With a performance that showcased his brilliant instincts, Floyd Mayweather Jr. banged out a majority decision win over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez Saturday night (Sept. 14, 2013) in Las Vegas.
To watch full "Mayweather vs. Canelo" main event video highlights online click here.
Using his pugilistic smarts and ability to adjust, Mayweather deflected Alvarez's early-rounds charges with a blend of counterpunching and clever timing, ultimately shutting down "Canelo" in a 12-round match at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, that was more tactical than tumultuous.
Employing his reflexes and eminent sense of space, Mayweather limited Alvarez to a few limited exchanges while shutting the Mexican start down over the long haul. Though the judges scored the bout 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114, judge C.J. Ross, who had it even (see her card here), should be banned from ever scoring a boxing match again. The bout was entirely Mayweather's, in the classical "Money" fashion, as he picked his spots and shut down Alvarez for most of the bout.
More competitive than recent Mayweather forays against Robert Guerrero and Miguel Cotto, the Showtime pay-per-view (PPV)-televised 152-pound catchweight bout saw "Money" take an early lead with smart timing and well-placed counters through three, after a cautious first round by both.
In the middle rounds, Alvarez stepped up the pressure, but simply couldn't land consistently, and he never visibly hurt Mayweather despite landing occasional power shots -- this was probably the first red flag that the night wasn't going to go his way, as his success was largely predicted on his size advantage. Weighing 165 pounds on fight night to Mayweather's 150, Alvarez had few options but to assert his big-man-advantages, but couldn't do so. He nailed Mayweather with some decent shots, but never really uncorked the big combinations that had carried him to a 42-0 record.
As is his wont, Mayweather simply shut down Alvarez, clipped his wings, and did enough to win.
The bout leaves Mayweather in a curious position. Purported to make upward of $100 million for the bout once the PPV take is factored in, Mayweather, 36, has few compelling challenges on the immediate horizon. Danny Garcia made a spirited defense of his 140-pound belts in the semi-main against Lucas Matthyse, and is rumored to be Mayweather's next opponent, a prospect which would be only slightly more exciting than eating day-old oatmeal.
Much like Mayweather's ho-hum clinic against Robert Guerrero, the biggest problem Showtime has with its PPV flagship product is pitting him against someone with a plausible chance to win. For Mayweather's sake, fans have grown tired of seeing him run a "clinic" in repetitive fashion, while paying for the privilege of seeing him perform.
Perhaps it's testimony to his greatness that it's put him in this spot, but whatever happens next, he came, he saw and he reinforced himself as the best pugilist on the planet, schooling a bigger, stronger and younger foe who came nowhere near displacing his claim.
Jason Probst can be reached at twitter.com/jasonprobst