Considered by many to be the greatest boxer of all time, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather cemented his status in the sport with a number of high-profile fights.
A five-weight world champion, and four-time lineal champ, ‘Pretty Boy’ retired in 2015 after his victory over Andre Berto saw him move to 49-0.
Less than two years later, he was back in the ring, this time taking on UFC star Conor McGregor in an attempt to move to 50-0. Dubbed ‘The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History’, Mayweather extended his undefeated streak to 50 with a TKO victory over the Irishman in the 10th round.
Since then, Mayweather has taken part in two exhibitions against non-boxers and has hinted that he may do more, though he insists his professional career between the ropes is officially over.
With that being the case, here we take a look at Floyd Mayweather’s five top fights.
Miguel Cotto (May 2, 2012)
Mayweather stepped up to 154lbs for the second time in his career with Puerto Rican champion Miguel Cotto making the third defence of his WBA (Super) light middleweight title.
In what was expected to be a routine win for the pound-for-pound king, Cotto dug deep to put in a solid display, at one stage bloodying the nose of his opponent.
But Mayweather’s class shone in the latter rounds, and despite being unable to stop Cotto, his victory by unanimous decision seemed fair enough to all in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (September 14, 2013)
On the undercard in May 2012, WBC and The Ring light middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez went toe-to-toe with Mayweather at the tender age of 23.
The unbeaten Mexican, ranked as the no.1 at 154 by the Ring Magazine, was unable to match Mayweather despite reportedly weighing 15lbs more than his rival, the more experienced fighter putting on a clinic on the night.
Mayweather sealed victory with a 12-round majority decision, with one judge calling it a draw. The scorecard of CJ Ross subsequently received plenty of criticism, leading to her retirement.
It remains the one and only defeat of Canelo’s career.
Oscar De La Hoya (May 5, 2007)
Billed as ‘The world Awaits’ Mayweather’s first bout at 154lbs came against six-division champion and WBC light-middleweight titleholder Oscar De La Hoya.
Despite moving up from welterweight, ‘The Pretty Boy’ weighed in 10lbs lighter than De La Hoya. But his opponents’ added weight proved to be no obstacle with Mayweather’s tactical approach of counters and right hands too much for De La Hoya.
Mayweather sealed the victory by split decision to become a five-weight world champion, but perhaps his greatest triumph on the night was his elevation as a PPV star, in what was at the time the most lucrative boxing match in history.
Ricky Hatton (December 8, 2007)
Despite rumours that Mayweather was to retire after his victory over De La Hoya, ‘Money’ moved back to 147lbs to defend his WBC and The Ring welterweight titles against undefeated Brit Ricky Hatton.
Light-welterweight champ Hatton shocked Mayweather in the opening round with a left jab that knocked him off-balance, but the favourite was soon in the control of the bout when he drew blood from the Mancunian in round three.
A combination of frustration and exhaustion to Hatton saw Mayweather pounce on his opponent in the 10th round, knocking him to the canvas for the first time. Disorientated by his first knockdown, Hatton was soon floored again with the referee calling quits to the fight at the same time as his corner threw the towel in.
Manny Pacquiao (May 2, 2015)
After years of toing and froing and failed negotiations, Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally reached an agreement with the WBA, WBC, WBO and the Ring welterweight titles all on the line.
The bout perhaps came five years after both were in their prime, but the sport’s two biggest assets meant it became the highest-grossing PPV of all time, generating $410m in the United States alone.
Mayweather controlled the fight from the off by using jabs and counter punches, with his movement and pivoting allowing the ‘Pacman’ to land just 19% of his shots. A torn rotator cuff in the shoulder of Pacquiao saw Mayweather both out throw and out land the Philippine, as he sealed a unanimous decision victory.
And while the fight might not quite have lived up to expectations, it may well have been the biggest of Mayweather’s career as he finally sealed a long-awaited victory over the eight-division champ.