By Ken Hissner: I once did an article on “Sugar” Ray Leonard defeating Floyd “Money” Mayweather. Of course, it was Floyd, Sr., not Jr. in February of 1978. Floyd was 15-1 and Ray 13-0, fighting at the Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
Floyd’s 50-0 record was certainly better than Ray’s 36-3-1 record. Then we look at the competition of both.
At the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, Floyd lost a disputed decision to Bulgaria’s Serafim Todorov for the Bronze Medal.
Floyd, 17-0, won his first world title, stopping WBC Super Featherweight champion Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez, 38-1-1, for his first world title in October of 1998.
Floyd won his second division world title defeating WBC World Lightweight champion Jose Louis Castillo, 45-4-1, in April of 2002. Looking back, this one by some was disputed, so there was an immediate rematch in December where Floyd left no doubt about who was the better of the two taking another decision.
In May of 2004, Floyd defeated WBC World Light Welterweight champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, 28-2-1 for his third division world title.
In April of 2006, Floyd defeated IBF World Welterweight champion “Super” Zab Judah, 34-3, for his fourth division world title.
In May of 2007, Floyd defeated WBC World Super Welterweight champion Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya, 38-4, by split decision for his fifth division world title.
In September of 2013, Floyd defeated WBA/WBC Super Welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 42-0-1, improving his record to 45-0.
In May 2014, Floyd defeated Argentina’s Marcus “El Chino” Maidana, 35-3, in another controversial fight. In September, Floyd defeated Maidana without a doubt.
In May 2015, Floyd defeated former 6 division world champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 57-5-2, in defending his WBA, WBO, and WBC Super World Welterweight titles.
In September, Floyd defeated former WBC/IBF Welterweight champion Andre Berto 30-3, improving his record to 49-0.
In August of 2017, Floyd, in his final fight, stopped MMA champion Connor “Notorious” McGregor 0-0, improving his record to 50-0.
Now let’s take a look at Leonard’s record winning his world titles and other highlights.
In 1976 at the Montreal Olympic Games, Ray defeated Cuban Andres Aldama for the Light Welterweight Gold Medal.
In November of 1979, Ray, 25-0, stopped WBC World Welterweight champion Wilfred “El Radar” Benitez, 38-0-1, for his first world title.
In June of 1980, Ray, 27-0, lost to former world Lightweight champion Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, 71-1. In November, Ray regained his world title, stopping Duran in 8 rounds.
In June of 1981 Ray stopped WBA World Super Welterweight champion Ayub Kalule, 36-0, for his second division world title.
In September, Ray returned, defending his WBC welterweight title, stopping WBA World Welterweight champion Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, 32-0, while behind on all cards in the fourteenth round.
In February of 1982, Ray, 31-1, stopped Bruce Finch, 28-3-1, in a title defense.
Ray was training to defend his title against Roger Stafford and then a proposed match with Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor while in training and suffered a detached retina in his left eye in May of 1982.
After two years, Ray returned to the ring in May of 1984 stopping Kevin Howard, 20-4-1. It wasn’t until April of 1987, almost three years later, when Ray fought again, winning a split decision over WBC World Middleweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, 62-2-2, for his third division world title. Hagler retired from boxing after this avoiding a rematch after this controversial fight.
In November of 1988, Ray stopped WBC World Light Heavyweight champion Donny “Golden Boy” LaLonde, 31-2, for his fourth division world title along with the vacant WBC World Super Middleweight title for his fifth division world title.
In June of 1989, Ray had a rematch with Hearns, 46-3, that ended in a split decision draw for the WBC and WBO World Super Middleweight titles.
In December, in their third fight, Ray defeated Roberto Duran, 85-7, in a WBC World Super Middleweight title defense.
In February of 1991, Ray dropped back down to Super Welterweight, losing to WBC World Super Welterweight champion “Terrible” Terry Norris, 26-3.
Not returning to the ring for some six years to have what would be his final fight Ray was stopped for the first time by former 3-division world champion and then the IBC Middleweight champion Hector “Macho” Camacho, 62-3-1, in five rounds.
Both Floyd’s and Ray’s final bouts will always be in question due to Floyd’s amateur opponent McGregor and Ray’s coming back after six years to fight Camacho.
Here you have it fight fans comparing the two careers of two great world champions and how they got there.