Las Vegas, NV – The teacher taught the student a lesson that he will likely never, ever forget. In front of a record 16,746 fans that included hip hop heavyweights Rick Ross, Diddy and Nas as well as number of athletes (Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson), actors (Jack Nicholson, Don Cheadle) and a rabid Mexican contingency howling inside of the MGM Grand Garden, Floyd Mayweather put on a scintillating display of boxing ability as he thoroughly outclassed Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to unify the junior middleweight world titles and keep his perfect record intact with a majority decision victory.
Aside from a completely nonsensical 114-114 score courtesy of the same C.J. Ross that gift wrapped a notorious decision victory for Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao, it was a one-sided wash by Mayweather. Thankfully, judges Dave Moretti (116-112) and Craig Metcalfe (117-111) restored order to the universe. But, honestly, even those scores were generous (Knockout Nation had it 120-108) as “Money” made easy work out of what was being called his toughest test to date.
The 36-year-old may have been Canelo’s senior by 13 years, but his experience and tool set offset the physical advantages that many assumed the redheaded Mexican would have. Mayweather admits that Canelo’s time will come, but just not while he’s still around.
“Canelo is a young, strong champion. A great Mexican champion,” Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) said. “I take my hat off to him and to Mexico. He can take a loss and bounce back.”
But there would be no bouncing back on this night. All that was bouncing was Mayweather’s jab off Canelo’s face. The pound for pound king took the fight straight to Canelo from the opening bell as he went on the offensive in a hurry. A slick jab squeezed through the young fighters gloves and repeatedly snapped his head back. Perhaps taken back by Mayweather’s strategy, Canelo winged heavy punches while Mayweather was in range, but could only come up with air as the champion darted away with relative ease.
“He’s very elusive, he’s a great fighter and that’s why I couldn’t catch him,” a visibly displeased Alvarez said afterwards while connecting on only 117 of his 526 punches thrown (22%). “I did not know how to get to him. It’s as simple as that. He’s very elusive.”
If nothing else, it was a boxing lesson that could go a long way in helping Canelo take over the sport once Mayweather finally decides to hang them up. But on this night, Canelo found himself in way over his head. Mayweather cracked him often with the jab and launched a number of straight right hands that Canelo could hardly see coming. The Mexican hero’s lack of experience came into play as he was visibly frustrated and often resorted to dirty tactics like a shoulder to the chin or a punch into the thigh to vent his anger. It didn’t matter though, Mayweather sucked the air out of the screaming Mexican fans who bombarded the arena with “Ca-Ne-Lo” chants. By the middle rounds they likely started to think about what they were going to wear to the litany of after parties. Mayweather was extraordinarily accurate as he landed 232 of his 505 punches (46%) and over half of his power shots.
“My dad had a brilliant game plan,” Mayweather said while noting that he believed to have dislocated his elbow in the sixth round. “I could have pressed it and got the late stoppage.”
Nevertheless, “Money” once again lives up to his nickname as he will take home a record $41.5 million while seeing the upside of the pay per view that could close in on the 2.44 million buys that he and Oscar De La Hoya did several years ago when setting the pay per view record.
With the win, Mayweather will now have to pick from a shallow pool of options for his next fight. The undefeated fighter vows to fight next in May, and again in September. That’s the easy part. The hard part is figuring out with whom he can be matched with that the public believes might give him a run for his money. If Saturday’s extraordinary performance was any indicator, the only fight that’s going to challenge Mayweather will be against Father Time.
Danny Garcia shuts down haters, defeats Matthysse
Those that continue doubt Danny Garcia must all tip their hat to the champion and apologize for not giving the fighter his due. Garcia retained his WBC, WBA and The Ring super lightweight titles by stymieing the heavy handed Lucas Matthysse over the course of twelve rounds for a unanimous decision victory.
“I’m the champion of the world! The champion fears no one,” Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) said afterwards. For weeks, many picked the devastating power puncher to send Garcia’s star crashing down to earth. With a knockdown in every single one of his fights, the expectation was that Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs) would send Garcia to the canvas. However, it was Garcia who dropped Matthysse for the first time in his career in the 11th round. There was certainly no fear from “Swift,” who was a 2:1 underdog heading into the fight.
“I don’t really care what the media says about me. I know what I can do,” Garcia said. And boy, did he know what he was doing on Saturday night. Garcia promised to make the Argentinean respect his power but threw a curveball when he opted to stay on the outside and pick his shots.
“I made him think. A lot of people didn’t think I could move they way I did out there,” Garcia said. His boxing was certainly the difference maker as the Philly fighter showed that he could box going side to side and on his heels. “I lot of people thought I was a flat-footed fighter, I was slow and that he was just going to knock me out. I had to show them what my name was all about.”
“Swift” connected on 225 of the 624 punches thrown (36%) while not allowing Matthysse to tee off as he has done to so many other fighters. The fight was close in the early rounds but the left hand of Garcia played a major factor as the punches took their toll and closed Matthysse’s right eye in the seventh round. From that point on, it was target practice as Garcia landed powerful shots. It wasn’t as if Matthysse wasn’t connecting. The powerful knockout artist landed 206 of his 566 punches thrown (36%) including a straight right hand that send Garcia’s mouthpiece soaring out of the ring at the beginning of the 11th. Garcia took the punches that did land well and dished out enough punishment to earn scores of 115-112, 114-112 and 114-112.
With the win, Garcia may have become the front-runner for the Floyd Mayweather sweepstakes. But right now, all he can think about is a well deserved vacation.
Molina wins ugly fight against Smith
It wasn’t pretty, but Carlos Molina took home the IBF junior middleweight title with a split decision victory over Ishe Smith. Molina (22-5-2) started off strong by smothering Smith’s offense and outworking the Mayweather Promotions fighter. However, as the rounds went by, the fight became a snore as neither fighter did much to keep the crowd entertained. For Smith (25-6), it was a big opportunity to show the world what he has but he simply couldn’t pull the trigger. It wasn’t as if Molina was running away with the fight though. Known for being on the wrong side of the judges’ scorecards, it would have been good to see Molina press the action. In the end, Molina picked the right shots at the right time to earn scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112 to take home a world title.
Cano too tough for Theophane
Pablo Cesar Cano was far too tough for Ashley Theophane as he took a split decision in the opening bout of the pay per view. Aside from a relatively ludicrous 96-94 score in favor of Theophane, it was mostly all Cano when he felt like putting his foot on the gas. Cano — who has lost to former champions Erik Morales, Shane Mosley and Paulie Malignaggi — repeatedly rocked Theophane with power shots and looked quite close to ending The Money Team fighter’s night. The only time Theophane (33-6-1) was able to mount up any offense was when Cano took a breather. Cano (27-3-1) earned 98-92 and 97-93 scores to take the split decision.
In other action…
Luis Arias (7-0) brought another win home for Mayweather Promotions banner with a unanimous decision victory over James Winchester (16-9) in a six round super middleweight affair.
TMT fighter Ronald Gavril (7-0) made easy work of former highly regarded prospect Shujaa El Amin (formally known as Dion Savage) with an eight round unanimous decision in super middleweight action. Gavril worked the body of El Amin (12-5) early and sapped the energy from him in the later rounds as he out boxed him down the stretch. Scores were 79-73 across the board.
Chris Pearson kept his unbeaten streak alive with a one-sided drubbing of Joshua Williams en route to a 1st round TKO in middleweight action. Pearson’s attack was relentless from the opening bell and pummeled Williams (9-6) until referee Russell Mora called a halt to the fight at the 1:14 mark. Pearson improves to 12-0 with his 9th KO.
In a scheduled four round super middleweight bout, Lanell Bellows (6-0-1, 5 Kos) scored a 1st round TKO over Jordan Moore (3-1) with a thudding right hand to the body. Time of stoppage was 2:30.
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