Floyd Mayweather Jr. improved to 46-0. | Ed Mulholland/Golden Boy/Getty Images
LAS VEGAS -- Marcos Maidana had a plan coming into the biggest fight of his career: make Floyd Mayweather Jr. engage in an all-out war.
For much of their ballyhooed mega fight inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Maidana accomplished that goal. More than any other time in his illustrious career, Mayweather was forced to fight until the very end, with victory not guaranteed.
Maidana shot right out of the gate to begin the duel and as promised, he pounced all over his nemesis. The hard-hitting Argentinean swarmed while throwing everything he had with both hands and from every angle imaginable.
Mayweather has stated publicly that the greatest champions find a way to win; to adapt, and that’s just what he did. As quickly as Maidana’s thunder exploded in the ring, it was muffled in short order. Mayweather was able to maintain composure and while he wasn’t picking him apart from the outside per the norm, the champion raked his rival with vicious hooks to the body and head. Mayweather jabbed and tagged his opponent with sneaky right hands all night, but what made the fight so mesmerizing was how often Mayweather was goaded into a trench war.
Mayweather cracked Maidana over and over, but between his brilliant countering was a grueling battle in the clinches. Maidana mauled Floyd; Mayweather gave right back. Maidana hit him low on several occasions, but Mayweather returned the favor by stuffing his forearms and elbows under El Chino’s chin. Referee Tony Weeks had his hands full as he had to pry Maidana off Mayweather and vice versa.
“It was a tough fight and he is a tough guy,” Mayweather said after the fight. “I had to dig deep and adapt but that’s what true champions do. We adapted and we came out victorious.”
Floyd was cut over the right eye in the fourth from an accidental head butt and Maidana tagged him several times throughout the fracas. Maidana threw roughly 400 more punches than Money, but as usual, Mayweather was far more accurate. Towards the end of the fight, Mayweather cracked him with dozens of stinging right hands, some of which stunned him. As the rounds wore away, Mayweather seized complete control of the bout, but he was not allowed to cruise to the end like he’s done so many times in the past.
In the end, the capacity crowd felt that Maidana did enough to win the decision, but their collective dreams were dashed when Jimmy Lennon, Jr. announced the verdict in favor of Mayweather, now 46-0 with 26 KOs. Judge Michael Pernick had it a draw at 114-114, but that score was offset by tallies of Burt Clements and Dave Moretti, who saw it 117-111 and 116-112, respectively.
Feeling he had won, Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) protested the decision and said that he would gladly grant Mayweather a rematch.
Khan Pummels Collazo to earn Unanimous Nod
In a fight that wasn’t quite as entertaining as the main event, popular fighter Amir Khan made his welterweight debut a successful one with a lopsided unanimous decision over the tough Luis Collazo. Khan outboxed him beautifully throughout the encounter, using a brilliant counter right-hand attack to offset Collazo’s charges and inflict plenty of damage.
Khan scored three knockdowns in the fight: once in the fourth and twice in the tenth, a round in which “King” Khan came as close as anybody could without getting the stoppage. Collazo somehow hung on until the bell saved him. Collazo regrouped and lasted the full 12, but Khan had dominated him so much that the victor was never in question. Khan won via tallies of 119-104 (twice) and 117-106.
Broner Bounces Back, Wins First Fight After Loss
Polarizing super lightweight Adrien Broner got back on track in the win column by coasting past journeyman Carlos Molina. Broner jabbed and moved for the full ten rounds and Molina never really got into a rhythm. Broner won handily by margins of 99-91, 98-92 and 100-90.