In last week’s Floyd Mayweather Jr. article, we listed the top five welterweights in modern boxing history. Money Mayweather ended up first on our list. Does that mean Mayweather would have beaten other fighters on our list? Not necessarily. It depends on when Money fought those guys. Check out an analysis of the fighters the greatest welterweight since 1964 may have struggled with if Pretty Boy fought them in their primes. Let’s get right to it so you can continue planning your bets and place them against our Floyd Mayweather odds for the upcoming fight.
Floyd Versus the Other Four Greatest Welterweight Boxers Since 1964
Mayweather Jr. Vs Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980
Ray Leonard’s best moment was how he flabbergasted Roberto Duran so badly in their second fight that Hands of Stone quit. That Sugar Ray, no doubt, would have given Money Mayweather a fight. But Ray, even at his best, wouldn’t have beaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. It’s difficult seeing Leonard breaking through Floyd’s defense. Money did small things in the ring that make him almost impossible to hit. He’s also the most patient boxer, maybe, of all time. Eventually, Mayweather takes advantage of a Leonard mistake. Then, he takes over the fight. Floyd wins a unanimous decision.
Mayweather Jr. Vs Manny Pacquiao in 2009
Manny Pacquaio is one of the most popular fighters to ever step onto the mat. One of the reasons? He takes chances. Manny wants to fight. Floyd is a boxer, a technician, the type of fighter who uses your eagerness against you. Even if Mayweather Jr. fought Pacquaio at the height of Manny’s career, Floyd would have won. Money’s shoulder roll puts his opponents into bad positions, which allow him to counter with ferocity. He’d make Pacquaio throw enough bad punches to win 9 of 12 rounds.
Mayweather Jr. Vs Oscar De La Hoya in 1997
Floyd beat Oscar in 2007. Although the 1996 De La Hoya was faster, he’d have the same trouble with Mayweather Jr. that the 2007 version had. Pretty Boy doesn’t let you throw punches with power. So even though Oscar could get his punches off faster in 1997 than he did a decade later, Floyd would have rolled with those punches, or win the angle before Oscar threw the punch, and then counter. The same result, a decision win, would occur, only if the fight happened in 1997 it would have happened at welterweight.
Mayweather Jr. Vs Tommy Hearns in 1981
Of all the welterweights on our list, Tommy Hearns, who we ranked fifth in last week’s blog, would close the most problems. The 1981 version of Tommy Hearns had length, speed, and power. He would have weighed in at 147 and then on the night of fight he’d weigh 160 pounds or more. That Tommy Hearns could have used his jab to keep Floyd away from him. Then, when he’d attack, the Hitman wouldn’t get fancy. Instead, he’d follow behind his jab. Eventually, he’d hit Mayweather Jr. with power shots. That doesn’t mean he’d win the fight, though.
One thing about Tommy is that he didn’t have the best chin. Ray Leonard finally got to Hearns in the 14th round and Floyd could knock guys out during his prime. Although Tommy may have hung on for the unanimous decision, we don’t know.
Because Floyd ended his career undefeated and Hearns got knocked out three times in his career, we’ve got to go Money. Eventually, the Hit Man would tire himself out and that’s when Pretty Boy would strike.
When it comes down to it, you may dislike Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s fighting style, but it’s the most effective way a talented boxer can fight. It’s so effective and Money Mayweather was so talented in his prime, and so driven, that no boxer on our list, not even a taller, stronger, lengthier fighter like Tommy Hearns, would have beaten him.
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