Love him or love to hate him, Floyd Mayweather is still pound-for-pound king.
Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KO) once again showed why he is both boxing's best fighter and biggest attraction as he defeated Robert Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KO) by wide unanimous decision on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
At the outset, it appeared that Guerrero would make the fight ugly as many expected. He met some limited success in the opening rounds by taking on the role of counterpuncher and bullying Mayweather while on the inside.
But unfortunately for "The Ghost," most of his success came in the first two rounds before Mayweather began taking over the fight with his trademark speed, defense and boxing intelligence. By the middle rounds, it was clear that this was going to be another example of a fighter talking a big game only to see it come unglued when he got in there with the best fighter on the planet.
Mayweather won the fight going away, by unanimous scores of 117-111, and showed absolutely no ring rust or signs of age while reaffirming his place as the sport's top fighter.
Guerrero's most effective moments came early in the fight.
The fight began about as well as Robert Guerrero could've hoped for in the first three minutes. Floyd Mayweather began the fight a bit tentative, likely trying to work off the remaining ring rust, and gave "The Ghost" some opportunities to land on the inside.
These were opportunities that Guerrero relished, as they gave him the chance to land some blows on the inside and rough up his opponent a bit.
As the aggressor, Guerrero was successful and able to effectively counter several of Money's shots. Nobody saw that type of fight coming in all the pre-fight predictions, but unfortunately for Guerrero and his team, it would not last.
But it was a nice, effective first round that he likely won on many scorecards.
Guerrero still had something going for him in the second round.
You almost got the sense by the second round that Mayweather's inactivity was more a result of his desire to gauge his opponent than anything Guerrero was bringing to the table.
Nobody is better than Floyd Mayweather at waiting out his opponent, finding holes and absolutely using them to drill them to the ground.
This gave Guerrero a chance to land some solid combinations and get in some decent shots on the inside. Without letting his hands go, it was very difficult to find much offensively to like about Mayweather's strategy in the early going, and the crowd seemed to favor Guerrero at this stage.
Even though Guerrero was effective at this early point, you could see that a lot of his punches were wide, winging and taking a lot of energy to not get much return. That's something a fighter as smart as Floyd Mayweather would easily pick up on and use to his advantage.
Another round for Guerrero.
Mayweather began finding range in round three.
Mayweather began to take control of the fight in Round 3, the first he clearly won in the fight. He began to smother Robert Guerrero's offensive attack by tying him up more effectively on the inside.
Referee Robert Byrd aided him with a few quick breaks that didn't allow Guerrero to keep the fight in his comfort zone and rough up Mayweather on the inside.
Money found it much easier to land his right hand in this round and was able to finally secure the distance where he is most comfortable at making the fight.
His massive advantages in speed and precision punching began to rear their head as Mayweather was able to land when and where he wanted virtually at will. Guerrero was reduced to stalking but not landing anything of tremendous impact.
The true Floyd Mayweather seemed to have woken up, and it was already apparent that Guerrero would need to do something drastic to turn this around before it got out of hand.
Reports of Money's diminishing skills are greatly overstated.
The clear momentum swing was in full force by the fourth round. Mayweather by this point was finding it much easier to land punches on Guerrero. The distance of the fight and its pace were clearly where he wanted them to be. It was vintage Mayweather as he stood in the pocket and landed at will with speed and precision.
A right hand to Guerrero's head was the first big punch of the night for Money, and it stunted "The Ghost's" offensive attack in its tracks.
When the fight was in the center of the ring, Mayweather was dominant. When Guerrero was able to force him along the ropes, he wasn't able to keep him there long enough to be effective.
It would appear that all the talk of Mayweather's reflexes or speed diminishing after the Cotto fight were greatly exaggerated. He's clearly faster, and while he doesn't move as much, he's still virtually impossible to hit clean.
The right hand has become the difference.
Mayweather absolutely landed the right hand at will.
This round was virtually like target practice, a sparring session, a clinic in boxing ability, technique and how to hit a guy and not get hit back.
Robert Guerrero was very game but was totally outclassed in the fifth frame. He had heart, grit and determination, but he didn't have anything in the arsenal at this stage that gave Mayweather any problems.
The right hand up the middle had become the difference in the fight. It's like they always say. Everyone says they have the game plan.
But when you're in there with Floyd Mayweather and you spend a few rounds absolutely unable to hit him, things change. It's extremely frustrating for a fighter to do all the work in training and then get into the ring and find nothing works.
And that's exactly where Robert Guerrero found himself as we neared the midway point.
Great vs. Good.
By this point we had gone several rounds without Robert Guerrero landing a shot of any consequence. He seemed to have a solid chin, as expected, since most of Mayweather's shots were landing right on the button and with tremendous speed.
Tell me if you've seen this before?
In early rounds, Mayweather appears to be slightly vulnerable, spends a round or two figuring things out and then goes on to not lose another one for the remainder of the night.
A great fighter once again making a good fighter look ordinary. Guerrero tried to maul his opponent but Mayweather did a tremendous job of smothering absolutely everything "The Ghost" tried to throw at him on the inside.
Frustration was kicking in by this point, as Mayweather wasn't doing anything spectacular offensively, but he did enough to pull away in the fight.
The crowd doesn't like tactical.
Guerrero's face was beginning to turn very red and swell by this point. All those right hands to the face were starting to show up in ugly fashion. He wasn't going to be very pretty in the dressing room after the final bell and probably not for a few days afterwards.
Mayweather had settled into the role of master tactician. By this point, we were reminded of why fans love and have Money.
He seems to toy with his opponents and prefers a safety-first style even when it seems he has the ability to get a spectacular stoppage victory.
It would have been nice to see him make a statement, sort of like the Ricky Hatton fight, and end this night early. "The Ghost" was game but there for the taking.
He was too slow to connect with anything, and by the time he got off, Floyd had landed three punches and gotten outta dodge.
There will be blood.
The absolute last thing Robert Guerrero needed at this point was a cut, and that's exactly what he got from another precision Floyd Mayweather punch.
The cut around the left eye seemed to spark some momentary urgency, but Guerrero simply could not come close to touching Mayweather with anything of consequence.
Even amongst those of the boxing media who felt Floyd would win the fight, there were not many who felt Guerrero would be this unable to even make it somewhat competitive.
This became an absolute and total white-washing of a world-class opponent who a fair amount of people felt could have the rough style that could at least give Money some fits, if not pull the upset.
Through eight rounds, it was clear that Guerrero simply isn't on this level.
Grit and determination are not enough.
We settled in the same familiar, and by this point painful to watch, pattern.
Guerrero charged forward, bloody but undeterred, and feasted on a steady diet of counter right hands that are starting to make us feel bad for him. The kid had guts and heart, possibly too much for his own good at this stage.
He didn't appear badly hurt, but an accumulation of those types of punches with that mentality has cut short many a career. His grit and determination to stay in the fight might even have won him this round on a few cards.
But it was clear by now that he was hopelessly behind. Guerrero had no answers, and Mayweather kept changing the questions.
It was hard to watch this happen to such a good fighter and a decent guy as Robert Guerrero.
Guerrero talked a big game but had nothing.
You wanna talk precision?
Floyd Mayweather was landing an absolutely ridiculous, insane, unheard of over 60 percent of his punches at this stage.
That's mind-blowing when you think about how much leather he has laid on Robert Guerrero's face. That's the kind of thing you see in a boxing video game and not amongst professional fighters.
Guerrero's aggression had been taken away from him and used as a bludgeon to beat him into submission. For the first time in the fight, he appeared reluctant to really let his hands go, even when he got Mayweather along the ropes.
That's the kind of thing that happens when you swallow virtually every punch your opponent has throw over a 30-minute period.
Entering the championship rounds, this one is all over but the shouting and likely Floyd Mayweather landing another 60 percent of his shots.
Money coasting to another wide victory.
It may be disrespectful, but Floyd Mayweather by this point was so confident that he took the time to seemingly acknowledge someone in the crowd. And of course he did this during the fight.
That about sums it all up, folks.
The crowd by this point was deeply upset, and why not? You shell out a ton of money to see a fight, and you want action.
You absolutely cannot totally fault Mayweather. He has made a career out of just this type of fight. But it was painfully obvious that at the very least he could make an attempt to take Guerrero out without placing himself at too much risk.
Mayweather upped his aggression a tick and began his trademark closing of the show as he landed on Guerrero at will for about the ninth round in a row. But could he have done more? Probably.
But that's Floyd Mayweather, and he entered the 12th and final round with a predictably wide lead on the scorecards of everyone with two eyes.
Another one bites the dust.
A valiant effort from Robert Guerrero, who was totally outclassed on this night. It begs the question of whether we will ever see a fighter who can even hang with, much less beat, Floyd Mayweather inside a boxing ring.
Mayweather, ignoring the crowd clamoring for action, stayed outside and was content to potshot his way to an easy round and another easy victory.
It was an absolutely masterful and dominant performance of a fighter that many felt could make a legitimate go of it.
Guerrero and his team can fault Mayweather all they want for not standing and trading (they had to expect this if they watched film), but you can't hit what you can't touch.
It's called boxing, not fighting, and Floyd did it tonight in his trademark style. A clear-cut, convincing and dominant unanimous decision.
Now Robert Guerrero joins the 43 who have tried, and failed, to take Money's zero.