Young fighters who want to improve their defense should watch Floyd Mayweather in the ring.
It's not far off to say Mayweather is one of the best defensive fighters of all time. This most recent performance solidified that fact.
Once again, Money May put on a defensive masterclass. He boxed circles around his opponent, Robert Guerrero. The Ghost got in some early offense, but it was the most he'd have for the entire fight. Mayweather was able to see Guerrero's game plan and adjust accordingly. He opened himself up just enough to let the Ghost tip his hand. Once Guerrero couldn't knock out Mayweather in the early rounds, the fight was over.
Where do you rank Floyd Mayweather in terms of best defensive boxers?
As the fight entered Round 4, it was clear for everyone to see that Mayweather was going to boss the bout.
Age always manages to beat a fighter eventually. Fortunately for Money May, he's still holding Father Time at a safe distance. Mayweather can't dance around the ring like he did in his prime, but he's still got enough left in his legs to be able to move when he needs to and not get trapped in a corner for too long.
Mayweather's reflexes were superb. When he was stationary, Mayweather was able to react quickly enough to make Guerrero hit nothing but air and fail to get anything clean.
Take a look at some of the fight stats (h/t ESPN Stats & 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
A more skilled fighter than Guerrero could possibly have gotten in some more offense. However, the Ghost is still a talented fighter who was made to look very weak against one of the best ever in Mayweather. Plus, Mayweather may have adjusted his strategy believing Guerrero was more of a knockout threat late in the fight.
Part of what makes Money May such a great fighter even at this point in his career is his great defense. He's made a career of avoiding his opponents' offense. Mayweather has taken so little punishment throughout his career when compared to other boxers at 36 years old. It may not always be the most fun to watch Mayweather dance around the ring, but it's hard to argue that it isn't an effective strategy will pays off tenfold in the long run.
Right along with Mayweather's defense is his countering. It's one thing to simply be elusive in the ring. It's something different to be elusive and throw in some offense along the way.
Any time Guerrero would leave himself vulnerable, Mayweather would make him pay. Money connected with so many counterpunches throughout the fight.
Timeless would be the best way to describe Mayweather in the ring. Like a fine wine, he continues getting better with age.