On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought what he claims will be the final bout of his career, improving to 49-0 with a unanimous decision win over Andre Berto. Mayweather landed 57 percent of his punches while allowing Berto to score at just a 17 percent rate. The 40 percent difference between the two in punches landed underscored exactly what a ridiculous choice Berto had been in the first place.
Berto did his level-best to make things competitive, but never varied or adjusted his approach. From Rounds 1 through 12, he consistently moved forward in the same angle, throwing his lead jab at the same, utterly predictable speed. For a technical wizard like Mayweather, it was an extremely easy night’s work.
Even against an opponent of Berto’s abilities, Mayweather’s performance was impressive. However, like many of his fights, it lacked any sort of meaningful drama or excitement. It essentially looked like a sparring session, between two fighters of widely different skill levels.
Luckily for those who chose to buy the card, the first three fights of the broadcast were sensational. In the opening bout, hard-punching veteran Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico faced off with Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo in a super feahterweight bout. Gonzalez dropped Oquendo in Round 1, but Oquendo climbed off the canvas and returned the favor in Round 2. Oquendo made the better adjustments in the fight and won an exciting majority decision.
In the first defense of his WBC super middleweight belt, Badou Jack gave the best performance of his career to turn back a very determined George Groves. Jack dropped Groves in Round 1 and put in outstanding work to the body. It was a competitive fight, but I don’t really understand how judge John Mckaie saw fit to score it for Groves. I agreed with the other two judges, who had Jack winning and retaining his belt.
But overall, the night was truly stolen by Orlando Salido and Roman Martinez. In a rematch of a terrific fight between the two of them from earlier this year, in which Martinez took Salido’s WBO super featherweight belt, Salido threw over a 1000 punches and hammered at Martinez’s body with relentless pressure. Martinez was a very busy fighter himself in the bout and tried his best to match fire with fire. The judges all disagreed on the outcome, ruling it a split-decision draw.
In my opinion, Salido was the obvious winner of this fight, but the outcome should lead to a third fight between the two, and that will be a victory for the fans.