Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Real name Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr.
Nickname Pretty Boy
Weight Welterweight
Nationality United States American
Birth date February 24, 1977
Birth place Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Style Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 37
Wins 37
Wins by KO 24
Losses 0
Draws 0
No contests 0

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (born February 24, 1977 in Grand Rapids, MI, USA) is a professional boxer. He is undefeated since making his pro debut on October 11, 1996, with a record of 37-0 (24 KOs). Since July 18, 2005, he has been rated by The Ring magazine as the number-one pound-for-pound boxer in the world. To date, Mayweather has won five world boxing championships in five different weight classes. Mayweather is scheduled to fight Oscar de la Hoya on May 5th.

Mayweather Jr. is a member of the Mayweather boxing family. His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., is a former welterweight contender and is currently the trainer of Oscar de la Hoya. Mayweather has stated that he and his father are not on speaking terms. One of his uncles, Jeff Mayweather, is a former IBO super featherweight champion. Another uncle, former two-division world champion Roger Mayweather, is Mayweather Jr.'s current trainer.

Amateur career

Mayweather had a successful amateur career, with a record of 84-6. He won national Golden Gloves championships in 1993 (at 106 lb), 1994 (at 112 lb), and 1996 (at 125 lb). He was given the nickname "Pretty Boy" by his amateur teammates because his face never had cuts or bruises after fights—a result of the defensive techniques that his father (Floyd Mayweather Sr.) and uncle (Roger Mayweather) had taught him. In his orthodox defensive stance, Mayweather—much like James Toney—often utilizes the 'shoulder roll.' The shoulder roll is an old-school boxing technique in which the right hand is held normally or slightly higher than normal, the left hand is down around the midsection, and the lead shoulder is raised high on the cheek in order to cover the chin and block punches. The right hand (from orthodox stance) is used as it normally would be to block punches coming from the other side, such as left hooks. From this stance, Mayweather blocks, slips, and deflects most of his opponents' punches, even when cornered, by twisting left and right to the rhythm of their punches.

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Mayweather won a bronze medal by reaching the semifinals of the featherweight (57 kg) division's 31-boxer tournament. In the opening round, Mayweather led 10-1 on points over Bakhtiyar Tileganov of Kazakhstan before he won by round 2 referee stoppage. In the second round, Mayweather outpointed Artur Gevorgyan of Armenia 16-3. In the quarterfinals, Mayweather survived a late rally by Lorenzo Aragon of Cuba to win 12-11. In his semifinal bout against the eventual silver medalist, Serafim Todorov of Bulgaria, Mayweather lost by a controversial decision that the U.S. team officially protested. Nearly everyone who saw the bout, including the referee, thought that Mayweather had won. However, the international judges, whom U.S. boxing coach Al Mitchell called "a bunch of mobsters," ruled the bout 10-9 for Todorov.

Professional career

Super featherweight

Mayweather fought his first professional bout on October 11, 1996 against fellow newcomer Roberto Apodaca. Mayweather won by knockout in round 2. Mayweather's trainer at the time was his uncle, Roger Mayweather, because Floyd Mayweather Sr. was still imprisoned after having been convicted of illegal drug trafficking in 1993. Mayweather Sr. took over as Mayweather Jr.'s trainer when he was released from prison (after Mayweather Jr.'s fourteenth fight—a second round knockout of Sam Girard). From 1996 to early 1998, Mayweather fought against relatively easy opponents and won most of the fights by knockout or TKO. The most notable of these fights was a unanimous decision victory over former IBO lightweight champion Tony Pep on June 14, 1998.

In 1998, Mayweather won his first world title, the WBC super featherweight (130 lb) championship, when the corner of Genaro Hernandez stopped the fight after round 8. Hernandez had never been defeated at the weight class. From there, Mayweather defended his title with dominating performances against contenders such as Angel Manfredy and Carlos Gerena. Mayweather was named as The Ring magazine's fighter of the year for 1998.

Before he fought against former WBC featherweight champion Gregorio Vargas in early 2000, Mayweather fired his father as his manager and replaced him with James Prince. A few months after the fight, the rift between the father and son became wide enough that Mayweather Jr. fired Mayweather Sr. as his trainer as well. Roger Mayweather returned to his role as Mayweather Jr.'s trainer in his next bout—a non-title fight against Emanuel Burton. In an interview in 2004, Mayweather Jr. said that he loves Mayweather Sr. as his father but feels that he has better chemistry with Roger, and his father had put too much pressure on him to be perfect.

Mayweather's biggest fight as a super featherweight was on January 20, 2001, against Diego Corrales. At the time, neither fighter had been defeated or knocked down. In the bout, Mayweather won every round and knocked down Corrales five times (three times in round 7 and twice in round 10). After the fifth knockdown, Corrales' cornermen climbed onto the apron and stopped the fight, thereby establishing Mayweather as one of the claimants to boxing's mythical pound-for-pound title.

In Mayweather's next bout, on May 26, 2001, future IBF champion Carlos 'Famoso' Hernández knocked down Mayweather for the first time. Mayweather entered the bout with injured hands. When Mayweather hit Hernández with a left hook in round 6, the pain caused Mayweather to drop his left hand to the canvas, and the referee called it a knockdown. Nonetheless, Mayweather won the fight by unanimous decision. In the award-winning documentary film More Than Famous, Hernández's bout against Mayweather was prominently featured.

Mayweather's last fight in the super featherweight division was against future super featherweight and lightweight champion Jesús Chávez. It was Mayweather's eighth defense of the WBC super featherweight title, which he had held for more than three years. He won when Chávez's corner stopped the fight after round 9. Mayweather had such difficulty making weight for this fight that he did not eat for four days before the weigh-in.


In 2002, Mayweather moved up to the lightweight (135 lb) division. Mayweather fought only four bouts at this weight, but they were all world championship fights.

Mayweather won two bouts for the WBC and The Ring lightweight belts against José Luis Castillo. In their first bout, Castillo had success when he cut off the ring and used his strength to wear down Mayweather. But it wasn't enough to make up for his slow start in the fight. Still, some analysts feel that Mayweather should have lost the fight, but he won by unanimous decision. In the rematch, Mayweather used his quick footwork and combinations to coast to another unanimous decision victory, this time with no controversy.

On April 19, 2003, Mayweather dominated the Dominican Victoriano Sosa and won by unanimous decision. Mayweather's next fight (on November 1, 2003) was in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He fought against the promising South African knockout specialist Phillip Ndou, whose record was 31-1 with 30 KOs. Uncharacteristically, Mayweather was offensively oriented from the beginning of the fight. Round 5 was one of 2003's most action-packed. In the middle of the round, Mayweather landed a barrage of powerful punches. Ndou endured and threw wild punches that forced Mayweather into the ropes, but Mayweather demonstrated his rhythmic defensive technique and let Ndou wear himself out further. In round 6, Ndou wobbled and was pushed down. In round 7, a combination of three straight right hands knocked down Ndou and caused a TKO, when N'Dou's trainers - Nick Durandt and Tommy Brooks - stepped into the ring to throw in the towel.

Super lightweight

Mayweather then moved up to the super lightweight (140 lb) division. His first fight in this division was against southpaw DeMarcus Corley. Mayweather used his speed to win the early rounds. In the first minute of round 4, Corley landed a solid right hand and drove Mayweather into the ropes, but Mayweather recovered and fought back ferociously. After that round, Mayweather mostly controlled Corley. Mayweather knocked down Corley in rounds 8 and 10, but Corley was able to continue until the end. Mayweather won by unanimous decision. The fight was Mayweather's only one in 2004.

On January 22, 2005, Mayweather fought against Henry Bruseles of Puerto Rico in a WBC super lightweight title eliminator bout. Mayweather easily outclassed Bruseles throughout the first seven rounds. In round 8, Mayweather knocked down Bruseles twice, and the fight was stopped.

The win over Bruseles made Mayweather the mandatory challenger for Arturo Gatti's WBC super lightweight championship. Before the fight, Mayweather was supremely confident. He described Gatti with terms such as "a C+ fighter," "a fake," and "a blown-up club fighter." The pay-per-view fight occurred on June 25, 2005 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where the fans heavily supported Gatti. Near the end of round 1, Gatti left himself vulnerable when he seemed to expect a referee break, and Mayweather capitalized by knocking Gatti into the ropes for a knockdown. Throughout the next five rounds, the much faster Mayweather landed with nearly every big shot against Gatti, who had no offense with which he could return fire. Gatti's corner stopped the fight after round 6—giving Mayweather his third world title. In the post-fight interview, Mayweather praised Gatti and claimed that his pre-fight comments "were just to sell tickets." Among many boxing experts, Mayweather's dominance over Gatti solidified his position as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

One month after the Gatti fight, Mayweather went to trial for a domestic violence charge. He faced a minimum of one year in prison if he were convicted. Mayweather had been accused of violence against his former girlfriend, Josie Harris. Harris had claimed that Mayweather had punched and kicked her during an argument in Mayweather's Bentley, outside a Las Vegas nightclub in 2003. During the trial, however, Harris admitted that she had lied on the initial police report and testified that Mayweather never hit her. The jury acquitted Mayweather.


On November 19, 2005, Mayweather fought a non-title bout at 147 lb against welterweight Sharmba Mitchell. In round 3, Mayweather knocked down Mitchell with a straight right hand to the head. In round 6, another straight right hand—this one to Mitchell's body—dropped Mitchell again and ended the fight.

On April 8, 2006, Mayweather defeated Zab Judah for the IBF and vacant IBO world welterweight titles by unanimous decision. Beforehand, the fight had been jeopardized after Judah lost the WBC welterweight title to Carlos Manuel Baldomir on January 7, 2006, but Mayweather's and Judah's camps reworked the contract and decided that the fight would go on. In the fight, Mayweather stayed calm during Judah's aggressive early rounds. Mayweather began to dominate Judah in round 5, and Judah eventually bled. Near the conclusion of the tenth round, Judah hit Mayweather with a left hand that was clearly below the belt and followed up with a right-handed rabbit punch. After referee Richard Steele called time with five seconds remaining in the round, Roger Mayweather entered the ring and approached Judah, but Steele restrained him. Judah's father and trainer, Yoel Judah, entered the ring as well. Floyd remained in the neutral corner while both Yoel and Zab scuffled with Roger (and others who had entered the ring) until police and security managed to restore order. Roger was thrown out, but the fight continued and went the scheduled 12 rounds.

Five days after the fight, the Nevada State Athletic Commission decided not to overturn the result of the bout, but Roger Mayweather was fined US$200,000 and suspended for one year. The suspension entails that Roger can train Mayweather Jr. in the gym but cannot work the corner during fights. On April 17, 2006, the IBF ordered a rematch between Mayweather and Judah, but the NSAC suspended Judah for one year on May 8, 2006. Mayweather vacated the IBF title on June 20, 2006.

Mayweather rejected an offer of US$8 million to fight Antonio Margarito and split with promoter Bob Arum for the possibility of a superfight with Oscar de la Hoya. de la Hoya, however, postponed his decision until 2007, leaving Mayweather in the awkward position of choosing his next opponent, while deflecting accusations that he had ducked Margarito. Mayweather considered moving up in weight again to fight junior middleweight champion Cory Spinks, but because of negative publicity and Spinks' impending mandatory defense of his title, he finally decided to face WBC and The Ring welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir on November 4, 2006 in Las Vegas.

Mayweather would ultimately defeat Baldomir by unanimous decision for both titles. Ringside punch statistics showed Mayweather landing 199 of 458 punches, while Baldomir landed just 79 of 670. Mayweather earned $8 million for the fight, while Baldomir was paid $1.6 million. Both were career highs in earnings for each fighter.

During the fight, Baldomir chased Mayweather sluggishly, unable to land any meaningful shots but trying to remain the busier fighter, while Mayweather picked away with sharp jabs and hooks, even managing to cut Baldomir over his left eye in the first round. This pattern continued throughout the fight, thanks in no small part to Baldomir's weighing in at 160 pounds on fight night (normal weight for a middleweight), leading some to believe that Baldomir's sole intention was to knock Mayweather out. The defensive-minded Mayweather, however, apparently not looking to knock out or even exchange blows with his opponent, put on what many witnesses and Mayweather himself called a "boxing clinic" to take Baldomir's WBC and Ring welterweight titles in a lopsided 12 round decision. Two judges had Mayweather winning all 12 rounds, with the other giving all but two rounds to Mayweather.


At the post-fight press conference, a teary-eyed Mayweather stated he would like to retire after one final fight. This announcement has caused shock and even some anger in the boxing community, as many feel that Mayweather should still test himself against the top welterweight champions and contenders while still in his prime. However, many also believe that Mayweather, although clearly emotional, may just be weary after 10 years of boxing, and is merely selling his next fight as a retirement fight to both raise the stakes and give him the opportunity to take a break.

It should also be noted that Mayweather was upset during the post-fight interview for what he felt was disrespect from Larry Merchant and the crowd for not giving him due credit for his victory over Baldomir. This was likely caused by Mayweather's reluctance to press for the knockout even though he was virtually assured the win, leading some people to leave in the later rounds when it became clear that he was going to ride out the points victory. (Mayweather did say that he had hurt his right hand in the middle rounds, and could not press like he wanted to.) It has been inferred that Mayweather was riding high on emotions after not getting credit after he, in his own words, "fought a perfect fight", and was venting his frustration at being considered the best boxer in the world, but still getting criticized for how he wins matches.

Superfight against Oscar De La Hoya

Mayweather's next (and possibly final) match will be the long-anticipated superfight against six-division champion and current WBC Junior Middleweight titleholder Oscar De La Hoya on May 5, 2007. De La Hoya's belt will be on the line, which will require Mayweather to move up in weight from 147 pounds to 154. (Should Mayweather win, he will have won major titles in five different divisions.)

"Done deal, baby! Done deal," said De La Hoya. "I wanted it. How could I not be excited? I took this fight because, like always, I always want to take on the best, and Floyd is considered the best in the world. Here we go again. My thinking wasn't financial. It had to do with it being the biggest event out there and wanting to fight the best and be the best." De La Hoya has also hinted that the fight with Mayweather will not be his last, as was widely thought. Whether the same can be said for Mayweather, however, remains to be seen.

Despite De La Hoya's insistence that money is not a factor, the Mayweather-De La Hoya bout figures to be one of the biggest money-making fights in boxing history. Mayweather stands to make at least $10 million to De La Hoya's $25 million, with possibly much more for each if pay-per-view sales satisfy predictions. Early speculation indicates that the fight could flirt with the all-time record for pay-per-view buys. The current record comes from the 1997 rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, which took in 1.99 million. De La Hoya's fight with Felix Trinidad in 1999 generated 1.4 million buys, which stands as the record for a non-heavyweight bout. De La Hoya has been quoted as saying his goal is 2 million buys, which, given the amount of time still remaining to promote the fight, is a definite possibility.

Adding further intrigue to the fight is the presence of Mayweather's father and uncle. It has already been confirmed that Floyd Mayweather Sr. will train De La Hoya in Puerto Rico and be in his corner on fight night, just as his brother Roger Mayweather will be preparing Mayweather Jr. after serving his jail sentence for battery. With the hype already surrounding the fight, the family element should serve to deepen the drama and garner more interest. Both sides have insisted that they will be all business for the fight, and will maintain professionalism despite the personal nature of the fight.

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