Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime
LAS VEGAS, NV — Someone forgot to tell Marcos Maidana that he was a 12-1 underdog. Fighting with no fear nor respect for Floyd Mayweather, Maidana succeeded in roughing up the tenured champion with body shots and clubbing overhand rights in a spirited losing effort that has Golden Boy Promotions already sounded the drums for a September rematch.
Through the first four rounds, Maidana dragged Mayweather into a grind-out, foul heavy war of attrition. An accidential head butt opened a cut over Mayweather’s right eye, and the undefeated champion struggled to keep Maidana from landing left hooks to the body and chopping overhand rights. Even with Maidana’s success, Mayweather kept the fight close through his own accurate body shots, lead rights and counter left hooks.
The seventh round marked a shift in strategy as Mayweather made Maidana give ground with uppercuts and slashing hooks downstairs. Maidana rebounded with a close eighth round, which saw him drive Mayweather to the ropes with repeated right hands and punishing hooks to the body.
The championship rounds proved pivtoal in the scoring as Mayweather upped his punch out and landed the more eye-catching shots. Maidana continued his bruising body work, but had much of his work stifled in clinches, resulting in Mayweather winning two of the final three rounds of all judge’s scorecards. Judge Michael Pernick, who scored the bout a 114-114 draw, gave Maidana three of the first four rounds and Mayweather three of the last four. He was overruled with Burt Clements and Dave Moretti, who respectively scored the bout 117-114 and 116-112 for Mayweather.
Amir Khan’s marketability as Floyd Mayweather’s next foe got a significant boost courtesy of the former’s dominant performance against Luis Collazo. Making his 147 debut, Khan’s relied on the speed of his right cross to take advantage of Collazo’s tendency to square up inside. It would be a short hook that dropped Collazo in the fourth. From that point, Collazo began the press the fight with his hands down in hopes of goading Khan into a brawl. Khan never took the invitation, opting to hold and maul whenever Collazo breached mid-range. The Brooklyn native became highly frustrating and began verbally taunting Khan in the seventh.In the eighth, both lost points — Khan for holding and hitting, and Collazo for low blows. The round also saw Khan briefly wobbled by a Collazo left hook.
Khan broke the fight open in the 10th with two knockdowns off left hooks — one of the body, and another upstairs. Showing newfound caution, Khan was hesitant going in for the kill. Collazo continued coming forward in the final rounds, but spent the majority of those stanzas looking flustered and complaining about fouls. His final definance would come via an intentional low blow at the beginning of the 12th. Scores for Khan were unanimous: 119-104 twice and 117-106.
For his junior welterweight debut, Adrien Broner weathered early aggression from Carlos Molina to cruise to a unanimous decision. Molina succeeded in fighting on even terms in the opening stanzas, scoring well with hooks to the body in the second and third rounds. Starting in the fourth, Broner stopped backpedaling and began peppering Molina with flashy hooks and uppercuts. While Molina was never seriously hurt, the sheer output stalled Molina’s workrate and allowed Broner to rack up points. Starting in the seventh, Broner also took control of the inside exchanges by scoring flush, short hooks whenever Molina attempted to reset his offense. Final scores were 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. Broner received a mixed reaction at the verdict that turned to full-on boos when he taunted Molina in the post-fight interview and called out Manny Pacquiao.
Despite some suspect behavior from referee Jay Nady, J’Leon Love survived a fifth round knockdown to win a unanimous decision (95-93, 97-92, 96-93) over Marco Antonio Periban. Love was hurt badly by a Periban counter right and at several points the fight could’ve been stopped with Love not answering shots on the ropes. Referee Jay Nady allowed Love to hold for prolonged periods, but appeared to jump in and stop the fight before electing to let Love continue. Love rebounded in the sixth behind a stinging left jab, movement and occasional left hooks that befuddled Periban for the rest of the fight.
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