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Mayweather decisions Berto; Badou beats Groves

Andre Berto Floyd Mayweather Jr George Groves Orlando Salido Roman Martinez

By Tim Fletcher: Unbeaten WBA/WBC welterweight champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26 KOs) easily beat a sluggish and shot looking Andre Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night on the Showtime pay-per-view card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The final judges’ scores were 117-111, 118-110 and 120-108.

In the final 15 seconds of the 12th and final round, Mayweather decided to run around the ring to keep Berto from getting close enough to throw anything. The crowd booed this maneuver by Mayweather. It was clear he misjudged what the reaction would be from the fans when he started running, because the fight had little in the way of action as it was.

After Mayweather was given the decision, he got on his knees and looked up at the ceiling. It’s unclear what he was thinking. Perhaps he was happy that his career was over and that he had equaled Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0. But as far as the fight itself, it wasn’t the type of fight where you would think Mayweather would be on his knees happy it ended. It was more like a glorified sparring session than an interesting fight. This was probably the least exciting fight that Mayweather has been involved in since his one-sided win over Artur Gatti many years ago in 2005. Even that fight was more exciting because Mayweather was nailing Gatti at will.

The fight entailed a lot of holding by both fighters, and movement from Mayweather. He landed a lot of pot shots like he always does. Mayweather had advertised that the fight was going to be very exciting with him looking to go to war with Berto from start to finish. Mayweather predicted a knockout. But instead of seeing that, we saw the same performance from Mayweather that we’d seen in his dull fight against Manny Pacquiao last May. It was very boring to watch. The crowd gave Mayweather a break by not booing from start to finish.

“It doesn’t matter if my hand is hurt. My career is over. It’s official. I am done,” Mayweather said after the fight. “I’m almost 40. I’ve broken all the records. I have nothing to prove in boxing. I was able to make good investments. I’m well off. Hopefully one day we’ll find another Floyd Mayweather. I’m leaving the sport with all my faculties. I’m still smart. I’ve accomplished everything. There’s nothing to accomplish in the sport,” Mayweather said.

Berto said “Experience played a big part. He was difficult to hold onto. He’s slippery. I use a lot of speed. He’s real crafty. I told him I’m here to fight. We put on a good performance and pushed it to the limit.”

The truth is Mayweather and Berto did not put on a good performance. It was a very boring fight with a great deal of clinching by both fighters. Unless you like to watch clinching, it was a disappointing fight.

***

In a controversial outcome, WBO super featherweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs) retained his title with a 12 round draw against #3 WBO Orlando Salido (42-13-3, 20 KOs) in their rematch. The final judges’ scores were 115-113 Martinez, 115-113 Salido and 114-114.

Salido and Martinez traded knockdowns in the third round. Salido, 34, appeared to win rounds 1, 2, 4-9 and 12. It seemed like a pretty clear win for the much busier Salido. The Showtime analysts had Salido winning easily.

“I felt like I won,” Salido said after the fight. “I threw more punches in the fight, and I felt like I won the fight. For them to take it away it not fair,” Salido added.

Martinez said “I definitely won the fight. The referee scored a knockdown that wasn’t a knockdown. Anywhere you want it, we’ll fight a rematch.”

***

WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) successfully defeated #1 WBC George Groves (21-3, 16 KOs) by a 12 round split decision to retain his WBC title. The final judges’ scores were 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111. An angry Groves stormed out of the ring after the final scores were announced and failed to give an interview to Showtime.

Badou knocked the 27-year-old Groves down in the 1st round with two big right hands to the head. Groves got back up on wobbly legs and was somehow able to make it out of the round.

Groves dominated rounds two through five with his superior work rate and powerful jab and right hand. However, Groves appeared to gas out by the 6th round, and this enabled Badou to take over the fight with his powerful body punching.

Badou landed 210 of 506 punches, according to Showtime’s punch stats. For his part, Groves landed 154 of 721 punches for a connect percentage of 21%.

Groves only has himself to blame for losing the fight. He got tired in the 2nd half of the fight, and didn’t have the power on his shots that he did in the first four rounds. You could see how tired Groves was from the way his face looked and with the way he was breathing hard. His left eye was swollen up from the right hand shots that Badou was hitting him all night with.

“I should have got the knockout,” Badou said after the fight. “I think my other fight [against Anthony Dirrell] was better. I heard [Julio Cesar] Chavez Jr. wants to fight me, and Lucian Bute.”

Had Groves won the fight, he would have had an all British fight against IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale at Wembley Stadium in London, England. That fight would have made Groves a lot of money win or lose. But with Badou winning, he’s clearly not going to waste his time fighting DeGale. Badou is better off facing the likes of Chavez Jr. or Bute. Those would be good money fights for Badou.

Groves will need to start over with his career and try and work his way to another world title shot. He’s not going to get a voluntary defense from Badou. Unless DeGale wants to fight Groves with him coming off of a loss, Groves will need to work his way to the No.1 spot again like he did previously. If the World Boxing Council wants to order another WBC title eliminator with Groves as one of the participants, then he can get another shot at putting himself back in the ring with Badou.

***

In a surprise upset, the unheralded Johnathan Oquendo (26-4, 16 KOs) beat former three time world champ Jhonny Gonzalez (58-10, 49 KOs) by a 10 round majority decision win in a super featherweight fight. The final judges’ scores were 94-94, 95-93 and 98-90.

Gonzalez put the 32-year-old Oquendo down on the canvas in the 1st round of the contest. Oquendo evened the score in knocking Gonzalez down in the 2nd round.

Gonzalez ended up with cuts over both of his eyes that limited his vision.

With this defeat, Gonzalez has now lost two out of his last three fights, and you have to wonder what he’s got left in the tank at 33. Oquendo suffered a cut over his left eye, but it didn’t cause him any problems in being able to find Gonzalez.

***

Former world title challenger Vanes Martirosyan (36-2-1, 21 KOs) defeated former IBF 154lb champion Ishe Smith (27-8, 12 KOs) by a close 10 round majority decision. The final judges’ scores were 97-91, 97-981, and 95-95. Martirosyan knocked Smith down twice in the fight in putting him down in the 3rd and 8th rounds.

Other boxing results on the card:

Chris Pearson TKO 7 Jank Trotter
Ronald Gavril KO 8 Scott Sigmon
Ashley Theophane UD 10 Steve Upsher Chambers
Trakwon Pettis TKO 1 Davante Seay


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