It showed early on Saturday night as Maidana came out swinging and kept up a furious pace throughout the fight.
Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs), despite throwing half as many punches as Maidana (425 to 858}, landed nine more. Still, the 221 punches landed against Mayweather were the most in his last 38 fights, according to ComuBox statistics.
Judge Michael Pernick scored it 114-114, a draw. Burt Clements had it 117-111 and Dave Moretti scored it 116-112 for Mayweather.
Mayweather said he decided to stand and fight against Maidana, but Maidana did not leave him much choice. He came in throwing his overhand right early and often and connected against Mayweather, who looked off of his game early in the fight.
"I wanted to give the fans what I know they wanted to see," Mayweather said. "So I stood there and fought him.
"I couldn't see for two rounds after the headbutt," Mayweather said of the cut he received in the fourth round. "But that's what champions do. They survive and adjust. They adjust to anything. My cutman, Rafael Garcia did a great job.
"I was in a tough competitive fight tonight. He's a good fighter, and I won't take that away from him."
Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs), who was carried around the ring on his trainer's shoulders after the fight ended, thinking he had won, was disappointed.
"If I had my gloves, I would've knocked him out," he said, referring to the glove controversy prior to the fight. "He never hurt me with a punch He wasn't even that tough.
"I thought I won the fight. They say the cut to Floyd's head was from a headbutt, but it was a good punch. I feel like (the decision) was an injustice."
Both fighters talked of a rematch.
"If that's what the fans want to see, let's do it again," Mayweather said.
Maidana had a little different slant on it.
"I should give him the rematch because I won the fight," he said.
Mayweather overcame controversy and distractions that surrounded the event through the week leading up. Maidana, the Argentine slugger, came into the fight an 6-1 underdog after being 12-1 a week ago.
A major controversy surrounding the fight was which gloves Maidana would wear. Mayweather and the Nevada Athletic Commission rejected Maidana's original choice of Everlast gloves because they did not have enough padding in the knuckle area. It was not settled until hours before the first round.
Mayweather came into the fight with major drama surrounding his life. Three weeks ago the world's pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter, announced that he and his longtime live-in fiancee, Chantel Jackson, had broken up. On Showtime's All-Access reality series this week, Mayweather revealed that the breakup came shortly after Jackson, who was pregnant with his twins, was no longer pregnant.