Floyd Mayweather Jr. did nothing to deserve the occasional boos that echoed through the MGM Grand arena in Las Vegas during the later rounds of his welterweight title win over Robert Guerrero late Saturday night.
If some fans were spending $1,000 and up for tickets to a brawl, they should have known better. Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts) has built a career on not getting hit.
On the canvas where he does his best work, Mayweather painted a boxing masterpiece.
"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 so much exciting as it was brilliant. Mayweather used defensive skills built up over a lifetime to take apart a very good fighter and do it in such lopsided fashion that ringside judges seemed to be searching for a round to give to Guerrero.
He hit Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs) 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 it kept Mayweather undefeated in 44 fights.
Most important, 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 vintage performance.
His father was back in the corner and was put to good use. Both Floyd Sr. and Floyd Jr. 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.
He wants to fight again in September, which would be the first time since 2007 he has 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: Whom will Mayweather will face?
One possibility is Juniata Park's Danny Garcia, the WBA and WBC junior-welterweight champion. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told Boxing Scene that Garcia could be on the list "once he has cleaned up the junior-welterweight division," while also mentioning Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz.
Part of the entertainment of a Garcia-Mayweather matchup would come from both fighters' father-trainers. Angel Garcia has a made it a standard pre-fight practice to wind up opponents (and fire up his son) with over-the-top taunts.
On Thursday, the elder Mayweather told Boxing Scene that he would like a matchup with Danny Garcia, while delivering a backhanded slap. "I would love for [my son] to fight Garcia - that would be a knockout for sure. . . . All [Garcia] throws are looping punches. . . . It's hard for me to believe Garcia could whoop me."
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.