'Pretty Boy' outboxes Baldomir in clinical fashion

Originally Published: November 4, 2006
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- The fight promotion was called "Pretty Risky," but "Pretty Easy" would have been more appropriate.

Floyd Mayweather
Laura Rauch/AP PhotoMayweather, left, was able to hit Baldomir while dodging him throughout the fight.

Pound-for-pound king "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather toyed with Carlos Baldomir to win the world welterweight championship Saturday night in a fight devoid of drama because Mayweather dominated so thoroughly.

The fight was not competitive for a single moment as Mayweather overwhelmed the plodding Baldomir with his speed. Two judges had it a shutout, 120-108, and the third judge somehow found two rounds to give Baldomir on his 118-110 scorecard. ESPN.com also had it 120-108.

Maybe Mayweather should have fought with one arm tied behind his back? It might have made Saturday night's fight a little more interesting.

Many in the crowd of 9,427 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center left before the fight ended because the result was so obvious.

Mayweather won the lopsided fight despite injuring his right hand, which has given him problems for years.

"I hurt my right in the middle of the fight, around the sixth round," Mayweather said. "This is not the same pain I felt before, so I don't really know what happened to it. I just went out there and put on a boxing clinic. I feel like down the stretch I would've got the knockout, but I hurt my hand. Look at what I did tonight, I had a shutout. I can win under any circumstances, and I am here to stay."

"I just went out there and put on a boxing clinic. I feel like down the stretch I would've got the knockout, but I hurt my hand. Look at what I did tonight, I had a shutout. I can win under any circumstances, and I am here to stay."
-- Floyd Mayweather Jr.

He cut Baldomir (43-10-6) outside of the left eye and on the bridge of the nose in the first round. In the second round, Mayweather (37-0) landed a body shot and Baldomir looped a wide right hand that missed in return.

That scene played out for the remainder of the fight as Baldomir, 35, could not land anything against Mayweather, 29, who would connect and then juke out of the way before Baldomir could even come close to firing back.

The CompuBox statistics provided a stark illustration of how the fight went. Mayweather was credited with landing 199 of 458 blows (43 percent), while Baldomir managed to connect with just 79 of 670 punches (12 percent).

Mayweather was effective moving forward, backward, in and out. He could have fought standing on his head.

The fact that his uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather was missing from the training camp and the corner made no difference. Roger Mayweather is serving six months in jail for a battery conviction and is under suspension by Nevada officials for setting off a brawl during Floyd Mayweather's fight against Zab Judah in April.

Floyd Mayweather
Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesBaldomir landed some shots on Mayweather's chin, but not enough to hurt him.

Longtime assistant trainer and adviser Leonard Ellerbe took over in the corner and didn't need to do much.

In the eighth round, Baldomir finally pinned Mayweather in a corner and appeared poised to land some hard shots. But Mayweather ducked and dodged a five-punch combination that hit nothing but air.

Baldomir, however, kept trying. He just couldn't compete.

"He was resilient and he definitely fought with a lot of heart," said Mayweather, who has won championships in four divisions.

The loss ended Baldomir's magic run. He hadn't lost a fight in nearly eight years and had compiled a 19-0-2 record during that time.

He burst on the scene in January with a huge upset against Judah to win the undisputed championship, then pulled off another upset in July by knocking out Arturo Gatti.

The two big wins this year led to his promoters dubbing him "Cinderella Man." But the clock struck midnight for him.

"I didn't fight my fight. He was too fast. I couldn't catch him, and when I did, I just wasn't strong. I felt sluggish."
-- Carlos Baldomir

"I didn't fight my fight," said Baldomir, of Argentina. "He was too fast. I couldn't catch him, and when I did, I just wasn't strong. I felt sluggish."

Baldomir struggled to get down to 147 pounds and had ballooned to 161 when he came to the arena Saturday. Mayweather, who earned $8 million, was officially 146 and gained only 3 pounds after the weigh-in.

"It's been a great year," said Baldomir, who earned $1.6 million. "I beat Judah, I beat Gatti, I went up against the pound-for-pound king. I accomplished a lot."

Mayweather still has much he would like to accomplish. The biggest fight that can be made in boxing is a match with junior middleweight titlist and cash cow Oscar De La Hoya, who is trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr., Floyd Jr.'s estranged father.

Mayweather wants the fight badly.

"I think he will get in the ring with me after tonight," he said. "If he wants to, he knows how to reach me. If De La Hoya really wants to fight me, I'll tax that [backside], too. Oscar said he wants to leave fighting the best."

HBO will replay the fight next Saturday night (10 ET) along with live coverage of Wladimir Klitschko's heavyweight title defense against Calvin Brock.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

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