Mayweather kept his WBC welterweight championship and raised his record to 47-0 on Saturday September 13th, by perfectly blending his quickness and craft. He won a unanimous decision and quieted a large, melodic contingent of Argentine fans among the 16,144 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather will earn at least $32 million for the fight.
There were the usual boxing eccentricities, of course.
Referee Kenny Bayless called time in Round 8 when Mayweather suddenly jerked his left hand out of a clinch. He claimed Maidana bit his glove. Bayless did not penalize Maidana, but deducted a point two rounds later when Maidana took Mayweather down.
Otherwise, Mayweather was so tantalizing that Maidana, at the end of Round 8, absently began walking toward a neutral corner instead of his own. Mayweather stopped and impatiently pointed Maidana back to his own corner, like a recess teacher getting a wayward second-grader in line.
Mayweather connected on 58% of his power punches and 51% overall. He also dodged all but 17% of Maidana’s jabs and 22% of his overall punches.
Maidana did stagger Mayweather with a right hand at the end of the third round, but it landed almost simultaneously with the bell.
This was only Mayweather’s second rematch. In 2002 he squeaked out a win over Jose Luis Castillo, but won more strongly in the second fight.
Inevitably Mayweather was asked about a date with Manny Pacquiao, a fantasy of fight fans for about eight years now.
“I’m going to go back and talk with my team,” he said. “If a Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen.”
Mayweather’s six-fight deal with Showtime expires after two more fights. Two victories would leave him at 49-0 at the end of 2015.
“I’m fighting twice a year now,” Mayweather said. “I think that’s better for me than fighting just once a year. Boxing puts a lot of wear and tear on you, But I don’t want to mess up my legacy. I can’t.”
The legacy remains, as does the leverage.
“Look, he’s been the best fighter in the world for 10 years now,” said Robert Garcia, Maidana’s trainer, echoing the words of 46 trainers before him. “What can you do?”