Published Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 | 6:30 p.m.
Updated Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 | 12:02 a.m.
Updated at 12:05: It's a new day, with Pacquiao out of the picture, in speculating about his future opposition. Pressed for an answer about eventually, finally facing Pacquiao, he said: "I am taking things one day at a time and one fight at a time ... At this particular time, I am focusing on taking a vacation and spending time with my family.
Updated at 11:59: Mayweather says, "Experience was a major factor" in the victory. Says Canelo will one day "carry the torch." Likened the fight to a chess match between two thinkers. "One's an up-and-coming champion," he said, "and the other is a legendary champion." Seemed to be joking when he said Ross' advanced age played a role in her curious judgment (Ross seems middle-aged and not elderly or otherwise addled because of her age). She's taken a beating by mass media and on social media, for this score and for the 115-113 score she awarded Bradley over Pacquiao. But she wasn't alone that night; Duane Ford also gave the fight to Bradley by that score.
Updated at 11:44: Through an interpreter, Canelo says, "I didn't feel his punches were very strong, but he was scoring points and won the fight." Also, "I kept trying to go with my game plan, but he took me out of it."
Updated at 11:37: More about that 114-114 card, from Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer: "When (the Nevada State Athletic Commission) sent out the list of the different judges and refs, I did call (Athletic Commission Executive Director) Keith Kizer, 'Whatever you're going to decide, be sure we're not going to have controversy ... The whole world will be watching.' Well, the whole world was watching, and that card was a disgrace." Goes on to say he's not going to sway the commission about what judges or referees to use in cards promoted by Golden Boy. "It's the commission's job, and should be the commission's job ... We do not want to get involved in those decisions."
Updated at 11:28: More numbers: Mayweather threw 505 punches, landing 232 (46 percent, which is terrific) and threw 330 jabs, connecting on 139. Power punch numbers: 175 thrown, 93 connected for 53 percent. For Canelo: 526 thrown, 117 connected (22 percent); 294 jabs thrown, 44 connected (15 percent); 232 power punches thrown, 73 connected (31 percent).
Mayweather dominated, by any measure. Judge Ross' draw card is just another example of why boxing, especially at the championship level, struggles with its credibility. Imagine what would have happened if two judges had misjudged this fight to that degree, meaning Mayweather would have had to win the 12th round on two of three cards to win the fight. It would have been the worst decision in a title fight since ... well, Ross helped Bradley beat Pacquiao.
Updated at 10:44: By the numbers: Attendance at the Grand Garden, 16,746 (sellout, natch); 146 (the weight at which Mayweather woke up this morning); and 1 (individuals in attendance who felt the fight was, indeed, a draw).
Updated at 10:37: The judge who had the fight a draw was C.J. Ross, who notoriously awarded Bradley the victory over Pacquiao. She seems at odds with other judges, fans with any sort of boxing intelligence, and general common sense when judging championship fights.
Updated at 10:30: Talking to Jim Gray in the ring, Mayweather thanks his supporters. Of the draw on one card he says, "I can't control what the judges do." Remember that one. Manny Pacquiao said the same thing after getting fleeced in the Tim Bradley fight last year. But Money looks very fresh, every bit the champion and ready for some clubbin'.
Updated at 10:24: Fight closes with Mayweather floating like a ... like a butterfly, actually. The scoring: One judge has a draw, which seems un-be-lievable. Another 116-112, 117-111.
Updated at 10:19: Round 11 booked. There is an inevitability about Mayweather. He is too fast, too hard to find, and when he does get caught, he's smart about covering up and smothering his opponent. And he's in good enough condition to fight 15 rounds, easily.
Updated at 10:15: Entering Round 11. Mayweather has cleared 10 rounds, at a clip of $4 million per round, about. Another shot of Nicholson gets a huge cheer. He seems the favorite celeb shown on the video screens.
Updated at 10:11: "TMT! TMT! TMT!" is the chant now. Mayweather should hire AC/DC to record a new version of "T.N.T." with that TMT chant. If he can afford it (cough).
Updated at 10:08: All that's missing from Canelo's trunks is an ad for Valvoline. Meantime, Mayweather is a predictably fleet and unmarked target. Canelo is pursuing, clumsily, and just caught Mayweather against the ropes for a pretty stiff body shot. He is soaked, though. And eating jabs. Mayweather just fired a three-punch bomination from teh rops and moved to the center of the ring before Canelo knew what hit him. Mayweather's speed is astonishing.
Updated at 10 p.m.: Lost the WiFi there, ladies and germs. Back now. If you missed Lil Wayne's entry to the ring with Mayweather, I'll rap it for you sometime. "Money! Team! Team! Money!" We are in Round 6 and Canelo is having a very difficult time hitting Mayweather with combinations. He's game, but he is starting to labor. Mayweather is in optimum contition and is starting to snap Canelo's head with combinations. Not scoring the fight round-by-round, but Canelo seems like he can't win a decision.
Updated at 9:27: What's that you say? Can't hear. There seems a din.
Updated at 9:20: Canelo has a kind of Brett Favre-ian look about him, no?
Updated at 9:10: Garcia wins a unanimous decision as the crowd starts shouting, "Canelo! Canelo!" They seem to be looking ahead to the main event, the reason for all the T-shirts and celebs and hubbub.
Updated at 8:53: Garcia is thumping Matthysse with Pepe Jimenez-like precision.
Updated at 8:40: Matthyesse has a lump the size of a bagel from Beach Cafe closing his right eye.
Updated at 8:35: This place is just jammed. It's a pickpocket's paradise, a Super Bowl for the likes of "The Gentleman Thief" Apollo Robbins.
Updated at 8:30: I've always understood that one chief difference between a UFC crowd and a boxing crowd is a UFC crowd shows up early and takes in all the prelims, while a boxing crwod usually waits until the main event. But tonight the place has been full for what is an uncommonly strong undercard. Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse up now, very entertaining fight after four rounds. And here comes the ring girl ...
Updated at 8:21: For the second time tonight, I have run into Jeff Beacher. This time it was in the men's loo. Beacher is part of the MGM Grand family (read my previous column about bumping into him a few hours ago). Also saw Dr. Tony Alamo of the Nevada Gaming Commission and MGM Resorts entertainment chief Richard Sturm. Nearby: Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett, tailed by a film crew.
Updated at 7:54: Ishe "Sugar" Smith, so expertly profiled this week by Ray "Sugar" Brewer, just lost to Carlos Molina in a 12-round split decision in the IBF junior middleweight title bout. Smith had "Psalm 27" stitched across the back of his trunks.
Updated at 7:55: I keep looking around this arena and thinking, "Hey, that guy was in 'The Sopranos,' and finding that person was never in "The Sopranos" ...
Updated at 7:40: Tiesto is supposed to be here, too. Mayweather is to make $41 million tonight. It takes Tiesto, like, four weekends to make that ...
Updated at 7:11:The tentative list of celebs -- as opposed to list of tentative celebs -- who requested tickets to this fight is as long and varied as any ever at the MGM Grand. Jack Nicholson (just introduced), Justin Bieber (who carried Mayweather's title belts into the ring for the Miguel Cotto bout last year), Dave Chappelle, Busta Rhymes, Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Emily VanCamp, Jay-Z, George Lopez, Heidi Klum, Jalen Rose, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jon Voigt, Josh Bowman, Dr. J (Julius Erving, a childhood hero), Kemba Walker, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Byant, Liam Hemsworth, Lil Wayne, Lizzy Caplan, LL Cool J, Magic Johnson, Michael Phelps, Michael Strahan, Paul George, Peter Berg, Pooch Hall, Rosie Perez, Russell Westbrook, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Tiesto, Whitey Cummings and William H. Macy are all on the official celeb list.
Oh, and to my right, Charles Barkley. Mike Tyson is supposed to be here, too, but I have not seen him yet. We need to get these two together, pronto.
Not all of those on the list will be at the MGM Grand tonight, but that collection would make a hell of a reality show.
We are ringside at "The One" championship fight card matching Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Earlier I ran into the great boxing official-turned-commentator Joe Cortez, who is providing punditry for ESPN Deportes. Last time I szaw Cortez was at LVH, during the 60th birthday celebration for Leon Spinks at "Raiding the Rock Vault." Cortez is very close to Spinks and works with the 1976 Olympic gold medalist and onetime heavyweight champ every Tuesday at his home. Spinks is suffering from the many blows to the head he took in his amatuer and pro career. He famously beat Muhammad Ali by decision at the Las Vegas Hilton in February 1978, winning the heavyweight title in just his eighth pro bout. He lost the rematch to Ali months later in New Orleans.
"I have a regulation ring at my house and Leon comes over once a week to train," said Cortez, dressed in a tux rather than the baby-blue shirt assigned to boxing refs. "We work together, and he's been in great spirits, better than he's been in years. His doctor has told me how impressed he is with Leon's progress. He's smiling a lot, talking a lot. It's great."
Cortez feels, as do many in the boxing media community (an that is an opinionated community indeed) that Canelo needs to exact some heavy damage on Mayweather early if he is to have a chance. Otherwise, the challenger might get weary from having to drop weight to make it down to the 152 weight he's carrying into the ring tonight (he's comfortably fit at 170). I don't know about y'all, but after losing considerable weight, the last thing I'd want to do is fight Floyd Mayweather. This would also be true if I'd lost no weight.
Cortez says if the fight goes beyond six rounds, Canelo's chances ebb with each round. It goes the distance, very likely a Mayweather decision. Hard to argue there. The mitigating factor is the body shot, and if Canelo can slam one home early. That'll change Mayweather's effectiveness, and probably his disposition, too.