LAS VEGAS — You might say that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is in a league of his own. After spending over two months in jail and not stepping into the ring for almost two years, the new welterweight champion of the world proved again he’s the right stuff.
The MGM Grand in Las Vegas is where father and son reunited for a common cause. Mayweather dominated challenger Robert (The Ghost) Guerrero, winning 11 of 12 rounds to capture the Welterweight World Championship before almost 16,000 fans on May Day.
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson at one time was every bit as dominant — when he stepped into the ring he brought fear. That all changed after a rape conviction and over two and half years in jail.
Tyson was never the same dominant fighter after that, later losing to Buster Douglas and others. The time in jail was like rust on metal left out in the rain, the erosion of power lost like a battery worn down over time.
The time of reflection spent by Mayweather in jail allowed him to see himself allowing his greatness to slip away. His ability on defense to slip punches is the best I’ve ever seen. He has a masterful talent taught to him by his longtime trainer and father, Mayweather, Sr., to anticipate what his opponent is doing and then retaliate or beat him to the punch, to stick right hand after powerful right hand in his opponent’s face.
The Mayweather reunion of father and son in the ring is the first since the year 2000. Mayweather was a unanimous winner, 117-111 on all three ringside judges’ score cards. According to Associated Press, he won by a 119-109 margin. He is now 21-0 in title fights and has won 26 of his fights by knockout.
Guerrero, an outstanding fighter, is now 31-2-1; he had not lost in over eight years. Guerrero is a powerful puncher. Many times he would try an attack by coming in on Mayweather only to swing and miss. Guerrero swung and missed the entire fight like Reggie Jackson with a bat trying to hit homeruns.
Mayweather frustrates his opponent over time when they see they can’t hit what’s right in front of them. Incredible conditioning and hard work are required to enable him to execute his plan.
Mayweather started his new six-fight contract with Showtime CBS. He was guaranteed $32 million. His next fight is set for September 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against an opponent yet to be determined.
Mayweather said he wanted to try and knock Guerrero out but hurt his right hand late in the fight from pounding him in the face and bloodying Guerrero’s face. After seeing doctors after the fight, his swollen right hand is OK, bruised but no fracture.
I’m impressed with a man who has humbled himself with all his riches and success to recognize his errors in judgment and take a huge step back and see the big picture. His fights in the city of Las Vegas generate around $750 million. Now that’s packing a power punch.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to [email protected], or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.