“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. We tried to catch him.”
Alvarez said before the fight that he had the game plan to solve Mayweather’s tricky defense and fast hands. If it failed, he said, he had other game plans he would implement to win the fight.
But he had no plan that worked once he got into the ring and found out just how difficult Mayweather can be.
“At the same time, he also missed me a lot,” Alvarez said. “His punches landed on my gloves.”
Ringside punch stats showed Mayweather dominance, crediting him with landing 232 of 505 punches to 117 of 526 for Alvarez.
The sellout crowd of 16,746 at the MGM Grand on Mexican Independence weekend tried its best to urge Alvarez (42-1-1) on, but the cheers of “Canelo! Canelo!” were faint and wistful by the late rounds. Mayweather was so much in charge that the only question was whether the ringside judges would allow him to pitch a shutout.
They didn’t, but that was the only disappointment on a night that Mayweather solidified his claim to being one of the best ever and padded his bank account in a way no other fighter has ever done.
Mayweather came out aggressive and used his speed to hit Alvarez with one or two shots in the early rounds and then get safely out of the way. Alvarez tried to stalk Mayweather and throw right hands, but Mayweather was usually safely out of the way by the time the punches arrived.
“He’s a tough competitor,” Mayweather said. “A tough competitor.”
Alvarez 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. By the fourth round he was beginning to get frustrated, landing a low blow that angered Mayweather, who was further angered when Alvarez refused to touch gloves with him to resume the fight.
The fight was one of the richest ever — if not the richest ever — with a live gate of $20 million and at least another $100 million from pay-per-view. Tickets were so hot that celebrities were actually offering to buy them and some tickets were being offered online for as much as $29,000.
Mayweather was the big beneficiary of that, making a guaranteed $41.5 million to $5 million for Alvarez. Add in his purse from his win over Robert Guererro in May and Mayweather made $73 million in two fights — easily making him the highest-paid athlete in the country.
Alvarez had some star power himself, with his red hair, good lucks and big punching power winning over most of his native Mexico. The fight was on free TV in Mexico, and some estimates were that 70 million people would watch.