Floyd Mayweather Cements Status as World's Top Fighter in Return to Ring

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMay 6, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 04:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates his unanimous decision victory against Robert Guerrero in their WBC welterweight title bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 4, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

With his convincing victory over Robert Guerrero on Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he's still the world's top boxer.

He toyed with Guerrero throughout the fight and made The Ghost look like a plodding has-been, which he isn't.

Many wondered before the fight if Mayweather's year-long layoff might be a factor—it wasn't. 

Many wondered if his age would finally start to catch up with him—it didn't.

In fact, if you has turned on the fight without knowing anything about it, you would swear Mayweather was a 24-year-old boxing phenom coming into his prime rather than a 36-year-old veteran with 43 fights under his belt.

Granted, beating Guerrero isn't the same as taking down Oscar De La Hoya, but after a year off and at his age, what Mayweather was able to do to an accomplished fighter of Guerrero's quality was staggering.

No matter what Guerrero tried to do after the first few rounds, Mayweather had a counter. 

When The Ghost tried to muscle Money into a corner, Mayweather either wrapped him up or started tagging him with vicious straight right hands. 

When Guerrero tried to mix it up with Mayweather in the middle of the ring, Money danced circles around him while landing punch after punch—sometimes getting shots in right between The Ghost's defenses.

Speaking of defense, Mayweather's shell was impenetrable. According to CompuBox, which obtained a copy of Showtime Sports' stat sheet, Guerrero was only able to land 19 percent of his punches in the fight.

This is the same fighter who was able to land 35 percent of his punches in his previous fight against Andre Berto—a skilled fighter in his own right. 

That same stat sheet shows how incredibly efficient Mayweather was at inflicting punishing damage, as he landed an astonishing 60 percent of his power punches against the southpaw fighter.

In the end, what we see is a fighter in Mayweather who is on an entirely different level than anyone else on the planet. 

One man who might be able to challenge Money May in a real way is Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez. He's the top-ranked junior middleweight in the world and has yet to be defeated. He possesses elite power (31 knockouts in 43 professional fights) and is learning how to defend at an elite level.

Until these two fighters square off in the ring (if they ever do), however, Mayweather holds a definitive edge over Álvarez in terms of the fighters he's beaten and his overall level of skill. 

His jaw-dropping performance against Guerrero on Saturday night was a big shot across the bow to the boxing world. Mayweather is as good as he's ever been, and at the age of 36 it doesn't look like he'll be slowing down any time soon.


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78