Only a judging decision of the worst kind put a dampener on the night as the undoubted world’s greatest fighter of his era in Mayweather, tamed the big-hitting Alvarez over twelve rounds.
Mayweather, 36, sailed through the first five rounds by picking at any movement out of sync by 23 year-old Alvarez as the Mexican struggled with the sheer speed and timing of the pound for pound number one.
The two champions opened up more in the sixth and began trading, with the size advantage of a 165lb fight night ‘Canelo’ not worrying Mayweather, who was near enough the same poundage he scaled at Friday’s 152lb catchweight weigh-in. There could have been an argument for Alvarez to take the sixth in the end, although Mayweather found the cleaner work easier to come by to continue his domination of my scorecard.
A frustrated Alvarez showed signs of tiring in the seventh and was caught with a huge uppercut backed up by a masterful Mayweather flurry, which the two-belt title holder gave a bemused look to – before attempting without success to land his own bombs.
Desperation had set in by the eighth round, with Alvarez trying to cut the ring off and go for the knockout, but was continually tagged coming in by Mayweather who has answers to everything the younger fighter threw at him. The longer the fight went on, the more sluggish Alvarez became and Mayweather took full advantage in rounds nine and ten to put the fight beyond doubt barring a stoppage.
In the eleventh, Alvarez went downstairs to the body as he sought to slow Mayweather’s superior footwork down, a tactic that may have worked better for him in the earlier rounds. All in all, making a case for Mayweather to drop even one round would have been harsh on the five-weight world champion as the gulf in class was such that pre-fight predictions of a tough test went out the window from early on. Mayweather hardly looked as though he broke sweat during the entire contest and danced around the ring until the bell sounded to hand him a highly-contentious points decision on the judges scorecards.
Amazingly, CJ Ross, the same judge who scored Pacquiao v Bradley for the American, came up with a scorecard from outer space as she scored the fight a draw, whereas the two other judges carded 117-111 and 116-112, which were still too close for my liking. A win is a win though and beating the suggested best out there (so convincingly for me) is further proof that ‘Money’ Mayweather is leagues above anyone of his generation and it will now be interesting to see where Alvarez goes from here.
A middleweight run could beckon for the ginger-haired boxer, which would open up the potential of blockbuster clashes with 160lb world champions Gennady Golovkin and Sergio Martinez.