Sunday, May 4, 2014
A true challenger runs into a master of adjustment
On Saturday night Floyd 'Money' Mayweather, Jr. (46-0, 26 KO's) finally met up with a true challenger instead of another survivor in Argentinian Marcos 'El Chino' Maidana (35-4, 31 KO's). The only problem was Maidana, who came to win, ran into a master of adjustment who keeps solving any punching puzzles thrown his way.
Unlike recent Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fights where there was really no concern going in, there were subtle signs going into Saturday night's affair, that 'Money May' may not be invincible after all. There was a question of his mindset and focus after news that he recently went through a break-up with his fiancee. There was also a concern that the fight itself may be called at the last hour amidst an issue regarding gloves Maidana wanted to wear in the fight. Yet, when it was all said and done, in the end Mayweather continued to do what he does.
At the sound of the opening bell, Maidana showed he was not there to survive as he went straight at Mayweather, forcing him to fight off the ropes and even flat footed when in the center of the ring. A more perfect scenario could not have been laid out for Maidana, whose only real chance was to break down and ultimately catch 'Money May' with one of those bombs he throws. After the first couple of rounds there was no question Maidana was winning.
Alas, as in fights past, Mayweather weathered any storm he's going through, just to come out okay at the end. His defense, which ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas praised and said was his best weapon, was and always is flawless. The fact that he's hard to hit is one thing; but on this night he was getting hit. However he never took a clean shot to the head and body as his arms and gloves took the brunt of the punishment.
On top of that, even when he got caught a bit low on a couple of occasions and obtained a cut over his right eye in the fourth round due to an accidental head butt in the fourth round, he never lost composure. Then again, that's the demeanor of a true master. Instead he went to work and started implementing his game and not even so much boxing on the outside as he could have easily done.
While he was not dumb enough to go toe to toe with a heavy puncher like Maidana; he did stand his ground and begin to throw punches. Beautiful combinations, including a new wrinkle of repeated and hard body shots began to take its toll. Though Maidana was never in any serious trouble, it did slow down his attack and he found it increasingly difficult to catch Mayweather as he did earlier in the fight. Don't get it twisted though, he kept coming.
Ultimately, Mayweather won a majority decision as one judge actually had it even. I had no problem with the decision as I had Junior winning by at least two rounds. Yet, according to social media many people do not agree; which is fine as talks of a rematch were immediately brought up after the fight and considering how competitive Maidana fought, I'm all in. A couple of people I know mentioned Amir Khan as a potential opponent, as he won in the co-main event; but in my opinion Khan is overrated and would be an easy fight for Mayweather.
One final note regarding Saturday night's fight and the issue surrounding the gloves Maidana wanted to wear. Apparently they were a version of Everlast gloves that Mayweather's manager Leonard Ellerbee felt were not padded correctly and the Las Vegas commission agreed. Yet, when the commission said okay to a different pair of Everlast gloves, the Mayweather camp still was not happy.
I've written about this problem in the past and there is a simple solution; both boxers agree to wear the same exact gloves into the ring. There are numerous brands of boxing gloves and all styles. I'm sure there are one pair that both fighters can agree on. The idea that two fighters can come into the ring wearing different gloves, while approved by the commission, is a joke. It is an uneven playing ground and Boxing Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein agreed with me wholeheartedly when I posed the question to him before. 'Nuff said!
at May 04, 2014
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