Love him or hate him, Floyd “Money” Mayweather is still the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.
Mayweather answered any doubters on Saturday night in Las Vegas, as he completely outclassed interim titlist Robert Guerrero. Before the fight, it seemed like the doubters might be on to something. Mayweather was coming off of a two-month jail sentence and in his last fight against Miguel Cotto had appeared vulnerable for the first time in recent memory. Mayweather is also 36, a historically unkind age to boxers.
After calling out Mayweather for several years, Guerrero finally got his chance to face the champion. With all of the question marks surrounding Mayweather, it appeared to be the perfect time for the man known as “The Ghost” to get the opportunity he had been looking for. Most experts believed that Guerrero was a legitimate threat to the champion. He was physically bigger, six years younger and fought with a southpaw style that had troubled Mayweather before in other opponents. In theory, he was the type of boxer that would present Mayweather with some serious problems.
So much for that.
After a sluggish first round that saw an often flat-footed Mayweather, the champion dominated the rest of the fight. According to CompuBox, he landed 41 percent of his punches and a stunning 60 percent (153 of 254) of his power punches. In vintage fashion, Mayweather quickly adjusted to Guerrero’s punching patterns and began to counter those patterns with a deft defense and a straight right hand that rarely missed its target.
That right hand was particularly effective in the eighth round where Mayweather used it to open a large cut over Guerrero’s left eye. Mayweather would go on to connect on 23 of 33 power shots in that round, essentially placing a nice bow on the boxing clinic he was putting on. Though Guerrero tried until the final bell, he never figured out how to break through Mayweather’s impeccable defense.
All three judges scored the fight 117-111 for Mayweather, and it probably wasn’t even that close. After the fight, Mayweather said that he was looking for the knockout, but had to fight more defensively after injuring his potent right hand during the bout.
“I’ve been in with the best. I keep wanting to give the fans exciting fights,” Mayweather said. “I was looking for the knockout tonight, but I hurt my [right] hand midway through the fight.”
As long as the injury isn’t major, Mayweather is next scheduled to fight on Sept. 14. The obvious opponent is rising star Canelo Alvarez. Whether or not this happens, of course, remains to be seen, because Mayweather wasn’t willing to speculate on who his next opponent would be.
“We don’t know who we’re going to fight now,” he said after Saturday’s fight. “Let me go home and rest now. Tonight I had a good tough battle with Robert Guerrero.”
Right now, the money is on a Mayweather-Alvarez fight in the near future. Like Guerrero before him, Alvarez is now openly endorsing the matchup. Still, with Mayweather hand-picking his opponents at this point in his career, his next opponent is anyone’s guess.
If the Guerrero fight has taught us anything, however, it’s that whoever challenges Mayweather next is in for a long night. The fight should teach young Canelo Alvarez something as well: Be careful what you wish for.
Previously from Charlie Crespo:
♦ Beertopia: Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde
♦ Zach Braff Wants Your Money
♦ How Far Can Steph Curry Carry the Warriors?
♦ You Gotta Fight, for Your Right, to Write… a Memoir!
♦ Beertopia: Three Floyds’ Gumballhead