The world clamored for a Floyd Mayweather loss, hoping to see the pound-for-pound king fall off his pedestal.
With success comes backlash, and the world's most renowned boxer has seen a lot of both. While he'll never gain everyone's adoration, the athlete once again reigned supreme, defying anyone who hoped against all hope for an upset and picked against him.
Mayweather proved his prowess in the ring by dominating Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on Saturday night, improving his sterling record to 45-0. Although one judge ruled the fight a draw, it was obvious to everyone else watching that Mayweather controlled all 12 rounds.
The numbers painted a clear portrait, as tweeted by Showtime Stats:
#ShoStats: Percentage of Total Punches Landed/Thrown thru 12 Mayweather 45.941% Canelo 22.243%— SHO Stats (@SHOStats) September 15, 2013
Some of the criticism against Mayweather is warranted, but much of it results from a desire to see him crumble.
After all, how does anybody not despise a guy whose entourage consists of Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber? It's easy to mistakenly think he's out to ruin boxing due to his association with two people responsible for ruining music.
Those who dislike Mayweather point to his lavish lifestyle of using money like toilet paper, which is easy to do when you make a guaranteed $41.5 million for a fight (h/t Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen).
Then there's Bernard Hopkins, who three years ago blasted Mayweather to AllHipHop.com for not being gangster enough and failing to pay his taxes: "Floyd ain't no gangster like he thinks he is. I'm not a part of the hip-hop world when it comes to a rapper. I'm a part of hip-hop when it comes to the streets...If he wants to waste money in clubs, blow $40 million dollars and not pay his taxes, that's on him."
Has your perception of Floyd Mayweather change after his defeat of Canelo Alvarez?
Detractors will point to Mayweather's domestic violence charge in December 2011. By all means, let that fuel your hatred of him as a person.
But don't let anything cloud your perception of him as a fighter inside the ring. While critics always say he's never faced top talent, this victory demonstrates there probably isn't anyone out there who could properly challenge Mayweather.
Alvarez entered the fight 42-0-1 with 30 knockouts. He's bigger than Mayweather and 13 years younger. Keeping in mind that Manny Pacquiao has not competed in the country since losing both of his bouts last year, who else is there for Mayweather to face?
His victories don't come easily because of the opposition's skill level. He crushes them because he is that good of a boxer.
This latest clinic illustrated Mayweather's world-class ability and showed that his highly anticipated fall from grace is not coming anytime soon.