SAN DIEGO, May 4, 2013 – Saturday’s victory by Floyd “Money” Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) in a unanimous decision over a game but ultimately lacking Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs) put several issues into focus for fight fans.
First, Mayweather’s defensive skills are perhaps the best in boxing ever. There are plenty of boxers who have the power to knock Mayweather out. But they fail to get to him. They can’t connect flush enough to make it stick.
Second, Miguel Cotto gave Mayweather a better fight a year ago than many people probably gave him credit for. He bloodied Mayweather’s nose for the first time anyone could remember. Had their fight gone 15 rounds as they once did, Mayweather might have ended up in serious trouble.
Third, despite being out of the ring 364 days including 57 days spent on ice in the Clark County Jail, Mayweather’s conditioning is impressive. He comes into the ring in tip top condition. Maybe it’s his work ethic, maybe it’s the luck of his DNA, maybe it’s both.
Fourth, while much has been made of the head games Mayweather and his team engage in against opponents, it’s not the head games that win the fights. Robert Guerrero didn’t let Mayweather intimidate him one bit outside the ring. But inside the ring, it was another story.
Mayweather’s script is a familiar one by now. In the first few rounds, his opponents appear to score on him and have a chance. But their hopes fade quickly as Mayweather’s defense only gets better the longer a fight progressses and the more his opponents tire. His speed allows him to connect more and better.
In the eighth round, Guerrero was cut above the left eye. It wasn’t horribly serious, but indicative of the kind of damage Mayweather’s punches were doing. By the end of the fight, Mayweather showed respect for Guerrero but no fear of him whatsoever.
Judges Jerry Roth, Duane Ford, and Julie Lederman all scored it exactly the same, 117 to 111 for Mayweather. Ringside punch stats showed Mayweather landing 60 percent of his power punches, an unusually high rate. That included 23 of 30 power punches in the eighth round, when Guerrero was wobbled. All told, Mayweather was credited with landing 195 punches to 113 for Guerrero.
After the fight, Robert Guerrero said “I tried to inspire as many people I could in the Lord’s name. He put me here for a reason. It wasn’t to beat Floyd Mayweather, it was to inspire people. Praise Jesus. Guerrero said he planned to get back in position and “hopefully before Mayweather retires I’ll get another chance at him.”
Mayweather said he was “embarrassed” he didn’t give the fans a knockout, but said he had injured his right hand and that prevented him from doing so.
Mayweather sounds more like the promoter than the fighter in his interviews, lavishing thank yous on the fans, his partners at Showtime, and his father Floyd Sr. and uncle Roger, with whom he’s had a volatile relationship over the years. He credited having his father back as his trainer with his easy victory. “I needed my father tonight,” Mayweather said. “My defense was on point and he told me to stick with my defense and that the less you get hit the longer you last.” True that.
Mayweather has plans to fight again this year on September 14, a big traditional weekend for boxing to coincide with Mexican Independence Day. Trust the drumbeat to start up clamoring for a fight between Mayweather and young Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
But don’t bet any money on it happening. Mayweather has a six fight deal with Showtime. Alvarez fights for promoter Golden Boy Promotions, which also works with Showtime. It’s not in either camp’s best interests to risk derailing the Showtime deal with a loss for Mayweather to another big Showtime star. Let’s see how Lucas Matthysse does against Lamont Peterson on May 18; if it’s a strong performance, he could get the call.
On the undercard, the most impressive performance of the night came from featherweight Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs), who pummeled Daniel Ponce de Leon (44-5, 35 KOs) and dropped him twice before De Leon’s corner asked referee Jay Nady to stop the fight in the fifth round. At the post fight news conference, Mares said “I hope the media writes that I stole the show tonight.” You did, and I just did, Abner. Guillermo Rigodeaux, anyone?
Leo Santa Cruz (24-01-1, KOs) won his bout over Alexander Munoz (36-5, 28 KOs). Mayweather protégé J’Leon Love (16-0, 8 KOs) won a disputed split decision over veteran Gabriel Rosado (21-7, 13 KOs) to remain undefeated. Rosado reacted angrily to the decision and so did the majority of the fans in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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