The first fight, on May 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, was supposed to be a cakewalk for Mayweather. But it was readily apparent that Maidana had no intention of repeating the same mistakes that Mayweather’s previous opponent Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had--namely, to try and outbox the boxer.
Maidana came out in the opening stanza like his pants were on fire. After walking through a combination, he forced Mayweather into the ropes and unleashed a barrage of unorthodox but effective punches. One blow clipped Mayweather on the top of the head. He returned to his corner with a perplexed look on his face.
Maybe Mayweather was remembering a line from the classic boxing movie, "Body and Soul." In the film, Jackie Marlowe, played by former professional fighter Artie Dorrell, is getting the best of Charley Davis, portrayed by John Garfield. But in a climactic scene, Davis suddenly turns the tables on Marlowe. As he sits on his stool waiting for the next round to begin, Marlowe mutters, “That guy’s crazy; he’s crazy.”
Crazy or not, Maidana fared much better against Mayweather than just about anyone predicted. His spunky (some said dirty) aggressiveness forced Mayweather to do something that the undefeated kingpin has rarely had to do in his long career--make some major adjustments.
In round five, he did just that. Mayweather used guile, angles, and still, even at age 37, sharp reflexes to beat Maidana to the punch. He also, after being advised to do so by his trainer father, went to the body.
After 12 grueling rounds, Mayweather escaped with the victory by majority decision, though some felt that Maidana deserved the nod.
Mayweather claimed after the fight that he chose to brawl with Maidana, instead of box, for purely entertainment purposes. True or not, trainer Freddie Roach opined that Mayweather is a shot fighter who can’t use his footwork to create distances. The former seems more likely than the latter.
But nothing is certain in the fight game. Another mystery is how many fans bought the fight on Per-Per-View. First reported by Rick Glaser and other multiple industry sources, the mega-fight sold around 850,000 buys-nowhere near the 1 million Mayweather and his team were predicting.
With so many feeling that Maidana won the first battle, the sequel should generate some major interest. Can the tough guy from Argentina do better the second time around? Will Mayweather use his elusiveness and box Maidana’s ears off?
Get ready for the drumroll.