Floyd Mayweather's five toughest fights – from Oscar De La Hoya split-decision to Marcos Maidana's roughhousing

Floyd Mayweather's five toughest fights – from Oscar De La Hoya split-decision to Marcos Maidana's roughhousing

FLOYD MAYWEATHER not only retired with a perfect 50-0 record but also hung up his gloves with barley a scratch on his face.

The 43-year-old is famed for his iconic defensive style adopted towards the end of his career, mastering the sweet science of hit and not get hit.

Mayweather merely getting caught clean was a collectors item, making close calls during his 21-year pro career few and far between.

But on the odd occasion, the five-time champion's undefeated record did come under threat.

Here SunSport lists Mayweather's five toughest fights.

Emanuel Augustus, 2000

Perhaps the least known on the list, but Mayweather actually confessed Augustus was his trickiest ever opponent.

He said: “If I was rating certain fighters out of every guy that I fought, I’m going to rate Emanuel Augustus first compared to all the guys that I’ve faced.

“He didn’t have the best record in the sport of boxing, he has never won a world title. But he came to fight and, of course, at that particular time I had took a long layoff.”

Augustus was renowned for his eccentric style and nicknamed the 'drunk master' as he would act intoxicated in the ring to goad his opponents.

Mayweather won on points against Augustus, who last boxed in 2011 and miraculously survived a gun shot wound to the head in 2014.

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Jose Castillo I, 2002

Many believe Mayweather was fortunate to escape with a unanimous decision and lightweight world title against Castillo.

The Mexican threw, landed and was more accurate with his shots over the 12-rounds, where he fought aggressively.

Mayweather said post-fight that he suffered a rotator cuff injury in his left shoulder on his final day of training, limiting his use of the jab.

Despite the questions thrown at him, Mayweather silenced the doubters as he rematched Castillo eight months later, winning on points.

He utilised his footwork to better effect while punching in combinations and proved too classy for Castillo.

Oscar De La Hoya, 2007

Mayweather stepped up to light-middleweight to fight 'The Golden Boy' but only weighed in 150lbs, 4lbs under the limit.

De La Hoya asserted himself in the first half of the fight, but by the second he stopped using his jab as frequently and tired.

Mayweather capitalised with superior speed and counter punching down the stretch to just pull away on the cards.

One judge gave De La Hoya the nod, the only time anyone scored against Mayweather in his career, making it his sole split-decision win.

At the time the fight sold a record 2.4million pay-per-views and marked the last time Mayweather was ever the B-side fighter, as the boxing's new king was crowned.

Miguel Cotto, 2012

In Mayweather's last fight before he was due to serve six-months in prison for domestic abuse, he again stepped up to light-middle.

He weighed in a career-heaviest 151lb, but Cotto's physical advantage played a factor in the fight.

Mayweather was also cut and bleeding from the nose, the first time he had faced such punishment.

Still, he outlanded Cotto and made sure of the win by dominating the later rounds, pocketing at the time the biggest guaranteed purse, totalling £23m.

Immediately after, Mayweather said: "Miguel Cotto was the toughest fighter I've faced so far."

Marcos Maidana, 2014

Maidana earned the fight by beating Mayweather's protege Adrien Broner, but was still a surprise pick.

He made the fight gruelling, leaning on Mayweather, hitting and holding while even throwing a KNEE.

By half way it was still even, and Mayweather was forced to fight fire with fire and at one point even turned southpaw to mix things up.

He eventually emerged victorious on points, but one judge scored it a draw, meaning Maidana was beaten by majority-decision.

Fans demanded a rematch and in the same year – like with Castillo – Mayweather won the second with ease, counter punching with success.

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