Now that I’ve seen the replay of the Sept. 14 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight, it’s fair to compare that bout to Mayweather’s May 4 unanimous-decision victory over Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero.
Guerrero last week told Boxing Scene’s Rick Reeno that the comparison is irrelevant.
“To me, if you don't win, it doesn't matter who performed better. It’s about winning.
“I do feel Floyd fought (Miguel) Cotto and Alvarez different than me, because he actually stayed in the pocket and moved them backward at times. With me he used his legs the whole fight and never stayed in the pocket or fought off the ropes.
“I really feel if he fights me in the pocket it's a completely different fight, but he made his adjustment and I had to chase him the whole fight, which obviously makes it more difficult. Floyd is a great fighter and I definitely learned a lot from that fight.”
That’s an encouraging reaction from Guerrero, a very good fighter who learned the hard way he isn’t an all-time great.
Mayweather said before and after the Alvarez fight that he hadn’t been happy with his performance against Guerrero, partly because he was stale coming off a year’s layoff that included a prison stretch, and partly because the stick-and-move tactics that frustrated Guerrero are not crowd-pleasing to the masses.
Well, I beg to differ concerning the wisdom of fighting that way.
Mayweather’s performance against Guerrero was a masterpiece. He hit him enough to bust him up a bit, and took far less punishment from “The Ghost” than he took from Canelo. Hit and don’t get hit. If you do it as well as Mayweather does, it’s more beautiful and certainly more rare than most technical knockouts, much as a triple is more breathtaking than the average home run.
Canelo certainly went for the home run. He actually landed a right cross or two and came tantalizingly close to doing damage.
It’s unfortunate that Mayweather feels compelled to move away from the safety-first tactics that have made him almost invincible.
As Guerrero said, it’s all about winning. Or at least it ought to be.