Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez: Money Cements Status as the Best of His Era

Austin GreenCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 14:  (L-R) Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws a right to the head of Canelo Alvarez during their WBC/WBA 154-pound title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 14, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Step aside, Manny Pacquiao.

If there was still any debate about who the best fighter of the 21st century is, Floyd Mayweather effectively settled it Saturday night. No, he didn't beat Pacman, but he did the next best thing, cruising to a majority-decision victory over the previously undefeated Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.

Mayweather simply did what Floyd Mayweather does, picking apart Alvarez as if his hands were a knife and fork. Rather than just beating Alvarez, Mayweather packed his lunch, buckled his seat belt and drove him to school. The official judges scorecards read 114-114, 116-112, 117-111.

It was a classic Mayweather performance, and given that it came less than one year after Juan Manuel Marquez vaporized Pacquiao, the man known as "Money" can now bank on sole possession of "The Best of His Era" status.

Both Mayweather and Alvarez were tentative in the opening round, trading reaching jabs as they kept their distance and soaked in the atmosphere. The action quickly picked up, however, with Mayweather cornering Alvarez and teeing off in the third round.

By the middle of the fight, Mayweather was toying with Alvarez. He landed a crushing right hand in the fifth, then devastated Alvarez in vintage Mayweather style as the rounds progressed. Floyd was particularly impressive in the seventh, when both ends of his straight left-right combo connected with Alvarez's left cheek.

While Mayweather's blows wore down Alvarez, it was his defense that ultimately led him to victory. Once again, Mayweather was virtually untouchable, using his unprecedented speed and instincts to pull the matador act on Alvarez all night long.

It was a dominant showing from the 36-year-old Mayweather, who improved to 45-0 with the victory. And although his win came over Alvarez and not Pacquiao, this fight settled the polarizing historical debate surrounding the world's most famous boxers.

As of Saturday night, only one man can legitimately claim that he is the best boxer of the last 15 years. That man is Floyd Mayweather.