Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was billed as a fighter who could at least challenge Floyd Mayweather. But what boxing fans witnessed was another dominant showing by "Money," which further illustrates the lack of depth throughout the sport.
Alvarez is just 23. Facing an experienced champion like Mayweather in the biggest fight of his career to date was always going to be an uphill battle. Despite those obvious hurdles, the matchup was still viewed as among the best boxing could offer.
Manny Pacquiao's stock has faded following consecutive losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. The defeats were a major blow to the hype surrounding a possible battle with Mayweather, who crushed Marquez when they met four years ago.
So the options were extremely limited when the Mayweather camp was planning for the fight. Alvarez emerged as the top choice and had generated enough attention during his extended unbeaten run to make him seem like a viable challenger.
In BoxRec.com's pound-for-pound rankings, Mayweather is No. 1, while Alvarez checks in at No. 4. The only fighters between them are the aforementioned Marquez and heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
A matchup between No. 1 and No. 4 would be expected to have a certain level of intrigue and competitiveness in any other sport where rankings are prominent.
For example, on the same day that Mayweather outclassed Alvarez, No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Texas A&M engaged in a tremendous back-and-forth battle in college football. The top-ranked Crimson Tide scored the victory, but it wasn't decided until the final minutes.
Meanwhile, Mayweather scored what will go down as a victory by majority decision, but the outcome was not in doubt during the latter stages. It should have been a unanimous decision, but one judge somehow found a way to consider it a draw.
Floyd Mayweather def. Canelo Álvarez by majority decision. Mayweather: 45-0 in pro career pic.twitter.com/5JX7TSMZye— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) September 15, 2013
Boxing needs more exciting top-end bouts, but it is struggling to generate them due to the lack of true contenders.
Mayweather has been unstoppable throughout his career while navigating several weight classes. Klitschko, who hasn't lost a fight in nearly a decade, has controlled the heavyweight division without being challenged very often.
Does boxing have enough star power?
Although it's important to recognize the talent Mayweather and Klitschko continue to put on display, the lack of competitive bouts hurts the sport as a whole. The gap between the top few and everybody else seemingly keeps growing.
Looking ahead, the quest for Mayweather's camp doesn't get any easier. Amazingly, despite the often one-sided display on Saturday night, an Alvarez rematch could still be on the horizon. At least fans would get to see if the rising star learned anything, as he potentially creates a more even fight.
Otherwise, it's simply a waiting game to see if any other challengers emerge. Boxing can still attract a lot of mainstream attention when the fights generate a lot of hype, but it's becoming a tougher sell without more competitive action at the top.
Only time will tell if that disappointing trend continues.