Floyd Mayweather proves his greatness

American makes light work of odd judging to win his tenth world title in 45 bouts

Floyd Mayweather Jr celebrates his majority decision victory against Canelo Alvarez in their WBC/WBA 154-pound title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather Jr celebrates his majority decision victory against Canelo Alvarez in their WBC/WBA 154-pound title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

 


Floyd Mayweather always knew he was the greatest boxer in the world. He says so most times he opens his mouth, which is a lot. Now Saul “Canelo” Alvarez knows it and not even a rogue judge who saw them as equals here on Saturday night could spoil Mayweather’s progress towards universal acceptance of his gifts.

After totally outclassing the unbeaten Mexican, 13 years his junior and 15 pounds heavier, to add two world light-middleweight titles to the eight he has won across five divisions in 45 unbeaten contests, Mayweather was sanguine about the judging and upbeat about the future.

“I thought it was a joke, I was kinda shocked,” he said of the scoring of the Las Vegas judge Cynthia J Ross, known as CJ, and now also as the loosest of cannons with a scorepad in front of her. “But I’m not the judge. My job is to go out there and fight and leave the fight in the judges’ hands. I wanted a knockout but hurt my elbow in the fifth and couldn’t jab for a couple of rounds. But Canelo fought his heart out. He is still the future of boxing, along with Adrien Broner and a lot of other young champions out there. The only thing they have to do is wait their turn.”

Mayweather has four contests left in a six-fight deal before he retires, and he will decide soon if Amir Khan is going to be his next opponent in May.

There is no certainty in boxing, though, as Ross confirmed when she scored Mayweather’s no-sweat walkover 114-114, markedly at odds with her ringside colleagues Craig Metcalfe, who was closest to reality with a card of 117-111, and Dave Moretti, who called it 116-112.

The respected trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas described it as “another black eye for boxing”, adding: “This is really destroying the boxing industry.”

Ross’s verdict was the worst here since two of three judges gave Timothy Bradley the decision over Manny Pacquiao in June last year. One of those judges? CJ Ross. In six fights of varying importance over the past 11 years she has scored a draw when the other two judges have made a definitive and agreed judgment.

Alvarez, who was coming down to a catchweight of 152lb but put a stone back on after the weigh-in, perhaps shared the sixth and won the 10th round. It was hard to see it otherwise, given Mayweather’s hurtful accuracy throughout, with 93 of his 175 power punches landing. Alvarez scored with less than a third of the 232 blows he threw with maximum force.

Astonishingly, at 36, Mayweather looked even better than he has done in many of his great wins over the past 17 years. This was a more convincing showing, for instance, than his close points victory over Alvarez’s mentor, Oscar De La Hoya, in the same ring in 2007.

Mayweather was so cool under pressure and so slick in the surgical delivery of a simple game-plan devised by his father and trainer, Floyd Sr, that he toyed with his opponent after three rounds. His mastery of angles and space was wondrous, as he wielded his sniping straight right like a rapier, also hooking around his opponent’s guard at will when they got to close quarters. Mayweather dictated nearly every exchange through blinding speed and movement.

Alvarez conceded: “He’s a great fighter. He’s very experienced, very intelligent, very elusive, it’s as simple as that. The frustration was getting to me. I just didn’t know how to catch him.”

If Mayweather does fight Khan next, he will be an overwhelming favourite. Thereafter he might consider Broner, the loud mini-Mayweather who defends his WBA “world” welterweight belt against former Khan victim Marcos Maidana on December14th, and, at the end of their glorious careers, Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao contests the vacant WBO welterweight title with Brandon Rios in Macau on November 23rd and will either reignite his career or be sent into retirement. If he survives, boxing may yet see the showdown that should have happened at least three years ago.

It could be a coronation fight for Mayweather, victory bringing him level with the 49-0 record of Rocky Marciano. And, out of contract with Showtime after that, he might even be tempted to put a 50th fight up for auction to round out a career of sensations, controversy and pure magic.
Guardian Service