Floyd Wasn't Brilliant, And Maidana Helped Him, So He Didn't Have To Be

Mayweather-MaidanaII

Jose Luis Castillo should've been awarded the decision over Floyd Mayweather when they fought the first time in 2002.

So much so that HBO house/company judge Harold Lederman scored it 115-111 Castillo and only gave Mayweather four of the 12 rounds the fight went.

Miguel Cotto, albeit it 10 years later, roughed him up and gave Mayweather one of the hardest fights of his stellar career, but Floyd earned in the ring the unanimous decision he was awarded by the judges.

Two years later almost to the day, Marcos Maidana was giving Mayweather perhaps the second toughest fight of his career, but Floyd staged a furious rally during the last third of the bout to seal the majority decision he won.

Then came September 13, 2014 and Mayweather 47-0 (27) fought Maidana 35-5 (31) again in what’s only the second time he's fought the same opponent twice as a pro. On this night, Maidana was fighting three opponents at the same time and lost to all of them. His first opponent was Mayweather, who was much more focused and purposeful during the rematch than he was during their first confrontation four months ago. The second opponent Maidana was fighting was referee Kenny Bayless, who didn't allow any inside fighting to evolve, which is as much a part of boxing as body punching is. He constantly made Floyd and Marcos separate whenever they were tied up or in a clinch. And lastly, Maidana was fighting himself being that he was far less effective stylistically this past weekend then he was when they first met in May.

This past Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather looked listless and his combinations didn't appear to be as strikingly accurate and blunting as they did as recently as his fight with Saul Alvarez a year ago. His offense seemed to lack a big threat and for a notably fluid guy, he has become recognizably brittle. Mayweather seems to have reached the point in his career when whatever natural talent he has starts to work against him. He's got a first rate boxing brain, but still uses it without quite realizing that he doesn't have the body to back up some of the things he wants to do. Floyd's punches looked to lack their usual sting and his combinations were void of their usual imaginative repertoire. This wasn't one of Floyd's better nights aethetically and he even said so during his post-fight interview.

Mayweather won a 12-round unanimous decision over Maidana by the scores of 116-111, 116-111 and 115-112. I scored it 10-2 in rounds or 118-110 on points for Mayweather. Floyd controlled the action throughout the bout and was only shook once during the fight. And that came when Maidana landed his best punch of the fight, a right hand to the chin as the bell rang to end the third round. Mayweather was really rocked but his great conditioning enabled him to come out for the fourth round showing no signs of being hurt, and he quickly resumed control of the action.

Here's more of my takeaway from the fight.

Mayweather looked outstanding for most fighters but it was a little below par for him. As was said here before the fight, Floyd would move a little more this time and he'd get off first with his quick one-twos and right leads. He kept Marcos turning in the corners, and whenever Maidana appeared to be set to either jab or get off, Floyd would either cut loose with a few shots or pull him in, thus forcing Maidana to reset and start over. However, I come away much more disappointed in Maidana than anything else, which really isn't surprising. It was frustrating watching Maidana standing right in front of Mayweather like a fencer trying to time and calculate his next move, or when it was the right time to advance. That's called the wait and react game and the slower, less accurate fighter loses the game of tag every time.

Maidana made it easy for Floyd to pick his spots and move to his left or right in order to avoid his sporadic rushes and futile attempts to get close and inside on Mayweather. And if that wasn't bad enough, Marcos even tried to jab with Floyd without pushing the fight with his feet. Sure, the jab can help him get inside, and that's where he needed to be in order to turn the boxing match into a fight. The problem was, Maidana left too much space between him and Floyd. This left him a sitting duck and opened the path for Mayweather to get in and out or change directions during the exchanges and that was exactly what Floyd needed to control the fight the way he did.

Either Maidana just isn't strong enough to force the fight the way he needs to or his corner never let him know that every second you're not moving your feet towards him, you're losing. I think that Maidana is a very limited fighter. I got the sense that Robert Garcia was giving him the right instructions in the corner, but that Maidana couldn't make things happen. It seemed that part of the problem is that he's not a really physically strong guy. He's a nice puncher, but he's not big enough to push people around. But as we saw, he does have enough strength to push Mayweather around, but he was leery of that because doing that is what drained his battery during the first eight rounds of their first fight.

Maidana was really caught in a style conundrum going into the Mayweather rematch. If he fights like a caveman, he can make Floyd uncomfortable and dictate that Mayweather is forced to fight under duress instead of boxing. Only he can't keep that up for 12-rounds because it takes too much out of him. His other choice was to dial back some of his aggression and pressure. That's the route he chose for the rematch and that enabled Mayweather to eat him up during the many lulls of the bout. I'm not saying Maidana would've won if fought more aggressively and applied more pressure. What I am saying is Mayweather was there to be pushed to the edge of the cliff but Maidana didn't go about trying to do it the right way strategically. The last thing Floyd wanted was a rough and tumble bout. Sure, Maidana tried to make it ugly with his rough-house tactics. But he wasn't persistent enough in his aggression, and when he did pick it up in spurts, he was too reckless and wild. He seldom nailed Mayweather with punches he didn't see.

It's easy to say if Maidana was more aggressive he might've won the fight. But that's cookbook logic. It sounds great in theory and words, but that's not application. Had Maidana been more aggressive and caveman like, he probably would've been in the fight more. Then again he just may have been knocked out. At his best Marcos Maidana can compete with Floyd Mayweather, he just isn't good enough to really come close to beating him. And it wouldn't matter if Freddie Roach or Nacho Beristain were his trainer. The only thing that can be said with certainty is Maidana's choice of ring strategy dramatically lessened his changes to stay with Mayweather let alone beat him.

Floyd is not quite the maestro he once was, but more than anything else it was Maidana's poor execution and strategy that paved the way for Mayweather's resounding one sided victory.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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Comment on this article

COMMENTS

-DaveB :

It is getting very hard for me to envision Floyd knocking out anyone at 147 or higher. I used to think it was because of his low risk style. Now I don't think he has that kind of pop. He may be physically strong but not in punching power. He and Maidana are about four or five levels different in expertise. Mayweather matched up better with Canelo. I think Canelo would match up very well against Maidana. I would like to see that fight. I still think Mayweather and Pacquaio is out of the question and that is a shame.


-amayseng :

Floyd is starting to look like he is declining athletically. He got caught with a lot of shots from Chino that he should not of. Having said that, Chino fought all wrong, did not pressure Floyd enough in the beginning. He better be picky with who he fights next.


-SouthPawFlo :

I agree that Floyd didn't look as sharp as usual on Offense, but his legs are still there and his Defense is still sharp... He still landed 51% of his punches and his Right Hand Counters were Lazer-Like, so even on a "bad night" he's still pretty good...


-mortcola :

End of round three, right at the bell, Maidana lands a flush right. Floyd’s legs go stiff and jiggly, and he stumbles to his stool. A preview of a KO loss soon to come.


-Carmine Cas :

I agree that Floyd didn't look as sharp as usual on Offense, but his legs are still there and his Defense is still sharp... He still landed 51% of his punches and his Right Hand Counters were Lazer-Like, so even on a "bad night" he's still pretty good...
Actually, in the first half of the fight his legs did not look good. And then Maidana nails him with that right hand at the bell. However his legs looked sharp the second half of the fight. He was using them really well.


-Carmine Cas :

End of round three, right at the bell, Maidana lands a flush right. Floyd’s legs go stiff and jiggly, and he stumbles to his stool. A preview of a KO loss soon to come.
Maybe if Maidana was able to wear the gloves he wanted we would be talking about one of the biggest upsets in modern time.


-Skibbz :

If floyd gets in the ring with a young operator on the cusp of a title fight he will lose. If Marcos Maidana can land the jab then we must believe better athletes with more whiplike jabs will find the target too. I think the slow Philly hype job will get his shot at Floyd maybe in May, that will be one great trash talking PPV you can buy for $75 or more. They could even hit the road and head to Jerry Springer if that show still runs on air... Beat the hype job, then take on Chris Algieri and beat him too. I think Commissioner made a great point on Leo Santa Cruz saying that if he can fire 100+ shots at a Roman but against a Rigondeaux he will find it difficult to shoot 20 in one round. I am sure he echoes these same thoughts in a potential Floyd vs Algieri fight.


-thegreyman :

Chino fought the wrong fight thanks to wrong decisions. Mayweather fought the best fight he could, and that's the reality of who he is now. It's tough to look good against a guy like Chino if you fight in Floyd's style, at Floyd's age. Much like RJJr, Floyd's style depends hugely on reflexes and speed. Once that's gone, all you've got is faded athleticism and a high ring IQ. Floyd lacks even power. For that reason, it's tough to look good against a brawling mauler, but not against a flat footed boxer just a year ago (Canelo). So long as Floyd chooses the right opponent next May, he'll look as good for 12 as he did in the 2nd. I for one think it's best to wash our hands of the whole stinking fight.


-SouthPawFlo :

Floyd at 37 years old and 18 years in the Game still beats 95% of all welterweight even on a bad night. His Ring IQ, Defense, counter-punching, conditioning & footwork is still a notch above everybody else, even at his "advanced" age....


-Radam G :

Floyd at 37 years old and 18 years in the Game still beats 95% of all welterweight even on a bad night. His Ring IQ, Defense, counter-punching, conditioning & footwork is still a notch above everybody else, even at his "advanced" age....
It has always been that way. An old top gun supposed to be able to beat 95% of all the lesser fighters in his division even on a bad night. You have some strong man luv for Lil' Floyd. At 37 years old, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, and Sugar Shane Mosley, to name a few, could take out 99.5% of the opposition. Lil' Floyd ain't special. Holla!


-SouthPawFlo :

Floyd isn't the only Boxer I like, I'm actually a bigger Andre Ward Fan he's just Hibernating right now... I've been following boxing for a while and all I'm saying is that NOBODY has been this good this Long... 17 years as a world Champion is Special to me.... I've seen a lot of guys have Awesome 5 year Runs, 10 years even, but 17 years as a World Titlist isn't something that just happens everyday... He's outlasted everybody from his Olypmic Team and he majority of the guys from his "Era" are either Retired, Dead or fighting just to pay the bills, who else who turned pro in 1996 is active right now and performing on a PPV World Class Level????


-michigan400 :

Yes, Floyd still beats 95% of the guys out there. But that's down from 110% just a year ago. Next May it will be 80%. And that's why we all will never know how great he was. Now that he is fading, it's just a matter of time before he gets an embarresing loss to someone he should easily win against. That will do more damage to his rep than his precious zero did good. He should have already fought Pac 2 or 3 times, then moved up and challanged MW champ (yes, him challanging a bigger stronger guy to prove he is TBE). Think about it. If he would have already beat Pac and then quickly picked off Martinez before he went downhill ( I mean shoved off a cliff!), nobody would be able to question his desire for competition. As it is right now, he has not had to push himself in so long, HE NO LONGER CAN. He is in trouble for his next fight. He does not have the overdrive gear anymore and he will be run over soon.


-Radam G :

Floyd isn't the only Boxer I like, I'm actually a bigger Andre Ward Fan he's just Hibernating right now... I've been following boxing for a while and all I'm saying is that NOBODY has been this good this Long... 17 years as a world Champion is Special to me.... I've seen a lot of guys have Awesome 5 year Runs, 10 years even, but 17 years as a World Titlist isn't something that just happens everyday... He's outlasted everybody from his Olypmic Team and he majority of the guys from his "Era" are either Retired, Dead or fighting just to pay the bills, who else who turned pro in 1996 is active right now and performing on a PPV World Class Level????
I'm riding shut gun with you on that. Holla!


-SouthPawFlo :

In my Opinion, him Dominating Canelo probably should've been his last Fight, but we all know Floyd is chasing the "Money," and putting the "Legacy" on the back burner... I think the $30-$50 Million dollar Pay Days are the only thing keeping him in the Game now. And for that kind of money who can blame him? When you see a Past Prime Guy like RJJR fighting overseas for a Couple Hundred Thousand it makes you realize that these guys aren't really focused on "Legacy" they're in for the "Prize" of PrizeFighting......


-amayseng :

Floyd looked good against Canelo, he was active, threw enough punches per round to keep interest and boxed the young kids ears off. However he looked his age against Chino in both bouts. He is definitely chasing the money, and I can't blame him for that. His next two fights he better pick a boxer like Canelo, not a mauller, he is too old for that style.. I think next up will be Danny Garcia, more of a boxer with good power, but not a guy who will fight on the inside and try to bully and rough Floyd up. One thing is for certain, each passing PPV declines in profit more than the last one. Showtime is losing money on "money' Mayweather.


-thegreyman :

Floyd looked good against Canelo, he was active, threw enough punches per round to keep interest and boxed the young kids ears off. However he looked his age against Chino in both bouts. He is definitely chasing the money, and I can't blame him for that. His next two fights he better pick a boxer like Canelo, not a mauller, he is too old for that style.. I think next up will be Danny Garcia, more of a boxer with good power, but not a guy who will fight on the inside and try to bully and rough Floyd up. One thing is for certain, each passing PPV declines in profit more than the last one. Showtime is losing money on "money' Mayweather.
It's true. 2014 hasn't seen him match for value his huge price tag. I hope Showtime force him into a better fight.


-amayseng :

It's true. 2014 hasn't seen him match for value his huge price tag. I hope Showtime force him into a better fight.
Who is out there that would make a good profit and an interesting fight? Cotto for the mw title at 155lbs? no thanks Garcia? I would be interested but ppv profit wise, it will fail. GGG at mw for a title? Hell yes, a legit mw champion and a huge step up for Floyd would receive respect and a legit intrigue whether Floyd can pull it off. He will not fight Pac, so to me GGG is the only credible fight to receive the money Showtime is looking to make.


-thegreyman :

Who is out there that would make a good profit and an interesting fight? Cotto for the mw title at 155lbs? no thanks Garcia? I would be interested but ppv profit wise, it will fail. GGG at mw for a title? Hell yes, a legit mw champion and a huge step up for Floyd would receive respect and a legit intrigue whether Floyd can pull it off. He will not fight Pac, so to me GGG is the only credible fight to receive the money Showtime is looking to make.
If he went up to middleweight I think it'd be at least an interesting watch. Seeing how Floyd copes at 160- whether he can impose his style and skill on their size and power (two attributes he DEFINITELY lacks). I'd watch Cotto, and I'd love too see GGG K him TFO! Either that, or a move down to 140. He'd carry more power, and it could make for a much more interesting fight- maybe Provodnikov or Matthyse. These are purely dreams though- he wont fight a challenging fighter at 147, let alone move divisions to fight a hard fight. That's the actuality of the reality.