• Steve Bunce

Maidana rematch next - but then what for Mayweather?

Steve Bunce May 6, 2014
Marcos Maidana had Floyd Mayweather on the ropes throughout Saturday night's fight in Vegas © AP

After Saturday's scare in the ring it is safe to say that there will be no freak-fight end to Floyd Mayweather's boxing career.

Mayweather must know that moving up in weight is no longer an option and the man that has so far won world titles at 130 pounds through to 154 pounds will not go in search of a showdown with a fully-grown middleweight of 160 pounds.

On Saturday in front of 16,268 fans at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas a powerful, raw and limited Argentinian called Marcos Maidana shared most of the first eight rounds with the self-styled The Best Ever. Mayweather pulled clear in the last third but it was too late to convince people that he has outgrown the welterweights and needs fresh challenges. The Mayweather from Saturday's fight certainly has enough challenges now at welterweight.

Buncey's Vaults

Mickey Duff, far left,and Chris Eubank were at loggerheads in early 1995 © PA Photos
  • Mickey Duff was in trouble again with the British Boxing Board of Control when they fined him £5,000 for calling Chris Eubank 'scum'.
  • Duff complained about the fine and was seeking legal advice on appeal. He told me: "There is one rule for Eubank and one rule for me."
  • Duff and Eubank had been at each other's throats since Duff failed to entice the enigmatic fighter to sign with him after buying Eubank fish and chips. "I will be seeking the advice of my lawyers and they will tell me if this makes up for what was said," said Duff.'
  • Eubank had been fined £10,000 in 1991 for "pushing the back of his head into Canadian Dan Sherry's face during an otherwise dull world title fight". Duff was not a happy man.
  • As reported in The Daily Telegraph, February 17, 1995

Maidana earned every penny of his $1.5 million, which was $30.5m less than Mayweather; their potential rematch in September will hopefully be different for Maidana's pocket.

If Mayweather had dismissed Maidana, seldom getting caught and countering with ease, just like he did against the last two men to fight him, then there is every chance that future fights back at light-middle and middle would have been options; it was close enough for a rematch to become fight number four of six that Mayweather agreed to with American broadcaster ShowTime.

The result was not good news for Sergio Martinez or Gennady Golovkin, the two men holding the best of the middleweight belts. I'm convinced that some type of catchweight fight with one of the pair was a genuine possibility before the end of Mayweather's deal had he floated unscathed or tested through the Maidana fight.

Mayweather does actually still hold the WBC light-middleweight belt, which he won when he beat Saul Alvarez last September, but it is clear that fighting at welterweight, where he is comfortably inside the 147-pound limit, is where he will stay for future fights. Golovkin and Martinez would have beaten Floyd on Saturday night if he had performed in the same lazy way.

If Maidana gets the next fight, then presumably Amir Khan, an easy winner on Saturday's undercard, will get the shot next May and I think that the final fight of the $200m deal will be against unbeaten Danny Garcia, the current WBC and WBA light-welterweight champion.

Mayweather is currently unbeaten in 46 fights and there is speculation that he will want to retire after 50 fights. However, there is also speculation that he will not get to the 49-fight mark. Mayweather is a smart guy and he will sit down, ponder the $14,000 that he made each second of the fight, and wonder how Maidana caused him so many problems?

There is every chance that a confrontation with his father, Floyd, whose instructions in the corner were ignored for most of the fight, will end in another split. Little Floyd has already blamed the referee for missing some of Maidana's ring misdemeanours. It is never good when a winning fighter starts playing the blame game.

Perhaps, just perhaps, somewhere in Floyd's head a little warning light went on when he was repeatedly trapped on the ropes and being hit with just about every part of Maidana's body. It was not, as some have argued, vintage Mayweather; he was caught and trapped again and again and that is not part of any Mayweather plan.

I think that he will fight Maidana next and I think that he will fight him because he will want to see if he had an off night, or if what happened on Saturday was the start of the decline. It is a fight worth getting excited about.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.