Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez live blog
LAS VEGAS -- Welcome inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena, where Floyd Mayweather easily defeated Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in perhaps the biggest fight in boxing since Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. The live gate set a Nevada record ($20 million), more than 25,000 closed circuit seats were sold, and several industry sources say this fight has a chance to eclipse the 2.5 million pay-per-view buys Mayweather-De La Hoya did.
At SI.com, we set you up all week, with stories on Canelo, Mayweather, Lucas Matthysse, who will fight on the undercard in a giddily anticipated showdown with Danny Garcia, and a one-stop guide to everything you need to know about the show.
Read below to see our round-by-round live blog of the two main bouts.
12:10 a.m. EST -- With all the undercard bouts complete, it's nearing show time for Mayweather-Alvarez. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer just stood on the ring apron and asked how many reporters picked Garcia. No one. And then he asked, "How many of you picked Canelo?" Still none. Let's see if Alvarez can pull an upset too.
12:18 a.m.-- With Tupac's "California Love" blaring in the background, the big screen shows Mayweather and Canelo in the dressing room. Loud boos for Mayweather. Huge cheers for Canelo.
12:25 a.m. -- Here comes the undefeated Canelo Alvarez. Big roar from the crowd. Clearly the fan favorite. The MGM Grand has been jumping since Tuesday. The weigh-in is purported to be the largest (more than 12,000) in history. And most of the fans have come out to support Canelo.
Here's what I wrote earlier this week in predicting the outcome: The hype surrounding this fight simply doesn't match the competitiveness of it. Alvarez has a bright future, but he lacks the experience and polish necessary to beat a fighter of Mayweather's caliber. Alvarez may have his moments and he may even be able to buckle Mayweather with a right hand or two. But Mayweather's ability to put opponents in a deep hole will ultimately force Alvarez out of his game plan and push Mayweather to a comfortable decision win.
12:29 a.m. -- And here comes Floyd Mayweather, marching to the ring with his own personal rapper. And of course, Justin Bieber. It's actually rapper Lil Wayne, performing a special-for-this-ringwalk original. The ubiquitous Sam Watson -- often confused with Al Haymon (he works for Haymon) has an arm draped over Bieber's shoulder. Bieber looks truly uncomfortable.
Round 1: Both fighters bounding on their toes early. Mayweather jabs, comes forward. Hooks to the head and body. Canelo blocks. Floyd loves that early body jab. Canelo the much bigger fighter. Weighed in at 165 pounds today, Mayweather 150. Good jab by Canelo. Canelo misses with a big right hand. Floyd snaps a jab off Canelo's head. Those jabs from Mayweather did no damage, but they may have won him the round. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 2: Floyd still going downstairs with the jab. Canelo swings at air. Canelo pumps two jabs out. Floyd tags Canelo with a good right hand in close. And another. That Mayweather jab is sharp. Crowd roaring but Canelo's shots are either missing or being blocked. There's a good jab by Canelo. Close again, but another round for Mayweather, 10-9.
Round 3: Floyd taps Canelo with two counter jabs. Another pinpoint jab snaps Canelo's head back. Left hand by Vanelo connects, albeit glancing. Two hard right hands by Mayweather. Canelo nods, acknowledging them. Floyd drops his hands, inviting Canelo in. Good left hand by Canelo when Floyd ducked. Mayweather back to the jab. Quick left and right at the end of the round. Easy round to score. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 4: Big smile from Floyd at the start of the round. Canelo starting to charge in now. Floyd countering brilliantly. Tags Canelo with a big right hand. And Canelo tags Floyd with a low punch. Referee warns him. Floyd sticks his glove out, Canelo refuses to tap it. Frustration building with Canelo. Floyd grinning at Canelo. Peppers him with three jabs. Then two right hands. Canelo counters with a right of his own. Mayweather pot shots Alvarez to the head. Alvarez looks tired. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 5: Hard right hand by Mayweather. Canelo just can't move out of the way fast enough, and all of his punches are being parried. There was a wicked right hand by Floyd. Canelo felt that. Solid left fom Canelo appeared to connect, but Floyd rebounded with the jab. Very nice right hand by Canelo lands. Floyd smiles. They trade punches. Good 1-2 by Mayweather. Canelo starting to jab a little more. But another round for Floyd. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 6: This is easy work for Mayweather. He is respecting Canelo's power but standing and trading with him. Good flurry by both fighters but Mayweather gets the best of it. Nice counter left by Maywearther. Floyd is standing int he center of the ring, ready to fight. Great action that round, but ANOTHER for Mayweather. It's a shutout. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 7: It's a very frustrated Canelo in the ring now. Floyd stalks him, pushes him to the corner. Mayweather rips a combination off Canelo's skull. Floyd's jab is getting through at will. Here comes Floyd. Power punching. Canelo looks hurt. Mayweather may be looking to close it. Canelo rallies, throws a right that connects. Canelo fighting with his hands down. Bad idea. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 8: Canelo pushes Floyd to the ropes, throws a combination that glances off his arms and gloves. Floyd is so good at blocking shots. Canelo lands a good right hand on the ropes. Floyd less active this round. But Canelo is still fighting with his hands down. He pushes Mayweather to the ropes again, but Mayweather counters with a brutal right hand. I don't know how Canelo is taking some of these shots. He has a very good chin. This was a close round, but I'm giving it to Mayweather. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 9: Good right hand snaps Canelo's head back. This is a clinic. Nice uppercit from Mayweather. Canelo fires off a right hand. A hard right buckles Canelo. He recovers. Canelo really has to learn how to block a jab. With his head doesn't count. That is landing all day. Guess what: Another round to Mayweather. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 10: Canelo badly needs a knockout, and he knows it. But he is just too slow. And he looks tired in the ring. Floyd barely looks like he is sweating. Floyd pressuring Canelo on the ropes and Canelo isn't moving. He's flat-footed, slow and tired. A flurry by Canelo pushes Mayweather to the ropes, but Floyd doesn't appear bothered by it. More jabs to the head. If Floyd just threw the jab, he would still be way up on points. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 11: Floyd yapping at Canelo to keep his punches up. Savage right hand by Floyd. More jabs. Canelo just a punching bag now. No gas in the tank for Canelo. Mayweather looks like he could go another 12 rounds. Canelo connects with a right as Floyd moves away. Canelo whiffs with a left and Floyd looks at the photographers to see if they were hurt by Canelo's whiff! More jabs, more pinpoint rights. More of the same. 10-9 Mayweather.
Round 12: Fighters touch gloves as scores of fans head to the exits. This one is in the books. A U-S-A chant rings from the rafters. Floyd moving around the ring. Jabs again. Tags Canelo with a right hand as Canelo charges in. Canelo still throwing. Crowd boos a little. Mayweather dancing on his toes. There is the final bell, and one more round for Mayweather. I have this a complete shutout. 10-9 Mayweather.
Result: And we go to the judges...114-114. 116-112, 117-111 for Mayweather. Judge CJ Ross scored the fight 114-114. All week people were nervous about her because she was the same judge who scored Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley. Just another horrible scorecard. Thankfully, it didn't matter.
10:58 p.m. -- We are minutes away from WBA/WBC junior welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia's defense against Lucas Matthysse, with Mayweather-Canelo at least an hour away.
Brief update on the undercard, Pablo Cesar Cano took a split decision (it should have been unanimous) over Mayweather Promotions fighter Ashley Theophane, and the often robbed Carlos Molina won his first world title, outpointing Ishe Smith in a borderline unwatchable fight.
Quick odds update, per the MGM Grand: Matthysse minus-250, Garcia plus 210. Blog favorite and official prognosticator Cheapo Tony (@CheapoTony) has also weighed in, via text message: "Take the guy with two ss's." Well said, Cheapo.
11:03 p.m. -- Garcia's father/trainer, Angel, has been on a roll this week. Always brash, Angel has been ripping into fans and press for making Matthysse a favorite in this fight. He has disparaged Matthysse's opponents, his style and, for good measure, his country. His best line of the week: "Vegas don't know s---, you [the media] don't know s---, I know everything!"
11:08 p.m. -- Matthysse is headed to the ring. Interesting guy, Matthysse. Very quiet, almost shy outside of the ring. But inside he has proven to be a pure killer. One note: I went to the gym for a run late Thursday night and saw Matthysse, dressed in a windbreaker, getting in a hard workout. A little unusual. He made weight on the first try, but it may not have been easy. Could be a factor.
11:09 -- Here comes Danny Garcia. It pained me to pick against him. Garcia has been consistently underestimated, consistently picked against, but he keeps winning. But as one longtime boxing observer told me today, Matthysse is the toughest out in boxing.
11:12 -- Jimmy Lennon Jr. introducing the referee (Tony Weeks) and judges. Weeks is a good ref for this fight. He's a let 'em fight kind of guy, doesn't usually get involved. Judges? They aren't going to matter.
Round 1 -- Matthysse comes forward. Taps Garcia with a looping left hand. Both fighters trying to find their range. Both appear to respect the others power. Danny takes a hard right hand from Matthysse. He felt that. Matthysse has blurring speed with his power shots. Pacquiao-like. Garcia is fighting backing up most of the round. There's the bell, give it to Matthysse 10-9.
Round 2 -- Matthysse looks like the bigger fighter. Garcia still backing up, not throwing anything with any power yet. Garcia holding this round. Hard right hand by Matthysse. Garcia looking for that left hook. Matthysse charging towards Garcia. Low blow by Garcia. Matthysse finding his range. Another round for Matthysse, 10-9.
Round 3 -- Matthysse looks very comfortable now. Tags Garcia with a hard left hand. Garcia timid with the jab. Matthysse has bad intentions on every one of his punches. Tags Garcia with another left. Good head movement by Matthysse, too. Garcia touching Matthysse with the jab now. Little closer, but give this one to Matthysse, too. 10-9 Matthysse.
Round 4 -- Garcia flipping a soft jab out there. Nice combination scores to Matthysse's body. Good right hand by Garcia. Looks much more comfortable this round. Good body shot by Garcia. Hard right hand by Garcia. Matthysse walks through it. Best round of the night for Garcia. 10-9 Garcia.
Round 5 -- Matthysse comes out swinging. Garcia tags Matthysse with a low blow. He's done that a few times tonight. Lot of fighting in close. Garcia digs to the body, Matthysse responds with two shots to the head. Clubbing left hand by Matthysse. Another low blow by Garcia. Referee warns Garcia. Close round, Matthysse may steal it with a flurry at the end. 10-9 Matthysse.
Round 6 -- Matthysse slaps Garcia with a combination. Matthysse is conistently scoring with the jab and straight right hands. Garcia just not throwing enough punches. Matthysse misses with a wild right hand. They trade hooks. Matthysse drills Garcia with a straight right in close. Good round for Matthysse. 10-9 Matthysse.
Round 7 -- Matthysse continues to throw a high volume of punches. Still coming forward, still throwing. Good straight right by Garcia. Hard left hand by Matthysse. Flurry by Matthysse. Garcia holds. Not a lot of muscle on that jab by Garcia. But there is a mouse under Matthysse's right eye. That's bad. That could be bad news for his vision. Hard combination by Garcia! Matthysse's eye is a wreck now. Garcia stole that round in the last minute! 10-9 Garcia.
Round 8 -- Garcia targeting that right eye of Matthysse, which is closed. That's right in the path of his left hook. Boom, there's the left hook. Lands cleanly. Matthysse more tentative. Garcia goes to the body. Matthysse doing everything he can to protect that eye. Not throwing the right hand. Round ends, give it to Garcia. 10-9 Garcia.
Round 9 -- Matthysse still the aggressor but Garcia looks very comfortable now. He knows that eye is an issue. He's throwing combinations more freely. Matthysse flicking his jab. Hard right by Garcia! Matthysse has a very good chin. Matthysse goes to the body. Garcia counters to Matthysse's head. Credit Garcia's defense. Matthysse has not landed that savage shot that has stopped so many opponents. Another round for Garcia. 10-9 Garcia.
Round 10 -- Little more urgency in Matthysse. Garcia smacks him to the body. Matthysse reaches with the left. Matthysse throws a chopping right that connects. Another right hand by Matthysse. Pushes Garcia into the ropes. Hits Garcia with a straight righ hand that appeared to hurt Garcia. Nice rally round by Matthysse. 10-9 Matthysse.
Round 11 -- Here comes Matthysse. Blasts Garcia, sending his mouthpiece fluing. Matthysse very aggressive now. Winging shots at Garcia's head. Good head-body combination by Matthysse. Garcia counters and drops Matthysse! First knockdown of the fight. Matthysse looks OK. He's fighting back hard but Garcia is countering beautifully. 10-8 Garcia.
Round 12 -- Matthysse swinging, Garcia blocks. Lot of holding now. Garcia throws the left hook, Matthysse blocks. Nice right hand by Matthysse. Hard right by Garcia. He looks up at the clock. Four punch combination for Garcia. And Garcia drops Matthysse with ANOTHER low blow. The referee takes a point. Have to say it's a deserved one. Garcia has been throwing low all night. Hard right by Matthysse. A frantic flurry! Both men trying to close the show! This was Garcia's round, but the point off makes it even. 9-9.
Result: It's a unanimous decision for Danny Garcia. Still the unified champion. 115-111 and 114-112 (twice).
In the postfight interview, Garcia says "I'm the champion of the world. I'm not afraid of anybody... I'm a Philadelphia fighter."
Wow. Just tabulated my scores from Garcia-Matthysse and I had Matthysse 114-113. Gave Matthysse four of the first five rounds and six total. Five for Garcia. Garcia was in control most of the second half of the fight, but those early rounds piled up.