Considering his age and the quality of his opponent, Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.'s performance against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero was one of the best of the year.
At 36 years old, Mayweather displayed as much quickness as we've seen from him in years. His elite in-ring IQ was on display, as was his uncanny instincts and cat-like reflexes.
Money made an otherwise solid fighter look very mediocre. Floyd Mayweather Sr. gave his son high marks in this tweet and video from Lace Up Boxing:
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR RATES HIS SON PERFORMANCE AGAINST GUERRERO CHECK IT OUT: http://t.co/g6yxuxMVA1 via @YouTube5/6/2013, 7:27:13 PM
His boxing exhibition compares favorably with the following fighter's work thus far this year.
Bernard Hopkins Defies Father Time
Hopkins' unanimous decision win over Tavoris Cloud on March 9 was truly amazing. At 48 years old, B-Hop not only looked good for a man close to 50; he showed he still has the skills to compete for a few more years.
Part of this is because he competes in a light heavyweight division that isn't exactly stacked. Still, it would be crazy not to give the future Hall of Famer his due.
He didn't fight an ugly, foul-laden bout to win. Hopkins boxed well, took a few shots, but overall he showed himself to be one of the most remarkably conditioned athletes in history.
Competing professionally at 48 in any sport is worth discussing. But, dethroning a champion in boxing who is 17 years your junior is monumental.
Canelo Alvarez Ditches the Robotics
My biggest criticism of Canelo has always been his lack of flexibility and rather robotic approach in the ring. On April 20 against Austin Trout, Canelo showed us more athleticism and coordination.
I scored the fight much closer than the official judges, though. I had it 115-113 for Canelo, while the judges had it 118-109, 116-111 and 115-112.
Even though I felt Trout was in the fight, Alvarez's performance was very impressive.
Austin Trout is not an easy fighter to handle. He's big, physical, tough, smart and he's a southpaw. The 22-year-old Mexican made a great account of himself in a difficult fight.
Mike Alvarado Guts Out the Win
In the rematch of their epic battle in 2012, Alvarado out-fought Brandon Rios and earned a unanimous decision on March 30. Alvarado was the loser in the first fight via TKO.
Some argued the first bout may have been stopped prematurely, but Alvarado made sure he didn't allow himself to get in that position again in the rematch.
The most impressive aspect of Alvarado's performance were the in-ring adjustments. He did subtle things like leaning his lower body into Rios during clinches to take away the uppercut.
He also maintained a torrid pace throughout. Alvarado knew he couldn't afford to stand and trade with Rios again.
He showed himself to be the superior boxer in this bout, and the win likely set up a third fight between the two somewhere down the road.
Guillermo Rigondeaux Dulls the Flash
Rigondeaux made Nonito Donaire a believer after he thoroughly outboxed him on April 13, handing Donaire his first loss in 12 years with a near flawless performance.
There wasn't a ton of action, but that was because Rigondeaux was too fast and too slick for one of the quickest fighters in the sport.
Donaire did score a knockdown in the fight, but the right hand that dropped Rigo was preceded by a forearm Donaire used to create the opportunity.
Nevertheless, Rigo sprung to his feet and continued his mastery.
Where Does Floyd's "Ghost" Busting Rank?
All things considered, only Rigondeaux was more impressive than Money. Critics can lament the lack of action in the fight, but from a pure boxing standpoint, what Rigo did was remarkable.
Sometimes, the most amazing in-ring performances are boring because of the way the winner separates himself from his competition.
Both Mayweather and Rigondeaux's wins had that quality, but Rigo did it against one of the five best fighters in the world.
Behind Rigo and Money would be Hopkins, Alvarez and then Alvarado.
Some may wonder why the Timothy Bradley vs. Ruslan Provodnikov fight isn't referenced here. It is simple: a great fight doesn't mean either man put on a great performance.
Bradley won the spectacular bout, but if you watched it, you know he could have made that fight a lot easier. A smarter game plan would have been to maintain his movement and avoid unnecessary exchanges.
By fighting worse, he made the fight more enjoyable to watch. It didn't say much for his performance though.
I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for boxing fans.
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