Floyd Mayweather has done some remarkable things for the sport of boxing. The five-division champion has carried the sport, and brought attention to it, even as it continued to lose its mainstream appeal.
Now, 47 fights into his illustrious 18-year boxing career, “Money” finally faces whom many consider—or once did—to be right next to him on the mantel of boxing’s greatest-of-all-time fighters: Manny Pacquiao.
Before the pair head to the ring for their tussle on May 2nd in Las Vegas, relive 12 of Mayweather’s best feats in the squared circle.
12. Mayweather vs. Carlos Hernandez, May 2001
Grit and determination were two qualities Mayweather displayed in his inspiring performance against Hernandez. After shattering his left hand in the sixth round throwing a hook, Money fought on, notching a unanimous-decision victory.
11. Mayweather vs. Jose Luis Castillo II, December 2002
Following a controversial first meeting, that saw points deducted from both men and Mayweather eating body blows, the pair took to the ring for an immediate rematch. In the second showdown, Mayweather won in much more convincing fashion, utilizing sharp footwork and his jab to claim a unanimous-decision win.
10. Mayweather vs. Zab Judah, April 2006
There aren’t too many boxers out there who ever rivaled Mayweather’s hand speed, but Judah was one of them. The New York native launched an early assault on Money, finding moderate success, but ultimately fell in 12 rounds.
9. Mayweather vs. Genaro Hernandez, October 1998
The then 21-year-old carried a 17-fight undefeated streak into his first title fight against the head honcho of the 130-pound division Hernandez. In what was his toughest test to date, Mayweather pummeled “Chicanito” for eight rounds, forcing Hernandez to retire on his stool.
8. Mayweather vs. Diego Corrales, January 2001
This was the official coming out party for the Michigan native. Mayweather, then 23 years old, knocked down the top super featherweight contender in the world, Corrales, five times throughout their fight. Corrales’ corner threw in the towel in round 10.
7. Mayweather vs. Jesus Chavez, November 2001
Money was three years into his Lineal and Super Featherweight title reigns when he fought the highly aggressive and undefeated Mexican. Mayweather worked his magic by pulling out a gutsy performance, after being battered against the ropes, to force a ninth-round stoppage by Chavez’ corner.
6. Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana, May 2014
Perhaps he underestimated the Argentinian and thought that he wasn’t even in his league. Mayweather probably wish he hadn’t because he made his life much more difficult than it had to be. He allowed Maidana to get off to a hot start, which forced Money to dig himself out of a hole the rest of the fight.
5. Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton, December 2007
Hatton, who was 43-0 at the time, had what seemed like a hometown crowd pulling for him inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena is Las Vegas. That would not deter Mayweather, though, who went onto break the Brit and get the finish in the 10th round.
4. Mayweather vs. Arturo Gatti, June 2005
Though it came as Gatti’s career was winding down, Mayweather put a hurt on the late Italian boxer who many consider to be one of the best pound-for-pound greats. The then 28-year-old ousted Gatti in a one-sided drubbing, which led to the latter calling it quits on the same night.
3. Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, September 2009
Money returned from a near two-year retirement to face the heavy-handed Marquez. Mayweather, already hurting in the pocket from a fine for missing weight, cruised to a one-sided “W”.
2. Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto, May 2012
In what was one of the most memorable moments of Mayweather’s 18-year career thus far, he bested Puerto Rican boxing legend Miguel Cotto over 12 rounds. Cotto proved to be a very tough obstacle for Money, but in the end, he became another highly touted name to end up on the resume of Mayweather.
1. Mayweather vs. De la Hoya, May 2007
Mayweather defeated “The Golden Boy” to snag his junior middleweight title in what was the 2000’s version of Mayweather versus Pacquiao. The bout set numerous boxing revenue records and was a thoroughly entertaining affair.