With a father and two uncles all being professional fighters, Floyd was destined for greatness at an extremely early age. His father Floyd Sr fought the great Sugar Ray Leonard, while his Uncle Jeff Mayweather went on to fight Oscar De la Hoya. His uncle Roger Mayweather however, was the only one to win a world title out of the three brothers.
Under the tutelage of his father and two uncles, Floyd dominated the amateur scene, winning multiple National Golden Glove titles and earning a spot on the 1996 Olympic boxing team, where he received a bronze medal.
Young Floyd would finish his stellar amateur career with a record of 84-6. After easily dispatching his first several opponents, Floyd got his first title shot in 1998 against Super Featherweight Champion Genaro Hernandez at the tender age of 21. On this night, age and experience would be no match for the younger Mayweather. Floyd displayed exceptional speed, power, defense and combination punching en-route to an eighth-round stoppage.
After a few successful title defenses, Floyd agreed to fight the hard-hitting, undefeated Diego “Chico” Corrales. While many believed the fight would be competitive, Mayweather put on, what might be the best performance of his Hall of Fame career. Floyd knocked Corrales down five times, stopping the challenger in the 10th round.
In 2002, Floyd moved up to lightweight and challenged belt-holder Jose Luis Castillo. This turned out to be Floyd’s toughest fight to date. Floyd easily outboxed Castillo for a few rounds, but a shoulder injury allowed Castillo to close the distance and land on the hampered challenger.
However, the Grand Rapids native would adapt. Floyd would stick to his jab and switch between southpaw and orthodox to keep the pressuring Castillo at a distance. While many observers felt Castillo deserved the decision, Floyd would escape with a unanimous decision.
Floyd finally got his break-through moment in 2005 when he faced Arturo Gatti on pay-per-view. Floyd put on a masterful performance, outclassing the New Jersey native en-route to a brutal sixth round stoppage, claiming a portion of the junior welterweight title.
While Floyd would go on to beat many former and current titlists, such as De La Hoya, Hatton, Canelo, Cotto, and Berto, there was one particular opponent that many thought would be the one the solve the Mayweather puzzle.
During a 19-month hiatus, Manny Pacquiao would take the boxing world by storm after stopping De La hoya and Hatton. Pacquiao’s performances caused speculation if he could actually compete the Pound 4 Pound King, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
After negotiations failed for a few years, on May 2nd, 2015, the mega fight finally happened. Floyd would use his speed, lateral movement and IQ to outbox the Filipino Icon, on his way to a comfortable unanimous decision.
Floyd retired in 2017 with a record of (50-0), breaking Rocky Marciano’s previous record of (49-0).
Floyd Mayweather is without a doubt a first ballot hall of famer. He is one of the most skilled and smartest fighters to ever lace up a pair of gloves. Floyd consistently displayed exceptional speed, defense, and ring generalship, but it was Floyd’s IQ and his ability to adjust to any style on the fly that really set him apart from the competition. It’s what allowed him to make hall of fame fighters look average. He really only needed two or three rounds to figure you out, and when he did, the fight was over. His combination of speed, reflexes, accuracy, and ring generalship were unlike anything we have seen in a fighter in quite some time.
To be honest, we may never see it again.
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