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Let’s Take a Look at the Career of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr.!

Image: Let’s Take a Look at the Career of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr.!

By Ken Hissner: Starting back when Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. was in the amateurs, he compiled an outstanding record at the end of 84-9. In 1993 he was the National Light Flyweight Golden Gloves champion. In 1994 he repeated at Flyweight.

The same year at the Junior Nationals, he lost in the second round to Arnulfo Bravo. It was the first time he lost as an amateur after winning his first 39 fights. Also, in 1994 in a meet USA vs. Mexico, Mayweather lost to Martin Castillo.

In 1995 Mayweather lost in the Pan American Games Trials to Carlos Navarro. Also, that year in another USA vs. Mexico meet, he lost to Juan Carlos Ramirez. At the World Championships in Berlin, Germany, he lost to Nouredinne Medjihoud of Algeria in the second round.

At the US Amateur Championships, he won it all. At the National PAL’s he won it all, including a decision over Carlos Navarro. In December in Russia he lost by walkover W/O to Trigran Ouzlian of Georgia.

In 1996 Mayweather won the National Golden Gloves at Featherweight. At the Olympic Trials, he lost in the third round to Augie Sanchez, then beat Carlos Navarro in the Challengers Bracket to Meet Sanchez. In the Box-offs, he beat Sanchez twice to earn going to the Olympics. At the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, in the Semifinals, he lost a disputed decision to Serafim Todorov of Bulgaria 10-9.

In October of 1996, Mayweather turned professional and, in his tenth fight, defeated Louie Leija, El Paso, TX, jumping from 6 rounders to a 10. He improved his record to 18-0, winning the WBC World Super Featherweight title and stopping Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez, 38-1-1, putting him into retirement. In his sixth defense, he defeated IBF champion Diego Corrales 33-0 in January 2001.

Both bouts were in Las Vegas. After eight defenses, he moved up to win the WBC Lightweight title on a disputed decision to Jose Luis Castillo, 45-4-1, in April of 2002, in Las Vegas. Due to the nature of the decision he gave Castillo a rematch in his next fight, winning by closer scores than in their previous fight.

After three defenses, he moved up and won the WBC Light Welterweight title defeating DeMarcus Chop Chop” Corley, 28-2-1, in June of 2004 in Atlantic City. In his second defense, he stopped Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, 39-6, in AC and then moved up to welterweight, defeating Sharmba Mitchell, 56-4, earning a title fight defeating IBF champion Zab Judah, 34-3, along with the vacant IBO title. He then defeated WBC champion Carlos Baldomir, 43-9-6, both in Las Vegas.

In Mayweather’s next fight in May of 2007, he moved up and defeated by a split decision WBC Super Welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya, 38-4, in Las Vegas, improving his record to 38-0. For seven rounds, he was behind when De La Hoya stopped using his effective jab giving the final five rounds to Mayweather. When interviewed, Larry Merchant asked De La Hoya, “Why did you stop throwing your jab?” The reply was, “It sure was working good, wasn’t it, Larry!” At ringside commentator Manny Steward said, “I’ve known Oscar for some time, but that wasn’t a very good answer!”

Mayweather returned to Welterweight, stopping Ricky Hatton, 43-0, in Las Vegas. Four fights later he defeated WBA Super Welterweight champion Miguel “Junito” Cotto, 37-2, plus added the vacant WBC Diamond belt, in Las Vegas. Next, he again returned to defend his welterweight title defeating Robert Guerrero, 31-1-1, both bouts in Las Vegas.

In Mayweather’s next fight in September 2013, he defeated by majority decision WBA and WBC Super Welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 42-0-1, improving his record to 45-0, in Las Vegas. I was a fan of “Canelo’s” at the time and didn’t think he won a round and didn’t go all out in the final round. In his next fight, he defeated Marcus “El Chino” Maidana, 35-3, by majority decision. I scored it a draw. It was close enough that they had a rematch in their next fight, where he won easily.

Next, Mayweather defeated WBO champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 57-5-2, in May of 2015, improving his record to 48-0. In September, he defeated WBA Interim champion Andre Berto, 30-3, in what I considered an easy fight based on seeing Berto get stopped by Jesus Soto Karass, 27-8-3, three fights prior to this. It improved his record to 49-0, equaling Rocky Marciano’s 60-year record and announcing his retirement.

What Mayweather decided next coming out of retirement in August of 2017, some 23 months later, was possibly the strangest decision he could have made in order to surpass Marciano’s 49-0 record by taking on Connor McGregor, 0-0, UFC Lightweight champion coming in at a heavy 153 to Mayweather’s 149 ½, being 18 pounds over his UFC championship weight. For nine rounds, Mayweather averaged three punches a round ahead on the cards by 89-81, 89-82, and 87-83. In the tenth round, he opened up on McGregor, stopping him at 1:05 of the tenth round improving his record to 50-0.

Mayweather would go on to have four exhibition bouts starting with stopping Tenshin Nasukawa, 0-0, in December of 2018 after one round, then on June 2021 defeating after eight rounds Logan Paul, 0-1, in May of 2022 and in April of 2022, an 8 round decision over retired for six years Don Moore, 18-0-1, none with a winning record, and finally in June of 2022 against the mixed martial artist and YouTuber Mikuru Asakura stopping him in 2 rounds.

So why wasn’t the McGregor match an exhibition like these four were I ask?

In 1999, Floyd Mayweather, Sr. entered the gym in December of 1999 when then 27-0 IBF Lightweight champion having won the title in August of 1999 Paul Spadafora had trained and asked his trainer Jesse Reid “When are you going to let my son spar with that Pisano?” Reid replied, “How about setting it up, but it has to be six rounds, not four rounds.

Reid had trained Mayweather’s uncle Roger previously and told Spadafora he knew the Mayweather style well and that Spadafora could beat him, and it would be a good thing for his career. So they went to the Mayweather gym, and Spadafora got the best of Mayweather, Jr. over four rounds.

Mayweather asked Reid if that could be enough, and Reid shot back at this, “No, it wasn’t, especially since your father has been shooting his mouth off about you handling Spadafora. The next two rounds are on, and by the end of the sixth round, Mayweather, Jr. went down on the canvas, just lying there exhausted.

Several times a match for the two fighters was on the table, but the Mayweathers never followed through. This was all told to me by Reid, and I did an article on it entitled “Why Did Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Avoid Paul “Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora?”

Looking back at 1999, Mayweather was 22-0 that year and Spadafora 27-0. For the record, Spadafora was 48-0-1 when he lost in November of 2013 and won his next fight, which was his last ending at 49-1-1.

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