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Boxing blog: Mayweather finds rhythm to edge Maidana with a majority decision

Amir Khan, Adrien Broner and J’Leon Love get undercard wins

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Steve Marcus

Marcos Maidana, left, of Argentina and Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the U.S. both celebrate after their WBC/WBA welterweight unification fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Updated Saturday, May 3, 2014 | 10:48 p.m.

Mayweather vs. Maidana

Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the U.S. celebrates his victory over Marcos Maidana of Argentina during their WBC/WBA welterweight unification fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Mayweather improved his record to 46-0. Launch slideshow »

Mayweather and Maidana Make Weight

WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., left,  and WBA champion Marcos Maidana of Argentina pose during an official weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Friday, May 2, 2014. The two champions will meet in a WBC/WBA unification fight at the arena on Saturday. Launch slideshow »

Floyd Mayweather Jr. leaped on top of the ropes, began gyrating his hips and waved his arms.

Hundreds of Argentines were chanting and singing in support of Marcos Maidana at the conclusion of Saturday night’s fight card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but Mayweather was the one dancing.

Boxing’s pound-for-pound titan persevered through what was possibly the toughest fight of his career to beat Maidana by majority decision (117-111, 116-112, 114-114).

“It was a tough, competitive fight,” Mayweather said. “I know I would have really liked to go out there and box him, but he put pressure on me and that’s when I decided I was going to commit to fight differently. I wanted to give the fans what they wanted to see, so I stood there and fought him.”

Maidana proved a much tougher challenge than the 10-to-1 betting line indicated. He attacked Mayweather from the opening bell, pressing the undefeated fighter into the ropes and pummeling him with punches in the first round.

It took Mayweather some time to adjust, especially after he suffered a cut at the end of the fourth round that he claimed was from a Maidana headbutt. Maidana said it was from a punch and openly protested the decision.

“I definitely think I won this fight,” Maidana said. “Floyd didn’t fight like a man like I expected him to. He dominated a few rounds, but a majority of them I dominated.”

Mayweather didn’t get drawn into a war of words immediately after the fight even after Maidana upped his vitriol. He was too busy celebrating.

“He’s a tough fighter and I don’t take anything away from him, but I couldn’t see anything for two rounds after the headbutt,” Mayweather said. “But I adjusted and that’s what champs do. They adjust to everything and do everything they can.”

As Maidana’s contingent booed the decision, Mayweather stated he was open to an immediate rematch. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said the same.

One person who definitely wouldn’t join in on that talk is the co-main event winner. Amir Khan, perceived to be the next in line for Mayweather, beat Luis Collazo by a dominating unanimous decision (119-104, 119-104, 117-106) in a fight that was supposed to be competitive.

Adrien Broner and J’Leon Love also scored unanimous-decision wins in pay-per-view bouts, over Carlos Molina and Marco Periban respectively.

Both Mayweather acolytes, they certainly reveled in the result of the main event without letting Maidana’s dissent get in the way.

“I’m the one that has to give the rematch because I won the fight,” Maidana said. “Yes, I’ll give him a rematch. I’m not scared of him.”

Check below for the Sun’s live content from Mayweather vs. Maidana, and come back later for full coverage of the fight.

 

Pre-fight

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says tonight’s bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena could be his last in one interview, then discusses staying in boxing well beyond the three fights left in his contract with Showtime.

“The Money Team” overlord claims he’s not distracted at one media event, then acts noticeably dejected at the next.

There are more questions than usual regarding the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer, the undefeated 37-year-old Mayweather, ahead of “The Moment” where he meets 30-year-old Marcos “Chino” Maidana in a welterweight title unification bout.

The concerns are why Maidana is garnering late support with some fans suddenly giving him a chance of doing the unthinkable and dethroning Mayweather.

Maidana probably deserved more respect from the moment the fight was booked. He became well known in boxing circles more than four years ago when he started his career with 27 knockouts and just one loss in 30 bouts.

That was before losses to Amir Khan, who faces Luis Collazo in tonight’s co-feature, and Devon Alexander ended up improving Maidana. The Argentinian decided to get more serious and relocated his training to trainer Robert Garcia’s stable in Oxnard, Calif.

The results ever since have been tremendous. Maidana is unbeaten in four fights, including a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Adrien Broner in December.

Broner looks to bounce back in the second fight of the main card when he takes on Carlos Molina. Broner has long regarded himself as the heir apparent to Mayweather, but another loss could put that status in serious doubt for the 24-year-old.

It’s no surprise Broner wants to model his career after Mayweather’s. Who wouldn’t? “Money” is dynamite in the ring and now going on 18 years without losing a fight while barely getting touched and tested throughout the entire window.

One of his favorite refrains this week went that not only has he never used his A-game, he’s never shown his B-game. Mayweather says the 45 opponents he’s beaten have fought against his C- or D-game.

But he also spoke highly enough of Maidana to believe “Chino” could bring out his best. In three hours or less, the answers will begin to emerge.

Khan vs. Collazo and Broner vs. Molina should provide some action in the meantime, as well as Mayweather protege J’Leon Love opening up the main card against Marco Periban.

Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for coverage of Mayweather vs. Maidana all night, including our live blog below.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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