Mayweather blows hype and Álvarez out of his way in Las Vegas
American improves his record to 45-0 with points win over Mexican
“Well, I know why it’s caught on so big is because people have hope and people strongly feel that Mayweather is going to get beat,” De La Hoya said during a conference call days before the fight. “You know, that’s why I feel this fight is catching fire.”
De La Hoya was in some ways living vicariously through Álvarez. De La Hoya insisted that he had offered a blueprint on how to beat Mayweather, with constant aggression, and the hope was that Álvarez would have the physical tools to carry out that plan.
But in a bizarre turn, De La Hoya was not around to see his protégé fight Saturday night because he checked into rehab Tuesday, continuing his long battle with alcoholism.
Álvarez, whose red hair earned him his nickname Canelo, which means cinnamon, entered the fight vowing to find that balance that all of Mayweather’s opponents look for, but none of them are able to execute successfully – being aggressive yet cautious. Mayweather uses his lightning-quick hands and deft footwork to put up some of the best defence and counterpunching in the sport, a code that no one has been able to crack so far.
“Pressure is going to help me in the fight, but, you know, smart pressure,” Álvarez said in the days leading to the fight.
But such pressure never came from Álvarez, who appeared to lose his cool at several moments throughout the fight.
By the sixth round, Álvarez appeared winded and disheveled. His face was red. Mayweather peppered him with several right hooks. At one point during the round, Álvarez showed frustration while he was tangled with Mayweather. Thinking that Mayweather was flailing his left elbow, Álvarez threw his own left forearm toward Mayweather as the two fighters broke apart. Álvarez then pointed his fist toward Mayweather and stared sternly.
In the eighth, Álvarez had Mayweather backed up on the ropes and seemed to be giving his fans a reason to cheer, but Mayweather responded to his opponent’s two-punch combination with a blistering right hand that twisted Álvarez the other way. Mayweather then calmly stepped up and landed three jabs a few seconds apart.
The typically brash Mayweather refused to give himself too much credit after the fight.
“It was cool today,” he said. “I got the job done.”
(New York Times Service)