Las Vegas - Champion boxer Floyd Mayweather ran his unbeaten
streak to 47 straight fights by beating Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana by a
unanimous decision in their bad-tempered rematch on Saturday.
Mayweather, who hasn't lost a fight since the 1996 Olympics,
successfully defended his World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council
welterweight belts and the WBC junior middleweight belt.
He improved to 47-0 as two judges scored it 116-111 and the
third had it 115-112 for the champion.
"I didn't stay on the ropes. That was the
difference," Mayweather said. "I felt I did better in the first
fight. This fight I felt dry and dead."
Mayweather was a heavy favourite coming into the MGM Grand
Hotel and Casino bout in Las Vegas after winning their first fight by a majority
decision in May.
At one point, referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight and
deducted a point from Maidana in the 10th round after he used his left forearm
to push back Mayweather, who dropped to the canvas.
There is no love lost between the two boxers, who accused
each other in the build-up to this fight of using dirty tricks in their first
Both fighters used questionable tactics over the course of
the fight, as Maidana appeared to bite the champ's hand in the eighth round and
Mayweather delivered a low blow that buckled Maidana in the 11th.
For the second straight time, Mayweather boxing fans rushed
and battled outside the MGM Grand Garden Arena after the fight.
A stampede in May resulted in a number of people being taken
to hospital with various injuries after being trampled on and crushed against
the walls of the arena entrance.
Witnesses said Saturday's incident also saw fans being
knocked over as people pushed their way into the narrow corridor that leads out
of the entrance. There were no initial reports of injuries.
Mayweather, 37, never allowed Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) to get
into a proper rhythm in the rematch, landing the better right hands and
counterpunches. He connected on 102 power punches compared to just 82 for
Mayweather complained bitterly after the fight about Maidana
allegedly biting him on the left hand in the eighth.
The two were in a clinch when Mayweather pulled his hand
back sharply and complained to Bayless that he was bitten. Bayless stepped
between them as Mayweather pointed and yelled at Maidana.
"He bit my fucking hand. He bit me," Mayweather
said to Bayless.
Mayweather said after the fight was over that his hand
bothered him from the eighth round on.
"I couldn't feel my hand the rest of the fight,"
Maidana denied biting Mayweather, saying it is not possible
while wearing a mouthguard.
"He thinks I am a dog. But no, I never bit him,"
Mayweather will earn a minimum $32m for the fight while
Maidana's purse is $3m, double what he got for the first fight.
Maidana was given the rematch after landing more punches on
Mayweather in the first fight than any other fighter. One judge scored the May
fight six rounds each.
Mayweather, who also heads up his own fight promotion
company, criticised the judges and referee for the first fight. So organisers
replaced two of the three judges and brought in Bayless, who had refereed four
previous Mayweather fights.
Maidana came into the fight much lighter than he did for the
first bout when he gained almost 20 pounds between the weigh-in and the fight.
This time he gained just 11 pounds, reaching 157 pounds.
Mayweather's game plan was to stay off the ropes but his
decision to put Maidana in a bear hug every time he couldn't slither out of
trouble only ended up making Maidana more frustrated and angry.
Maidana entered the ring first but he didn't have to wait
long as Mayweather followed him out of the dressing room.
Mayweather wore a snakeskin robe, which he took off to
reveal matching black and white snakeskin trunks. Maidana had red trunks with
Maidana said he felt he did enough to win the fight.
"I thought I won the fight. But if the judges want to
give it to the guy who runs, that is how it is."
Mayweather plans to fight twice more in 2015. He denied he
is avoiding Filipino star Manny Pacquiao and said if a deal can be worked out,
he would go for it.
"I will go back and talk to my team," Mayweather
said. "I am not ducking or dodging no opponent. If a Manny Pacquiao fight
presents itself, then let's make it happen.
"Pacquiao needs to focus on guy in front of him, then
we will see what the future holds."