Fight Reports

[Photo Gallery] Adjusted Expectations: Mayweather’s Movement Neutralizes Maidana in Rematch

Floyd Mayweather made the necessary changes of increased movement, jabbing and clinching to effectively defang Marcos Maidana's power and aggression to score a clear unanimous decision victory (116-111 twice, 115-112) last night at the MGM Grand...

Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana

Photo Credits: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions

Idris Erba/Mayweather Promotions

Floyd Mayweather made the necessary changes of increased movement, jabbing and clinching to effectively defang Marcos Maidana’s power and aggression to score a clear unanimous decision victory (116-111 twice, 115-112) last night at the MGM Grand.

It was a quiet and mostly pedestrian night of boxing, capped by a main event which saw the crowd repeatedly shower Mayweather with boos due to his tactics and referee Kenny Bayless not allowing for any inside work. With that said, Mayweather proved again to be a shrewd tactician and reminded everyone of Maidana’s limitations. On to the highlights.


Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana

SHOCK ‘EM AND LOCK ‘EM STRATEGY: The first fight had lots of sustained action due to Mayweather resting on the ropes and opting to cover up or counter instead of clinching. This allowed Maidana to wail away to the body with hooks and attempt chopping shots upstairs. Mayweather would answer with counter hooks downstairs. Last night, Mayweather would either spin right off the ropes to ring center (usually clipping Chino with a counter left hookor right hand before doing so), or clinch.

This approach in many ways mirrored what Muhammad Ali adopted in his 1974 rematch with Joe Frazier.The big difference is that Frazier’s pressure was much better than Maidana’s, and this allowed Smokin’ Joe to keep the fight close despite Ali’s rampant clinching. With the referee not allowing Maidana to maul inside nor the fighters to punch out of clinches, Mayweather was able to set a comfortable pace and quickly turn the contest into a technical bout fought mostly at ring center.

A technical fight just happens to be Mayweather’s greatest strength and Maidana’s most glaring weakness.


Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana

ONE GOOD EXCITING SEQUENCE: The fight did have one intriguing moment. In the closing seconds of the third round, Mayweather was corned and caught by a big Maidana right hand. Floyd stumbled back and the bell sounded. It was a good shot, but we didn’t get to see how hurt Mayweather was until the fourth. His legs were heavy and all the crisp movement of the previous rounds had evaporated. Maidana pressed his advantage and clearly outworked Mayweather on the ropes. However, Mayweather’s smarts still shined through — his kept defensive enough to ensure that while Maidana secured the round, he never landed another clean follow-up shot.

By the fifth, the fight was back to business as usual.


MAYHEM - FIGHT NIGHT-Mayweather vs Maidana-5253

A BITFUL EIGHTH: The strangest occurence of the evening came in the eighth when Maidana allegedly bit Mayweather’s fingers on his left glove. This happened during a rough clinch where Mayweather’s glove was smashed against Maidana’s face. Mayweather yelled like a whipped cur and immediately complained, prompting referee Kenny Bayless to stop the fight and confer with ringside officials and both corners.

Afterward, Mayweather would claim his fingers and hand were numb for the rest of the fight. That’s all fine and good, but it’s very difficult for me to imagine Maidana’s teeth being that sharp that they could chomp through a mouthpiece and glove to hurt Mayweather’s fingers. If Floyd was playing mind games, that was the most off the wall tactic he’s ever thought of.

“Maybe he thinks I’m a dog, but I never bit him,” Maidana  later 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.”


ROUTINE WINS DON’T CUT IT: Mayweather talks a lot about knowing what it takes to perform on this level. The problem for him is that he’s set the bar very high (performance-wise and financially with $75 pay-per-view tags) and bouts like this create more detractors than fans. Usually in the closing minutes of a Floyd fight, fans in the area who don’t like him will applaud in grudging respect for the man’s skills. This time there was flat-out booing as Mayweather skated around the ring with no intention of engaging.

During his post-fight press conference, he spoke at length about his career coming to a close and boxing feeling more like a job than a passion. Will it have to take someone like a Manny Pacquiao to renew that fire in Floyd?

“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.”

After five years of futility on the subject, expect more of the same.


KENNY BAYLESS: Mayweather’s camp made it clear that the roughhousing Maidana got away with in May wouldn’t be tolerated for the rematch. From the way referee Kenny Bayless would break them within 2 seconds of clinching, you knew what type of fight to expect. Any inside fighter would be at an extreme disadvantage from this type of officiating. In addition, Bayless docked a point late in the fight after Maidana shoved Mayweather down out of a rough clinch (sans any apparent hard warning preceding the deduction).

I consider this an example of Mayweather flexing his muscles as the “A-side” of the promotion. He didn’t like Maidana’s “puncher’s gloves,” and got them removed. He didn’t like Maidana’s roughhousing in fight one, and got the eliminated for the rematch.

In no way am I implying that Bayless was “on the take” or paid to screw over Floyd. But we’d all have to be very naive to think it wasn’t stressed to him not to let this bout become the wild dogfight we saw in May. That was all that was needed to sway the officiating.


Mickey Bey vs Miguel Vazquez


MICKEY BEY SD12 MIGUEL VAZQUEZ: This fight has to be considered for one one of the worst robberies of the year due to the judging of Robert Hoyle, who scored it 119-109 for Bey. There were a good amount of close rounds and Vazquez took his foot off the gas in the championship rounds, so I could live with a Bey win despite me scoring it for Vazquez (Note: The other judges had it 115-113 Bey and 115-113 Vazquez). But giving Vazquez one round leaves no doubt that Hoyle’s scorecard was filled out well before the fight. He needs to join CJ Ross in boxing Hades after this fight. No action from the Las Vegas Athletic Commission would be downright disgraceful.

The bout was an ugly and boring one, so there is a chance the outrage won’t be where it should be from media and fans.


James De La Rosa vs Alfredo Angulo

JAMES DE LA ROSA UD10 ALFREDO ANGULO: The hope of Alfredo Angulo becoming a top fighter again were dashed at the hands of James De La Rosa, who knocked Angulo down early and hung on for a unanimous decision win (99-89, 98-90, 96-92) . De La Rosa was selected for his lack of power, but that didn’t stop him from hitting Angulo at will and scoring a third round knockdown. Like the Canelo fight, Angulo’s punches were very slow and lethargic. Still, El Perro came close to pulling it out after hurting De La Rosa with a right hand to close the ninth, and going all out with Hail Mary shots in the 10th.

This is now Angulo’s third straight loss, following KO defeats at the hands of Erislandy Lara and Canelo Alvarez. In a way, it’s better that it ends like this — Angulo would be hurt bad if he got in the ring with any solid middleweight contender.


Leo Santa Cruz vs Manuel Roman

LEO SANTA CRUZ KO2 MANUEL ROMAN: All that needs to be said about this fight is Santa Cruz beat up on a former sparring partner. He’s a good kid with loads of talent, but now is the time to put that talent to the test. He is the WBC super bantamweight champion and made it clear in his post-fight interview that he wants the division’s #1 guy, Guillermo Rigondeaux. Now it’s up to the network and his promoter to let the kid try to be great. Don’t insult his talent or the fans any further with these gross mismatches.


MAYHEM - FIGHT NIGHT-Molina vs Soto-3678

HUMBERTO SOTO UD10 JOHN MOLINA: This was the friendliest dirty fight you’ll ever see. Repeated low blows from both and point deductions (twice to Molina, once to Soto). Punches clearly after the bell (a few that hit referee Jay Nady). In between all that was good scrap with heavy bombs exchanged. When that wasn’t happening, Soto was dictating the pace with superior boxing that left Molina clueless at ring center. Molina got in his fair share of big rights and left hooks that had Soto’s head swiveling around, but he neglected the body too much. Soto weathered the head shots and got a well-earned unanimous decision (96-91 twice, 95-92 twice).

Soto’s performance makes him good TV candidate for the abundance of Showtime junior welterweights: Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner and Lamont Peterson. From an action standpoint, most fans wouldn’t have a problem with these matchups.


So now that “Mayhem’s” in the books, let’s hear your thoughts about it. Did you pay for it? Were you satisfied?







  1. Man I thought it was a good fight, the card as a whole was abit weak, but in the UK we didn’t have to pay the crazy amount of money you guys’s in the States had to, if I paid $60 or $70 then I guess I would be abit pissed off!

    Bayless contributed to win no doubt, but I said from the second the first ended that a rematch was pointless, because not only did Floyd win the second half of the first fight, so knew how to win, that Team Mayweather would also make sure that whoever refereed the rematch would not allow any rough-house tactics and inside work and also they would make Maidana where pillows for gloves… So theres no point people complaining because this fight was always going to play out like it did…

    Also I didn’t realise that Maidana ‘supposedly’ bit Floyd in the the first fight!!! (round 12 with 58seconds to go)… So Im guessing he probably did do it this fight, but like you pointed out Ismael, with gloves and a mouthpiece in, how much would it really hurt??? I defo wont make your hands go numb, Floyd was probably rubbing his eyes or blocking his mouth and nose from breathing right all fight..

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