Any questions regarding whether a 364-day absence from the ring would keep Floyd Mayweather Jr. from returning to his dominant self were answered on Saturday night, as the fighter known as "Money" won a unanimous decision over challenger Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, who spent two months in prison in the summer of 2012, continued to build his case for being the best ever by overwhelming Guerrero, who never seemed to be in control of the bout at any point.
And the judges uniformly agreed (via Bleacher Report).
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Floyd Mayweather defeated Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision (117-111 all judges). Mayweather is now 44-0. http://t.co/2mcMpUFeAP5/5/2013, 4:51:24 AM
In the end, Mayweather's 117-111 over a relatively well-regarded opponent is just another reminder that there's no welterweight out there capable of taking away his WBC belt anytime soon.
With win No. 44 in the books for Mayweather, here's a look back at Money's best rounds of the bout.
3. Round 4
After what might have been an unexpectedly close first three rounds, Mayweather found his groove in the next round and seemed to figure out his timing with his right hand.
Guerrero appeared to relent slightly at points during the round, and Mayweather took advantage, landing a couple of solid punches and setting the tone for the rest of the fight.
The score for the round might not have been lopsided, but the action was beginning to look that way, especially given how much damage Money was starting to inflict with his right (via ESPN's Dan Rafael).
Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn
Rd 4 for Floyd. Straight right hand is a thing of beauty. I have him up 3-1. #MayDay #boxing @espn @SportsCenter5/5/2013, 4:14:33 AM
2. Round 8
With Money fully in control of the bout, Guerrero started to get desperate, which is never a good idea against a fighter as quick and elusive as Mayweather.
As the Ghost lunged at times, Mayweather's rights continued to torment Guerrero, and by the end of the round, everyone in attendance knew that the challenger would have to do something special to even put the outcome of the fight in question.
Mayweather put an exclamation point on the round by catching Guerrero with a right that opened a cut above his eye, and made it obvious the extent of the battering he'd been taking all night.
As was the case for much of the night, Mayweather didn't need to throw an inordinate amount of punches, because when he did, his hand speed and power ensured that they'd make an impact.
But in reality, as CBS' Bruce Johnson pointed out, Round 8 was just more of the same from Mayweather.
bruce johnson @brucejohnson9
From round 3 through 8 no contest. Too much # floyd Mayweather hand speed5/5/2013, 4:29:51 AM
1. Round 10
After Mayweather took full control of the fight through the first eight rounds, Guerrero came back to life to some extent during the ninth round and went as far as to bloody Money's nose.
As The Los Angeles Times said during their coverage of the bout, Mayweather's 10th round put to rest any hopes the Ghost had for a comeback.
Whatever momentum Guerrero gained in the ninth round was lost in this one. Mayweather has quietly built a big enough lead that it seems inevitable he will win. The fight has lacked any real big punches. Mayweather does land a strong left but Guerrero seems unfazed. The Times' card: Mayweather, 10-9; Mayweather leads, 97-93.
Mayweather never had to land the knockout blow or even deliver anything too devastating, but what he did do was win the fight using a tactical approach that played to his stingy defense and quickness, and he cemented his victory in Round 10.
It was an important stage in the fight because of Guerrero's resurgence in the previous round, but Mayweather continued to dictate the pace of the fight and never let Guerrero get close again.