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Another deposit for ‘Money’ M’weather

MANILA, Philippines - Argentine brawler Marcos Maidana connected on 25.8 percent of his punches against Floyd Mayweather in their WBC/WBA welterweight unification title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last Saturday (yesterday morning, Manila time) and that’s the highest rate a fighter has registered in Money’s last 11 bouts.

But the incidence wasn’t enough to deal Mayweather his first professional loss. Mayweather was a lot more accurate at 42.6 percent although in absolute terms, he landed only nine more blows than Maidana. The numbers reflected Mayweather’s strong suit – defense as Maidana missed 637 blows to Money’s 196.

Because he was more precise and scored the cleaner shots in most of the rounds, Mayweather took a majority 12-round decision to preserve his unbeaten record, now 46-0. It was the second straight fight that Mayweather won on a majority verdict. He has scored only one knockout in his last seven outings with the only exception a sucker-punch disposal of Victor Ortiz. If critics are wondering if Manny Pacquiao has lost his power, surely they must be asking the same thing about Mayweather.

In Mayweather’s previous appearance, he outpointed Canelo Alvarez with a connection rate of 46%. Before battling Maidana, Mayweather’s clip was 42.3 percent over his last 10 fights. Mayweather never hurt Maidana but had the fight under control starting the sixth round. Maidana was aggressive in the early going and it seemed like Mayweather couldn’t cope with the pressure. The speculation is Mayweather just wanted to make it interesting. When Mayweather chose to razzle and dazzle, Maidana had no antidote for his blinding hand and foot-speed. Mayweather made Maidana look good and bad as he pleased.

When Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley last month, he threw 563 punches or 37 more than how many Mayweather unleashed on Maidana. Pacquiao’s connection rate was 35.2 percent compared to Bradley’s 22.5%. If ever Pacquiao faces Mayweather, the Filipino icon must be able to increase his landing rate to at least 40 percent and limit Money’s rate to a max of 30%.

The disparity in scoring the Mayweather-Maidana bout was another indication of incompetence. Michael Pernick saw it 114-114 while Burt Clements scored it 117-111 and Dave Moretti 116-112 for Money. Pernick was a judge in Pacquiao’s last two bouts against Brandon Rios and Bradley. Clements was the same judge who robbed Pacquiao of a split decision when he made a mistake in his scorecard and tallied a draw in the first Juan Manuel Marquez bout in 2004. The inconsistency in scoring is a major reason why according to experts, mixed martial arts is cutting into professional boxing’s market.

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Mayweather, 37, has three more fights left in his Showtime contract and there is talk of a Maidana rematch. Mayweather would prefer another appointment with Maidana than risk a loss to Amir Khan who was impressive in crushing Luis Collazo in the undercard. Khan dropped Collazo once in the fourth and twice in the 10th enroute to posting a convincing unanimous 12-round decision. Khan did his best impression of Muhammad Ali with his scorching combinations, nifty footwork and controlling presence. Khan in peak form could give Mayweather trouble.

 Mayweather’s self-dictated purse for the Maidana fight was $32 Million which is what he earned for the Robert Guerrero match last year. His guarantee for the Alvarez fight was $40.1 Million and with 2.2 million pay-per-view buys, he banked another $40 Million.

If Mayweather is all about money as he claims, then he must realize Pacquiao is the only big money opponent out there for him. Not even hyping a Maidana rematch will bring in revenue anywhere close to what a Mayweather-Pacquiao duel could generate.

In a recent poll conducted by Boxing News, several boxing experts said while Pacquiao was convincing in trouncing Bradley, he’d lose to Mayweather. Wrtier Ron Lewis said, “(Pacquiao) showed he’s still got speed, he’d force Mayweather to fight for 12 rounds for the first time since Oscar de la Hoya (but) I’d still make Mayweather the favorite.” US promoter Gary Shaw said, “Mayweather wouldn’t be the same type of target (for Pacquiao) that Bradley and Rios were … Mayweather’s still too fast for him, too slick.”

If the consensus is Mayweather will beat Pacquiao, it may make Money receptive to an ultimate showdown. Mayweather shouldn’t be scared of losing to Pacquiao. If he is, as he insists he is, The Best Ever or TBE, Mayweather should step up to the plate and test Pacquiao. He is four wins short of eclipsing Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record and raising his mark to 50-0. Mayweather could chalk up three more wins against selected opponents to complete his Showtime contract then go for 50 in the Fight of the Century to create the biggest grosser ever with Pacquiao.

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