Sunday, 15 September 2013
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Highlights Floyd Mayweather retained his unbeaten record with a stylish victory over Saul Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Mayweather improved to 45-0 with another dazzling display of artistry as he made the previously undefeated 'Canelo' appear ponderous at times. 'Money's superior defensive skills were as sharp as ever as he landed his power shots before retreating out of range, although the judges weren't as impressed as most observers. Scores of 117-111, 116-112 and - remarkably - 114-114, did little justice to the American, who remains the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet. "I didn't know how to get him, it's extremely simple," Alvarez said. "He's a great fighter, very intelligent. The frustration was getting in there, but he's a great fighter. Fighting for the first time against a naturally much bigger man, Mayweather allowed Alvarez to come to him in the opening session but the 36-year-old still landed the cleaner shots. The Mexican, who had the support of the majority packed into the MGM, looked at ease on the biggest stage but was nowhere near active enough to take Mayweather out of his zone. Canelo kept trying to force the fight but every time he went after Mayweather he paid for it with a counter right or a combination to the head. Below the belt By the fourth round frustration was etched on his face and a dig below the waist earned him a stern warning from referee Kenny Bayliss. Alvarez was starting to swell by the left eye from the lead rights that he was taking while a fresh-faced Mayweather continued to make him miss regularly. The Mexican upped his workrate in the eighth as he tried to work the body with combinations, but Mayweather, who looked as though he was taking the round off, came back strongly late on with some vicious combinations to the head. At one point Mayweather teed off on a static Alvarez in a neutral corner and although Alvarez burst out of his cocoon with some lusty blows it was one of the highlights of the later rounds. The earlier chants of 'Canelo, Canelo' had all-but died heading into the final six minutes where Alvarez, who entered the fight with both his WBC and WBA light-middleweight titles on offer, continued to go looking for the five-weight champion. Mayweather almost certainly handed him the final round, throwing little while staying out of trouble on the outside, the victory by now firmly in the bag. Only judge CJ Ross, who scored the draw, saw it differently. "I just listened to my corner, listened to my dad," Mayweather said. "My dad had a brilliant game plan, and I went out there and got the job done. "I'm not in control of what the judges do. I am in shock whoever had it even. Things happen in the sport of boxing." For Mayweather it was his biggest payday, with $41.5 guaranteed before pay-per-view revenues are totted up, while Alvarez - who at just 23 still has a huge future in the sport - will make at least $6m.