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Floyd Mayweather vs Maidana 2: Will the underdog need a KO to win?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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In May, Floyd Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) won a tight 12 round majority decision over Marcos Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) in an action-packed fight that featured far more brawling than the former was accustomed to. Although the decision was not entirely controversial, some believed Maidana deserved the nod or that the bout should have been ruled a draw. 

(Image courtesy of Showtime)

And while Maidana and his team insist they edged Floyd that evening, they must have known boxing's biggest star would more than likely be awarded a close fight.

Like Canelo Alvarez against Erislandy Lara a few weeks ago, Floyd Mayweather will likely enter the ring with a small to moderate advantage on the scorecards and, as a result, is more likely to win a close tilt.

Yes, if Mayweather vs Maidana 2 were a footrace, Floyd would enter with a proverbial 'head start.'

Welcome to boxing... It has always been this way.

Sans a few isolated exceptions, such as Manny Pacquiao vs Tim Bradley I and George Foreman vs Shannon Briggs, a clear cut B-side fighter will almost always have to do a little more to win.

FACT: Superstar (or strong A-side) fighters, if not beaten convincingly, wins 9 of 10 bouts

Garcia vs Herrera, Leonard vs Hagler, Leonard vs Hearns II, Foreman vs Stewart, Foreman vs Schultz (although I had George winning solidly, the decision was deemed controversial by the masses) Ali vs Norton II, Ali vs Norton III, De La Hoya vs Sturm, Toney vs Tiberi, Williams vs Lara, Louis vs Walcott I, Holyfield vs Lewis I, and the list goes on.

And even when the decision is not controversial but the fight is close, a strong A-side fighter will often win more handily than many gave him credit for, as was the case with Mayweather vs Cotto.

Many insist the official scores for the aforementioned bout of 118-110 and 117-111 (twice) do not reflect how competitive Cotto was. The usually precision-like Mayweather landed just 26% of his total punches after landing 46% in his previous nine fights. However, he still managed to decisively outland his foe in jabs and powershots so there was no controversy about the outcome itself.

... But perhaps scores such as 115-113, 116-112 and 116-113 were a bit more reflective of that match?

Boxing may be the 'Sweet Science' but the art of officiating is very human and extremely subjective; perhaps even moreso than in team sports. Judges are not supposed to take Floyd's status as the sport's biggest star and top pound-for-pound fighter in the world into account but they are human and imperfect.

So, does Maidana need a knockout to win?

No - but he needs to win handily just as he did against Adrien Broner. Maidana must leave no doubt that evening that he is the superior fighter, and repeatedly staggering Mayweather and/or recording a knockdown or two would certainly help his cause.


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