Floyd “Money” Mayweather proved once again why he is the best fighter in the world.
Under the bright lights of Las Vegas and the MGM Grand, he defeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by majority decision in a fight that quite possibly only one person in the world saw as anything more than a one-sided performance.
I’m not going to batter C.J. Ross for her questionable decision to call the fight a draw in this article. She has already taken more lumps than Canelo over the last two nights for her crazy scorecard.
Beyond sparing Ross another keystroke lashing, I’m of the opinion that concentrating on one judge's questionable scorecard takes away from the real story. Mayweather's once-in-a-lifetime in-ring brilliance is what boxing fans should be talking about.
Allow me to analyze and assess this performance more closely.
Speed, Agility, Footwork and Instincts
The fact that Floyd Mayweather is still making world-class opponents swipe at him after he’s already moved outside of punching range is mind-boggling. Canelo attempted to counter the 36-year-old Mayweather with power shots, but by the time he launched them, Mayweather had already changed angles.
The result was Canelo flailing at air for 12 rounds.
Aside from the defensive wizardry, Mayweather featured the jab much more than he normally does. It wasn’t a hard, punishing jab, but it was enough to snap Canelo’s head back. More than anything, Mayweather’s jab helped to disrupt any rhythm Canelo hoped to find.
For most of the fight, Mayweather sensed when he was in any potentially unfavorable situation and he masterfully positioned himself where he could reach Canelo, but the young and game fighter couldn’t touch Money.
The advantages in these areas weren’t just about physical gifts—Mayweather has plenty of those—as his footwork was just as impressive. Money didn’t run; he simply changed angles and spun Canelo around the ring almost as if he were on strings.
Power Punching and Killer Instinct
Money didn’t sit on his punches much in this fight, and that was out of respect for Canelo’s size and power. He was more cautious with the powerful 23-year-old than he was against Robert Guerrero in May.
Before he injured his hand against Guerrero, per Dan Ambrose of Boxing News, Mayweather was looking to stop "The Ghost." He reportedly suffered an elbow injury, per Gregory Heakes of Yahoo! Sports, against Canelo. But even if he hadn’t, he probably would have been content to completely out-box Canelo for 12 rounds.
I’m always a proponent of fighting to win over fighting to impress fans who don’t appreciate the art of the sport. But Canelo proved his worth and presence as a power puncher enough to keep Mayweather from letting it all hang out in the last four rounds.
In-Ring Intelligence, Toughness and Composure
With all the speed, punching accuracy and agility Money possesses, I’m still most impressed with his boxing I.Q. No one adjusts or thinks better in the ring.
Early on he was studying Canelo and doing enough to win rounds with his jab. By the fourth round, you could see in his body language he had already solved the puzzle. He got caught with a good shot in the 10th round, but he took it well and never seemed panicked.
That’s even more impressive considering he had injured his elbow.
Unless there is some sort of significant drop-off due to age, it is hard to imagine anyone who is currently on the scene beating Mayweather. He is simply that good.
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