and why?
I look forward to reading your comments as usual. Thanks again.