LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. did nothing to deserve the occasional boos that echoed through the MGM Grand arena during the later rounds of his fight with Robert Guerrero.
He didn't deserve any blame for fans leaving early, either, though hundreds found their way to the exit even before the 12th round began.
If they were spending $1,000 and up for tickets to a brawl, they should have known better. Mayweather built a career on not getting hit, and there was no reason to think he was going to make the same mistakes as last year against Miguel Cotto against a fighter whose only hope of winning was to rough him up.
Instead of booing, they should have been applauding. Instead of leaving, they should have been on their feet cheering.
On the canvas where he does his best work, Mayweather painted a boxing masterpiece only he could produce.
"Everyone was saying at the age of 36 I don't have it no more," Mayweather said. "All I want to do is give fans exciting fights."
This one wasn't as much exciting as it was brilliant. Mayweather used defensive skills built up over a lifetime to take apart a very good fighter Saturday night and do it in such lopsided fashion that ringside judges seemed to be searching for a round to give to Guerrero.
He hit Guerrero with right hand leads all night and might have knocked him out had he not hurt his hand in the eighth round. When Guerrero tried to land big shots of his own, Mayweather was either smothering him on the ropes or had danced out of harm's way.
It was a $32 million display of all that's right about the sweet science. And if it didn't satisfy all the fans at the MGM Grand or those who paid $69.95 for the pay-per-view, it kept Mayweather undefeated in 44 fights in what is becoming a remarkable boxing career.
"I showed the world I can still box," Mayweather said. "I showed my defense is still there. I'm still fast."
Most importantly, perhaps, it showed Mayweather himself that he still has it. After spending two months in jail and a year out of the ring, he returned with a performance that was vintage Mayweather.
His father was back in the corner and was put to good use. Both Floyd Sr. and Floyd Jr. thought the boxer got hit too much when he went toe-to-toe with Cotto last May and were determined to focus on defense against Guerrero, who tried his best for 12 rounds to turn the fight into a brawl, to no avail.
The plan was to hit and not get hit. It worked to perfection, with Guerrero landing only 19 percent of his punches to 41 percent for Mayweather.
"The less you get hit, the longer you last in boxing," Mayweather said.
Mayweather has followed that creed so well that he has lasted 17 years in the sport, and he looks no worse for the wear. He's managed to build a boxing empire on pay-per-view sales despite having a style that is less than crowd pleasing, and his $32 million payday for Guerrero shows he remains a huge attraction.
He wants to fight again in September, which would be the first time since 2007 he fought twice in a calendar year. That could be delayed by his injured right hand, though Mayweather insisted after the fight he would be ready to go.
The question now becomes who Mayweather will face. Upcoming Mexican star Canelo Alvarez would be the most attractive fight, but the short lead time to September virtually ensures that bout won't happen until at least next May, at best.
Mayweather is in the unique position where he can handpick his opponents, and he's been criticized for trying to find fighters he knows he can beat. Alvarez would be a risky fight, one Mayweather might want to save until late in the remaining five fights he has under a deal with Showtime that he says will be the last of his career.
"He's a young guy," Mayweather said of Alvarez. "Floyd Mayweather isn't going to duck anybody. My job is to go out there, rack up victories and be the best Floyd Mayweather I can be."
Whether that is good enough to make Mayweather among the all-time greats was a topic of questioning at the post-fight news conference. Mayweather may be a dominating fighter, but he hasn't had a rivalry to get fight fans excited and he came up with excuse after excuse not to fight Manny Pacquiao when Pacquiao was still in his prime.
He also hasn't fought regularly enough to press a claim for greatness, something that could change if he goes through on plans to fight every six months or so under the Showtime deal.
"I just do what I do," Mayweather said. "I've given this sport my whole life."
Well, if this is true—this Yahoo! Sports report doesn’t cite Derrick Rose directly, but rather an unidentified source—it should put an end to speculation that was sure to be hanging over every Bulls game from here on out. According to Yahoo!, D-Rose has privately decided to sit out for the remainder of the Playoffs: “For the good of his franchise and fans, for everyone’s focus to be where it should belong now – Bulls-Heat, Game 1 on Monday – Rose needs to drop the illusion that his return in these playoffs remains a consideration. ‘Who knows?’ Rose told reporters hours on Saturday. ‘It’s still up in the air.’ Who knows? Derrick Rose knows. His choice has been made to sit out the season and it includes no provisions for turning back, sources with direct knowledge told Yahoo! Sports. Inside and outside of the organization, that isn’t much of a revelation. After all, the surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee was May 12, 2012. Doctors cleared him to start scrimmaging with the team in mid-February. After all that, he isn’t walking out for the first time with LeBron James and the Miami Heat waiting to jump him. Between Rose and the public, this has become a tiresome dance. His brother, Reggie, recently said Derrick could return in the second round. Only, Reggie’s brother isn’t returning in the conference semifinals, or the conference finals, or the NBA Finals. He is sitting out the season. … Make no mistake: The issue shouldn’t be Rose’s unwillingness to play until he believes his reconstructed knee meets his standards, but rather this charade of refusing to rule out his return in these playoffs.”
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson underwent abdominal surgery Monday after sustaining injuries from a wrestling match earlier this month. The "Pain & Gain" movie star suffered a torn abdomen and abductor muscles, he said, when defending his WWE Champion title in an April 7 match against contender John Cena. Cena won the match that took place at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium in front of a crowd of nearly 80,000.
The 40-year-old star announced the news on his Twitter page Sunday:
"Saw my Dr who had to push my intestines back thru the tear in my abdomen. Kinda romantic. Surgery is next week. #BringItOn," he wrote.
Johnson's rep confirmed to E! News that the star had undergone an emergency hernia operation last night that caused him to miss the Los Angeles premiere of his new film. Director Michael Bay also wished him well from the red carpet: "Dwayne's hurt tonight. He was pushing it too hard. [He] needs to grow up and stop wrestling 300-pound men."
Lakers' forward Antawn Jamison jokes he robbed some teams
Antawn Jamison has had a long and lucrative career. The two-time All-Star is currently ninth amongst active players and 39th all-time in points scored with 19,724. Only 44 players in NBA history have played more than the 36,879 minutes he's logged in his 15-year career. And he's earned over an estimated $140 million in contracts.
Jamison has been the best scorer on a team, a supposed missing piece to help LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers get over the title hump, and he's also been a key reserve for plenty of teams with title aspirations. According to Jamison, he's also been a thief some years in the NBA, as he explained to Ramona Shelburne from ESPN LA:
There certainly were a couple seasons in which groups of fans would agree with Jamison's light-hearted assessment.
Coming into this season, Jamison was on a two-year run with the Cleveland Cavaliers in which fans seemed to be furious at his production relative to his price tag. His defense was abysmal, his rebounding was subpar, and he needed a lot of shots in order to score his points. He did score points though. He averaged 17.5 points over the last 121 games with the Cavs while shooting just 41.4 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from 3-point range.
During those two years, Jamison was paid roughly $28 million by the Cavs.
According to this article by Shelburne on Jamison, he turned down an offer of three years and $11 million from the Charlotte Bobcats this past offseason to take the veteran's minimum with the Lakers and chase a championship ring -- something he's never been able to obtain in his career. Things with the Lakers haven't exactly gone to plan this year with the coaching changes and the injuries and the horrific play. But Jamison has helped the Lakers turn things around over the last 17 games.
The Lakers have gone 12-5 during this stretch after falling eight games below .500 and are dangerously close to getting back into the top eight seeds in the Western Conference. During this 17-game span, Jamison has averaged 12.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 23.1 minutes to go along with a 50.3 field goal percentage and a 42.6 3-point percentage.
It's good to know 'Tawn isn't robbing anybody this season.