Among the many boastful comments made by pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. throughout the "All Access" series leading up to tonight's highly anticipated light middleweight super-fight with fellow undefeated champion Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand, one actually carries some truth.
"Every fighter I faced that's undefeated, I put a "L" on their record," gloated Mayweather as he was training during Episode #1 of the Showtime series.
There is no denying that Mayweather (44-0, 26 KO's), a five-division world champion who has won eight world titles and the Lineal championship in three different weight classes, has beaten a slew of world-class fighters and has ruled the pound-for-pound list for almost 10 years. Over the course of his brilliant 44 fight career he has faced two undefeated fighters – former super featherweight and lightweight champion Diego Corrales in January 2001 and former light welterweight and welterweight titlist Ricky Hatton in February 2007.
One month shy of his 24th birthday, Mayweather was making the sixth defense of his WBC super featherweight title against the gritty Corrales. Both men were undefeated at the time, with Mayweather at 24-0 and Corrales 33-0, and neither had touched the canvas up to that point of their respective careers. Many thought Corrales, whose classic war with Jose Luis Castillo was still ahead of him four years later, might be the guy to teach the young Mayweather a lesson. Instead, it was Mayweather who preserved his undefeated record and retained the title with a dominating performance, knocking the taller Corrales down a total of five times en route to a tenth round TKO victory.
Six years later, a 30-year old Mayweather faced Hatton in a mandatory defense of the WBC welterweight belt. Billed simply as "Undefeated", the 38-0 Mayweather dismantled the 43-0 Hatton, out landing "The Hitman" by more than double with potshots and using his defensive wizardry to make the beloved Englishman frequently miss. A left hook that sent Hatton face-first into the padding of the corner post before collapsing flat on his back essentially sealed the deal for Mayweather, winning by another tenth round TKO when the fight was stopped after the challenger took more punishment upon rising from the knockdown.
Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KO's) first faced an undefeated champion in Austin Trout, winning by unanimous decision this past April in what was a much closer fight than the scores reflect, appearing somewhat sluggish in the latter stages of the fight. 23-year old Alvarez has two other victories against previously undefeated fighters, although they came earlier in his career in non-title bouts in Mexico against unheralded fighters.
“He’s facing Floyd Mayweather; I’m facing just another opponent. I been here before. I know what it takes," a confident 36-year old Mayweather said.
He will be there again in a mere few hours.
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