Floyd Mayweather Jr. is hands down one of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport. His defensive brilliance has been unmatched his entire career, and his unique style a joy to watch for casual and hardcore fans alike.
While his early moniker of “Pretty Boy” made total sense as the undefeated champion rarely ever took a hit to the face, it didn’t accurately represent the intense persona he brought to the ring on any given night. So it seemed fitting when he changed his moniker to “Money”, as Mayweather quickly became the richest fighter in boxing history.
Historical paydays against Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao and MMA superstar Conor McGregor netted Mayweather collectively a near billion dollars, which includes guaranteed purses and back end. Fans either came to see him dominate, or hoped to see him finally lose. Either way, Mayweather drove viewership, and knew exactly how to command the box office.
Throughout his career, Mayweather has decimated a number of high profile and dangerous opponents with his technical mastery and pinpoint accuracy. His unparalleled display of speed and technique is something admired and imitated by every boxer on the planet.
Let’s take this opportunity to revisit Mayweather’s epic performances in the ring. If you haven’t seen him in action, live or otherwise, now is a great chance to witness this combat genius in his element.
We’ve compiled some of his best moments in the ring. Today, Evolve Daily shares the five biggest wins in Floyd Mayweather’s career.
1) Diego “Chico” Corrales, 20 January 2001
At the time, Diego Corrales was at the height of his career. He had a well-established reputation as a knockout artist, with most of his fights ending with a thrilling finish. On the other hand, Mayweather was a promising upstart with strong defense, elusive movement, and Olympic pedigree. That being said, many pegged Corrales to derail the Mayweather hype train.
Fans of “Chico” expected the lanky Corrales to deal Mayweather the first loss of his professional career. Unfortunately for them, the one-sided beatdown that Corrales supporters expected didn’t happen, and instead, marked the beginning of Mayweather’s time in the limelight.
In an impressive show of technical mastery, composure, and athleticism, Mayweather gave Corrales a thorough beatdown that made “Chico” look like an amateur. He knocked Corrales down thrice in the 7th, and twice in the 10th, after which Corrales’ corner (his own father) finally decided to throw in the towel, effectively ending the bout with a TKO.
It was complete and utter domination.
2) Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, 25 June 2005
Legendary Arturo “Thunder” Gatti was undeniably the underdog from the get-go, despite his reputation as a blood and guts warrior. At the time, Mayweather had already established himself as a technical genius. Not many gave Gatti a chance to beat Mayweather, and for good reason.
Truthfully, almost nobody expected Gatti to win, but the way he became a human punching bag for the entirety of the bout was nothing short of shocking.
Gatti’s inexplicably impractical game plan appeared to have been attempting to square off in the center of the ring against one of the greatest defensive talents in Mayweather, wildly throwing punches in hopes to get at least one solid hit in. That turned out to be a huge mistake.
Mayweather’s last fight in the 140-pound division was marked by a technical knockout as Gatti’s trainer unsurprisingly pulled him out in the 6th round.
3) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 14 September 2013
In 2013, with Mayweather the world’s biggest boxing draw next to Manny Pacquiao, “Money” took on rising upstart, the unbeaten Saul “Canelo” Alvarez himself in a Battle-of-the Titans esque super fight. It turned out to be one of the biggest boxing events in the sport’s history, selling out the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and smashing the box office as one of the highest-grossing Pay-Per-View events ever recorded.
Many viewed the fight as a possible “passing of the torch”, with Mayweather getting further into his career with age, and Canelo emerging as a bankable boxing star. While many predicted Canelo’s size and youthful strength to be problematic for “Money”, no one could have expected the one-sided domination that would ensue.
The tension was certainly high as fans and analysts alike were equally divided between the two. The spectacular battle lasted the whole 12 rounds and ended in a majority decision, with Floyd Mayweather coming out victorious. Canelo had his moments, sure, but Mayweather was just brilliant.
To this day, this defeat remains the only mark in Canelo Alvarez’ spotless record.
4) Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, 2 May 2015
This historic event came to be known by two names: the “Fight of the Century” and the “Battle for Greatness.” Whichever name fans prefer to remember it by, and whichever side they leaned toward, they all agree on one thing: it was a fight between the two best fighters of this generation. Not surprisingly, it ended up being the biggest boxing event of all time.
After years of trying to put the fight together, Mayweather finally met Pacquiao in 2015. The brash, undefeated American champion finally went toe-to-toe with the dynamic Filipino eight-division world champion to determine, once and for all, who the better fighter was.
The fight itself, however, was anticlimactic. Pacquiao severely underperformed. His usual aggression was nowhere to be found, as was the overwhelming intensity that had brought him so many of his prior victories. Mayweather was his usual dazzling defensive self, and proceeded to run away with a wide unanimous decision in an uneventful fight.
For this fight, Mayweather made nearly half a billion dollars after all receipts were collected, with Pacquiao taking home over $200 million. In that sense, no one really lost.
5) Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez, 19 September 2009
After Mayweather’s triumph against the Manchester warrior, Ricky Hatton, he was slated for a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya four months later. Fans were dismayed when instead of witnessing a glorious pound-for-pound showdown, Mayweather canceled the rematch by announcing his retirement (one of many).
However, there were many who believed Mayweather was too much of a showdown to walk away from the sport at the age of 31, with millions of dollars still left to be made at the peak of his career.
Two years later, Mayweather was right back at it. He announced his comeback against Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, a natural super featherweight, who had to move up several weight classes. Regardless, Mayweather failed to make the weight limit, and had a huge size advantage heading into the fight.
“Money May” hadn’t skipped a beat. It looked like he was gone two weeks instead of two years, and was his usual incredible self. Mayweather dominated Marquez like no other man before him, and easily annihilated one of this era’s best boxers in seemingly no trouble at all.