Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. did everything he wanted to Saturday night against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to remain undefeated and retain the welterweight title.
This “super fight,” as some called it, was full of controversy and followed a storyline throughout the fight’s preparation. Mayweather originally wanted Alvarez to cut down his weight under 150 pounds, but Alvarez said it was physically impossible for him to do so, thus they compromised at 152 rather than the normal 154 pounds.
This was good for Mayweather because he usually fights around 148 to 150 pounds and Alvarez had time after the weigh-in the night before to add back the lost weight.
Mayweather came into the bout at 36 years old and at 150 pounds even while Alvarez came in at 23 years old and 165 pounds. Many thought Alvarez’s youth and size would outmatch Mayweather and give him his first victory. Alvarez was undefeated at the time as well, compiling only one draw in his career.
Mayweather controlled the entire fight from round one. He kept to his usual strategy and let his opponent come at him while he used his quickness, intelligence and defense to land counter punches and score well in every round.
It was clear halfway through the fight that Alvarez was getting frustrated. He couldn’t land big punches like he was used to and just couldn’t catch Mayweather. At 36 years old, Mayweather showed he hadn’t lost a step, even though this was his first fight in four months.
Mayweather kept to short jabs and maintained his composure when Alvarez changed strategies and tried to bait him into the ropes. One could see Mayweather using his signature shoulder roll to get away from the punches and deflect them off his arms.
Alvarez was able to land some hard body shots here and there, but overall he was unable to keep up with the pace that Mayweather had trained himself for. To Mayweather’s advantage, the fight went the 12-round distance and was sent to the scorecards. Although Mayweather’s victory wasn’t shocking, one judge’s scorecard was.
Two judges, Dave Moretti and Craig Metcalfe, scored the fight 116-112 and 117-111 for Mayweather, but a third judge – Cynthia J. Ross – scored the fight 114-114 for a draw. Many will speculate as to why Ross believed the draw was the right decision. Regardless, it shocked everybody, especially Mayweather. Then came the question running through everyone’s mind: Who’s next for Mayweather?
Boxing analyst Jim Gray alluded to a future fight possibility while talking to Mayweather, asking him if he saw how Danny Garcia beat Matthyse in the undercard, which was a weak undercard.
Mayweather said he saw the fight and that Garcia fought well and left it at that. Alvarez admitted that he was getting frustrated, repeating that he couldn’t catch Mayweather and that was his problem.
He said he’s going to continue to fight at his young age and look to improve.
Mayweather clearly outsmarted and outperformed his opponent, landing 46 percent of his total punches with 42 percent of his jabs landing and 53 percent of his power punches connecting. This was a major contrast to Alvarez’s percentages, which were in the 10s and 20s.
Mayweather is easy to hate with his cocky attitude and trash talk, but one cannot dispute the talent and skill this fighter has and has maintained throughout his career. Other than walking alongside into the ring with Justin Bieber, Mayweather did everything perfectly Saturday night to assure himself a victory and deliver Alvarez his first loss.