by Z Tanner
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. came out in a snakeskin robe with snakeskin trunks (very stylish, IMO) without the presence of Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, or Justin Bieber. The dancing clowns were also absent. Banter between the two entourages was conspicuously tame. Mayweather, Jr. (47-0-0, 26 KOs) was clearly more focused on the fight than the theatrics this time around, and it brought about results – a fight which was more decidedly in Mayweather’s favor, and a fight where he was never really in trouble and looked as mobile as he has in years.
Credit Marcos Maidana (35-5-0, 31 KOs) for adjusting his strategy from last fight, but his reduction in volume of punches did not correspond with an increase in accuracy. In the first round of the original Mayweather/Maidana, Maidana threw 100 total punches, landing 26. In the second fight, he landed 2 of 16 in the first round.
This lack of production was a trend throughout the fight and obviously resulted in some frustration for Maidana, who bit Mayweather’s fingers through his glove while the two fighters were tangled up in the 8th round. While I feel like there were definitely some theatrics on Mayweather’s part, and that he exaggerated in the post-fight interview when he said his hand went numb (Maidana had a mouthpiece in, after all), there is no doubt from watching the video that Maidana does bite down.
The counter-punching started in Round 2 with 14 seconds left. Maidana threw a lead right straight which Mayweather snapped his head back to avoid, and quick as lightning, Money came back over it with a right to the cheek. I think he found a wrinkle there after a relatively calm first round; after that he strung together some nice rounds using the counterpunch to great effect. In the immediate post-fight highlights shown during the broadcast, the producers showed four straight ineffective jabs by Maidana that were immediately countered with hard rights by Mayweather.
Mayweather landed 102 of his 177 thrown power punches for a cool 58%, while Maidana threw almost twice as many and still landed less at 26%. Maidana’s keyed-back aggressiveness paid off as he was not tired during the late rounds, but his inability to defend the counterpunch or land the big pot-shots led to yet another domination by Money statistically.
Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (22-5-0, 18 KOs) was thrown off his rhythm time and time again in a unanimous decision loss to James De La Rosa (23-2-0, 13 KOs). An early knockdown in Round 2 sent Angulo reeling, nearly falling through the ropes. Angulo lost a point late in the fight for too many low-blows. De La Rosa strung together several very nice combinations on Angulo. Credit El Perro for finishing a fight for the first time since 2012, but he rides a three-fight losing streak and needs to fight a tune-up to get back some of his confidence.
Next up, we got to see Mickey Bey (21-1-1, 10 KOs) upset Miguel Vazquez (34-4-0, 13 KOs) in a wild fight with a very curious result. Judge Robert Hoyle of Las Vegas scored the bout 119-109 in Bey’s favor, a very questionable score considering the back-and-forth nature of the fight. Bettors are likely furious, as Bey was no heavy favorite to win the bout (although I had him winning it in a unanimous decision). Bey is now the IBF lightweight champion, and it will be interesting to see how long he keeps the belt.
Finally, the briefest of the fights was an outstanding knockout by Léo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (29-0-1, 16 KOs) of Manuel “Suavecito” Roman (17-3-3, 6 KOs) in the second round of a bantamweight bout. Santa Cruz followed up a left jab with a mean right hook that connected at the base of Roman’s skull, under the ear. The sole knockout of the televised undercards, this fight went down as I predicted and now Santa Cruz is gaining some serious momentum in the bantamweight division.
I will have a preview for Gennady Golovkin’s (30-0-0, 27 KOs) fight against Marco Rubio (59-6-1, 51 KOs) soon. The fight will occur on October 18th at 10PM ET (it’s a West Coast fight) on HBO and should be a very entertaining bout. Golovkin, more popularly known as “GGG”, is one of the best middleweight boxers in the world right now, a title belt holder, and the cornerstone for HBO Boxing for the foreseeable future. Assuming he wins this fight, he really should consider moving up to super middleweight status – he’s not getting any younger, and the potential for blockbuster fights against fighters like Andre Ward (27-0-0, 14 KOs) and Anthony Dirrell (27-0-1) must be tempting. HBO needs to capitalize on the popularity of Golovkin and his aggressive fighting style if they want their product to rebound. Three of the top five grossing fights in Nevada history have happened in the past couple of years, and all were televised on ShoTime PPV.
WBC Heavyweight titlist Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) is still on track to fight Deontay Wilder (32-0-0, 32 KOs), as he is mandated to do so by the WBC. The purse bid is set for October 1st, postponed after being originally slated for September 12th. After the purse bid is complete, there are 90 days from the bid date in which the fight can occur. The official reason given by Don King’s camp for postponing the purse bid was that Stiverne needs time for his hand to heal. The unofficial reason, and probably one that you don’t want to hear, is that Stiverne needs to get in shape and make weight. If the purse bid is delayed again, I wouldn’t expect to see this fight happen this year (disappointing, as the May fight where Stiverne won the heavyweight title over Chris Arreola seems like years ago). Still, assuming this fight gets done for late November or December, it will be an exciting heavyweight clash the likes of which we haven’t seen for a long time. Wilder is an absolute animal and Bermane Stiverne (assuming he’s healthy and in-shape) presents his toughest test to date.