Mayweather edges out Maidana
Floyd Mayweather became the unified WBC and WBA welterweight champion but was given one of the toughest tests of his professional career in a majority decision victory over Marcos Maidana.
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Mayweather was the overwhelming favourite to extend his unbeaten record to 46 wins from as many contests but came under some fierce pressure in the opening rounds from Maidana.
The Argentinian underdog came out swinging and caught Mayweather on a number of occasions although the pound-for-pound king gained the upper hand as the fight went on and finished strongly.
While one judge had the fight level at 114-114, the other two scores were 117-111 and 116-112 in Mayweather's favour.
Maidana, who suffered the fourth defeat of his 39-fight career, clearly felt he had done enough to have been given the nod and while he threw more punches, it was Mayweather's unerring accuracy that eventually saw him chalk up yet another win.
Such has been Mayweather's dominance, few gave Maidana any hope of springing an upset.
But he came charging out of the blocks and an early onslaught had Mayweather backing up in the opening round, while another furious flurry in the third once again gave Maidana the upper hand.
Mayweather appeared stunned by his opponent's start and although the American was cut for the first time in his career in the fourth round - albeit via a suspected unintentional headbutt - he gradually found his range.
Maidana kept coming forward, but while his wild swings often found fresh air, Mayweather has deadly accurate.
As the fight progressed, Mayweather started to target the body and a vicious punch to the abdomen left Maidana visibly reeling.
Neither fighter came close to forcing a stoppage, however, and Mayweather showed why he is held in such high regard with a commanding display in the championship rounds to seal victory.
While Amir Khan's superb victory over Luis Collazo earlier in the night appeared to put him on course for a clash with Mayweather, who is now three fights into a six-bout deal with US television network Showtime, the 37-year-old revealed Maidana's showing could force a re-match.
"This was a tough, competitive fight," he said afterwards.
"Normally when I fight I box and move. This was a tough fight. I wanted to fight.
"If the fans want to see it again, we will do it again."
While Maidana disagreed with the judges, the feeling was mutual for the Argentinean when asked if he wanted a rematch.
"I have to give him a rematch because I won the fight," Maidana said. "I'm not scared of him. Why not give him the rematch.
I definitely think I won this fight," Maidana said. "Floyd did not fight like the man I expected him to. He made me change the gloves. I had bigger gloves and everything and I still gave him a fight.
"He did win some rounds, but the majority of them I dominated. I did go after him, but he's a difficult fighter."
Meanwhile, on his debut in the 140-pound division, three-division world champion Adrien "The Problem" Broner bounced back from the first loss of his career with a unanimous decision win (99-91, 98-92, 100-90) over Carlos Molina.
Broner (28-1, 22 KO), who was fighting for the first time since his surprising loss to Maidana last December, started slow and was hit by a crushing overhand right from the confident Molina in the second round. While locked up in the third, Broner wrestled and tossed Molina (17-2-1, 13 KOs) to the ground, earning a hard warning by referee Kenny Bayless.
Broner picked up the pace in the middle rounds and took control of the bout with an impressive inside fight game.
"I feel good. It was a comeback fight," Broner said. "I shook the cobwebs, looked good and got the victory.
"At the end of the day, I don't make my fights. I'll fight anybody. I'd like to fight (Manny) Pacquiao before he leaves."
Molina admitted to being frustrated by the speed of Broner.
"I felt I stayed in there too much," Molina said. "He's a fast fighter with a fast jab. It was tricky for me to time the jab and I felt frustrated. I was trying to do what my corner was telling me to do, but it didn't happen."