Mayweather finishes strongly to edge out Maidana

Sun May 4, 2014 3:27am EDT
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(Reuters) - Undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather did all his hard work in the second half of the bout to overcome a stiff challenge from the fast-starting Marcos Maidana and unify two world titles in Las Vegas on Saturday.

At the end of 12 bruising rounds, American Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) was awarded a majority decision victory, adding the hard-hitting Argentine's World Boxing Association belt to his World Boxing Council title.

For the first few rounds, however, it looked as if Mayweather was in serious danger of losing his vaunted unbeaten record against a fighter launching a blizzard of punches and trapping the American against the ropes at every turn.

Eventually Mayweather was able to assert control, nullifying Maidana's assault and launching vicious counter-attacks of his own, picking up points with his jab as his opponent sought to bulldoze his way in close.

Mayweather exuded confidence while awaiting the decision, with one judge ruling the fight a 114-114 draw while the other two scored the bout 117-111 and 116-112 in his favor, but acknowledged he had been in a hard battle.

"This was a tough, competitive fight, what the fans want to see," he told a post-fight interviewer in the ring.

"Normally I go out there, I box, I move. Finally, I was in a tough, competitive fight. He's a tough competitor and we gave the fans what they wanted to see."

FAST START   Continued...

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) of the U.S. punches at Marcos Maidana of Argentina during their WBC/WBA welterweight unification fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Marcus