Rumors of Floyd Mayweather's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Mayweather put on a boxing masterclass in his win against Robert Guerrero on Saturday night. There was no doubt he was the deserved winner. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports had the judges' scores from the fight:
All judges have it 117-111 for Mayweather— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) May 5, 2013
Guerrero looked good early, but that was likely down to Mayweather lulling him into a false sense of security before taking over the fight. Money May took Guerrero's best punches early and figured out exactly what he need to do to avoid them. He knew what he could and couldn't do against The Ghost.
Mayweather made adjustments, while Guerrero was unable to do so. He kept trying the same tactics over and over again, but Mayweather already had them figured out.
Coming into the fight, Mayweather had to deal with questions about his age and almost year-long layoff following his win over Miguel Cotto. Plus, Money May had taken some major blows against Cotto. There looked to be an opening there if Guerrero was able to land key punches and knock Mayweather around early in the fight.
Unfortunately for The Ghost, he didn't do that, and Mayweather took over the fight.
As the fight went on, Guerrero knew he had to take more risks and try to knock Mayweather out. As he did that, he gave Mayweather ample opportunity to hit back on the counter. That's exactly what Money May did the entire fight. Counterpunching has long been one of Mayweather's best assets, and it is a skill that has not departed from his repertoire just yet.
It's ridiculous how little Mayweather was hit in the fight, especially in comparison to the punishment he dished out (h/t ESPN Stats and Info):
Mayweather Jr. landed 60 percent of his power punches according to Sho Stats. Guerrero landed 28 percent— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 5, 2013
At 36 years old, Mayweather has lost a step or two. He wasn't moving around the ring like he was able to three or four years ago. There were a few times when Mayweather was a bit too stationary and looked to have opened himself up a little too much. Money May still has his lightning-quick reflexes, though, and avoided Guerrero's offense.
The best fighters, as with any other professional athlete, find ways to compensate for their decline. Mayweather is an intelligent fighter. He knows how to switch his style in order to remain world-class.
Some might be knocking Guerrero's talent level and saying that Mayweather should prove himself against a better fighter. Maybe Mayweather should have knocked Guerrero out.
Guerrero is no scrub. Mayweather just made him look like one. That's the problem when you're one of the best fighters in the world. It's hard to find worthy competition.
As far as the complaints about the fight go, they're stupid. Sure knockouts are always exciting, but not every fight can end that way. Appreciate Mayweather's style for what it is. He was fantastic against Guerrero and fought a great match.
Plus, you cannot blame Mayweather if he doesn't want to stand in there and go toe-to-toe with somebody like Guerrero. Why get hit when you can simply avoid your opponent's offense? Your career will be much longer and you'll thank yourself down the road.
Here's to hoping fans will continue to be treated to similar performances from Mayweather down the road.