It was skill against will, brain vs. brawn, strategy contending with game; the rapier meets the cutlass.
Floyd Mayweather Jr delivered a superb performance last night, taking away any advantage Robert Guerrero may have brought to the table at Mayweather's home away from home, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, while maximizing the weapons from his own amazing arsenal.
The build up to this contest, for the WBC welterweight belt, took place over a great deal of time as Guerrero had been campaigning for the opportunity to face Mayweather for the last year and a half.
The forceful manner in which Guerrero had dealt with his previous welterweight appearances, Andre Berto and Selcuk Aydin, coupled with the now 36 year old Mayweather getting hit much more than usual when he faced Miguel Cotto last year, led some to consider Mayweather vulnerable.
Perhaps even Mayweather himself, as he returned his father, who's primary focus is defense, to the trainer's seat in his camp while Floyd made statements in the media in the days leading up to the fight that he had trained harder for this fight than any other....etc.
Additionally, Floyd had previously had a bit of trouble with a few southpaws in his career and well, perhaps lefty Guerrero was coming along with the right tools at the right time?
Guerrero's tactic of jabbing his way in and then brawling on the inside, as he had done to great advantage against Andre Berto last November, was controlled by Mayweather in two ways; the right hand and the clinch.
Mayweather repeatedly slipped or backed away from Guerrero's jab and then caught the challenger with pinpoint right hands when he tried to come in. Mayweather would then simply clinch Guerrero until referee Robert Byrd called for a break in the action.
Pre-fight talk that perhaps Mayweather legs were starting to go was put to rest by his outstanding footwork against Guerrero, who should hand his nickname
"The Ghost" over to Mayweather as Floyd was simply gone whenever Guerrero threw punches.
Early on Guerrero attempted to rush Mayweather and was largely unsuccessful due to the movement, countering and clinching of the champion. Mayweather's accuracy with the southpaw-killer right hand allowed him to keep Guerrero at bay and produce a cut above the challenger's eye in the eighth.
Guerrero continued to bring pressure and bad intent into the later rounds but found no more joy than he had in the previous frames. Unable to get to grips with Mayweather, Guerrero suffered the consequences, losing a 117-111 unanimous decision on all three scorecards.
Guerrero's eight year win streak is done as he falls to 31-2-1 (18). Mayweather remains undefeated at 44-0 (26), winning his 21st world title bout.
Incidentally, Mayweather has five fights remaining on his contract with TV company Showtime; if he wins all of those, he'll stand at 49-0.
Which would tie Rocky Marciano's all-time unbeaten record and put Mayweather in line for a 50th victory against no losses opportunity.
Imagine the bidding among TV companies for the right to broadcast that bout.
Just one more example of Floyd's mastery in not only the sport, but in business as well.