In the end, Marcos Maidana gave Floyd Mayweather Jr. everything he had. It just wasn't enough, as Mayweather extended his perfect record and defeated the hard-charging Argentinean via majority decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday night.
Judge Michael Pernick scored the contest a 114-114 draw, while judges Burt Clements and Dave Moretti scored it 117-111 and 116-112 for Mayweather, respectively.
With the win, Mayweather's undefeated record moves to 46-0, while Maidana falls to 35-4 in defeat.
"He was a tough competitor," Mayweather said afterward. "He had an awkward style. He was a very, very good fighter. I take nothing away from Marcus Maidana.
"I wanted to give the fans an exciting fight. Normally when the fans comes, I box, I move, I blow a guy out. Tonight I wanted to stand there and fight and give fans their money's worth."
From the opening bell, Maidana made it clear that his strategy was to close the distance and bully Mayweather inside. He continually stalked the 37-year-old into the ropes then went to work with short punches to the head and body. It was never pretty, but it was effective enough to give Mayweather the toughest challenge he's had in years.
"I definitely think I won this fight," Maidana said through a translator after the contest.
"He did dominate some rounds, but the majority of the fight, I dominated them."
Maidana connected on 221 of his 858 punches, while Mayweather was the more accurate fighter, landing 230 of his 426 strikes. But it was Mayweather who turned it on late, peppering Maidana from the outside and popping him with his jab whenever he tried to bull his way inside.
"A true champion can make adjustments to anything," said Mayweather. "I take nothing away from this guy. He got here somehow, someway. He's a champion, I'm a champion, and we did what we had to do tonight."
After the contest, Mayweather voiced a willingness to accept a rematch if it was what the fans wanted to see.
Maidana ultimately agreed, although for a different reason.
"I have to give him a rematch because I won that fight," he declared. "I'm not scared of him. Why not give him a rematch?"