Before Saturday's bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, many pointed to Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s age as a reason the legend could fall to the young, up-and-coming Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
After all, Mayweather was 36 years old—an age that has seen plenty of historic boxers hit the canvas—and Alvarez was 23 years of age.
The reality is, age was a big factor in Saturday's fight...but it favored Mayweather.
We learned on Saturday that neither youth, nor power, was a threat to Mayweather. The only thing that matters when it comes to fighting the undefeated boxer is experience.
It was easy to hype up Alvarez before Saturday's clash. It was easy to even like the young Mexican's chances if he could just find some way to get through Mayweather's defense.
But you don't just "get through" Mayweather's defense. It's not a matter of finding an opening because there are no openings. It's not a matter of being accurate because any spot you swing at will be covered up in the blink of an eye.
How do you even consider beating Mayweather?
You have to win the mental battle.
Alvarez looked like so many of Mayweather's opponents before him before falling via majority decision. In the later rounds, he was tired and showed frustration. The fight hadn't even ended and the challenger had grown weary simply trying to hit the defensive wizard.
And when that happened, Mayweather knew he had him right where he wanted him.
Nobody ever lands a high percentage of punches against Mayweather, but go back to the Miguel Cotto fight.
Cotto lost to Mayweather in May of last year via unanimous decision, connecting on only 21 percent of his shots (via CompuBox), but he fought until the final bell and never showed one sign of wanting to quit.
When it was clear Mayweather was quicker and more accurate than him, he didn't grow frustrated. Instead, he battled back even more. At one point, Mayweather's nose was actually bleeding.
After the fight, Mayweather summed up why Cotto was the biggest challenge of his career in one sentence, telling his foe, via ESPN.com, "You're the toughest guy I ever fought."
Cotto was slower and less accurate than Mayweather, just like the great's previous opponents, but he gave Mayweather a true test because his desire to never give up was almost incomparable.
While Mayweather may be a robot when it comes to fundamentals, he is still a human being. When Cotto refused to back down in May of last year, you can bet Mayweather took notice. A match can be won and lost in the mind.
Cotto truly believed, from the countless times he had defied the odds throughout his career, that he still had a chance against Mayweather in the later rounds.
But to the young Canelo, who had yet to experience much top competition, he didn't know how to respond when he realized Mayweather was beating him. Instead of pushing harder, he counted his losses (or loss).
Power or quickness alone will never conquer Mayweather. You must get inside the legend's head first. A young boxer like Alvarez was never able to do this. An older boxer like Miguel Cotto can.