Las Vegas, NV – After months of waiting, The Moment finally arrived. And in the end, the expected happened. Well, mostly.
Marcos “Chino” Maidana was a 12-1 underdog leading up to the fight. Sure, he’d knocked out over 80% of his opponents in running his record to an impressive 35-3. But this was Floyd Mayweather Jr (46-0, 26 KOs), a defensive expert who specializes in making his opponent miss. And it was in his Town. His House. His Night.
The Argentinian underdog’s biggest challenge entering the MGM Grand Garden Arena ring Saturday night was landing the thunderbolt punch that has left so many of his antagonists reeling on the canvas.
Mayweather likens his style of boxing to chess as compared to checkers where one can afford to make reckless moves. The champ’s moves are well thought out, broken down, and examined, all in the milliseconds it takes to make such critical decisions. In training camp, he repeatedly said he wasn’t going to be doing a lot of moving, that he was going to stand his ground.
In a sense, he put himself on a tee. And Maidana pulled out his driver; the windmill-style overhead shot that seemed to come from the ceiling. Maidana wanted to kick the chessboard over and just keep throwing punches until enough of them found their mark. So he did. And they did.
If we learned one thing about Floyd Mayweather Jr. Saturday night, it’s that he can take a punch; specifically 221 of them. In 45 fights, he’s never been on the receiving end so often in one night. Maidana threw over twice as many (858 to Mayweather’s 426).
Of course when you throw 858 punches, you’re going to connect a lot. In Chino’s case, only one in four found their target. As usual, Mayweather was far more efficient connecting on 54% of his total punches.
The huge underdog didn’t shy from the spotlight, the odds, or the overwhelming support of his opponent. He stuck with his game plan which apparently was to keep slugging away until they told him to stop. When the final bell tolled in the 12-round welterweight title unification bout, two of the three judges scored the fight in Mayweather’s favor while the other saw it as a draw. Talk of a rematch in September began almost immediately.
Another Moment could be on the horizon.