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Tale of 2 Fighters
This is the tale of two fighters, one still on the top of the world and the other may have seen the end of his career as a title contender.
There are several things to consider about Floyd Mayweather beginning with his age. Over the first half of Mayweather’s fight with Maidana, Maidana continuously trapped Mayweather but was this strictly due to Mayweather’s age or simply due to Maidana toughness? Maidana has shown over his career a fighter who could take a punch and to continue his pressure style. He is a fighter who can’t be denied and Mayweather difficulty with Maidana could be related to his style as much as Mayweather’s age.
What intrigue me was the second half of the fight as Maidana slowed down just enough to allow Mayweather to escape. It is usually Mayweather who controlled the pace but in this fight; Maidana set the pace and forced Mayweather to fight a quicker pace. Over the last six rounds, Mayweather was able to escape from Maidana pressure and keep the fight in the middle of the ring. For a 37 year old fighter, he appeared to be the fresher of the two. The one thing positive for Mayweather was his 54% accuracy of punches connected but the negative is that Maidana connected on as many punches as Mayweather. While Maidana connected on only 24% of his punches, Mayweather got hit with more punches than in the past decades and one reason is that Maidana threw twice of punches and kept moving forward throughout the fight. So are we witnessing the slow erosion of the Mayweather skills or was it a case that Maidana had the right style to fight Mayweather?
Who does Mayweather fight next? Rule one for Mayweather, which opponent bring in the big bucks? I suspect that a Maidana rematch or Cotto if he gets past Sergio Martinez are the two opponents who will guarantee some big bucks. Another fight is Amir Khan but this only works if Mayweather thinks there is more money in fighting Khan as oppose to Maidana or Cotto. Plus if Mayweather wants to fight in September then Khan is out due to Ramadan.
Chris Arreola loss to Bermane Stiverne may have ended Arreola’s career as a title contender. This was Arreola big chance to win a title and while he lost to Stiverne, a year earlier; he felt that the result would be different in the rematch. For the first five rounds, Arreola looked as good as he had in years. He was in shape, nearly ten pounds lighter than his first bout with Stivarne and began the fight by jabbing and pushing Stivarne to the ropes. There were rounds that he connected on more than twice as many punches as Stiverne. Arreola used a wide arsenal of punches with left hooks to the body and right hands to the head. He managed to get around Stivarne defense but one right hand in the sixth round turned the fight around. Once Arreola felt the full brunt of Sterne’s power, the fight was over.
Arreola came in this fight in shape, he had a game plan that he executed perfectly for five rounds but one punch and his career as championship contender was over. For many years, Arreola was a warrior in the ring but he never showed the discipline outside the ring to take his fight game to the next level. Arreola had the charisma to be a popular champion but this loss showed that years of not taking his craft seriously outside the ring finally caught up with him.
For Mayweather, his march toward history continues as he looks to end his career undefeated and Arreola career as a championship contender may have ended with a right hand that brought his downfall against Stiverne.