The September 14th main event between Floyd Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 knockouts) was advertised as a true match-up for the ages. Pitting the pound-for-pound king against of the the sports brightest and seemingly dominant stars captivated the public’s attention in ways that few recent matches have. After months of promotion and chatter the fight was finally here. Would Alvarez be the fighter to dethrone Mayweather from his perch atop the sport? Or would Mayweather run an absolute clinic like he had against previous opponents? The answer was clear, but it certainly wasn’t as exciting as many had hoped.
Even with the deafening roars of the crowd, both fighters managed to answer the bell in a relatively tentative manner. As expected, Mayweather remained calculated in his attack, but he was the first to showcase some offense as he attacked the body of Alvarez early. Alvarez would go on to respond with a series of stiff jabs, but Mayweather already began showing some of the trademark defense that brought him all of his successes as a fighter. With Mayweather able to weave in and out of range while still landing shots things weren’t looking good for Alvarez early.
Things didn’t get much better for Alvarez. Although incredibly poised in such a potentially career-defining moment, Alvarez was rarely given the opportunity to get any meaningful offense going against Mayweather. Every time Alvarez would begin attacking with a series of hooks and feints, Mayweather would respond with his trademark shoulder roll and eventual counter punch that would stall any gained momentum by the Mexican.
Round four was one of the most exciting rounds of the bout as both fighters began going blow-for-blow, with both men managing to land some solid shots. The excitement of the round proved to be just as obvious to Mayweather’s corner as Mayweather came out in the following rounds and once again resorted to his defense and counters to chip away at Alvarez. With Mayweather regaining control of the fight, Alvarez was slowly growing both frustrated and exhausted with each passing minute.
With each passing round, Mayweather’s choke-hold on the scorecards just grew and the gap between both fighters was becoming apparent. This led to Alvarez charging toward Mayweather in the eighth round and mixing up shots to the head and body before attempting to batter him along the ropes. It seemed like Alvarez might actually be bold enough to put an end to the fight, but one quick look of Mayweather’s smug expression just drove the point home that this fight was in no danger of being stopped.
As the championship rounds grew closer, victory was all but guaranteed for Mayweather and his team. This led to a twelfth round that was largely him out-maneuvering a desperate and hard charging Alvarez rather than exchanging with him. The sea of “Boos” that followed made it obvious that the crowd great tired of the lack of a proper finish, but for Mayweather it was just another pay day at the office.
The judges awarded Mayweather a “Majority” decision win on scores of (117-111), (116-112), and [shamefully] (114-114). The biggest talking point following the fight was the scorecard by C.J. Ross that declared the fight a draw, but that shouldn’t distract from the real question: Who does Mayweather fight now? With his dispatching of arguably the most talented and compelling young fighter at the moment, who else would pose a legitimate threat to the pound-for-pound kingpin. Some believe a future bout with Adrien Broner is inevitable, but even if that’s the case, it’ll be a while before (if ever) we see those two share a ring. With Mayweather already talking about returning in May we may find an answer to this question sooner rather than later. Whether we like that answer is a different story.