By Felipe Leon at ringside
Photos: Tom Casino / Showtime
In a clash for the WBC/WBA super welterweight belts, Floyd “Money” Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) scored a one-sided twelve round “majority” decision over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. After making 152 Friday, the 23-year-old Canelo entered the ring at 165. 36-year-old Floyd lost half-a-pound. Floyd simply outboxed Canelo from the opening bell. Alvarez was game and had some moments, but Floyd was dominant for the most part. Scores were 114-114, 116-112, 117-111. The bizarre 114-114 scoring was from C.J. Ross.
For the night’s work, Mayweather collected a guaranteed $41.5 million. “It’s all about skills,” Mayweather said. “I came out tonight and showed my skills. But a true champion like Canelo can take a loss and bounce back. My dad had a brilliant game plan. I executed that game plan. I could have pressed it and got the late stoppage, but tonight experience played a major key. Tonight was just my night.”
Canelo admitted that Mayweather’s skills and style of fighting were too much to overcome. “He’s very elusive, he’s a great fighter and that’s why I couldn’t catch him,” Canelo said. “I didn’t know how to get him. It’s as simple as that. He’s very elusive. He’s a great fighter. The frustration was getting in there. But simply he’s a great fighter. I didn’t want to lose. I didn’t want to leave here with a loss. But it happens and it hurts.”
WBC/WBA super lightweight champion Danny Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) retained his titles with a twelve round unanimous decision over WBC interim super lightweight champion Lucas Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs). Both fighters came out carefully, respecting the other’s power. The bout started heating up in the mid-rounds. Matthysse’s right eye was nearly shut by round eight and Garcia, a 2:1 underdog, had target practice after that. A desperate Matthysse tried to pull it out late with big shots, but Garcia put him down in the eleventh. Garcia was deducted a point for a low blow in the twelfth. The fight ended with both fighters furiously throwing leather. Scores were 115-111, 114-112, 114-112. Matthysse had suffered two dubious losses in the USA previously, but this loss was legit.
“I’m the champion of the world,” said Garcia. “The champion of the world isn’t scared of anyone. If you can make it out Philly you can make it out of anywhere. The only way to slow him down was to go down to the body and throw combinations upstairs. I just let my hands go.”
Matthysse stated, “I only had one eye for half of the fight but, it’s no excuse. He fought a great fight. He’s a great champion and we knew he wasn’t intimidated by my punching.”
In a lackluster affair with no memorable moments, Carlos Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs) won a twelve round split decision to dethrone IBF junior middleweight champion Ishe Smith (25-6, 11 KOs). Scores were 117-111, 116-112 Molina, 116-112 Smith
Welterweight Pablo Cesar Cano (27-3-1, 20 KOs) scored a ten round split decision over Ashley Theophane (34-5-1, 10 KOs). Despite being cut over the left eye early on, Cano landed the more hurtful punches in the fight en route to a 98-92, 97-93 win on two cards, while Theophane was up 96-94 on the third card.
In a power punch slug fest, Luis “Cuba” Arias (7-0, 4KOs) of Las Vegas mauled Reidsville, NC’s James Winchester (16-9, 6KOs) en route to a six round unanimous decision in the super middleweight division. Arias always moved forward and once he trapped Winchester against the ropes scored hard body shots and looked for the head with upper cuts with both fists. Winchester had no choice but to protect himself and retreat. It was no surprise when the scores were announced as 60-54 three times.
In an eight round super middleweight bout, Ronald Gravil controlled the majority of the action with a vast array of punches scores over former Mayweather Promotions charge Shujaa El Amin (formerly known as Dion Savage. Gravil scored well as El Amin would look to work on the inside. Scores were 79-73 three times. Gravil stays undefeated with a record of 7-0, 5KOs while El Amin drops to 12-5, 6KOs.
In another quick knock out, middleweight Chris “Sweet” Pearson (12-0, 9KOs) annihilated Joshua Williams (9-6, 5KOs) of Westerly, RI, in the first round of a scheduled eight. Straight punches to the face bloodied the nose of the southpaw Williams and as Pearson, also a southpaw, began to pick up the pace, referee Russell Mora stopped the action at 1:14 of the first round.
Las Vegas, NV’s Lannell “KO” Bellows (6-0-1, 4KOs) scored exactly what his nickname describes, a quick knock out of previous undefeated Jordan Moore (3-1) of Logan, West Virginia. A big right hand at the 2:30 of the first round of a scheduled super middleweight four was enough to prevent Moore from beating the count.
We’ve heard that the first scheduled fight between cruiserweights Andrew Tabiti and Edward Smith did not happen because Smith failed to turn in a urine sample prior to the fight.