The three times Floyd Mayweather almost lost his 50-0 unbeaten record and even Donald Trump tweeted he was lucky
Floyd Mayweather retired from boxing with a perfect professional record of 50-0.
The historic five-weight world champion proved beyond all doubt that he was the greatest fighter of his era as he conquered just about every other relevant title holder who competed at the same time as him.
Manny Pacquiao was outboxed at a canter, Juan Manuel Marquez endured the same fate, and even a young Canelo Alvarez could not come close to victory.
Mayweather is due back in the ring in exactly one month when he is set to face Logan Paul in a lucrative exhibition. It is not thought there is any danger of his legacy being tarnished by the YouTuber, however, there are three fighters who did push Mayweather over 12 rounds and almost ended his unbeaten streak.
Ultimately they were all unsuccessful in their quest to defeat the pound-for-pound star, but these were by far the toughest tests of Floyd’s iconic career…
Jose Luis Castillo I
When they first met on April 20, 2002, Castillo gave Mayweather everything he could handle.
All three judges scored the first four rounds for the American, but then the Mexican dragged him into an unexpected slugfest and appeared to turn the fight in his favour.
A young Floyd struggled to deal with Castillo’s intelligent pressure as he cut off the ring effectively and unleashed body shots.
Castillo finished the fight strongly and many felt he’d done enough to retain his WBC lightweight title, however the judges saw it differently.
Despite HBO’s unofficial judge Harold Lederman scoring the contest 115-111 in favour of Castillo, the official verdict was a unanimous win for Mayweather with scores of 116-111, 115-111, 115-111 in his favour.
The verdict was booed by the crowd when officially announced and led to a rematch.
Floyd had complained of a shoulder injury in the first bout and so had surgery before they met again.
In his very next fight eight months later, Mayweather rectified the perceived controversy with a smart, cautious boxing display.
There was no doubt about the rematch, which Floyd won 116-113, 115-113, 115-113.
Oscar De La Hoya
On May 5, 2007, Mayweather won the fight that earned his status as the biggest star in boxing.
Mexican-American icon De La Hoya did not relinquish this title easily though.
Mayweather was making his debut at super-welterweight (154lbs) – his maximum weight – and Oscar used his size advantage effectively, scaling 160lbs compared to his opponent’s 150lbs on fight night.
Early on, De La Hoya pressed Mayweather when he trapped him up against the ropes and attempted to pound him to the body and had some success, though Mayweather proved elusive at times.
‘Money’ battled back in the middle rounds as the champion began to tire.
After riding out the rough early stages, Mayweather took the fight on the judges’ scorecards, although only just.
The bout was a split decision with two officials scoring it 116-112 and 115-113 to Floyd, while the other had it 115-113 in favour of De La Hoya.
This turned out to be the only fight in Mayweather’s entire career in which any judge scored against him.
Marcos Maidana I
As he entered the final stage of his career, Mayweather was dragged into one last toe-to-toe battle.
On May 3, 2014, he took on rugged Argentinian Maidana who had recently brutalised Floyd’s protege Adrien Broner, handing him his first professional loss.
Maidana was a sizeable underdog having previously been beaten by Amir Khan, but acted as the aggressor from the start.
He took the fight to Mayweather in unorthodox, brawling fashion and forced him up against the ropes.
Mayweather had to box intelligently so he could land his counter shots and was able to do enough to win once again.
The bout was a majority decision with two officials scoring it 117-111 and 116-112 to Mayweather, while the other had it a draw 114-114.
Future US president Donald Trump was ringside and tweeted – from his now suspended account – that he felt the decision was a disgrace and the fight was fixed.
However he is not known to be the most reliable with these kind of accusations.
CompuBox reported that Mayweather was hit more times than in any of his previous 38 fights they had counted.
They said Marcos landed 221 of his 858 punches (26 per cent), while Floyd landed 230 of his 426 (54 per cent).
Like with Castillo 12 years earlier, Mayweather accepted an immediate rematch and won the second fight in convincing fashion to settle the debate.