LAS VEGAS -- The defense was back, just as it used to be. Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s dad was back, too, just as he used to be.

And Mayweather was a winner once again -- just as he always is.

Mayweather 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 of Gilroy in their welterweight title fight.

The game plan was defense, and Mayweather followed it perfectly. With his father directing from the corner after a 13-year absence, he dominated Guerrero in a performance not totally expected at the age of 36.

"I needed my father tonight," Mayweather said. "My defense was on point and he told me to stick with my defense and that the less you get hit the longer you last."

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. The Associated Press had it 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."

If it wasn't terribly pleasing to the crowd of 15,880, it was terribly effective. Mayweather made a fighter who hadn't lost in eight years look befuddled as he danced and moved and shot out right hands with increasing frequency.


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He remained unbeaten in 44 fights and, more important, looked so fresh that he may follow through on his plan to fight again in September.

When Guerrero did land a hit, Mayweather quickly got out of the way and, more often than not, landed a right hand of his own.

"I landed some good shots on him," Guerrero said. "He's a great fighter. He's slick and quick."

Guerrero was eager to trade punches, but often couldn't find Mayweather, who had already moved out of range.

Guerrero, considered dangerous coming off a big win, vowed to be the first to beat Mayweather, now 44-0.

Mayweather was faster and stronger than Guerrero, who was fighting for only the third time at 147 pounds.

Guerrero (31-2-1) was cut over his left eye in the eighth round, when Mayweather seemed on the verge of stopping him.

All told, Mayweather was credited with landing 195 punches to 113 for Guerrero.

"He ran like a chicken," said Guerrero's trainer and father, Ruben. "I thought we were going to go toe-to-toe with him."

Robert Guerrero didn't complain about Mayweather's style. Not when he wants to fight him again some day. "I'm going to keep fighting and hopefully before Floyd Mayweather retires I'm going to get that shot again," Guerrero said.