Whether you love or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Floyd Mayweather is one of the most entertaining boxers in history. He’s a brilliant fighter whose fighting style is a brilliant mix of unbreakable defense and calculated aggression.
People always flocked to his fights, regardless of the place and opponent. People are latched to every word he says regarding the sweet science. His flamboyant nature on and off the ring may tick off some people, but it carries a certain charisma that fans naturally gravitate towards.
What makes Mayweather’s career all the more impressive is that he won every bout he fought. Not all of these bouts were beautiful knockouts, but they were all well-executed fights where his opponents struggled to put him down.
To celebrate Pretty Boy’s 46th birthday, we wrote this OKBET Sports piece that will highlight five of his fifty wins. While each win was important for Mayweather’s perfect record, some of these fights are more valuable to his legacy than others.
The fights we’ll feature in this listicle were against some of the most exciting names in boxing during his professional days. And yes, one of them is a name we’re all familiar with.
Floyd Mayweather vs Oscar De La Hoya
Pretty Boy Mayweather wasn’t the boxing supernova when he squared up against Oscar De La Hoya. However, he showcased in his fight against the Golden Boy everything that made him such a success in the ring.
He happily took on the heel role and got the crowd riled up against him. It was obvious during the fight’s leadup that he relished the attention given to him, even though it was mostly Latino fans hurling abuse toward him.
Money even walked into the MGM Grand, donning the Mexican flag colors in his trunks and robe. He even wore a white sombrero to drive the point home. It was evident that he was engaging De La Hoya, who was four years his senior during the fight, in psychological warfare.
His taunts were effective as De La Hoya came out of the gates swinging. His opponent tried to take him down during the fight’s earlier rounds, but Money Mayweather’s impeccable defense kept the match close.
He kept himself within striking distance and pounced on the Golden Boy once he lifted his foot off the gas. He won the fight as he managed to land more throws than his opponent.
Floyd Mayweather vs Ricky Hatton
Mayweather’s next bout after De La Hoya was another of his most memorable fights.
Ricky Hatton is a recognized name for Filipino prizefighting fans, albeit because Manny Pacquiao knocked him out cold in the second round of their fight. However, fans who know a thing or two about boxing understand how great the Briton fighter was at his peak.
Hatton was a known infighter who loved getting into his opponent’s space, and he definitely showed that quality against Floyd Mayweather when they met in December 2007. Fans who watched the fight would say that it was one of the more entertaining fights of the year due to the contrasting styles.
Like the De La Hoya fight, the MGM Grand was full of Hatton fans who crossed the Atlantic to support their favorite boxer. Mayweather also drummed up interest in the fight by taking on the heel role again.
The fight shared a similar flow with the previous fight in this list. Hatton aggressively attacked Mayweather, and his opponent hit back to keep him out. However, a precise strike in the tenth round ended the bout in favor of Money Mayweather.
Years later, Hatton revealed that he thought referee Joe Cortez helped Mayweather win. However, the result is fixed and cannot be changed.
Floyd Mayweather vs Diego Corrales
Fight fans who casually follow boxing would probably know Floyd as a terrific counterpuncher who invites his opponent to commit to attacking before raining down thunderous counters. But did you know that he used to be the one who punched first?
Many considered Mayweather’s fight against Diego Corrales the first significant career match. While he developed a reputation as an unbeaten boxer, there were still plenty of questions over whether he could stand up against a fighter of Corrales’ caliber.
There was also the question of fighting style. His father, Floyd Sr., taught him a defensive style of boxing that allowed him control of the entire match. However, he switched trainers to his Uncle Roger. Roger was a two-time world champion who valued offense over everything. Mayweather’s previous fights showed how evident the conflicting styles were.
However, the self-proclaimed TBE found the perfect balance between attacking and defending in this fight.
His taller opponent struggled to establish himself in the match as Floyd Mayweather attacked to keep him at bay. He was still great at weaving through Corrales’ attacks, and his dominance resulted in a tenth-round TKO.
Floyd Mayweather vs Saul Alvarez
By the time Mayweather fought Saul Alvarez, he’s already been established as one of the best boxers to step into the ring. Some even saw this fight as a bit of a passing of the torch.
Canelo Alvarez was 23 when he traded blows with Mayweather, 36 at the time. Alvarez was also undefeated in the leadup to the fight, making the light middleweight title fight the most anticipated boxing match of 2013.
Some may have expected the Mexican boxer to try breaking down Floyd’s defense. It was evident in the De La Hoya and Hatton fights that headlessly rushing into Mayweather’s inside space would only get you punched repeatedly.
However, Alvarez seemed timid from the outset. Mayweather took advantage of the situation by punching through his spotty defense. He kept weaving whenever his younger opponent tried to punch his way out of trouble to keep the game in his favor.
Money Mayweather won by a controversial majority decision. However, it was clear to everyone in the room that the elder boxer was the more dominant fighter that night.
Alvarez recently said he would beat Floyd Mayweather if they were both in their primes. However, he has since accepted that his loss is one of the few blemishes on an otherwise legendary boxing career.
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao
This is the Floyd Mayweather fight most Filipino boxing fans are familiar with. And depending on which person you may ask, the fight would either be a fair result or an outright robbery.
Everyone has been clamoring for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight since Pacman took down both De La Hoya and Hatton. The two were among the best pound-for-pound fighters during the time and naturally drew in crowds whenever they were up to fight.
When the fight was finally announced, many were excited to see the two legendary boxers exchange punches in the ring. However, there were questions as to whether the two waited a bit too long as both fighters were past their prime.
Unfortunately, they were proven right.
The fight was predictable as Floyd Mayweather won by unanimous decision. Pacquiao revealed that he couldn’t use his full power due to a shoulder injury. The former Senator has been clamoring for a rematch against Money, but he claims Floyd is “scared to death” at the idea of fighting him again.
Is Mayweather the Best Boxer of All Time?
These five fights show how great Floyd Mayweather was as a fighter. Opponents found it hard to hit him with his counterpunching style. His punching power and swagger also made him an entertaining fighter to watch.
However, it’s hard to say if he can be considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Other boxing fans will point to how boring some of his fights were. They will also point to the delay of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight as evidence of Floyd choosing his opponents to protect his record.
Regardless of what you may think about him, it’s wrong not to consider him one of the best boxers in history. His impressive body of work will tell you all you need to know about Mayweather, the boxer.
Read more: Why Are Football Transfers So Expensive Nowadays?