By John J. Raspanti at Ringside in at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for Doghouse Boxing.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather withstood the determined effort of Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero to win a unanimous 12-round decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The bout was shown live on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
All three judges at ringside scored the bout 117-111 for Mayweather, 44-0 (26), who retained his WBC welterweight title.
Mayweather, 36, notched victory number 44 in a row by using in asset many thought he had lost: his legs. His subtle movement kept Guerrero, 31-2-1 (18), off balance from the opening bell. His feints, a lost art in the boxing nowadays, kept Guerrero guessing.
The opening rounds were a mixture of aggression (Guerrero) and art (Mayweather).
Guerrero's plan was to rough up Mayweather on the inside. He succeeded at times but was also beaten to the punch on multiple occasions. Mayweather’s lead right hand was deadly but Guerrero ate the punch and came looking for more as his resolve was second to none. Mayweather landed a hard right at the end of round two.
Guerrero worked his right jab in round three but also ran into lead right hands. Mayweather continued to box intelligently in rounds four and five. Guerrero landed a left but ate two rights in return. Mayweather neutralized Guerrero on the inside, avoided anything dangerous and moving away. Mayweather refined the right by sweeping it around Guerrero’s left glove.
Mayweather spent most of round six trading with Guerrero. His check hook bounced off the Gilroy, California native’s chin. Guerrero doggedly moved forward but had no answer.
In rounds seven and eight, Guerrero continued to be peppered with sharp punches. Mayweather’s “Now you see me; now you don’t” defense was demoralizing. He was putting on a clinic and there was nothing Guerrero could do about it. A sweeping right hurt Guerrero and for the first time, he backed up before Mayweather strafed him with two more rights at the bell.
By round nine, Guerrero, his face swollen, absorbed two uppercuts. He tried answering back but couldn’t reach Mayweather, who was two steps quicker and much sharper.
Rounds 10 and 11 were more of the same. Guerrero would jab and in return, be clipped with two punches. He’d reset and try again but Mayweather, like a cobra, struck back with cutting punches.
In round 12, Guerrero, well aware of how far behind he was on the scorecards, tried landing something telling. Mayweather slipped his punches and countered occasionally.
“I want to thank all the fans,” said Mayweather in the ring after the bout was over. “I feel bad I didn’t give the fans a knockout.” Mayweather also revealed he hurt his right hand during the fight.
John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at: email@example.com