Surprise, surprise, on Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 KOs) successfully defended his WBC and WBA Welterweight and WBC Super Welterweight World Championships with a 12 round unanimous decision victory in his rematch with Argentine brawler Marcos Rene “El Chino” Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) in front of 16,144 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and live on Showtime PPV.
After the many PPV fans forked over their $74.99 to watch the show, some people had the gall to question whether the show was worth it. Who cares? The important thing is TMT (The Money Team) did well and their take home pay was substantial. To quote inside sources, “This weekend, Floyd made $14,800 per second and the Pay-Per-View count for his fight went over 925K.”
Once again, “Money” strategically fought the fight he wanted to fight, hit but not be hit. He avoided getting pinned against the ropes or in the corner. He sought preservation rather than retaliation. By doing so, he showcased the clear gap in ability between the two fighters. He effectively avoided the looping punches that Maidana had so successfully used in their first fight.
According to the stats, the 37 year-old Mayweather landed 58% of his power punches compared to the 31 year-old Maidana’s 26 percent. Mayweather also landed 43% of his jabs compared to only 17% for Maidana and landed 51% of his total punches compared to Maidana’s 22 percent.
In the first fight, referee Tony Weeks’ liberal stance on dirty tactics from both fighters clearly favored Maidana’s roughhousing style and gave him an opportunity to land several big blows. In the rematch, Kenny Bayless’ handling of the habitual clinching by Mayweather surely had a detrimental affect on Maidana’s ability to go full bore, go mano-a-mano.
Their methods were still dirty, with Mayweather claiming that he was bit on the left hand in Round 8 and Maidana lost a point in Round 10 for using his arm and elbow to shove Mayweather to the canvas. But the quickness with which Bayless separated the two at even the first sign of a clinch had a major impact on how this fight played out. As did the blind eye he employed when failing to police, or even warn Mayweather for his constant holding. Surely this abusive tactic had more affect on the fight than any infraction Maidana might employ.
The highpoint for Maidana? At the close of Round 3, just seconds before the bell sounded, he landed a flush overhand right that clearly hurt Mayweather. Maidana followed it up with a brilliant Round 4 in which he routinely backed Mayweather up to the ropes and landed these heavy blows at close range.
Overall, the scoring by the judges was first rate. Dave Moretti and John McKaie scored the bout 116-111 while judge Guido Cavalleri had it 115-112.
In the press conference later Mayweather stated, “He’s a tough opponent and I did what I had to do. I just didn’t stay on the ropes. I have a couple bumps and bruises because he’s a wild, young fighter. My father told me to hit and not get hit and that’s what we did.”
Maidana disagreed with the decision. “I thought I won the fight but if the judges want to give the fight to a guy who runs, that’s their decision. I feel like I was the aggressor and I kept applying the pressure. He kept holding and pushing and the ref never did anything about it. Instead, the ref took a point away from me.”
While the decision was clear, the fight was not without controversy. In the eighth round, Mayweather was doing his usual clinching and had Maidana’s head in a tight headlock. Being smothered by his opponent’s glove, Maidana may have bitten down on Mayweather’s glove in an attempt to free himself from the illegal tactic. The incident caused a break in the action while Bayless tried in vain to sort things out. After inspecting Mayweather’s glove, Bayless told both corners he saw no signs of a bite.
After the fight, Mayweather complained, “He bit my fingers so my fingers were numb. After the eighth round my hand was numb and I really couldn’t use my left hand.” The claim of serious injury appears to be a fabrication as we all saw Mayweather use his left hand with much success to close out the final, four rounds.
Maidana’s version, “He was rubbing my eyes with his glove. Maybe he had his glove in my mouth, but I don’t think I bit him.”
In search of the truth, it is suggested you remove the underlined words.
After review it’s plain to see Mayweather was indeed cheating by holding Maidana’s head down, rubbing his glove across Maidana’s face, twisting his neck and trying to smother him, and not unlike the boxer who gets hit below the belt, Maidana may have felt justified in delivering that unsubstantiated bite.
After the fight, reporter Jim Gray, on cue, was there to ask Mayweather if he would contemplate a fight with somebody by the name of Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather sidestepped the issue with his usual aplomb, “If the Manny Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen. I don’t know who I’ll fight in May but I expect to fight. Manny needs to focus on the guy that’s in front of him. Once he gets past that task, we’ll see what the future holds.”
Photos from the Mayweather vs. Maidana II fight
In the Co-main event, the WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Leo “Teremoto” Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs) of Lincoln Heights, CA by way of Huetamo, Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico registered a second-round TKO victory over Miguel “Suavecito” Roman (17-3-3, 6 KOs) of Paramount, CA by way of Tijuana, B. C., Mexico.
In the opening round, Santa Cruz went hard to the body while Roman tried to box and circle away from Santa Cruz’s power. Then, early in round two, Santa Cruz landed the masterful, straight right and Roman, finding it difficult to get up, led referee Robert Byrd to conclude he was finished for the night. The end came at the 55 second mark of round two.
After the bout, the two-division world champ, who extended his unbeaten record of 7-0 in World Title fights, stated he wants to face the 33 year-old WBA and WBO Super Bantamweight World Champ Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux (14-0, 9 KOs) of Miami, Florida by way of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. “I want my manager to make the fight so I can prove I’m the best.”
As they say, “You should be careful for what you wish for.” Rigondeaux’s defensive style makes his competition look foolish and to quote his promoter Bob Arum, “I have to look for someone to fight him. He’s one of the best defensive fighters I’ve ever seen, but it’s not a very pleasing style.” At this point in his career, Santa Cruz might have the same problem that Nonito Donaire had.
Getting back to Saturday’s opponent. Roman, who at one time was a sparring partner of Santa Cruz, was of course disappointed after losing the biggest fight of his career. His matter of fact statement, “I got caught with a right. What can I say? There’s nothing else to say.”
In a 12 round Lightweight Title fight Mickey Bey got the nod over the defending Champion Miguel “Titere” Vazquez winning by a split decision. The judges scored the bout 115-113 Bey, 115-113 Vazquez and 119-109 Bey, in what boxing pundits called an “extremely tactical match.” That’s one of those descriptions that has you scratching your head or for some tickling their funny bone.
Truth be told, it was a match that lacked any real action. The blows were thrown from far off and who knows if any of them landed or had any force when landing.
The tactic had worked well for Vazquez (34-4, 13 KOs) who was riding a 13-fight win streak and making the seventh defense of his IBF title. In his cat and mouse bout with San Diego’s Mercito Gesta, Gesta stood in the center of the ring and implored Vazquez to mix it up. Gesta’s intent to draw him out would surely have been beneficial to him, but he was also concerned about his fans who were sitting there and being bored to death.
Saturday evening’s contest began as a jabbing contest and unfortunately did not improve from there. To his credit, Bey did attempt to initiate most of the action as he followed Vazquez around the ring. For some, the scene might have conjured up thoughts of those pooches that prance a few steps behind their trainer during a competition at the Westminster Kennel Club’s Dog Show.
Vazquez on the other hand went to great lengths to avoid any sustained combat, either by grabbing immediately after throwing a punch or simply refusing to stand close enough for either boxer to engage.
Ultimately the judges favored Bey’s willingness to at least try. With the win, Bey (21-1-1, 10 KOs) became the second fighter under the Mayweather Promotions banner to win a world title.
As is customary with The Money Team, Bey went overboard in claiming he is now the best ever, surely the best in his division. “He was #1 and now it’s me. I’m not surprised that I won, I’m just really happy. He was head-butting and holding the entire time. I won every round and beat him with one hand (tied behind my back?). Bey said he hurt his right hand in the contest.
According to the statistician keeping track of punches thrown, Vazquez landed a total of 89 punches and connected on only 22% compared to Bey’s 81 punches and 21%. Take a moment to think about those numbers. Vazquez threw 404 punches and landed only 89. Bey threw 385 and only landed 81. And no, they were not using blindfolds.
“It was a good fight and Mickey Bey was a dignified opponent,” said Vazquez. “He fought strong but I anticipated he would. I don’t have much to say. A win is a win. I thought the fight was close. I thought I won.”
With there being at least 10 boxers with similar or better stats than Bey, he’ll at least be in position to challenge them to prove to the naysayers that he indeed is the best lightweight in the world. A word of advice from a boxing scribe: in his next outing, he might want to land more than 81 punches.
In the opening bout of this PPV telecast, middleweight James “The King” De La Rosa of San Benito, Texas won a 10 round unanimous decision over Alfredo “Perro” Angulo of Coachella, CA by way of Mexicali, B. C., Mexico.
After the 32 year-old Angulo was the aggressor in round one, that all changed after the 26 year-old De La Rosa hit Angulo with a solid left hook to drop him in the closing seconds of round two. Then, halfway through the bout, as De La Rosa continued to land, Angulo began to bleed from a cut over his right eye. Things got even worse in round seven after referee Russell Mora deducted a point from Angulo for an excessive amount of low blows.
Sensing the urgency to rally late, Angulo started landing some heavy blows and actually staggered De La Rosa in the final round. As is often the case, it was too little, too late. Judge Glenn Trowbridge scored the bout 98-90, judge Lisa Giampa had it 99-89 and for some inexplicable reason judge Patricia Morse Jarman had it much closer at 96-92, all for De La Rosa. De La Rosa, who was more active and accurate throughout, landed an amazing 41 percent of his power punches in the most significant victory of his career.
The revelation that Angulo was willing to come up in weight to fight De La Rosa at 162 pounds, makes you wonder if he has now lost focus on another run at the 154 pound middleweight title.
Also, in a live bout on Countdown Live: Mayweather vs. Maidana 2, Humberto Soto (65-8, 35 KOs) won a foul-infested, 10-round, unanimous decision victory over John Molina Jr. (27-5, 22 KOs) with scores of 96-91 and 95-92 twice. This entertaining, nonstop action match, reminded you of those bar fights you’d see in an old cowboy movie.
In an all out war, Tijuana’s Humberto “La Zorrita” translation “The Crafty Little Fox” Soto scored a unanimous decision victory over John John “The Gladiator” Molina, Jr. of Covina, CA, with scores of 95-92 twice, and 96-91 in their 10-round junior welterweight contest.
Soto, (65-8, 32 KOs), was able to neutralize the power of the hard-punching Molina, (27-5, 22 KOs), by consistently beating him to the punch with his quicker hands and more accurate combinations. Molina did manage to land several hard rights, but Soto’s chin was like granite.
Soto proved equally durable below the belt, suffering multiple low blows by Molina which resulted in two point deductions and multiple warnings by referee Jay Nady. Soto returned the favor in the final round, hitting Molina below the belt which prompted his own point deduction.
Then, in the final two rounds, the 31 year-old Molina did his best to generate additional points by cringing visibly whenever the 34 year-old Soto landed anything close to his belt-line. The solid win for Soto again has him in prime position to get another shot at a title or at least a sizable payday, hopefully in the lightweight or super lightweight division.
On the undercard
On the opening undercard, there was the much anticipated pro debut of Kevin Newman II fighting out of the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas. Wow, did that match ever turn out to be a major disappointment. Against the winless Azamat Umarzoda, (0-5-2), in a four-round super middleweight bout, Newman seemed tentative, on the run or landing the majority of his punches off counters while Umarzoda was clearly the busier, more aggressive of the two. As far as the scoring, each fighter received a 39-37 score while the third judge scored the bout a 38-38 draw.
Newman, 25-5 as an Amateur, had won the Ringside World Championship in 2013 and then made an impressive showing in the semifinals of a National U. S. A. Amateur Boxing Tournament.
Unbeaten cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti stopped Caleb Grummet in the final round of their six rounder. While Grummet appeared to be the aggressor early, Tabiti was the more patient, tactical fighter who went hard to the body and on occasion landed the combinations.
At the 2:01 mark of round six, referee Vic Drackulich called a halt to the action after Tabiti had the upper hand and was pounding Grummet. With the stoppage, Tabiti continues his knockout streak and improves to 8-0, 8 KOs while Grummet falls to 4-4-1, 3 KOs.
Junior welterweight Armando Lopes, (5-3, 1 KO), pulled off the upset of the night with an unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Argentine prospect Damian Sosa, (8-1, 6 KOs), with scores of 57-56, 58-55, and 59-54 in their six-rounder.
Sosa, who had a difficult time dealing with the southpaw’s height and reach advantage, got caught by a left hook in round two that knocked him off his feet. Sosa spent the majority of the fight eating those straight left hands before rallying in the final round. In the sixth and final round, Lopes survived Sosa’s last ditch efforts to get the win.
As expected, Fabian Andres Maidana, the younger brother of Marcos Maidana made quick work of Jared Teer in their scheduled four rounder. After dropping his opponent early in round one, Maidana wasted no time and went full bore to end Teer’s night. Referee Jay Nady waived the bout off at the 2:07 mark of round one. With the win, Maidana improves to 3-0, 2 KOs while Teer drops to (2-4).
Well known boxing trainer Henry Ramirez had a follow-up on the situation: “Damn what a crazy ass stampede in the MGM leaving the fight thousands and thousands of people running for cover !!!!! Rumors of a huge fight and fun shots…though I didn’t hear any!!!!”