Showing no ill effects from a one-year layoff, boxing superstar Floyd “Money” Mayweather didn’t skip a beat in his return to the ring, retaining his WBC Welterweight World Championship and capturing the vacant Ring Magazine Welterweight World Championshp with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision win over Six-Time and Four-Division World Championship Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
At age 36, the universally regarded No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world employed his superb defensive skills and a powerful right hand to effectively dominate the 30-year-old Guerrero. In his first fight since a May 5, 2012 triumph over Miguel Cotto, Mayweather scored the unanimous decision by the score of 117-111 three times.
Mayweather (44-0, 26 KO’s), of Grand Rapids, Mich., landed 60 percent of his power shots to Guerrero’s 28 percent and used his signature lateral movement in a 12-round master performance during which the challenger only managed to land 19 percent of his total punches thrown.
“The less you get hit in this sport, the longer you last,” Mayweather said. “I needed my father (trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr.) this night and we were victorious. The less you get hit, the longer you last. Continue to box. If the knockout came, I was going to take it.
“Everyone was saying that at the age of 36, I didn’t have it no more. My defense wasn’t sharp after the Cotto fight, but I have proved myself. Cotto is a future Hall of Famer. I’ve been in with some of the best. All I want to do is give the fans exciting fights.”
Mayweather leaned mostly on his speedy right hand throughout the fight, a weapon that the southpaw Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KO’s), of Gilroy, Calif., couldn’t seem to see or react to. After the fight, Mayweather, who opened up a cut over his opponent’s eye in the 8th round, claimed that he hurt his most effective weapon midway through the fight.
“He was barely slipping by the punches,” Guerrero lamented. “I landed some good punches. He’s a great fighter. He’s slick, he’s quick. He came out and did his thing. He was a little better than I thought. I thought I was going to catch him. He was on his game tonight.”
Also on the SHOWTIME PPV telecast, Abner Mares dethroned defending WBC Featherweight World Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon to win a world title in a third division. Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO’s) knocked down Ponce De Leon (44-5, 35 KO’s) twice en route to a ninth round (2:20) technical knockout victory.
Undefeated Leo Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KO’s) put on a dominating performance in his first fight at 122-pounds, knocking down Alexander Munoz (36-5, 28 KO’s) three times en route to a fifth-round technical knockout win (1:05). The former IBF Bantamweight World Champion picked apart Munoz, a former world title challenger, in a scheduled 10-round bout that was never in doubt.
In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast, J’Leon Love (16-0, 8 KO’s) overcame the bout’s lone knockdown to score a 10-round split decision over the game Gabriel Rosado (21-7, 13 KO’s) by the scores of 97-92, 95-94 and 94-95.
Brian Kenny served as host of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast with Mauro Ranallo calling the action, Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi serving as expert analysts with Jim Gray and Heidi Androl reporting. The telecast was produced by David Dinkins, Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.
“MAY DAY: Mayweather vs. Guerrero,” a 12-round fight for Mayweather’s WBC Welterweight World Championship and the vacant Ring Magazine Welterweight World Championship, was promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, O’Reilly Auto Parts, AT&T, Star Trek Into Darkness and Valvoline. The mega-event took place Saturday, May 4 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and was produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV®. Also featured was WBC Featherweight World Champion Daniel Ponce de Leon taking on Two-Division World Champion Abner Mares in a 12-round fight for Ponce de Leon’s WBC Featherweight World Championship, former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz facing veteran Alexander Munoz in a 10-round fight for the vacant USBA Junior Featherweight Championship and rising star J’Leon Love squaring off against recent world title challenger Gabriel Rosado in a 10-round middleweight battle for the vacant NABF Middleweight Championship. Two preliminary fights were featured as part of “MAY DAY Live: Countdown to Mayweather vs. Guerrero” on SHOWTIME.
George of the Bronx noted: “Canelo Alvarez wouldn’t know a spirit if it harpooned him in his fat ass!”