As my oldest son and I sat watching the undercard of Saturday night's "May Day" pay-per-view in anticipation of the main event, the inevitable question was finally asked; "Who do you think is going to win, daddy?"
In hindsight, my response was absolutely ridiculous.
"Mayweather has lost a step," I said without hesitation. "Father Time catches up to everyone, son. Guerrero has some pop, and I think this will be the night Floyd finally makes a mistake and ends up on the mat."
Needless to say, I'm still waiting for said mistake.
With a near-flawless performance, Mayweather (44-0) not only reiterated that he is the greatest boxer of this generation, but showed that reports of his supposed decline have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, he was as sharp as ever, winning easily in a unanimous decision (scored 117-111 by all three judges), despite injuring his right hand in the middle rounds.
|Photo by: Isaac Brekken
Ahhhh yes. Rub it in, Floyd. However, in my defense, all signs leading up to the fight seemed to be pointing towards an upset.
Like the fact that Mayweather turned 36 in February, a number in boxing that has proved more unlucky than 13. Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Larry Holmes all lost unexpectedly at around the same age. And in recent bouts, Shane Mosley had buckled "Money," and Miguel Cotto had battered him. All of these variables factored in when I uttered my now infamous prediction.
Luckily, I'm smart enough to know where I went wrong in my thought process.
Simply put, I lost sight of who I was picking against. You see, Mayweather has mastered his craft, perhaps better than any fighter in the history of the sport. Not just the physical aspect, but the mental part as well. He wants his opponents all riled up and overaggressive. Then he turns that aggression into weakness.
His uncanny foot speed and dazzling punching precision are just the final nails in the coffin.
Ask Robert Guerrero.
Like most who have fought Mayweather in the past, Guerrero actually believed he could wear Floyd down. Out-tough him. Win a brawl. But just like his previous 43 fights, "Money" was always a step or two ahead. As he walked back to his corner following the 10th round, he stared a hole through Guerrero, who refused to return the eye contact. He was bloodied and beaten. He had fallen in line with so many other Mayweather adversaries in that he vowed to make the fight a rugged one.
It was rugged, alright. As evidenced by the damage to Guerrero's face.
Once it ended, Mayweather hardly celebrated. He thumped his chest, hugged his father and snuck in a yawn. He had made it look easy, landing a staggering 60% of his power punches.
In defeat, Guerrero summed up the fight about as well as anyone who had watched it all unfold could have, myself included. "He was a little better than I thought he would be," the humbled challenger said. "That's why he's undefeated."
Indeed, Robert. Indeed.