POSTED BY KELEFA SANNEH
Floyd Mayweather is the biggest American boxing star since Mike Tyson, although he tends to have a very different effect on the people who see him fight. Tyson was mesmerizing because he scarcely seemed like an athlete: in his prime, he wasn’t merely a competitor, he was a myth come to life, the personification of something very cruel and very powerful; step into the ring with him and you were likely to suffer something much more catastrophic than a mere loss. Even as he unwound, in the nineteen-nineties, he affirmed the sense that a boxing match wasn’t merely a competition but a real-life drama, a big stage where bad things happened. This was true even before that night, in 1997, when Tyson bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear.
This weekend, millions of viewers spent as much as $74.99 to order the pay-per-view broadcast of the latest installment of Mayweather’s years-long effort to undo Tyson’s hard work. Mayweather now ranks among the most skilled boxers of all time, and the combination of his excellence and his prominence is re-athleticizing the sport: reminding fans, especially casual ones, that a boxing match need not be a spectacle or a slaughter. It can be, instead, a contest between two great athletes, with nothing, really, at stake besides winning or losing.
That doesn’t mean that Saturday night’s fight wasn’t compelling—it was, in much the same way that any dominant athletic performance is. Mayweather fought twelve rounds against Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, a big and strong young Mexican who never really got a chance to show how hard his punches were, because he barely touched Mayweather. According to one report, Mayweather threw fewer punches than Álvarez, but landed nearly twice as many; he is a precision puncher, secure in the knowledge that he need not knock his opponent down, or even hurt him, in order to win. At the post-fight press conference, Álvarez had a few red marks on his face, and some swelling under his right eye. But he didn’t look like a man who had been beaten half to death, the way boxers sometimes do. He looked like a man who had competed in a contact sport, and lost.
As soon as Mayweather-Álvarez was announced, most observers predicted exactly this: a relatively easy victory for Mayweather. (The appeal of the fight had more to do, probably, with Canelo’s enormous popularity, especially in his native Mexico, than with his chances.) The one moment of controversy came after the fight was over, when the judges’ scores were announced—a formality, it seemed, given what had come before. Two of the three judges had Mayweather winning, but they saw the fight as a surprisingly close one. The third judge, C. J. Ross, had scored the match a draw, which meant that Mayweather won by what’s known as a majority decision, instead of a unanimous decision. It was hard to look at Ross’s scorecard without being reminded of an article, from before the fight, in Los Angeles Times, about an “onslaught” of bettors laying money on the fight ending in a draw. The article suggested that bettors believed a draw might be likely because it would be good for both fighters (who might get to fight a lucrative rematch), as well as the promoters and the casinos. The article quoted Jay Rood, who is in charge of sports betting at the M.G.M. Grand, where the fight took place. He said, “It’s boxing, it’s always shady.” But he also said he wasn’t worried enough to shut down betting. “I don’t think there’s anything sinister happening,” he said. After some boxing matches, controversies and conspiracy theories are the main stories. But on this night, the case of the inexplicable scorecard was merely a footnote to a fight that was, for better or for worse, rather straightforward.
Among some boxing fans, the most anticipated match of the weekend was the main undercard fight, between Danny García, from Philadelphia, and Lucas Mathysse, from Argentina. Because García is known for toughness and Mathysse is known for punching power, their meeting seemed likely to be full of action, and possibly blood. Instead, García, the underdog, was both clever and brave, slipping some of Mathysse’s punches and withstanding others; his punches caused swelling that nearly closed Mathysse’s right eye, which allowed him to land even more of them, and he won a unanimous decision. The win put García on the short list of the world’s best boxers, and he is now widely recognized as the champion of the junior welterweight division, which has a weight limit of a hundred forty pounds. He has said he wants to move up to welterweight (a hundred forty-seven), where Mayweather often fights, and now García, having beaten Mathysse, looks like a plausible Mayweather opponent—plausible, that is, to get the fight, not to win it.
At a post-fight press conference, Angel García, the fighter’s father and trainer, was asked about the possibility of his son fighting Mayweather. “If that was to happen, I would called it ‘The Holy War,’” he said. “It would be ‘The Holy War,’ because it would be two gifted fighters—spiritual fighters—that God put on this planet to fight.” Maybe so. But if Mayweather has taught us anything, it’s that fights don’t have to be wars—sometimes, a boxing match is just a match.
Photograph by Mark J. Terrill/AP.
KEYWORDS BOXING; CANELO ALVAREZ; FLOYD MAYWEATHER
Amir Khan could face Floyd Mayweather in Britain next year after the American won his world light middleweight title bout here with a boxing masterclass against rising Mexican star Saul Álvarez.
By Gareth A Davies, Boxing Correspondent, Las Vegas10:00PM BST 15 Sep 2013
Mayweather, who is now undefeated in 45 fights, was awarded a 12-round majority decision by the judges, although many at the venue viewed it as a shutout.
Sitting ringside was Khan, who spoke of his desire to take on Mayweather, although the British fighter must first win a welterweight contest against American Devon Alexander early in December in Brooklyn.
“Fighting Floyd Mayweather is my dream fight,” the 26-year-old Khan said. “We are the superstars of boxing and, once I have got Devon Alexander out of the way, it will be Mayweather for me, fingers crossed. He is an amazing tactician but I know my speed will count against him – that is something I believe in 100 per cent.
“All the fighters who meet Floyd rely on their power, and although he is an amazing fighter, you have to fight him at his own game. You have to treat it like a chess game. You have to use your speed. He needs to fight someone as quick as him and I know that I am quicker than him.
“I met Floyd here at the weigh-in and he said that I was a great fighter. I want to fight him because he is a great fighter and I want to fight the best there is out there. Beating him would make me the best fighter on the planet. I am not saying I will knock him out but I have the speed to overcome him.”
However, Mayweather, who won both the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council titles, showed beyond any doubt that he remains boxing’s No 1 pound-for-pound fighter. After the weigh-in, at 152lbs, Alvarez entered the ring at 165lbs.
Mayweather, who weighed in 13lbs lighter than Álvarez, looked nothing like his 36 years against an opponent 13 years his junior. He commanded the entire bout, and there was universal derision towards judge CJ Ross, who gave a score of 114-114.
“From what I found out, this is the same judge who scored the fight for Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao,” Mayweather said. “The Nevada State Athletic Commission is the best commission in the world, and if they feel it is right for the lady to judge, then that is fine by me. Things happen.”
Asked if he thought the scores of 117-111 and 116-112 were nearer the mark, Mayweather added. “He fought hard in there.” It was Alvarez’s first defeat in 44 fights.
A score of 119-110 for Mayweather would have been a truer reflection, Mayweather giving Álvarez only the eighth round, in which he came out with more zest.
Álvarez afterwards praised Mayweather’s sublime boxing skills. “He’s very fast, very accurate. His punches were not strong, but he scores points with them. It is what it is. He took me out of my game plan. And I had no answer for it.”
Time and again, Álvarez was left hitting air as Mayweather, who earned a basic purse of $41.5 million (£26.1 million), peppered his flame-haired opponent with the jab.
Mayweather started fast, imposed himself early in the fight, and showed that his reflexes, four years short of 40, were still razor sharp.
For round after round, changing levels, moving as was his wont from the ropes to the centre of the ring, Mayweather landed a faster, crisper jab, the straight right and right cross, and in the final third of the fight, a beautiful short right uppercut through the Mexican’s gloves.
All Álvarez could do was attack in bursts, but few punches landed as Mayweather countered.
A wild right hand from Álvarez in the penultimate round connected only with the ropes, much to Mayweather’s amusement. The champion paused, looked out through the ropes and gesticulated, as if to say, ‘Where was that punch going?’ It drew laughter from the crowd.
But there was nothing funny about this performance. Mayweather utilising his great experience and greater technique. It is still his time. This promotion was labelled ‘The One’. And Floyd Mayweather is clearly that.
Published on Sep 13, 2013
Floyd Mayweather Sr. talks about his son’s training and says that Mayweather Jr. will walk Saul Alvarez down from the sixth round on, he is not concerned about having a short lay off after his last fight with Robert Guerrero, in fact he thinks that’s even better for him.
- Mayweather Sr. Says Canelo Will Be Easy Fight for Floyd (boxingstrategist.wordpress.com)
Published on Sep 1, 2013
FightHype.com was on hand at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, Nevada where undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather held a media workout as he continues to prepare for his upcoming clash with undefeated jr. middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Check out how Mayweather looks as he works the mitts, rips the body bag, and blasts the heavy bag for 25 minutes straight just weeks before the highly-anticipated September 14 showdown.
- All Access: Mayweather vs. Canelo – Full Episode 1 – SHOWTIME Boxing (boxingstrategist.wordpress.com)
- Zab Judah on Floyd’s training, the Canelo fight, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse (boxingstrategist.wordpress.com)
- All Access: Mayweather vs. Canelo (Ep. 1 + 2) (gwopmagazine.com)
- Floyd Mayweather Jr Preps For Alvarez Fight (on.aol.com)
- Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Canelo Alvarez Update: Money Floyd Mocks Canelo’s Boxing Resume; Says Mexican Will Struggle To Cope With Class (latinospost.com)
- All Access Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez – Episode 2 Full Episode (HD) (boxingstrategist.wordpress.com)
- Floyd Mayweather in training for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez clash [Exclusive footage] (boxingstrategist.wordpress.com)
- Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez: Each Fighter’s Blueprint to Win Mega Fight (bleacherreport.com)
- Floyd’s Mind Games on Display in Clip of All-Access: Mayweather vs. Canelo (bleacherreport.com)
- Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez Fight Date, Predictions & News: Alvarez Cannot Defeat Mayweather Says Nacho Beristain (latinospost.com)