Published Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 | 8 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 | 10:56 p.m.
Without a single mark on his face or as much as one deep breath coming out of his mouth, Floyd Mayweather Jr. stood at the center of the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with a seven-pound golden belt tossed over his shoulder.
It almost looked as if he were getting ready to fight, not winding down from 12 rounds of combat. That moment spoke volumes to how his much-anticipated bout with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez played out. Mayweather was flawless, battering Alvarez for 12 rounds en route to a majority decision (117-111, 116-112, 114-114) that didn't come close to capturing the true lopsided nature of the super welterweight title bout.
"I'm not in control of what the judges do," Mayweather said in the ring. "I came out tonight and displayed my skills. I'm happy with my performance."
The Sun scored the bout 119-109 in favor of Mayweather. From the opening bell until the merciful end, Mayweather ran circles around Alvarez with his speed and jab.
There were several moments in the second half of the fight where Mayweather appeared to have Alvarez in trouble with repeated shots rocking the 23-year-old against the ropes. But Alvarez always came forward and winged punches of his own, no matter how fruitless the exercise.
"He's a good fighter but it's nothing I've never felt before," Mayweather said.
Check below for the live round-by-round updates of Mayweather vs. Canelo and check back to lasvegassun.com later for full coverage.
Twelfth Round Mayweather cruises in the final round, letting Alvarez hit him some but also working his jab like most of the rest of the night. Mayweather's speed is the difference. Mayweather wins 119-109 on the Sun's scorecard. Floyd Mayweather defeats Saul "Canelo" Alvarez by majority decision (117-111,116-112, 114-114).
Eleventh Round Alvarez punching hard, but to no avail. Mayweather's quickness is rendering his attacks useless. Alvarez looks in trouble again after a minute as Mayweather lands flush repeatedly to his opponent's face. The jab looks as quick and lethal as it did 30 minutes ago at the start of the fight. Alvarez backs Mayweather into the ropes, but the more experienced fighter takes only one punch before ducking and jabbing his way out. Alvarez gets embarrassed when he whiffs so badly on Mayweather that he nearly hits the camera man. Mayweather rolls his shoulder on a different side of the ring. Mayweather wins again — getting familiar — to improve to 109-100 on the Sun's scorecard.
Tenth Round Alvarez backs Mayweather into the ropes and lands a right hand. Mayweather pops right out and gets back to his methodical jab. Alvarez pieces together a four-punch combination about a minute in with the last couple shots grazing Mayweather. Mayweather comes forward, however, and more than responds with a series of left hooks and jabs. Alvarez might be hurt. He's back in the middle and noticeably slower than earlier in the fight. Alvarez gets Mayweather against the ropes and lands a few. His face is red, though, from all the Mayweather punishment. Mayweather smiles as he goes right to the middle of Alvarez's face with four more jabs in the final seconds. Mayweather wins round 10 and increases his advantage to 99-91.
Ninth Round Mayweather pesters Alvarez with his jab, but the 23-year-old answers with a left hook. Mayweather works the body for a solid 30 seconds until he sees an opening on Alvarez's chin. He pounces. Alvarez keeps his output high, but his success low. Mayweather rocks Alvarez with a right hook. His left hand continues its terror too. Alvarez resorts to swinging wildly, which Mayweather welcomes with a jab. Not the most action-packed round, but Mayweather takes it. Mayweather is ahead 89-82 on the Sun's scorecard.
Eighth Round Alvarez swings away and hits Mayweather to the body once or twice. There's no panic from the long-reigning American champion, however, as he backs out of trouble and picks his spots carefully. Mayweather scores in the middle of the ring but Alvarez backs him down against the rope and gets a big left hand to go. With a minute to go, Alvarez is finding his most sustained success of the evening. He blasts Mayweather to the body for a while, but "Money" starts opening up and fires big jabs. Mayweather scores with an uppercut. It's all Mayweather late, but Alvarez had his finest moment. The Sun scores it for Alvarez, but Mayweather is still well ahead at 79-73.
Seventh Round More of the same for the first 30 seconds as Mayweather scores when he wants and Alvarez helplessly tries to chase him down. Mayweather is just jabbing Alvarez to death. Alvarez gets a body shot to go but, naturally, eats a jab in retort. Alvarez ups his output but continues to miss. A left hand from Mayweather sends Alvarez back. Alvarez is covering up. He might be in trouble. Nevermind. Alvarez comes forward and hits Mayweather with a left. No real damage, though, as Mayweather backs up and continues to control with his jab. Mayweather wins the seventh to make the score 70-63 on the Sun's scorecard.
Sixth Round Mayweather circles the length of the ring, jabbing Alvarez at will. Alvarez gets tired of the torture and lunges forward with a combination. Mayweather coolly ducks and counters. An exchange with 1:30 left goes to Mayweather. Alvarez tries some one-two combinations but Mayweather counter-jabs. Alvarez shows his frustration as the referee breaks them apart with words to himself. Mayweather is picking Alvarez apart with his left hand. And then his right. The crowd comes to their feet as Alvarez answers with a combination. Mayweather goes up 60-54 on the Sun's scorecard.
Fifth Round Mayweather lands a handful of jabs to start followed by a powerful right hand. Alvarez presses forward but Mayweather blocks the majority of his punches. Alvarez's head whips back and sweat sprays toward the first row as Mayweather nails him with a one-two combination. Alvarez fires his left hand into Mayweather's chin with a minute to go. Alvarez finds his range and hits Mayweather with a jab and shot to the body. Mayweather goes back to his jab and blasts Alvarez with a hook. They exchange in the middle and Mayweather looks loose. He feints an Alvarez hook and slickly scores a jab. The sweep continues as Mayweather increases his lead to 50-45 according to the Sun.
Fourth Round Alvarez loads up and fires significant shots repeatedly but can't get anything to go. Mayweather isn't being fancy but his jab is landing. They clinch and Alvarez appears to headbutt Mayweather. The referee issues a warning and Alvarez stalks forward on the restart. Mayweather jabs and scores with a left hook. They exchange in the middle and Alvarez finds momentum with short hooks. Mayweather's turn with a laser jab until Alvarez times one for a counter. He does it again but only after Mayweather lands four or five shots. Late in the round, Mayweather pounds Alvarez with a combination to the body and head. Late flurry should take it and the Sun has Mayweather ahead 40-36.
Third Round Alvarez still looks baffled by Mayweather as he whiffs on a hook. Mayweather lands a couple jabs before they lock up for the first time in this round. Mayweather blocking most of Alvarez's punches, but the crowd rises when the young Mexican fighter flings an uppercut. It doesn't land. Mayweather knocks Alvarez against the ropes with a repeated jabs midway through. Alvarez circles out and lands a left hand on the other side of the ring. Alvarez has Mayweather against the ropes, but can only make good with one right hand. Mayweather ducks under and gets back to the center. Alvarez stays agressive, but allows Mayweather to counter. Mayweather takes round 3 to go up 30-27 on the Sun's scorecard.
Second Round Mayweather comes forward early and keeps going to his jab. "Mexico" chants fail to get Alvarez in any rhythm for the first minute. Mayweather counters a lunge with an uppercut that just barely grazes his opponent's chin. Mayweather weaves in and out of danger, touching Alvarez with a right for the trouble. Alvarez hits Mayweather with a left and then a combination to the body. Alvarez is starting to get loose in the final 20 seconds, but Mayweather continues to land with more volume. The Sun leans Mayweather in round two to put him ahead 20-18.
First Round No sitting back and countering for Mayweather, who peppers Alvarez with a couple body shots early. Alvarez engages too, working his straight left with mixed results. Mayweather is backing out of the way of most of Alvarez's shots. Alvarez gets a right to score. Mayweather makes the crowd gasp with a precise jab to the nose. Alvarez blasts Mayweather with a right hand after "Money" comes in. There's no clear winner as they exchange twice more in the final 30 seconds. Mayweather wins round one, 10-9, on the Sun's scorecard.
The old criticism of Floyd Mayweather Jr. never fighting top available competition sounds shortsighted now.
It’s additionally absent tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena where Mayweather prepares to take on the youngest, biggest and most powerful opponent possible.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is the embodiment of what Mayweather’s detractors demanded for years. He’s being treated as such.
One thing in abundant supply all over the Strip is fanfare. The Money Team t-shirts are as ever-present as Mexican flags draped on shoulders underneath Canelo-branded headbands.
This fight, promoted as "The One", sold out in mere hours, immediately creating the record for largest gate in Nevada history at more than $18 million. Thousands of those not fortunate enough to score a ticket showed up in town anyway, hungry to take in the atmosphere that only comes with a championship fight of this caliber.
What’s on the line tonight is more than the wellbeing of two fighters’ impeccable records. At 42-0 with one draw, Alvarez has only two losses less than Mayweather despite being 14 years younger at 23-years-old.
The prize will match the prestige as the WBC championship belt to be awarded to the winner weighs in at seven pounds of solid gold. Mayweather owns more belts than a department-store warehouse at this point, but none like this.
It would match nicely with his guaranteed $41 million payday. Alvarez won’t make nearly that much as his guarantee is rumored around $10 million but that’s not an amount to scoff at for a fighter in his first pay-per-view headlining bout.
Alvarez could manage to match the hype that’s seen him called “boxing’s next biggest superstar” for the last several years. Although extremely popular in Mexico for several years, Alvarez built his profile in America by appearing on the undercards of these Mayweather fights.
He routinely beat his opponents senseless, with 30 career wins by knockout including four of his last six when the competition level increased. But it won’t be that easy tonight.
Not against someone like Mayweather, who’s arguably the most conditioned and best defensive fighter in boxing history. Alvarez has shown gassing problems in the past, losing steam after the first half of fights.
But he’s also shown immense power early on, which is the cause for the belief he could challenge Mayweather in areas where others have failed.
Stick to lasvegassun.com for ringside round-by-round coverage of Mayweather vs. Canelo with scoring.