And on the first matchup of a six-fight contract with CBS/Showtime that could earn Floyd Mayweather Jr. $200 million over the next 30 months, we learned a few things:
I am fairly certain even judge Herb Santos couldn’t have messed up the scoring.
It would have been more interesting to see the fighters’ fathers go at it.
None of it bothered Mayweather against Robert Guerrero on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden. Not his age (36). Not the fact this was the first time he has fought since being incarcerated for misdemeanor battery domestic violence and harassment charges.
Not, above all, his opponent.
The victory by unanimous decision in which all three judges scored the WBC welterweight title fight 117-111 was just that. Unanimous in its dominance, its execution by the undefeated Mayweather, its proof that the brilliant defense we have known from him has returned.
It wasn’t as crisp this time last year, when Miguel Cotto in a loss by unanimous decision landed far more punches to Mayweather than the champion is accustomed to absorbing.
So he went to father, Floyd Sr., and by mending fences and welcoming him back to the corner, we yet again have the type of consistent, methodical, decisive defense that Guerrero had little chance to penetrate.
Pops was in as the lead guy; Uncle Roger was out.
“I knew after the Cotto fight that I was getting hit too much and I needed my father,” Mayweather Jr. said. “I wasn’t as sharp as I needed to be. I had to hone my skills and get my dad back.
“He just told me tonight, ‘Stick with your defense. The less you get hit, the better.’ I was looking for the knockout but hurt my (right) hand in the middle of the fight. Robert was a tough warrior and tried pressing and attacking me, but there really wasn’t much he could do.”
Guerrero made $3 million in by far the biggest night of his career, but you began to wonder after the first five or so rounds if he would be content merely with going the distance.
He moved less and less as the fight wore on, a flat-footed offering that was a losing strategy in every manner.
It was a promotion-long worth of hype that included more fireworks between Mayweather Sr. and Guerrero’s father, Ruben, than the fighters themselves.
Ever the showman and yet a senseless one at the end, Ruben carried his son around the ring after the final bell, yelling to anyone who would listen, “(Mayweather) ran like a chicken!”
It was a poor effort at disguising the fact his son completely was outclassed. The only thing more obvious than Mayweather’s superiority all evening was the lunacy of Santos scoring an undercard split-decision middleweight win by J’Leon Love 97-92.
I don’t believe Love beat Gabriel Rosado but could understand the other two scores of 95-94 for each. Santos’ score was pure fiction.
It was that kind of night for a Showtime audience, one that lacked so little suspense in the main event, a judge’s card from an earlier fight was a major point of discussion.
Somehow, I can’t believe as his team pursued this moment so vigorously the past few years that Guererro ever imagined it ending this way.
“(Mayweather) had very sneaky punches,” he said. “He did a great job. He was very disciplined. I landed a few shots, but he’s so slick, so quick. Better than I thought. He was definitely on his game. God has a plan for me, but it wasn’t to beat Floyd Mayweather tonight.
“I’m going to go back to the gym and position myself that before he retires, I get another shot to fight Floyd again.”
No. Please. Once was enough.
I don’t know who Mayweather will encounter here in September — like most, I would like to see him oppose Canelo Alvarez — but we have seen the best of Robert Guererro against the world’s best, and it’s not worth a sequel.
Not even the idea of another promotional tour with Ruben Guererro would change that.
“There was nothing my son couldn’t do in there,” Mayweather Sr. said. “He hadn’t fought in a year. I don’t blame him for not throwing more punches. But he did everything he could and wanted. I’m happy to be back in his corner.”
The defense is back. Nothing bothered the champ.
The first of six fights is in the books, and Mayweather’s record stands at 44-0.
In other news, Herb Santos is adamant that Orb finished third in the Kentucky Derby.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on “Gridlock,” ESPN 1100 and 98.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.