Name: Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Nickname: Pretty Boy, Money
Born: February 24, 1977
From: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Division: Junior Lightweight to Junior Middleweight
Professional Record: 41 wins, 0 losses, and 25 knockouts
Active Since: 1996
Famous Quotes: Legacy doesnt pay bills.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is generally considered the greatest boxer in the sport today (At time of print: 2010). Undefeated after 41 fights in a 14-year old career, his winning streak is one of the longest in the history of the game. He has won titles in 5 different weight classes, doing it in style. Peerless in the ring, Mayweather rarely struggleshaving beaten his opponents with a dominance that rings of greatness.
Early Life and Career
Mayweather benefited from growing up in a boxing family, with his uncle Roger and father Floyd both being notable boxers. As a result, Floyd began at a young age, immediately standing out as a gifted amateur. He won National Golden Gloves titles 3 times, before setting his sights on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
In his semi-final match, Mayweather appeared to be far superior to his Bulgarian opponent, but lost in typical amateur boxing fashion, where the score bears no reflection of what happened in the ring. In taking home the bronze medal, Floyd looked to the pros. He was already a very polished product, showing the skills, speed, defense and reflexes that would later make him a champion.
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Early Pro Success
Floyd turned pro immediately after the Olympics, rapidly becoming a blue-chip prospect. He was so far superior to his early opposition, that he was moved very quickly. Within 2 years and 17 straight wins, he was matched against longtime 130-pound standout Genaro Hernandeza fighter who never lost at junior lightweight. The WBC Super Featherweight Champion was no match for Mayweatherretiring after 8 rounds. Floyd was the new champion!
At junior lightweight, Floyd proceeded to make mincemeat of his foes, compiling one of the finest reigns in the divisions history. Tough contenders Angel Manfredy, Carlos Rios, Justin Juuko, Carlos Gerena, and Goyo Vargas were no match for him. Looming on the horizon, however, was the robust challenge of Diego Corrales, a 6-foot powerpuncher who was undefeated at 33-0.
Becoming a Superstar
Mayweather decimated Corrales, knocking him down 5 times en route to a brutal and landmark 10th-round TKO. Many fancied Corrales going into this fight, but it wasnt even close. This is when fans began to see Mayweather as a rising superstar. His performance was absolutely magnificent.
Two more defenses of his 130-pound title followed before Mayweather set his sights on the lightweight division. Continuing to fight the best in the game, he challenged recognized World Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo. In Mayweathers only disputed win, he eked by with a unanimous decision that many felt should have gone to Castillo. Mayweather won the rematch more comfortably.
Mayweather defended his title two more times, against quality contenders Victoriano Sosa and Phillip Ndou, before moving up in weight once again.
Continued Success and Criticism
When Mayweather moved up to 140 pounds, he continued his dominance, beating DeMarcus Corley and Arturo Gatti with ease. It marked, however, the beginning of a new phase in his career. No longer fighting the best opponents available, Mayweather settled for a slew of uninteresting fights, against fighters with names that outweighed their actual merit.
Moving up to Welterweight
After an undistinguished run at junior welterweight, Mayweather moved up to welterweight. A knockout of former champ Sharmba Mitchell showed he meant business. He then took on recently deposed champion, the dangerous Zab Judah. Mayweather struggled early, before pulling away late. The fight was marked by an ugly mid-fight brawl, after Judah fouled Mayweather. Both camps were swinging away before order was restored and Mayweather continued his dominance.
A comprehensive decision over Judah-conqueror and linear champion Carlos Baldomir followed, consolidating Mayweathers welterweight title credentials. This was a nice entrance into the welterweight waters, but something happened as the division evolved into the sports best weight class. With fighters like Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and others rampaging at welterweight, Floyd settled for fights with the big names, failing to establish clear-cut welterweight dominance.
Becoming a Pay Per View Star
Oscar De La Hoya gave Mayweather a shot at his WBC Super Welterweight title in 2007. In the build-up for the fight, seen on HBOs 24/7, Mayweather captivated the public with his over-the-top braggadocio, opulence, and crackling smack-talk. De La Hoys was the attraction, but after the build-up, it appeared Mayweather had stolen the show. A split decision win that should have been unanimous gave Mayweather a big win, but more importantly, established him as a big draw.
Mayweather then took on another fighter with a huge followingBritish superstar Ricky Hatton in another pay-pre-view blockbuster. Hatton, moving up in weight, was no match for Mayweather, falling in the 10th round.
Retirement and Return
Mayweather called it quits after the Hatton bout in a retirement no one took seriously. During his absence, Manny Pacquiao zoomed to the top of the game, becoming the anti-Mayweather in the process. Pacquiao took on everybody, was humble, and fought with aggression and fury. Mayweathers rep took a hit during this time, as Pacquiao was doing the things we wished Mayweather would dofight everybody and be exciting while doing it.
Mayweathers first comeback opponent, Juan Manuel Marquez, created more criticism. While a splendid fighter, Marquez had just moved up to lightweight from junior lightweight. For him to move all the way up to welterweight to face Mayweather seemed utterly ridiculous. While Mayweather deserves credit for being the first guy to dominate the accomplished Marquez, it was not what the fans were looking for.
Making it Right
Mayweather critics couldnt say much when he took on Shane Mosley. Sugar Shane was coming off a demolition of the feared Antonio Margarito and was one of the top few welterweights when he climbed into the ring against Mayweather. Shook up early by a monster right hand, Mayweather regrouped and proceeded to box Mosleys ears off in a very impressive performance, serving notice that he is still at the top of his game.
A fight with fellow pound-for-pound number one fighter Manny Pacquiao is stuck in an ugly negotiation (As of July 2010). The first negotiation failed due to drug testing concerns that Mayweather brought to the table. Another recent negotiation appears to have stalled out yet again, threatening to scuttle the landmark match of this generation.
If Mayweather ends up beating Pacquiao, he will score a gigantic victory that immediately gives his resume a ring of true all-time greatness. If the fight never happens, it will be a huge disappointment that might end up becoming a black eye on his record. With the welterweight division so hot right now, there are a number of other options that will allow Mayweather to close out his career in style. The ball is in his court.