By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — Floyd Mayweather often likes to say he doesn’t care what anyone thinks — he’s going to do what he’s going to do and there’s no stopping him.
There certainly has not been anyone that’s come close to stopping boxing’s pound-for-pound best the last seven years, since “Money May” won a split-decision over Oscar De La Hoya in May 2007.
But Marcos Maidana certainly rattled the 37-year-old WBC/WBA welterweight world champion in their May 3rd fight—enough so that Mayweather was willing to listen to the clamor for a rematch and announced today that he’s granting Maidana another shot.
The fight, touted as “Mayhem,” will take place September 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mayweather’s home-away-from-home, on Showtime Pay-Per-View. Mayweather, no doubt, wants nothing more than to shut up those who thought Maidana won the first fight (which he didn’t).
Mayweather won by majority decision, according to judges Dave Moretti (116-112 for Mayweather) and Burt A. Clements (117-111 Mayweather). But judge Michael Pernick had it a 114-114 draw, which many also viewed the first fight as, after Maidana forced Mayweather into a number of uncomfortable situations in the first six rounds.
Over the course of 12 rounds, Maidana landed 221 of 858 punches (26-percent), according to CompuBox Stats. The 221 connects are the most punches anyone has ever landed against Mayweather (46-0, 26 KO) in the 38 Mayweather fights CompuBox covered.
But there was one driving theme that was hard to ignore in the first confrontation: As the fight wore on, Maidana’s work rate dropped, while Mayweather, who connected on 230-of-426, and 178 power shots out of 274, for a staggering 65-percent connect rate.
Judge Pernick gave Maidana (35-4, 31 KO) four of the first five rounds—and a good argument could be made there. But all three judges had Mayweather dominating the second half of the fight, and all three gave Mayweather three of the last four rounds.
One thing is for certain: Expect the rematch to draw more than the disappointing 900,000 pay-per-view buys the first fight received. It was a precipitous drop from the 2.2 million buys Mayweather generated against Mexican superstar Saul Alvarez on September 14, 2013.
Another matter also appears apparent: Mayweather’s antennas are up. He heard the calls for a rematch—and much to his credit, he’s giving the boxing public what it wants.
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.
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