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Floyd Mayweather Jr (right), of US and Marcos Maidana of Argentina exchange punches on May 3, at The MGM Grand, Las Vegas. Mayweather dominated with a 12 round split decision over Maidana for the WBC,WBA and Ring Magazine Welterweight titles. (AFP)
Floyd wins tough fight I was robbed: Maidana

LAS VEGAS, May 4, (Agencies): Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather ran his perfect record to 46-0 with a 12-round majority decision over Marcos Maidana in a welterweight world title unification bout Saturday night. The 37-year-old American Mayweather retained his World Boxing Council world title and took Maidana’s World Boxing Association belt, winning the fight on two of the three judges’ scorecards, with the third scoring it a draw. “It was a tough competitive fight tonight,” Mayweather said. “I stayed in there. I wanted to stand and fight. “I could have made this fight easy but it would have been boring.” Mayweather, who was an 11-1 favourite heading into the fight, received scores of 117-111 and 116-112. The third judge scored it 114-114.

Mayweather did not get the decisive victory that so many had predicted as the more aggressive Maidana gave him all he could handle. The event was marred when a large crowd of fans, fearing what they thought was a gunshot, rushed in panic towards the exit. Some two dozen fans were injured in the melee and some were hospitalized. Argentina’s hard-punching Maidana, 30, who was making the first defense of his title, suffered the fourth loss of his career to go with 35 victories. Maidana was upset with the way the fight was scored, saying he was “robbed” of the decision. “I definitely think I won,” Maidana said. “He didn’t fight like a man.

“Nobody has ever attacked him the way I did. And nobody has ever landed punches the way I did.” Most of Mayweather’s recent fights have been boring tactical affairs, but Maidana’s relentless pursuit of the unbeaten champion and willingness to go toe-to-toe made for an exciting bout. Many in the crowd also thought Maidana had done enough to win the fight and his supporters in the arena booed the decision, then tried to drown out Mayweather’s post-fight interview. Mayweather made a grand entrance befitting his superstar status. He was accompanied into the ring by pop star Justin Bieber and rapper Lil Wayne. Some of the other celebrities in attendance at Saturday’s fight at the Grand Garden arena inside the massive MGM Grand hotel-casino complex included rapper Drake, former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson, entertainer Snoop Dog, comedian George Lopez and basketball legend Magic Johnson.

The first few rounds of the main event bout were electric as Maidana stuck to his pre-fight promise to come out swinging. Mayweather seemed to be content to lean on the ropes and absorb the overhand rights that got the crowd excited but appeared to do little damage early on. Mayweather did suffer a cut over his right eye in the fourth round from an accidental head butt. Both fighters resorted to some questionable moves later in the fight. Maidana hit Mayweather with a low blow in the eighth and later in the round Mayweather tried to surprise Maidana with a ghost punch while the Argentinian was trying to communicate with the referee about something Mayweather was doing that he didn’t like. In the 11th, Maidana pushed Mayweather partly through the ropes then threw more punches while Mayweather was leaning over backwards almost falling out of the ring. “He is getting older and showing a lot of mistakes that he didn’t used to do. It is a great time to catch him,” said British boxer Amir Khan who beat Luis Collazo on Saturday’s undercard and is also hoping to land a title bout against Mayweather.

Arthur Abraham retained his WBO super middleweight belt by defeating Nikola Sjekloca of Montenegro by unanimous decision on Saturday. The judges awarded it 117-113, 116-112, 119-110 to the defending champion, who relied primarily on his left jab after suggesting during the bout that he broke his right hand.
“I don’t want to make excuses but I had to box the fight with my left,” Abraham said. “The fingers were already broken from the last fight. I had to do a lot with the left in training. That’s why it was so close, though he’s also a good fighter.” The Armenian-born German improved to 40-4 (28 KOs) after defending the title he won back from Robert Stieglitz by split decision on March 1. Abraham relied increasingly on his left jab as the bout went on. He indicated his right hand was broken only to be told by Ulli Wegner, his trainer, to carry on. “It’s all the same to me if your hand is sore,” the veteran trainer said. “It’s about staying the champion. You’ve enough time afterward to heal it.” Abraham did enough to hang on. Sjekloca, who dropped to 26-2 (8 KOs), suggested he wasn’t fully focused as he’s about to become a father to twins.

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