Floyd Mayweather has long been considered the world’s premier pound-for-pound boxing king, and he is a surefire first-ballot hall of famer. The 38-year-old Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), The Ring‘s “Fighter of the Year” in 1998 and 2007, wants to surpass Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 mark and leave the sport as an unbeaten champion. Although difficult to narrow down, here are five of Mayweather’s greatest triumphs as a professional.
1. Floyd Mayweather – Juan Manuel Marquez (September 19, 2009)
Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) virtually shut out the 36-year-old Marquez (50-5-1) to win a lopsided unanimous decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marquez, who moved up two weight classes for a handsome payday, was outscored 120-107, 119-108, and 118-109. “Pretty Boy,” competing for the first time in 21 months, jabbed Marquez’s nose bloody and absorbed zero punishment.
“I’ve been off for two years,” said Mayweather, 32. “I felt like it took me a couple of rounds to really know I was in the ring again. I know I’ll get better.”
2. Floyd Mayweather – Saul Alvarez (September 14, 2013)
In an obvious mismatch, the 36-year-old Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) won a majority decision over the 23-year-old Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) in Sin City. Although Alvarez didn’t box poorly and kept his competitor under fire, Mayweather landed flush shots for 36 minutes that flustered and slowed the precocious brawler.
A defensive virtuoso, defying Father Time with an incredible work ethic, the reigning pound-for-pound king easily adapted to Alvarez’s bruising tactics and frustrated the youngster with a relentless barrage of jabs. Mayweather successfully defended the WBA Super World light middleweight crown and captured Alvarez’s WBC light middleweight strap.
3. Floyd Mayweather – Oscar De La Hoya (May 5, 2007)
The 30-year-old Mayweather (37-0) won a split decision against De La Hoya (38-4) to snatch the WBC World Super lightweight title at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Mayweather, a 3-2 underdog by the opening bell, avoided De La Hoya and effectively countered the Olympic hero’s punches. Surprisingly, De La Hoya blamed his loss on Freddie Roach’s training efforts.
“Freddie Roach didn’t train me properly,” said De La Hoya, 34. “I went into the Mayweather fight as a one-dimensional fighter.”
Unsurprisingly, this was the lone time that Roach, who has been voted Trainer of the Year on seven occasions by the Boxing Writers Association of America, worked with De La Hoya.
4. Floyd Mayweather – Arturo Gatti (June 25, 2005)
The 28-year-old Mayweather (33-0) relentlessly pounded the 33-year-old Gatti (39-6) to gain the WBC World Super welterweight title at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Mayweather ruthlessly brutalized Gatti from the opening bell, landing over 160 punches, more than four times as many as Gatti landed.
Trainer Buddy McGirt stopped the beating after the sixth round. As Gatti remarked after the fight, “Too much speed… He’s just too quick.”
5. Floyd Mayweather – Shane Mosley (May 1, 2010)
Mayweather fought aggressively and Mosley nearly sent the unbeaten champ to the canvas with a devastating right in the second. However, Mayweather impressively withstood the blow, recovered and subsequently performed flawlessly.
“I wanted to give fans what they wanted to see, a toe-to-toe battle,” said Mayweather, 33. “It wasn’t the same style for me but I wanted to be aggressive and I knew I could do it.”