Saul "Canelo" Alvarez struggled Saturday night against Floyd "Money" Mayweather, losing by majority decision 114-114, 116-112, 117-111.
Canelo was no match for Mayweather, who connected on more than twice the number of punches, according to Showtime Sports:
#ShoStats: Percentage of Total Punches Landed/Thrown thru 12 Mayweather 45.941% Canelo 22.243%— SHO Stats (@SHOStats) September 15, 2013
This image, via ESPN's John Buccigross, breaks down where each punch landed:
Floyd Mayweather def. Canelo Álvarez by majority decision. Mayweather: 45-0 in pro career pic.twitter.com/5JX7TSMZye— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) September 15, 2013
Obviously, Mayweather was pretty dominant in this matchup. Canelo couldn't get any good punches off, and Mayweather was always quick with a response.
Canelo came into this bout undefeated and with a reputation of being a power puncher. Heading into the fight, according to CompuBox via Andrew R. Davis of ESPN Stats & Info, Canelo had landed 52 percent of his power punches in his previous seven fights. Against Mayweather, he landed just over 22 percent.
This was always a bad matchup for Canelo since Mayweather excels on defense and is terrific at counterpunching.
Because of that, Canelo's career is not over. He still has only one loss and he's still one of the best power punchers out there. He does, however, need to rebound.
Everyone knew that Money would be Canelo's toughest opponent yet. The champ's speed, conditioning and footwork are second to none in the business, and he's a defensive technician who controls a bout. For this reason, it's not surprising he struggled against Mayweather, who is faster than him.
Alvarez is a bit plodding and struggles on defense. Naturally, he would be better served going against someone like Austin Trout, whom he demolished before the Mayweather fight.
Of course, it's hard to get to the big-time if you can't beat the best. Mayweather may be a bad matchup for Canelo, but Canelo will never become a big-time boxer if he sticks to beating the Austin Trouts of the world. No, Canelo needs to beat the best, which is why he challenged himself with Money.
Is it wise for him to take on a reeling Manny Pacquiao? That would provide the marquee victory he sorely needs, although Pacquiao can never be counted out.
He will probably go up against someone like Gennady Golovkin, which will be an easier matchup for him, before going back to the big fights.
It's simple: Canelo has to beat the best to reach the top. He's proven he can beat up on the lower rungs of competition, and he will continue to do so after the fight. A loss to the best fighter in the world does not make Canelo a bad fighter. He held his own and took the champ through 12 rounds of entertaining boxing.
So Canelo will go back to facing the Austin Trouts of the world, and he will continue to beat up on them, just like he did before the Money match. In a few months, he needs to find a big-time sparring partner—Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez are options—and win. If he does, he'll establish himself with more credibility.
If not, he'll just be another guy who just happened to fight Floyd Mayweather.