Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. remained unbeaten with a unanimous-decision victory over Marcos Maidana in another hard-hitting and strategic fight for the world welterweight championship on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) was still his masterful self at age 37 as he won the rematch of a brawl in May.
Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) again tried to take the fight to Mayweather, who skillfully avoided the big right hand that the challenger continually tried to land. There was even controversy as Mayweather claimed that Maidana bit his glove during a clench in the eighth round while Maidana had a point deducted from his score in the 10th round for tripping the champion.
Two judges, Dave Moretti and John McKaie, scored it 116-111 and the other, Guido Cavallerie, had it 115-112.
Here is a round-by-round recap (scoring is unofficial):
Round 1: This is Mayweather’s 24th title fight, a huge disparity over Maidana. Kenny Bayless is the referee -- a veteran and solid third man in the ring. Mayweather hugs his father and trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., and we’re underway. Mayweather jabs to the gut and backs from a wild right toward the body by Maidana. More jabs by Mayweather. Maidana gets him to the ropes and throws a right at the head. Mayweather slips to the canvas, gets back up and is now sliding and juking away from Maidana. Maidana goes to body. Mayweather jabs back to the body. Mayweather wins round, 10-9.
Round 2: Maidana tries his big right, most of it misses a determined-to-dodge Mayweather. Mayweather jabs to the body, swings a left toward Maidana’s head. Maidana lands a right to the body. Holding. Good Maidana right to finish a combination. He gets Mayweather to the corner and slugs away. Mayweather boxing and moving. Big Mayweather right. A Mayweather left scores. A Mayweather right before the bell. Mayweather wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 20-18.
Round 3: Mayweather lets Maidana corner him and gets hit, although not flush. In the middle of the ring, Mayweather lands a right, then pounds Maidana with a right while jumping off the ropes. Another Mayweather right. Mayweather holds Maidana as he comes forward once again. Maidana answers by going to the body. Mayweather covers and punches, landing a right. Maidana tries to keep up and really can’t, then he backs up Mayweather with a crushing right at, or after, the bell. Mayweather wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 30-27.
Round 4: Maidana would be wise to pressure at the start of the round. He does. Mayweather holds. Maidana belts Mayweather, the champion is on unsteady feet and looks to hold again. He’s not getting away right now. Not like before. Good Mayweather right. He goes to the body. Hits Maidana with an uppercut to body, and slides from more punishment. Maidana wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 39-37.
Round 5: Maidana’s jab works early here. Big Mayweather right to Maidana’s face. Both guys miss. Mayweather gets in a left and a right. Maidana then misses. Mayweather ducks. Good Mayweather left, then a sweat-flying right to the head. Both men stand for the final 15 seconds, nothing thrown. Mayweather wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 49-46.
Round 6: Mayweather backing up, gets some boos. Maidana plants a right on Mayweather’s face. Maidana is jabbing, it’s an important avenue to land on Floyd. They tie up. A left by Mayweather and he backs away. He doesn’t mind any boos, this is his plan to win. He makes Maidana miss, looks at the clock. Maidana works inside at the bell. Mayweather wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 59-55.
Round 7: This is where Maidana started tiring in the first bout and he spent extra time sitting on his stool before this one started. Maidana is trying to find an opening for his right. Mayweather’s head movement is not allowing it. A good left by Maidana. Mayweather works to the body. It’s effective. A left by Mayweather. Mayweather wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 69-64.
Round 8: Mayweather looks for openings as Maidana charges in. Maidana punches on the break. Mayweather whips a right, appearing irritated. A clean Mayweather left. Maidana giving up a flood of scoring blows on his way in, then he gets peppered there. Mayweather says his left glove is twisted and that Maidana bit him on the glove. Maidana flings up his right hand, arguing he didn’t. Referee Kenny Bayless sends the fighters to neutral corners. “He bit me,” Floyd tells reporters. Action resumes. Mayweather wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 79-73.
Round 9: Replays show Maidana had his mouth open near Mayweather’s left glove in the eighth, as Mayweather roared in pain. Maidana gave the champion a little grin at the close of the round. Mayweather is holding Maidana as he tries to rush in. Mayweather’s own jab also a useful weapon. Good Mayweather left, more holding. A good Mayweather left. Maidana can’t find an opening; he’s frustrated Mayweather wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 89-82.
Round 10: Mayweather lands a jab, then a left. Mayweather throws more lefts. Maidana pushes Mayweather down. Bayless takes away a point for the act. Now Maidana is in full assault mode and nails Mayweather with combination and a hard right to the jaw in the corner. Mayweather rallies with a clean right. Maidana works to the body and head. Round is even, 9-9. Mayweather leads fight, 98-91.
Round 11: Maidana working to keep the pressure on, but gets hurt by a good left hook to the body, then needs a rest after a low blow. Never seen Mayweather look up at the clock as often as he has this fight. He’s still the faster boxer, even at age 37. He’s committed to getting hit as little as possible. Mayweather is holding and blocking at the same time. Mayweather lands a good left before the bell. Mayweather wins round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 108-100.
Round 12: Maidana must know he needs a knockout. It’s had more rough moments. Mayweather dancing, on proverbial horse. Holds Maidana. It’s “Money” in the bank, so to speak. Crowd might not like it, but seems obvious he has 47-0 wrapped up. Mayweather holds as Maidana charges and swings away. Maidana sneaks in a right. He can’t hit what he can’t find … that’s the story of the night. Mayweather holds in his corner. Maidana wins round, 10-9. Mayweather should win fight, 117-110.
It’s official, the judges rule it a unanimous decision for Mayweather: Dave Moretti, 116-111; Guido Cavallerie, 115-112; John McKaie, 116-111.