Las Vegas, NV – Floyd Mayweather Jr. took away Miguel Cotto's WBA super welterweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision Saturday night.
Mayweather (43-0), who had blood trickling from his nose for a good part of the fight, won by scores of 117-111 on two of the scorecards and 118-110 from a third judge. Cotto (37-3), who was making the third defense of his belt, landed 74 less punches than Mayweather, who earned at least $32 million for this bout.
It was also the last fight for Mayweather before he goes to jail next month to serve a likely two-month sentence for domestic abuse. It may have also been the toughest fight of Mayweather's career.
Unable to schedule a fight with Manny Pacquiao, the 35-year-old Mayweather instead took on a boxer who gave the multi-division champion all he could handle.
After the fight, Mayweather called for Pacquiao to fight him, calling it what the fans want. Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, actually arrived in Los Angeles Saturday night on a flight from The Philippines, ahead of a June 9 fight against undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.
Mayweather last fought on September 17, when he scored a fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz. Early on, he fought from the ropes and corners, but consistently connected through the first six rounds.
Cotto was better in rounds seven through nine by blocking Mayweather's offensive assault and covering up his face. The crowd rose to its feet when the two boxers went toe-to-toe in the eighth round.
Mayweather caught Cotto with a solid uppercut in the 12th, but instead of going for the knockout, he seemed content to trade punches the rest of the way.
On the undercard, Mexican rising star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez retained his WBC super welterweight title by dominating "Sugar" Shane Mosley in a 12-round unanimous decision.
Alvarez (40-0-1), who made his fourth title defense, sustained a cut above his left eye due to an accidental head butt in the third round. Blood streamed down his face, but he was well ahead of the scorecards throughout the bout and piled up a 119-109 margin from two judges and 118-110 from the other to win going away.
The 40-year-old Mosley (46-8-1), who was coming off a unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao, was clearly the slower boxer. He landed only 25 percent of his punches to 52 percent for Alvarez.
Although Mosley has never been knocked out in his career, this may have been the end to a long run for the former three-division, six-time champion.
The 21-year-old Alvarez landed a solid left hook in the second round and consistently slowed Mosely with good body shots.