LAS VEGAS — Three thoughts on Floyd Mayweather’s majority decision win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez:
This was a blowout: Judge C.J. Ross—the same C.J. Ross who scored Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley for Bradley last year—inexplicably scored the fight a draw, 114-114. This wasn’t even close. For 12 rounds, Mayweather put on a boxing clinic. He ricocheted his jab off of Alvarez’s head repeatedly, snapping it back as Canelo made no effort to move out of the way. Though Canelo was the aggressor, it was Mayweather landing the cleaner, harder shots all night. According to SHOSTATS, Mayweather landed 232 of his 505 punches (compared to 117 of 526 for Canelo) and connected on 139 of his 330 jabs (44 of 294 for Canelo). Mayweather never appeared to be in trouble and never appeared tired, and Canelo fought with his hands down in the later rounds and was rooted to the mat when Mayweather pushed him to the corner. Credit Canelo for taking so many clean shots, but that’s about the only thing for which you can credit him.
“I couldn’t connect [with] him,” Alvarez said. “He is very elusive and intelligent. He has a lot of experience and I honestly couldn’t find him. The late rounds, I felt frustrated. I recognize that he beat me. He is a great fighter.”
This was also predictable: This isn’t Monday morning quarterbacking; I’ve been writing for weeks that Canelo was out of his depth. As much potential as Canelo shows, he is still 23 with one quality win (over Austin Trout) on his resume. He doesn’t have the experience to adjust when Mayweather takes him out of his game and clearly doesn’t have the speed to keep up with him. The more frustrated Canelo got, the more he fell apart, hitting Mayweather with low blows and showing a noticeable lack of poise in the ring.
That shouldn’t diminish Mayweather’s victory, of course. This was the fight for which everyone clamored, a fight that set a record for a live gate ($20 million) and has a chance to break the all-time record for pay-per-view revenue and buys. Mayweather moved up in weight and accepted a legitimate challenge. But though Canelo may still develop into the star that Golden Boy Promotions hope he is, he is a long way from it.
There is no one that can beat Floyd Mayweather: With Manny Pacquiao diminished—and face it, we were never getting that fight anyway—Mayweather stands alone. Yes, some corners will scream for Mayweather to fight Gennady Golovkin or Sergio Martinez, but those fights aren’t happening and, frankly, there is no need for them. Because how big do you want Mayweather’s opponents to be? He’s likely headed back to the 147-pound division, where no one can touch him. Danny Garcia—who pulled yet another upset with a decision win over Lucas Matthysse—doesn’t have the speed to hang with him. Amir Khan has looked terrible as a welterweight. Adrien Broner is too raw, too hittable, and he and Mayweather are friends anyway.
As Mayweather cruises into (presumably) the final four fights of his professional career, there is no one that looms as a serious threat to him.
Said Mayweather: “I’m still going strong.”
– Chris Mannix