Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime
On Saturday, May 3, 2014 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas NV, Floyd Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) defeated Marcos Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) via a tough majority decision in a 12-round unification bout.
The bout was the main event of a pay-per-view card presented by Golden Boy Promotions, Mayweather Promotions, and Showtime Sports.
Maidana began the fight exactly the way he finished his beatdown of Adrien Broner, throwing caution to the wind and pushing his opponent against the ropes.
Mayweather kept himself composed, deflecting many punches and landing counters from the ropes.
An occasional overhand right would land on the side of Mayweather’s head, forcing the crowd in attendance to get on their feet in utter surprise.
It was clear from the first minute of the fight that Maidana had come to fight as he forced Mayweather to retreat against the ropes in the first two rounds.
Mayweather later stated that he’d intentionally stayed at close range in order to give fans a better fight. However, it is doubtful that a boxer with his intelligence would take such a risk against a hard-hitting animal like Maidana.
In the third round, Mayweather landed a powerful counter uppercut before moving around Maidana and looking for more shots. Maidana had a harder time closing the distance as he received many counter punches on his way in.
Nevertheless, Maidana continued his relentless pressure, controlling much of the action in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Mayweather was cut in the fourth round by a headbutt, causing him to complain to referee Tony Weeks.
In the sixth round, it seemed as if Mayweather had finally found his rhythm. Mayweather’s check hooks prevented Maidana from coming in recklessly and he was beginning to land his signature counter right hand.
Mayweather peppered Maidana with combination punches in the later rounds, while Maidana was unable to find the success on the ropes that he had earlier.
Mayweather also landed counter uppercuts to the body and lunged for power left hooks–it seemed he was looking to hurt Maidana in the later rounds.
In the final round, despite using his footwork, Mayweather managed to plant his feet at certain points to land combinations. Maidana was the aggressor, but Mayweather’s offense was much more successful.
Mayweather faced his toughest opponent in years and was forced to work with his back against the ropes, but nevertheless walked away with the victory.
The judges scored the bout 114-114, 117-111, and 116-112.
A draw, scored by Micheal Pernick, seriously calls his judging ability into question as Mayweather was more accurate with his punches throughout the fight.
On the other hand, Burt Clements’ score of 117-111 was too generous of a score for Mayweather. Maidana clearly won more than three rounds.
In the post-fight press conference, Mayweather downplayed Maidana’s performance, suggesting that Maidana’s relative success in the fight was due to Mayweather’s willingness to stay at close range.
Again, it could be that Maidana simply was too much for Mayweather in the early rounds.
A confident Mayweather, as he shook the hands of trainer Robert Garcia, said he’d be willing to fight Maidana again in September.
In the co-main event, Amir Khan (29-3, 19 KOs) won an easy unanimous decision victory over Luis Collazo (35-6, 18 KOs) in a twelve-round Welterweight bout.
Khan used his footwork early and countered Collazo with quick right hands. Khan often led with his right hand—the advantageous thing to do when facing a southpaw—and doubled it. His quick double right hands were effective, but didn’t seem to hurt Collazo.
Khan, in his third fight with Virgil Hunter, demonstrated that he had removed some early bad habits. Khan no longer bounced as he used to and, after landing flurries of punches, he no longer left himself open for counterpunches.
For Khan, it seemed, it would be a night of quick combinations and a lot of footwork.
In the fourth round, Collazo tried to walk Khan down but was dropped by a counter right hand at close range. Collazo was allowed to get up, and received a series of punches before beginning to land punches of his own.
Collazo then began walking Khan down with his hands down, as if to demonstrate that Khan’s offense was not causing any damage.
In the ninth round, Khan scored two knockdowns, the second of which he did while holding Collazo’s right hand. Khan was using every trick he could think of to step up his offense.
Collazo was seriously hurt on the ropes, but instead of covering up, he left his entire face open. Khan did not have the power to overcome Collazo, but his speed was still too much for Collazo to deal with.
The judges scored the bout 117-106 119-114, and 119-114. After a one-year layoff, Khan looked impressive against Collazo.
For Khan, the layoff was a good thing as it allowed for him to spend a lot of time with Virgil Hunter.
“It was the first time we’d spent a long time together,” Khan said, before expressing his hope for a possible fight with Mayweather.
“I really believe my style will cause him problems,” said Khan.
Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime
In the second televised bout, Adrien Broner (28-1, 22 KOs) won an easy unanimous decision victory over a smaller Carlos Molina (17-2-1, 7 KOs) in a ten-round Light Welterweight fight.
Broner easily dominated nearly every round using a quick jab and shoulder roll stance. Molina had trouble closing the distance and often smothered his offense when he did.
One exception, however, was an overhand right that Molina landed over Broner’s defense. Broner quickly shrugged it off and returned to his game plan, which was to pick shots and avoid most of Molina’s offense.
Broner began walking Molina down in the fifth round, perhaps measuring if he could quickly finish him off after avoiding most of Molina’s shots.
Molina, however, was much tougher than Broner thought and managed to make it to finish the fight.
The judges scored the bout 100-90 99-91 98-92.
In the first televised bout, J’Leon Love (18-0, 10 KOs) suffered through a near-stoppage before scoring a unanimous decision victory over Macro Antonio Periban (20-2-1) in a ten-round Super Middleweight bout.
In the first round, Love used his footwork to keep Periban at a distance. Love used his jab and counter hook to prevent Periban from finding his range.
Periban was a bit more successful in the second, although he suffered a bloody nose in order to find the rhythm he was looking for. Love seemed to be getting comfortable at close range, but only until Periban began to really let his hands go.
Indeed, in the third round, Periban successful backed Love onto the ropes twice to land right hands and left hooks that hurt Love.
Love’s problem was that he spent too much time fighting backwards without counterpunching. This allowed Periban to continue his offense without worrying about being hit.
In the fifth round, Periban eventually landed an overhand right through Love’s gloves. The punch set off a barrage of punches that nearly put an end to the fight. Love was eventually knocked down—while Periban was still punching—and given an eight-count before being saved by the bell.
Love managed to do better in the sixth and seventh rounds, landing punches, counterpunching and outboxing Periban.
Love was forced to survive a near-stoppage, but dig in deep to outbox Periban in the later rounds.
Love’s ability to perform well at the top of his division is still in question, but nonetheless earned a win in what was a tough fight.
The judges scored the bout 95-93, 97-92, and 96-93.