His legacy may forever be questioned, but Floyd Mayweather Jr left no room for doubt as to who the best pound for pound fighter is in this era of boxing after he announced his retirement from the sport following his unanimous points win over Andre Berto on Sunday. Behind him, Mayweather leaves a trail of victories over opponents of differing variety of styles.
Although it is a difficult task, let’s see if we can dig up the top three of his very best performances.
vs Diego Corrales
Mayweather had a record of 24-0 when coming in to face the hard hitting Diego Corrales. The Californian had beaten the likes of Angel Manfredy, Derrick Gainer and Roberto Garcia. But the now five weight champion left no room for doubt when he knocked down Corrales five times enroute to a 10th round stoppage when the challenger’s corner threw in the towel. Mayweather was making a defense of his WBC 130lb crown. Corrales was only able to land 60 punches in the whole fight, another testament to the extraordinary skill of Floyd Mayweather. Corrales suffered his first loss in 34 bouts and went on to have a classic encounter with Jose Luis Castillo in 2005 that has gone down in the history books as one of boxing’s best ever battles!
vs Saul Alvarez
A catchweight had been agreed between the two camps for this fight, an issue that continued to be disputed almost up until the fighters were walking to the ring. In only his second fight in his contract with network Showtime, Mayweather wanted to prove the doubters wrong by facing the Mexican red head that is, to this day, tipped to be the new face of boxing. But Alvarez had no answer when he fought Floyd! Alvarez tried using feints to get inside but Mayweather used the jab to keep him away and gave him a proper boxing lesson over twelve rounds. Shockingly, judge C.J Ross scored the bout a draw! But the other two judges, Dave Moretti and Craig Metcalfe had it for Mayweather by scores of 116-112 and 117-111, respectively.
vs Miguel Cotto
Perhaps not known to be one of Floyd Mayweather’s most tidiest performance, the fight with Miguel Cotto in 2012 proved to the fans that he could dish it out toe to toe if, or when he chose to. Accusations that his legs were giving out under him were proved invalid in later displays against future opponents. Cotto was coming off a revenge win over Antonio Margarito and bounced back from his loss to Manny Pacquiao by taking care of Yuri Foreman to get the WBA light-middleweight title. Mayweather elected to lay on the ropes for much of the bout and had problems with the jab of Cotto, which effectively bloodied up his nose. Although such a trivial injury as that wouldn’t cause anybody to blink an eye, it was new territory for Floyd! But he proved that he was the better man on the night, as anything Miguel Cotto tried to do Mayweather showed that he could do it better, and he came away with a points win against somebody that many people wanted him to face for many years!