Floyd Mayweather Jr. defends welterweight title

Star stays perfect in return fight

After a year off, Floyd Mayweather rolled to a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero.
After a year off, Floyd Mayweather rolled to a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero.

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought as if he had never left the ring, coming back from a year’s absence Saturday night to win a unanimous 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero in their welterweight title fight.

Mayweather was masterful at times, landing thudding right hands and bloodying Guerrero’s face in a performance that mimicked some of his best fights. Mayweather hurt Guerrero on several occasions, including a series of right hands near the end of the eighth round that buckled Guerrero’s knees.

All three judges scored the bout 117-111 in Mayweather’s favor. The Associated Press had Mayweather winning, 119-109.

‘‘We did it again,’’ Mayweather said after earning at least $32 million for his night’s work. ‘‘I take my hat off to Robert Guerrero. He’s a true warrior.’’

Mayweather remained unbeaten in 44 fights, while handing Guerrero (32-2-1) only his second loss as a pro.

Mayweather was booed at times for not mixing it up more, but he didn’t need to.

The fight settled into a familiar pattern from the third round on as Mayweather made adjustments and started landing some crisp right leads to Guerrero’s head. Guerrero was eager to trade punches, but often couldn’t find Mayweather.

Before the fight there had been some concern about Mayweather having ring rust after going a year without a fight. But he didn’t miss a beat, using his defensive skills to baffle Guerrero.

‘‘I feel bad I didn’t get the knockout tonight that the fans wanted,’’ Mayweather said. ‘‘I hurt my right hand.’’

Guerrero was cut over his left eye in the eighth round.

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Wladimir Klitschko stopped Francesco Pianeta in the sixth round to retain the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation heavyweight titles in Mannheim, Germany.