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The Captain: Money talks...
As the last punch was thrown at the MGM Grand in the early hours of Sunday morning, the beads of sweat looked almost a painful presence on the face of the young pretender, the Mexican Saul Alvarez, who had just become the latest victim in a long line of fighters convinced they have the required skills to take down the mighty Floyd Mayweather.
He did not, and his face at the final bell spoke volumes about the legend that is Mayweather - utterly unbeatable by anyone in 140lb to 150lb category. Alvarez was supposed to pose the greatest threat to his claim to be undisputed pound-for-pound king. ‘Canelo,’ as he is known in his homeland because of his fiery red hair, was supposed to mount a serious challenge to 'Money's' claims to be the best of the best.
But as the bout evolved it became painfully obvious that the breathtaking speed and defensive abilities of the American were far too great an obstacle to overcome for the 23 year-old, who was confident enough to put his WBA and WBC light-middleweight titles on offer.
But Mayweather, 13 years his senior and fighting the first naturally heavier fighter in his career, simply evaded the powerful flurry of punches that Canelo threw at him.
Guns of glory they may have been in the 43 fights preceding the bout. Fights in which Caneol registered a near perfect record of 42 wins with one draw.
But in this, the biggest test of his career, he simply could not connect with any ferocity and Mayweather was literally and figuratively untouchable.
The fight’s build up had been hyped to extraordinary levels, and as the fanfare slowly died down the expectant crowd waited in hope that this would finally be the day that the great warrior surrendered his mantle and passed the baton of battery to a new man.
But legends like Mayweather don’t go down easily.
Teeing off with bruising combinations whilst evading and blocking; this was a tactical display of the highest order, and a lesson to any watching fighter that, at 36, Floyd is still the man to beat and justifiably the biggest earning boxer on the planet.
The swollen eyes of Alvarez were testament to that, and in stark contrast to the chiselled, still-beaming expression on his famous face, Mayweather was un-battered and un-bruised, still bearing the arrogant gaze of a man comfortable in the knoweldge his legacy was secure.
Mayweather said in the build up to the fight that his was 'the face of boxing,' and unfortunately for his opponent, it turns out he was right. Who can beat the master? Will it be, as it has been with Pacquiao, age and the sheer number of fights that proves his downfall? Bolton born Amir Khan is vocal in his attempt to coax Mayweather into the ring, so full of bluster, of hyperbole; Khan must first overcome Devon Alexander before any bout can be arranged.
And even then, there would only be one outcome. Mayweather is just too good.