Today is the 45th birthday of boxing great, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather has now been retired from competitive professional boxing for almost five years. This time apart from boxing has given many fans a new appreciation for the career. As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Boxing fans do miss having Mayweather as an active fighter, whether they admit or not.
What do you give the man, who has it all? I think one thing, no person ever gets enough of is appreciation. So this article is an written note of appreciation to Floyd Mayweather Jr and another chance for me to make my case on why Mayweather is indeed, TBE, The Best Ever.
Floyd Mayweather holding the WBC Super Featherweight Belt (Photo via WBCBoxing.com)
Something that has truly gone under the radar throughout the years is the career achievements Floyd Mayweather was able to accomplish as "Pretty Boy" Floyd. In his younger days, Mayweather was a very quick, fast, and powerful puncher with reflexes that made him almost impossible to hit cleanly. Before Mayweather became the "Money" Mayweather that we know and now, he already had a hall of fame career.
Pretty Boy Floyd won titles in four different weight classes; Super Featherweight, Lightweight, Super Lightweight, and Welterweight. Along the way defeating several great opponents including; Genaro Hernandez, Angel Manfredy, Diego Corrales, Carlos Hernandez, Jose Luis Castillo, Phillp Ndou , Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, and Carlos Baldomir.
For a boxer to get through that list of opponents without taking a loss is remarkable. The boxer from Grand Rapids, Michigan, could of just continued to stack up his resume with great names but he had a bigger vision which included becoming an insanely rich person. Mayweather saw that he could become the biggest name in the sport by being the most hated name in the sport. The journey to become the most hated boxer in the world began in the pre-fight build up prior to the Oscar De La Hoya fight.
Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya at a pre-fight press conference (Photo via Yahoo Sports)
Mayweather has never lacked confidence, well at least while he has been in the public eye. That abundance of confidence was on full display as the world was introduced to "Money" Mayweather prior to his fight against Oscar De La Hoya. Mayweather taunted De La Hoya, every chance he got. De La Hoya was beloved by boxing fans and had crossed over to being known by the casual fans as well. Mayweather took this opportunity to make the casual fans love to hate him. In the process helping to sell a record number of pay-per-view buys for the fight.
Mayweather would back up the trash talk in the fight as well. Winning a competitive split decision over The Golden Boy. Floyd Mayweather Jr, would take off after that fight and become the "A" side for the rest of the boxing matches in his career.
For the fans who say Mayweather waited for Oscar De La Hoya to be passed his prime to fight him. That is just not true. Mayweather knew that the celebrity of De La Hoya would catapult him to the level of popularity he needed to get to. Why would he want to wait on that? Plus De La Hoya was coming off of one his best performances of his career as he destroyed Ricardo Mayorga in his fight before the Mayweather bout.
After the Oscar De La Hoya fight, Mayweather would go on to defeat legends, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Manuel Marquez before taking on "Sugar" Shane Mosley.
A flush right hand landed by Shane Mosley on the face of Floyd Mayweather. (Photo courtesy of ESPN)
Shane Mosley is in the Boxing Hall of Fame and is one of, if not, the greatest Lightweight of all time. Mosley was able to do something that very few boxers have ever done and that was land a flush punch on the face of Mayweather in the second round of their bout. Mayweather would use his extremely high boxing IQ to make adjustments and dominate the rest of the fight.
Some boxing fans, do say, "Mayweather beat Mosley when he was well past his prime." This is just not true. Mosley was coming off of one of the best stretches of his career with back to back knockouts of Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito.
After defeating Mosley, Mayweather would go on to beat, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, and Robert Guerrero before taking on Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez in their 2013 bout. (Photo provided by Boxing News)
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez came into this bout with an undefeated record and was thoroughly dominated by Mayweather. This was a display of boxing excellence that is rare to see as Mayweather made Canelo look foolish. Canelo could not touch Mayweather with any punch worth mentioning. Canelo has not lost since this fight and has become the face of boxing.
After this fight, Mayweather would go on to defeat Marcos Maidana twice before taking on Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao in their 2015 bout. (Photo via The New York Times)
If there was anyone that was riding parallel to Mayweather during his career, it was Manny Pacquiao. For several reasons the fight between two of the greatest boxers of all time took several years to make and because of that, the expectations were super high for this bout. The fight was not an all time war as Mayweather outboxed Pacquiao for the entire bout outside of two maybe three rounds on his way to another victory.
Again, many boxing fans, say, "Floyd fought Manny when he was passed his prime." This is just not true. Prior to fighting Mayweather, Pacquiao was on a three fight win streak, defeating, Brandon Rios, Timothy Bradley Jr, and Chris Algeri. After the Mayweather fight, Pacquiao would go on to become a champion again. Plus Mayweather is two years older than Pacquiao. So if, Pacquiao was "washed up" then what was Mayweather.
After that fight Mayweather would go on to end his career by defeating Andre Berto and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) superstar Conor Mcgregor in a huge money grab.
Speaking of money grabbing, it is one of the reasons I have Floyd Mayweather as the TBE. Mayweather changed what is possible for combat fighters by being his own promoter and providing the blueprint on how to sell pay-per-views. Mayweather still has six of the top ten selling pay-per-view events in boxing history. His impact of the boxing game will be felt well after he is gone.
When you couple that with his in-ring resume of 50 wins, 0 losses, with more than half of those wins coming against current champions at that time or former champions. It is hard for any other boxer's resume to compete. Even greats like, Muhammad Ali, Roy Jones Jr, Joe Louis, and Sugar Ray Leonard among others can't say that. Floyd Mayweather Jr is indeed the best to ever do it.