Mayweather was a great amateur boxer, compiling a record of 84-6 and winning three consecutive golden gloves titles in three different weight classes. Mayweather went to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and lost in the semifinal bout against Serafim Todorov from Bulgaria. The bout was protested by the U.S. team, but the result wasn’t changed.
Mayweather earned the nickname “Pretty Boy Floyd” during his amateur career due to the fact that he was barely hit and never cut during his fights. His ability to escape any damage is what has made him the best fighter of our generation and maybe of all-time. In his 44 career fights, he has only been in one fight that he didn’t win by unanimous decision or by knockout, and that was a split-decision win over Oscar De La Hoya.
That fight was historic in the fact that not only was it two of the best fighters in the world fighting, but HBO debuted a four-part prelude to the fight called De La Hoya-Mayweather 24-7. These installments have become routine since that fight, but it took someone with the charisma of a Mayweather to allow the show to succeed.
The fact that he is a charismatic and entertaining self-promoter is another reason for his greatness. He has also been in a fight during Wrestlemania 24 and competed on Dancing With The Stars. He has the ability to build up expectations for a fight and back it up when he steps in the ring.
In one of the most definitive wins of his career, Mayweather fought former IBF super-featherweight champion Diego Corrales. Corrales came in with the reputation of being a hard hitter and someone that had never been knocked down. Mayweather knocked him down five times before the cornerman for Corales stepped in to stop the fight.
During the fight, Floyd landed 220 of 414 punches while Corrales landed only 60 out of 205. He showed off his ability to be a precise and technical boxer while being able to elude the punches from the other fighter.
In a 2007 fight against the unbeaten Ricky Hatton, Mayweather battered him until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight at the same time that Hatton’s corner threw in a white towel to signify submission. Floyd took punishment early on in the fight, but was able to use his amazing stamina to keep throwing at Hatton while Hatton slowed his pace in the later rounds.
The combination of speed, agility, power, charisma and experience is what has made Floyd Mayweather Jr. the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and perhaps of all-time. He can promote his own fights, throw punches at an unbelievable rate and avoid being hit in those exchanges. I look for Floyd to win on Saturday Night against Canelo Alvarez by a unanimous decision and continue his undefeated streak until he decides to retire.