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Champ unbeaten, but not unbitten

Well, here’s one thing no one took out of context this past week: Marcos Maidana is a dirty fighter.

He was a few rear-naked choke holds and a double leg takedown from making history Saturday night but had the unfortunate truth of being involved in a boxing match.

One he lost badly.

One he never had a chance to win.

But he did get a heck of a bite in.

Oh, yeah. He also wrapped one of his tackles better than UNLV’s football team did against Northern Illinois on third down.

The problem was, Hannibal Maidana wasn’t talented enough to overcome one of the best fighters in history.

“I thought I won,” Maidana said. “Maybe the judges love to see fighters who run. Maybe I’m wrong. I never felt tired. I was in great condition. I was pressuring him, and I was the aggressor all night. I won the fight.”

Hannibal is off his rocker.

Maidana didn’t come close to beating Floyd Mayweather Jr., in May — despite what some, including a confused judge who scored the majority decision a draw, had you believe — and he was even more out-classed this time with Mayweather remaining unbeaten by scoring a unanimous decision victory at the MGM Grand.

The scores of 115-112, 116-111 and 116-111 didn’t clearly state how one-sided the evening was. It was always going to be this way, Mayweather using what he learned in the first fight against Maidana (stay off the ropes, hit and don’t get hit) and get this one to the middle of the ring as often as possible.

It took eight rounds, but things suddenly became clear with one chomp: Maidana must have been training all this time to meet Johny Hendricks, the welterweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

I suppose it has come to this for those who are afforded the opportunity to perhaps be one that might finally place a loss on Mayweather’s record, which now sits at 47-0: It’s not enough to merely stand and box with him. You have to discover other, less respected maneuvers.

At least that’s what we saw in two fights from Maidana, whose corner obviously didn’t relay this message: If you’re going to bite something of your opponent during a championship fight at the MGM, it’s customary to make it an ear, not a hand.

I didn’t see Mike Tyson’s reaction to the bite (the former champion was in attendance), but have to believe he was completely disappointed at the appendage Maidana chose.

A hand?

Amateur move.

At least go for the nose.

“I didn’t know what happened,” Mayweather said of the eighth-round theatrics. “My fingers went numb in my left hand. We got tangled in the middle of the ring and he bit me. I couldn’t use my left hand after that, so it’s a good thing I had the best right in the house.”

Hannibal had a different view: “No, no, no, no. He was rubbing his glove on my face. I don’t know how I could bite him wearing a mouthpiece. I’m not a dog. … I don’t want a third fight. I trained with all my heart to get this decision, which is not fair.”

Good. He won’t have to sit by the phone.

Maidana has as much chance of securing a third fight with Mayweather as Warren Buffett does keeping up with Justin Bieber and Johnny Football and the rest of the Money Team celebrities at the next pool party.

I’m also thinking it won’t be Manny Pacquiao who opposes Mayweather in May, likely the next time we will see the undefeated champion.

The name Amir Khan is a popular one in boxing circles as he who might get the next shot at Mayweather, and the hype has already begun arriving from familiar circles.

Former two weight world champion Ricky Hatton said this week he believes Khan owns the speed and skills to beat Mayweather, but there is a better-than-even chance Hatton was five or 10 pints into things while tossing a few dart games at a pub in England when offering his assessment.

Pacquiao is next scheduled to defend his WBO welterweight crown against Chris Algieri on Nov. 22 in Macau, but it made sense that questions after this second scrap against Maidana would immediately center around the fight everyone has wanted to witness for years and yet few believe will ever occur.

“If the Manny Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen,” Mayweather said. “But (Pacquiao) needs to focus on the guy in front of him first. Once he gets past that, we can see what the future holds.

“(Maidana) is a tough competitor. I was sharper in the (May fight) against him. My rhythm was a little off this time. I would give myself a C, C-minus. I got hit with some shots I shouldn’t have. But I moved and turned a lot more this time. At 37 (years old), I’m much more active now than when I only fought once a year. I did my job and got the victory.”

And he only had to out-class Hannibal Maidana to do so.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on “Gridlock,” ESPN 1100 and 98.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.

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