The undisputed, pound-for-pound champion put on a clinic against Mexican sensation Canelo Alvarez, handing the 23-year-old superstar his first loss in the toughest test of his career Saturday on SHOWTIME PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Canelo (42-1-1, 30 KO's) fought with everything he had, but couldn't solve the puzzle of Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather showcased his signature speed and elusiveness in front of a largely pro-Canelo crowd of 16,746 fans en route to a majority decision (114-114, 116-112, 117-111).
For the night's work, Mayweather collected a guaranteed $41.5 million and Canelo's WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine Super Welterweight Championships.
"It's all about skills," Mayweather said. "I came out tonight and showed my skills. But a true champion like Canelo can take a loss and bounce back.
"My dad had a brilliant game plan. I executed that game plan. I could have pressed it and got the late stoppage, but tonight experience played a major key. Tonight was just my night."
After the fight, a seemingly frustrated Canelo admitted that Mayweather's skills and style of fighting were too much to overcome.
"He's very elusive, he's a great fighter and that's why I couldn't catch him," Canelo said. "I didn't know how to get him. It's as simple as that. He's very elusive. He's a great fighter.
"The frustration was getting in there. But simply he's a great fighter. I didn't want to lose. I didn't want to leave here with a loss. But it happens and it hurts."
After calling Mayweather's dominating performance SHOWTIME PPV play-by-play announcer Al Bernstein had an insightful observation about young superstar, "Canelo may be the fighter of tomorrow, but he's not quite yet the fighter of today."
In the highly anticipated co-main event of the evening, Danny Garcia retained the unified super lightweight world title with an impressive performance against the favored Lucas Matthysse.Utilizing solid combinations and body shots, Garcia executed a solid game plan en route to a unanimous decision (115-111, 114-112, twice).
Matthysse (34-3, 32 KO's) entered the fight having knocked out five of his last six opponents and a reputation as one of the most feared punchers on the planet. But the Argentinean knockout artist's power wasn't as apparent against the aggressive Garcia (27-0, 16 KO's), who silenced his doubters and defended his WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine Super Lightweight World Titles.
Seemingly down on points, Matthysse came out with a vengeance in the eleventh to kick off the championship rounds, knocking Garcia's mouthpiece out with a powerful straight right. But, after a brief pause to recover the mouthpiece, Garcia bounced back and floored Matthysse for the first time in his career.
"I'm the champion of the world," said the proud Philadelphia native. "The champion of the world isn't scared of anyone. If you can make it out Philly you can make it out of anywhere.
"The only way to slow him down was to go down to the body and throw combinations upstairs. I just let my hands go."
Garcia landed a straight jab to Garcia's right eye in the seventh round that completely closed the eye within 45 seconds. Garcia continued, but did so with a comprised depth perception.
"I only had one eye for half of the fight but, it's no excuse," Matthysse said. "He fought a great fight. He's a great champion and we knew he wasn't intimidated by my punching."
In the first of three world championship bouts on the telecast, Carlos Molina dethroned defending champion Ishe Smith, capturing the IBF Junior Middleweight World Championship with a split decision victory (112-116, 116-112, 111-117).
In the opening bout of the PPV telecast, Pablo Caesar Cano (27-3-1, 20 KO's) scored a split-decision victory (97-93, 98-92 Cano, 96-94 Theophane) over Ashley Theophane (33-6-1, 10 KO's).
The Mayweather-Canelo and Garcia-Matthysse bouts will air in the delayed broadcast on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. ET / PT (delayed on the West Coast).
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.