FLOYD MAYWEATHER won a unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas tonight. Two scores of 116-111, and one of 115-112, were perhaps a little kind to the loser. Any suggestions that Floyd Mayweather is in sharp decline have been rubbished. Perhaps he is a shade slower than his pomp, but at 37 years old, he remains several steps ahead of his rivals. Maidana provided Floyd with a few nervy moments, but ultimately, the unbeaten star was on a different level.
What next? “Manny Pacquiao?” Mayweather said. “Let’s make it happen.”
THERE is no shortage of drama inside the MGM Grand. Mayweather was illegally shoved to the canvas in the 10th round, and Maidana lost a point. The American is then warned for low blows in the 11th, before unleashing a flurry of perfect blasts. Three minutes to go, and Floyd is a long, long way ahead. Surely.
MAYWEATHER accuses Maidana of biting him on the hand in round eight. At first ringsiders thought he’d broken his hand, such was Floyd’s anguish.
MAIDANA is swinging wildly at thin air. That moment at the end of the third seems like a long time ago. Floyd is dominating, just like he promised. Love him or hate him, his talent is astonishing. The snapping jab, the short left hook, the right uppercut. Maidana needs a knockout to win it would seem.
AFTER five rounds, Mayweather is in charge. He seems angry, intent on the knockout. Maidana, though, has had his moments.
FLOYD is caught by a booming right down the pipe as the bell sounds to end round three. He was rocked, heavily, and stumbled to his stool.
MAYWEATHER makes mockery of claims his legs have gone. He was punch perfect in the opening round. Maidana barely landed a punch.
MARCOS MAIDANA has put on 11 pounds since yesterday’s weigh-in. He can challenge Wladimir Klitschko next weekend if he keeps up his current weight gain rate.
THE biggest cheer of the night for an admittedly impressive rendition of the American national anthem. I’d rather listen to that on repeat for 36 minutes than watch Bey-Vazquez again, that’s for sure.
CALL me Nostradamus but, as I predicted all those hours ago, the arena is packed. So far, the undercard has been disappointing, or at least the title fights have been. There was fun further down the bill, but the fans are craving some drama. Can Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana provide it?
SANTA CRUZ calls out Guillermo Rigondeaux afterwards. No fear.
BOOM! Santa Cruz dominates the opening round and punctuates the thrashing with a savage right hand in round two. Roman’s head almost fell off as he collapsed to the mat, eyes frozen, legs stiff. He could not get up.
LEO SANTA CRUZ and Manuel Roman will hopefully restore order to proceedings. Santa Cruz grins widely as he prepares to punch and be punched. “This is the life,” he thinks to himself. The WBC super-bantamweight champion is one of the most charismatic characters in boxing.
BEY wins! An unbelievable card of 119-109 in Bey’s favour is the deciding score in a split decision. From this view, that seems outrageously off the mark. A dreadful fight, but even so, Vazquez looked to have done enough to win comfortably. Vazquez trudges from the ring with his head bowed, his four year reign comes to a sorry end in Las Vegas.
BEY is finding out, like so many other top lightweights over the years, that even though Vazquez looks a bit rubbish, he is actually very good. He knows how to win fights, and it’s looking like he’s going to win this one.
IT’S a good job Bey and Vazquez are so slight. Otherwise referee Tony Weeks, who has been forced to pull them apart on 2,546 occasions, would be absolutely knackered.
ERIK MORALES takes his seat three away from Juan Manuel Marquez. They ignore each other. A bit like Bey and Vazquez.
AFTER two dramatic bouts, the opening rounds of Miguel Vazquez against Mickey Bey are something of a disappointment. Bey looks the livelier and lands a left hook. That’s about all there is to report.
ANGULO looks distraught as he walks to his dressing room. Behind, with his arms locked around him, is trainer Virgil Hunter. He whispers into his fighter’s ears. A sad sight.
A BARNSTORMING final six minutes from Angulo but he can’t finish the job. The openings were there, but he was a fraction too slow to take advantage. James De La Rosa survives to take the decision, and he deserves it. He told us all beforehand he would be top banana but few listened. It looks like the end for Angulo as a top-flight fighter. Typically, he kept trying until the very end.
ANGULO almost salvages his career in round nine. De La Rosa is exhausted and takes some serious punishment. The referee looked on the brink of stopping it… In other news, Teddy Atlas and Juan Manuel Marquez have just taken their seats in the row in front of me.
THE tide did not turn. De La Rosa is in control and landing regularly on Angulo’s brusied and bloodied face. The Mexican’s punches are slow and telegraphed. The ones that do land have little effect… Apart from that one Angulo just pitched at De La Rosa’s privates. That hit the spot. Angulo loses a point. He must be a long way behind on the cards.
THE warrior within Angulo comes out to play. Head down, he plunders forward, swinging wildly at his opponent. De La Rosa eats a huge right hand before rallying back to close the fifth. The tide could be turning in Alfredo’s favour.
ANGULO in dire straits in there. Two howitzer left hands knock him down at the end of the second round, and he stumbles through the third, looking old and tired. De La Rosa bossing the veteran.
BACK in my seat in time for Alfredo Angulo versus James De La Rosa. I just nipped to the media centre to scoff some flan. It was very tasty.
OUCH. Another round, another foul. Soto loses a point this time. But it’s all over as the final bell sounds. 10 gruelling sessions that were as entertaining as they were repulsive. Great stuff. Anyway, the winner is… Humberto Soto via unanimous decision.
HUMBERTO “anything you can do I can do better” Soto punches Molina in the groin. Really hard. This is all getting a bit ridiculous.
JOHN “Ballbreaker” Molina is on the brink of being disqualified here. Yet another punch lands south of the border and Molina loses another point. Soto, understandably, is not amused.
MOLINA burrows another right hand below the belt. This time the referee deducts a point. “Knock him out now, Molina, get him back, get him back!” someone yells from the crowd. Yeah, Molina, get him back for letting you smash his balls in.
SOTO seems to be controlling the early action until Molina slams a right hand through his crown jewels. Soto goes down, his face creased with agony, before rising to resume battle. At the end of the fourth round, the rivals ignore the bell, and decide to punch each other in the face instead.
WAR breaks out in round two. Soto and Molina exchange brutal blasts as the session comes to a close. Excellent fight, as we expected, so far.
THIS could be fun. Warmongers Humberto Soto and John Molina Jnr are about to let the fists fly…
FLASHY cruiserweight prospect Andrew Tabiti looks sharp as he slashes his way to a sixth round stoppage win over the thickly set Caleb Grummet (great name). The brave Grummet, with blood seeping from his crooked nose, is rescued by the referee in the final round. Tabiti is now 8-0 (8).
SUPER little tussle that was. Argentine Sosa marches forward throughout, not even being floored in the second round puts him off, but the sharper work from the promising Lopez secures a deserved decision. But don’t cry for Sosa Argentina, he gave it his all.
THE roundcard girl winks at me as she signals it’s the last round of a lively light-welterweight scrap between Armando Lopez and Damian Sosa. Okay, she doesn’t. She didn’t even smile.
PAUL MALIGNAGGI is loitering around ringside speaking exceptionally quickly. This dude blasts out 15 words a second. He is talking about challenging Leonard Bundu for the European welterweight title. Apparently the New Yorker will be eligible due to his Italian roots. Crazy.
FABIAN MAIDANA, the 22-year-old younger brother of Main Event star Marcos, wastes no time in blasting through poor old Jared Tees in the opening round. It seems the concrete fists run in the family.
EXHIBITING influence from his superstar mentor, The Money Team’s Kevin Newman slips and slides his way through a super-middleweight four-rounder with Azamat Umarzoda. But boxing like that is not as easy as Floyd makes it look, and Newman, who ships too many shots, is held to a surprise draw. There are now around 27 people in the Arena. I told you it would get busier.
APPROXIMATELY 13 people are inside the MGM Garden Arena to watch the first fight of the day, a super-middleweight four-rounder between debutant Kevin Newman and Azamat Umarzoda. I suspect a few more will be in attendance when Floyd Mayweather makes his entrance – currently estimated to be in six-and-a-half hours time.