A couple of days before his last fight, Floyd Mayweather Jr. made one preposterous promise. He said Saul Alvarez would surely lose but the handsome Mexican boxing idol would still retain his stardom afterwards.
Yesterday, Mayweather was quoted as admitting the shutout conquest of the 23-year-old Alvarez did not fall among his finest fights. He said he only took his chances as they came.
Of course, Mayweather was playing it coy.
He was, in fact, both sharp and brilliant that the bout was readily rated a mismatch.
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Lee Cleveland of FightSaga noted that, although school was supposed to be out on Saturday night, Mayweather came up with a masterful performance (of the rudiments of the Sweet Science) at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Not his best, but his control was classically complete that Mayweather was next lined up among the likes of Beethoven, Barysnikov and Pavarotti.
He was in full command in the middle, at both ends of the boxing ring.
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It was hard to see if Alvarez was able to take at least any of the first six rounds.
But in the seventh, with the frustrated ringside crowd praying for one Alvarez big punch to land, Mayweather tagged the young Mexican with a combination, next punctuated by a right uppercut that snapped Canelo’s head.
The stunned kid stood against the ropes. But instead of charging, Mayweather froze momentarily before pulling out.
Mayweather would explain in the postfight that he was not feeling right with his arms.
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“He did not want to hurt the kid,” cried sharp-eyed veteran sports scribe Percy Della of the Inquirer. “Mayweather had all the chance in the entire bout.”
Was it a reward for being a handpicked challenger?
“I couldn’t find him, he was so elusive,” explained the visibly frustrated Alvarez.
He stoically claimed there was no solution.
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Not exactly untarnished, but it could also be said that Canelo’s pride remained intact.
Maybe he would next be lined up against Miguel Cotto, a Mayweather victim, who has a scheduled bout next month.
Meanwhile, there was no viable next foe for Mayweather.
After his last masterpiece, it was no longer hard to believe that he could do anything and beat anybody inside the ring—except maybe Father Time.
As could be expected, there were bloodthirsty boxing devotees who rated the delightful demonstration by the man they call the master of disaster tasteless.
No blood, no mayhem this time.
But charge it to the lead fight genius of this generation, the only one who has visibly honed his skills in a surreal cave on a diet of bullet and blade.