Floyd Mayweather earned his "Money" nickname Saturday night, thoroughly outclassing Canelo Alvarez.
Unless your name was C.J. Ross, you saw Mayweather put on the kind of display that demonstrates exactly why he's arguably the greatest fighter of his era. He was avoiding all of Alvarez's biggest blows and doing enough with his offense to keep the fight fully in his favor.
Of course, all of that added up to a draw for Ross, according to ESPN Stats and Info:
Judge C.J. Ross had Mayweather-Canelo 114-114. Ross also had Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao in June 2012 (115-113).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 15, 2013
When you look back on Mayweather's career, this win will definitely have to be in the discussion as one of his best ever. Sure, he's looked better in the ring and beaten higher-profile opponents. But you have to take into account the entire situation.
At 36 years old, Money was looking at a 13-year age gap between him and Alvarez. Canelo is just entering his prime, while Mayweather should theoretically be in the midst of a career decline.
Alvarez is no scrub either. He's one of the best junior middleweights in the world. If there's a fighter who could give Money a major run, it would have been Canelo.
Instead, Mayweather looked every bit the fighter he was five or 10 years ago. You could see some subtle differences in his style, but those changes haven't demonstrably affected his talent level. In fact, they've probably allowed him to remain so successful.
Ross' scorecard was the only damper for Money on the night, but even that minor debacle couldn't take all of the attention away from how great the unbeaten champion was. He had a massive advantage in the major statistical categories. According to CompuBox, Mayweather landed 232 of his 505 total punches (46 percent) to Alvarez's 22 percent (117 out of 526).
It wasn't as if Mayweather was just dancing around the ring and occasionally tagging Alvarez with minor blows. He also had the edge in power punches (93 to 73) and connected 53 percent of the time. Considering Canelo was the more aggressive and powerful of the two fighters going in, his lack of offense was shocking.
Alvarez tried his best to get some footing in the match, only to have each of his attempts rebuffed by Mayweather
ESPN's John Buccigross had a nice graphic of the punch breakdown:
Floyd Mayweather def. Canelo Álvarez by majority decision. Mayweather: 45-0 in pro career pic.twitter.com/5JX7TSMZye— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) September 15, 2013
So what Money only connected on less than half of his punches. Hitting almost half of your punches is quite impressive and is all the more splendid when your opponent was below 25 percent.
This was the kind of fight where, if people are complaining about the lack of entertainment, they're not true boxing fans. Not every fight is going to be like Thomas Hearns vs. Marvin Hagler, where guys beat the crap out of each other relentlessly for three rounds and then somebody is dropped for good.
Mayweather isn't a knockout artist. He went into the fight with a definite strategy that involved relying on his otherworldly defense. It was a blueprint he executed to perfection.
As a result, Mayweather picked up a victory that will be remembered for a long time.