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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mayweather Defeats De La Hoya on Points

APMayweather, left, and De La Hoya trading blows in Las Vegas on Saturday.
LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. couldn't win over the crowd, or even his own father. All he could win was the only thing that really counted Saturday night: his fight against Oscar De La Hoya.

Boxing's bad boy beat the Golden Boy in one of the richest fights ever, using his superb defensive skills and superior speed to take a 12-round split decision and win the WBC 154-pound (70 kilogram) title in his first fight at that weight.

"It was easy work for me. He was rough and tough, but he couldn't beat the best," Mayweather said. "I was having fun in there. It was a hell of a fight."

Both proud champions fought from the opening bell to the end of the final round, which finished with the brawl De La Hoya wanted all along. But it came too late to help De La Hoya, who lost four of the last five rounds on two scorecards.

"I could see I was hurting him," De La Hoya said. "I was pressing the fight, and if I hadn't pressed the fight there would be no fight. I'm a champion, and you have to do more than that to beat a champion."

De La Hoya threw far more punches than Mayweather in an almost desperate bid to overcome Mayweather's slippery defense. He trapped Mayweather on the ropes and in the corner almost every round, throwing flurries to his head. But far more missed than landed, allowing Mayweather to dance away, often after countering with a punch or two of his own.

"I just fought the best fighter in our era and I beat him," Mayweather said.

The sellout crowd of 16,200 -- which paid a record $19 million gate -- didn't think so, booing the decision just as it had booed Mayweather when he came into the ring wearing a sombrero to mark the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

Two of the three ringside judges, though, gave the fight to Mayweather, who has never lost in his pro career and won a title for the fifth time in as many weight classes.

Mayweather was favored 116-112 by judge Chuck Giampa and 115-113 by judge Jerry Roth. Judge Tom Kaczmarek had De La Hoya ahead 115-113. The Associated Press had Mayweather winning 116-112.

In the end, Mayweather was simply faster and more slippery, and landed more punches.

Mayweather said before the fight that De La Hoya would fade as the fight went on, and it seemed as though he did. He used the jab more early, but got away from it from the eighth round on, giving Mayweather an easier shot at him with right hand leads.

"He's getting tired. He's getting tired," Mayweather's trainer and uncle, Roger Mayweather, told his fighter after the round.

Ringside punching stats heavily favored Mayweather, crediting him with landing 207 of 481 punches to 122 of 587 for De La Hoya.