Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. reaffirmed why he is boxing’s cash cow with another masterful performance to keep his perfect record intact and bank at least $50 million in the process.
He earned a guaranteed $41.5 million and can expect another $10 million when the pay-per-view figures kick in.
At 36, Mayweather was 13 years older than his Mexican challenger, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, while the champion was also conceding 15 pounds to the heavier Alvarez. But the brash American still had too much savvy and experience, and took his perfect record to 45 victories.
Unbeaten Mayweather weighed 150 pounds at the weigh-in the day before and was the same by fight night. But the naturally bigger Alvarez had filled out from 152 pounds to 165 overnight.
Speculation was that Alvarez would be too powerful for the veteran champ, but the occasional times he had Mayweather positioned in the corner or on the ropes, he was unable to land enough telling shots, such was the elusiveness of a champ, who again had his father Floyd Sr. as his chief trainer.
Bolstered by a partisan Mexican crowd on their country’s independence day, they had little to celebrate after 12 absorbing rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday as Mayweather dished out a painful lesson to only surprisingly win on a majority decision.
Some ringside tickets had exchanged hands for as much as $30,000 and for that price nobody wanted to be short changed.
Mayweather was outraged that one judge, C.J. Ross, scored the fight a 114-114 draw. The others got it about right with margins of 116-112 and 117-111. Ross controversially scored a win for Timothy Bradley against Manny Pacquiao last year. Looks like it is the end of his judging days at world title level.
Mayweather secured the WBC and WBA light-middleweight (154 pounds) belts, and he said after that he wants his next fight to be at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
“It is about skills,” Mayweather said. “I came out and showed my skills.
“I just listened to my corner, listened to my dad. My dad had a brilliant game-plan and I went out there and got the job done.
Alvarez said, “I didn’t know how to get him – it’s extremely simple. We tried to catch him, but he’s a great fighter, very intelligent. There was no solution for him.”
This was Mayweather’s second bout in a $200 million six-fight deal with Showtime. He outpointed Robert Guerrero in May and the combined purses “Money” earned is at least $74 million, which will put him far ahead of any athlete’s earnings in any sport for the second successive year.
With pay-per-view income Mayweather may go over $85 million.
On the undercard, unbeaten Danny Garcia emerged as a potential Mayweather opponent after the American outpointed Argentina’s Lucas Matthysee to become WBA and WBC light-welterweight champ.
Garcia knocked out Britain’s Amir Khan last year.