Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana

Despite the difficulties he faced the first time around, Floyd Mayweather was near perfect in his decision win over Marcos Maidana during their rematch on Saturday (Sept. 13) in Las Vegas.

The undefeated boxing star cruised to a unanimous decision to retain his welterweight and junior middleweight world titles.

Unlike their first meeting in May — which ended with a majority decision — there was no question who the winner was… and the judges’ scorecards reflected that. Judge Guido Cavalleri had the fight 115-112 while Dave Moretti and John McKaie scored it 116-111.

It was far cry from the action-packed first fight, where Maidana relentlessly attacked Mayweather, giving him the most difficult fight of his career. This time, Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) didn’t allow Maidana to land his heavy overhand rights or put him on the ropes as much as last time. Instead, he fought the fight he wanted — he danced, moved, countered and kept the fight in the center of the ring for long stretches of his tactical performance.

“I think the difference was I didn’t stay on the ropes and I did a lot of movement and turning,” Mayweather said after the fight. “He’s a tough competitor. I do have some bumps and bruises, but I listened to my dad [trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr.], who always says hit and don’t get hit and that’s how you last in this sport.

“I felt sharper in the first fight. My rhythm was a little off. I gave myself a C, C-minus. I thought I could have done a lot better. I got hit with some shots I shouldn’t have.”

Although Maidana disagreed with the decision, he didn’t demand a third fight.

“I thought I won the fight, but if the judges want to give the fight to a guy who runs that’s their decision,” Maidana said. “I feel like I was the aggressor and I kept applying the pressure. He kept holding and pushing and the ref never did anything about it. Instead, the ref took a point away from me.”

At one point, a frustrated Maidana seemingly bit Mayweather’s left hand in the eighth round, though he denied it, causing a break in the fight while referee Kenny Bayless inspected the champ’s gloves.

“He bit my fingers so my fingers were numb,” Mayweather said. “After the 8th round, my hand was numb and I really couldn’t use my left hand.”

“Maybe he thinks I’m a dog, but I never bit him,” Maidana said. “He was rubbing my eyes with his glove. Maybe he had his glove in my mouth, but I don’t think I bit him.”

After the fight, Showtime reporter Jim Gray asked Mayweather if he would like a fight Manny Pacquiao… finally. “I’m not ducking or dodging any opponent,” Mayweather said. “If the Manny Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen. I don’t know who I’ll fight in May, but I expect to fight. Manny needs to focus on the guy that’s in front of him. Once he gets past that task, we’ll see what the future holds.”