(CNN) — In one of the most hyped boxing matchups in recent history, Floyd Mayweather outclassed Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in a majority decision Saturday night.
Throughout the 12 rounds, Mayweather, 36, remained in control of his 23-year-old rival.
The win brings Mayweather’s record to 45-0. And it carried the biggest purse in boxing history — $41.5 million for Mayweather, already one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
The man regularly described as the best pound-for-pound fighter will earn even more cash by claiming a share of pay-per-view takings.
“This fight is truly unbelievable,” Mayweather, who briefly unseated Tiger Woods as Forbes’ best-paid athlete, in 2012, told CNN, ahead of the bout. “Man, this is all excitement. Canelo is young, strong, dedicated to his craft. I’m a legend in the sport.
“Canelo wants that No. 1 spot. Myself, I want to remain at the top. So it’ll be an explosion.”
Alvarez, promoted by one of Mayweather’s past arch-rivals, Oscar De La Hoya, was the latest challenger to attempt to end the 36-year-old’s unblemished record.
Mayweather defeated Robert Guerrero in May. It was Mayweather’s first fight after spending two months in jail in connection with an incident of domestic violence.
De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Arturo Gatti and Miguel Cotto are among those who have been unable to down the technically proficient American, while a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao blockbuster has yet to materialize.
Coming in undefeated
But Alvarez came in undefeated, too, compiling a record of 42 victories and a draw.
The 23-year-old had registered more knockouts than Mayweather, 30 to 26, although the Mexican’s foes were generally considered inferior.
“Canelo is a good boxer,” Mayweather said. “He’s strong, he’s a good puncher. He’s done things right to be undefeated at such a young age.
“But I think it’s going to be very, very difficult for him come Saturday.”
Place in history
The win wasn’t that much of a surprise. He was a 1/3 favorite with British bookmaker William Hill.
When asked what his place in boxing history was, the five-division world champion wasn’t about to turn humble.
“Right now they call me ‘TBE.’ That’s ‘the best ever,'” he said. “The only thing I have to keep on doing is beating these young lions, keep beating the fighters they put in front of me and hopefully I’ll go down as the best.”
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