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The bout that has been billed as the “fight of the century” is a mere eight days away.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao has been long awaited as the two best pound-for-pound fighters of this generation finally square off in the canvas on May 2nd at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
While there are varying opinions about who wins this fight, one thing is for sure: it will undoubtedly break numerous records including PPV buys, record for live gate (estimated at $72 million) and is a lock to generate more than $400 million.
This highly anticipated event comes at a time when there is no one left for the fighters to square off against except for each other. While Pacquiao has suffered two recent defeats (albeit one controversial one), Mayweather has steamrolled to 47 consecutive victories and title belts in five different divisions.
Despite the unblemished record, Mayweather has endured some tougher than expected bouts in his illustrious career. Here are the top/most entertaining five fights of Money’s career:
5. May 3, 2014- Majority Decision Win Over Marcos Maidana
Mayweather-Maidana was arguably one of the toughest bouts of Floyd’s career. The hard-hitting Argentinian gave Mayweather a run for his money, applying constant pressure throughout the early rounds while cornering Floyd to the ropes.
However, as Floyd always does, he figured out his opponent’s weaknesses, and Maidana eventually ran out of gas once his perpetual aggression strategy lost steam by the seventh round.
Still, it’s hard not to give Maidana a lot of credit after he noticeably roughed Mayweather up along the ropes.
Maidana’s effort in the majority decision loss earned him a rematch with Mayweather later that year, which didn’t go as successful as the first time around.
4. April 20, 2002: Unanimous Decision Win Over Jose Luis Castillo
The first match between the duo was one of the best fights of Mayweather’s career. Castillo gave Mayweather one of the roughest tests of his career and even outpointed a young Mayweather on several occasions throughout the fight.
Castillo was relentless, consistently pressuring Mayweather while dictating the pace for a large portion of the fight. However, Mayweather ultimately landed the cleaner shots while remaining mentally strong to prevail for the 135-pound belt.
According to CompuBox, Castillo landed 203 punches against Mayweather, the second most by any opponent in Mayweather’s 47-fight career.
It was a hotly contested battle that was pure entertainment for the fans.
3. Jan. 20, 2001: TKO Win Over Diego Corrales
There have been few times in Mayweather’s career where he has been considered the underdog, but his 2001 bout against Diego Corrales was one of them.
While this may have not been one of Money’s best fights in terms of trading punch for punch, it was certainly one of his best in terms of having a coming out party.
Mayweather dismantled Corrales, scoring five knockdowns and outclassing Corrales at every point of the fight before Corrales’ corner stopped the bout.
Mayweather was only a super featherweight then, but that fight put him on the path of becoming the prize fighter he is today.
2. May 5, 2012: Unanimous Decision Win Over Miguel Cotto
Mayweather-Cotto was one of the most entertaining fights to watch of both fighters careers.
Instead of Floyd’s usual highly tactical defensive approach, he got sucked into a punching battle for the first half of the fight.
Cotto applied pressure and forced Mayweather onto the ropes similar to Maidana’s strategy, even bloodying Floyd’s nose during the fight.
While there was plenty of drama in the early stages of the fight, Mayweather made his patented mid-fight adjustments and completely pulled away in the later rounds to take the unanimous decision.
Still, Cotto’s aggression and better than expected performance will always be remembered as one of Money’s tougher victories.
1. June 25, 2005 – TKO Win Over Arturo Gatti
Mayweather-Gatti was one of the finest boxing performances of Mayweather’s career and the top/most entertaining fight on this list because of the pure dominance displayed by Floyd in the TKO win.
Mayweather simply overwhelmed Gatti with his quickness and hand speed, scoring a huge knockdown in the first round, and then proceeding to dominate over the next 5 rounds.
Gatti’s corner eventually stopped the fight after it was clear Floyd’s beatdown was too much for Gatti to handle.
The precision, intelligence, dominance and array of offensive weapons showcased by Mayweather on that night makes it the best fight of his career.
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