Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Floyd Mayweather Jr. edges Marcos Maidana; rematch likely

LAS VEGAS — Marcos Maidana said he was "robbed" in losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. late Saturday by a majority decision in a welterweight world championship unification fight.

It looks as if both fighters will be returning to the scene of the crime in a few months.

The undefeated Mayweather, who nearly lost to the 10-to-1 underdog, said he's willing to fight Argentina's Maidana again in September, providing the money is right.

"He's a rugged guy," Mayweather said after two judges scored in his favor, 117-114 and 116-112, and a third ruled it a draw, 114-114. "In September, if we fight again, will it be the same fight? Absolutely not. I could have made the fight a lot easier if I wanted to."

Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs), who unified his WBC title with the WBA belt, said he went toe to toe with the heavy-handed Maidana to make things more interesting for the fans at the MGM Grand and the pay-per-view audience.

Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) said Mayweather "never hurt me with a punch" and that the cut opened over Mayweather's right eye didn't come from an accidental head butt, as referee Tony Weeks ruled, but from a punch.

"I trained hard, and I fought a good fight," Maidana said. "And I feel that this was an injustice."

Maidana was also upset over not being able to wear his custom gloves. Mayweather, his camp and the Nevada State Athletic Commission argued those gloves, while weighing the required 8 ounces, had too much padding in the wrists and too little in the knuckles.

"When they took away my gloves, they took away my advantage," Maidana said. "If I would have had my gloves, I would have knocked him out."

Mayweather, 37, defended the decision, saying "I have a life after boxing" to worry about.

The performance by Maidana, 30, probably denied welterweight Amir Khan the chance to face Mayweather next. Khan beat Maidana in 2010, and on Saturday Khan looked tremendous in an undercard victory over Luis Collazo, knocking him down three times on his way to a 12-round unanimous decision.

"I really believe that styles make fights in boxing, and with the style I have, the speed, the movement, it will really give Floyd problems," Khan said after both fights.

But even if Mayweather chooses Khan, it wouldn't be that simple. Khan, a Muslim, won't fight in September because it conflicts with Ramadan, a month of fasting in Islam. Mayweather's desired fight date is Sept. 13.

That probably won't be an issue, because a Maidana rematch appears to be on deck.

Postfight incident: The MGM Grand investigated an incident in which a crowd started stampeding after the fight; 24 people were hospitalized, USA Today reported. A statement from the hotel said people were "apparently startled by a loud noise." According to Yahoo Sports, Clark County Fire Department battalion chief Eric Poleski said a wall fell over.

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