Going into Saturday night’s card the feeling in the air was palpable. With the biggest gate in combat sports history to start with, and projected to make a crack at the all time PPV buyrate, this was the fight that was pushed by the boxing community as the ultimate repudiation of the “boxing is dead” storyline that has been pushed by ESPN and others.
It certainly felt alive Saturday night … the one thing we can definitively say about “The One” is that it certainly felt like the one fight that could show boxing being alive and well in the American sports lexicon.
Mega sports fan, and Oscar winning actor, Jack Nicholson was in the house. He wasn’t the only actor there either, including among multiple-time Academy Award winners: two-time Oscar winner and noted boxing fan Denzel Washington was in the arena. Rosie Perez, George Lopez and LL Cool J were spotted early as well. Musicians Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes were there. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was spotted alongside NBA hall of famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving. MMA was well represented as well with UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and UFC president Dana White showing up to watch the fight.
Garcia vs. Matthyse and Mayweather vs. Alvarez were perhaps the best two fights you could put together for one card. What we received was a fight of the year contender where a heavy underdog managed to pull off a late surge to victory … and a one sided fight that was much close on the cards than in the ring.
Danny Garcia kept it close against Lucas Matthysse early and took advantage of Matthysse’s eye swelling to pour it on late in the fight. A heavy underdog coming in, especially with Matthysse’s record of big knockouts, Garcia fought a masterful fight out of the pocket using combinations. He showed superb composure and threw his hat in the ring for a potential fight with Mayweather with that performance.
It was tough, gritty and he now has a lot of title belts. It was the epitome of a star-making performance against an opponent who many presumed would be next in line for Mayweather.
In the main event Floyd Mayweather showed just why he’s the best fighter in the world right now with a dominant majority decision win over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Alvarez showed that he has the talent and heart to stay with Mayweather but wasn’t quite ready for him. It was wondered aloud whether or not Alvarez was taking the fight a year or two early and Mayweather proved, despite Cynthia Ross’s indefensible judging prowess, that he’s still a step ahead of the entire field.
For Alvarez this was a fight he can hang his hat on. Many fighters would’ve given up or gone down to a punch he shouldn’t have. “Canelo” hung in there and kept coming after Floyd, who won every round on a number of media scorecards. He’ll be ready to put on a better performance in time; he’s the boxer of tomorrow but not quite today, as announcers noted.
Tags: Boxing, Danny Garcia, floyd mayweather, Lucas Matthysse, Saul Alvarez