Ring rust? What ring rust?
Despite being out of the ring for almost a year, Floyd Mayweather looked dominant in his win over Robert Guerrero. Money May was ducking The Ghost's best blows and dancing around the ring. If you want to see defensive boxing at its best, check out the replay. Guerrero couldn't land anything clean, and Mayweather countered perfectly.
This was exactly the kind of performance Mayweather needed after his long layoff. He was superb and didn't appear to have lost a step at all.
It wasn't all bad for Guerrero, but he was clearly overmatched by a far superior fighter.
Here are the things that went right and wrong for each fighter.
What Went Right for Mayweather
Mayweather is a fantastic fight strategist. He lets his opponent get some early offense then adjusts his style to avoid his opponent's best punches later in the fight. That's pretty much what he did against Guerrero. The Ghost had some early offense and connected well with Mayweather on a couple of occasions. It was never enough to really hurt Money May, though, and that's exactly how Mayweather wanted it.
Once he got out of the first couple of rounds, the fight was his. He began getting into a comfort zone. Mayweather is such a good defensive fighter, and you saw exactly why against Guerrero.
He was able to move around the ring and avoid the Ghost's best punches. Mayweather then countered with some nice hits of his own. His speed was just too much for Guerrero.
Eric Raskin @EricRaskin
Guerrero simply unable to react fast enough to avoid Mayweather's blazing right hand. 49-46 Floyd.5/5/2013, 4:18:38 AM
This one turned into a boxing clinic from Money May.
What Went Wrong for Mayweather
It's hard to figure out where Mayweather got too much wrong. Perhaps he could have put Guerrero away earlier, but at 36 years old, Money May doesn't have a ton of knockout power. He managed to keep Guerrero at a safe distance and landed a ton of clean punches that won him the rounds.
What Went Right for Guerrero
Guerrero took the fight to Mayweather early. His best shot of winning this fight was to hit Mayweather early and hope for a knockout. Mayweather had trouble when getting hit against Miguel Cotto, and Guerrero would have learned that's the best way to throw Mayweather off his game.
He needed to pepper Money with some shots in the early few rounds, which is exactly what he did. Guerrero won the first few rounds. He locked Mayweather in a couple of clinches, managing to get some nice hits to the body in head. They were never anything substantial, but they did the job.
The Ghost looked determined in the early parts of the fight and was not intimidated whatsoever by his unbeaten opponent.
What Went Wrong for Guerrero
The biggest problem for Guerrero was that he wasn't able to end the fight early. The longer it would go, the more it would favor Mayweather. He's a much more skilled fighter than Guerrero and that showed as the bout moved past the early rounds.
Guerrero had to chase Mayweather around the ring and could not get any clean punches in. When he did actually manage to corner Money May against the ropes, Guerrero didn't make the most of his opportunities.
ESPN's Dan Rafael noted the futility of Guerrero's offense:
Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn
Rd 7 for Floyd. He is turning in a masterpiece. Guerrero trying hard but cant get anything done. #MayDay #boxing @espn @SportsCenter5/5/2013, 4:26:52 AM
Once Mayweather figured out Guerrero's style, the Ghost didn't make any adjustments to throw Mayweather off. He just kept coming with the same offense, and Mayweather had it already figured out.