While solidifying his claim as the greatest boxer of his generation, Floyd Mayweather unified junior middleweight titles with a majority decision over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Saturday night for a record gate at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
With the crowd unquestionably on Mayweather’s side, roaring each time he landed a flurry against the overmatched 23-year-old Mexican, he improved his undefeated mark to 45-0 after 12 rounds, with scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 114-114 from the judges.
The last score came from judge CJ Roth, who shocked the media and 16,000-plus fans in attendance. Very few believed Alvarez had taken a single round, with Mayweather controlling the bout with surgical strikes, and solid counterpunching.
A 15-pound weight disadvantage didn't hinder the already elusive champion. Mayweather landed 232 of his 505 punches, compared to Alvarez’s 117 out of 526 punches.
"I was a little shocked that someone might have had him ahead," Maywather said according to CBS Sports. "but that's the sport of boxing.
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"I listened to my dad, he had a great gameplay. Seventeen years and we're still going strong. Canelo is a young strong champion. He can take a loss and bounce back. I take my hat off to him."
Mayweather has kept his career record intact for 17 years since his first fight in 1996, while Alvarez suffered the first loss of his career in 43 fights.
According to reports the fight is likely to challenge the all-time pay-per-view record set by Mayweather’s 2007 fight with now promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
"I did not know how to hit him, it's as simple as that, “Alvarez said. “The frustration was getting in there. The 15 pounds were basically negated tonight."