By Ivan G. Goldman
It was instructive to see the conversation between Floyd Mayweather and his father Floyd Senior in the corner before round twelve.
Why? Because there wasn’t any. In this, the biggest fight of the year, everything was so under control that smiling Senior was talking to someone else off camera. The master coach had done all his talking in the gym, which is the way it’s supposed to be. Canelo Alvarez didn’t show them anything they hadn’t seen before. Because Cinderella is only a fairy tale, but Mayweather is the real thing.
In rounds seven and eight, Canelo finally pinned the elusive Floyd against the ropes. And what happened? Floyd won the exchanges.
Anyone who says Mayweather ran tonight is either a liar or a fool. He just plain outfought his opponent, round after round with superior speed, reflexes, timing, footwork, conditioning, and ring generalship. At age 36 it was all there, as good as he’s ever been.
Everyone says you have to get to Floyd’s body. But his footwork is too good to make it work. “I could not catch him,” a forthright Canelo said afterward. No excuses from the young Mexican superstar.
Is Floyd the best ever? Probably not. For one thing, though he’s a great fighter who never loses, he’s not tremendously exciting. After twelve rounds of Mayweather you know you saw a great fighter, but you rarely go away feeling you’ve seen a great fight. You want excitement? You’re better off with, for example, either Danny Garcia or Lucas Matthysse. As a businessman, Mayweather knows that, so he has to be very careful who he’s paired with. It’s got to be someone like Canelo, who brings a lot of fans, hope, and drama.
Some other points to raise, in no particular order, after a night of boxing:
*C.J. Ross, who scored the main event a draw, should never again be allowed to attend a boxing venue in any capacity. Don’t allow this person to buy a ticket, much less get paid for officiating.
* No promoter who puts Ishe Smith on the card can claim to be seeking entertaining fights. Smith runs and runs until he finally gets tired, and then he clinches. I don’t think Carlos Molina will get much farther with his straight-ahead predictable style, but at least he contributed to a worthy cause by defeating Smith.
*Matthysse is the Sonny Liston of today’s junior welters. And Garcia, the man who beat him? I wouldn’t call him an Ali at this point, but heck, he’s only 25. Give him time.
*Not only did Matthysse’s corner fail to use Enswell, as noted by sharp-eyed Paulie Malignaggi, I didn’t even see any ice. That’s a corner that figured their fighter knocks everyone out, so why come prepared? Brings to mind the idiot corner of Mike Tyson when he got busted up and knocked out by Buster Douglas.
*Round eleven, Garcia scores a knockdown over Matthysse. Shouldn’t have counted. Matthysse’s head and part of his torso was tangled between the ropes. Tony Weeks should have immediately broken the fighters, no knockdown. Fortunately the mistake didn’t matter, but what if the fight were closer?
*Garcia-Matthysse rematch? Let’s get started.
*Give Mayweather credit for being gracious after his victory.
*Obviously we don’t have the pay-per view figures yet, but closed circuit theaters around Los Angeles were sold out, which tells me this was a big, big money-making success around the world.
*It was mostly a decent card – but not worth seventy five bucks for high-def pay-per-view. This inflation has got to stop.
*Congratulations are in order for Mayweather. His bragging is annoying, but his performance is the real thing.
Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag, by New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman, was released in June 2013 by Potomac Books. It can be purchased here.