Mayweather v Pacquiao five years on: Floyd's top 10 wins

By Sports Desk May 02, 2020

After more than half a decade of wait, baiting, claim and counter-claim, the boxing world finally got the fight it desired on May 2, 2015 when Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao met in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao was unable to stain his fellow great's immaculate professional record as Mayweather did what late-career Mayweather always did: assessed the puzzle, solved the puzzle and banked rounds, all the while caring little about perceptions of how entertaining he was.

After Pacquiao, there was nothing left to prove or achieve for Mayweather, as evidenced by his final two bouts against Andre Berto and Conor McGregor – outings that were respectively pointless and farcical.

Questions will always linger of what might have happened had Pacquiao met Mayweather somewhere closer to his 2009-10 zenith, but there can be little doubt that 'Money' settled the argument over who the outstanding fighter of the 21st century to date is.

So, where does that blockbusting win rank among his best victories?

10) ZAB JUDAH (APRIL 2006, 12 UD)

Mayweather's bid to become a four-weight world champion at welterweight got off to a rocky start against fellow brash-talking American Judah, with a right hook in the second forcing him to touch down. No knockdown was called and Mayweather assumed typically smooth control thereafter. Judah's frustrations boiled over in round 10 with a low blow that sparked an in-ring melee featuring Floyd's uncle Roger Mayweather and Judah's father Yoel

9) JESUS CHAVEZ (NOVEMBER 2001, 9 RTD)

At odds with his latter run in the 147lb and 154lb divisions, Mayweather's outings in the lighter weights were often all-action affairs. This barnstormer against Chavez was a case in point, with his formidable Mexican foe maniacally throwing 925 punches in pursuit of the WBC super-featherweight title. Mayweather landed 197 of 456 and that greater efficiency persuaded Chavez's trainer Ronnie Shields to end the fight after round nine, telling his man: "You're getting hit too much now".

8) SHANE MOSLEY (MAY 2010, 12 UD)

Never did Mayweather look closer to defeat than in a torrid second round against bitter rival Mosley, wearing two huge right hands. The second of those saw his knees buckle but he stayed upright and won every remaining round on two of the three judges' scorecards.

7) JOSE LUIS CASTILLO (DECEMBER 2002, 12 UD)

The biggest question mark against Mayweather's unbeaten record is his initial fight with Mexican pressure fighter Castillo, with the WBC lightweight champion's unanimous verdict on the scorecards a controversial outcome for many. The scores were actually closer on paper second time around but Mayweather came through another stern examination impressively. "I never figured him out," Castillo conceded afterwards. "I think he fought a more intelligent fight this time. I never felt I did anything this time."

6) RICKY HATTON (DECEMBER 2007, 10 TKO)

Someone's 0 had to go in Las Vegas and it was Hatton's barmy army of Brits who left the MGM Grand Garden Arena disappointed if suitably refreshed as Mayweather surgically took apart the Mancunian hero in this mega fight. A straight Hatton right had the WBC welterweight champion staggering backwards in round one but the writing had long been on the wall by the time Mayweather drilled his man into the ringpost before a second knockdown of round 10 closed the show.

5) SAUL 'CANELO' ALVAREZ (SEPTEMBER 2013, 12 MD)

Another criticism of Mayweather was a tendency to stack the deck unnecessarily high in his favour, with the demand for Alvarez to shave an additional two pounds off his thick-set frame for this WBC light-middleweight showdown a prime example. Regardless, this was a sublime showing as the master put on a boxing clinic for the apprentice. CJ Ross' 114-114 scorecard was as baffling and unnecessary as Mayweather's vast supercar collection.

4) OSCAR DE LA HOYA (MAY 2007, 12 SD)

Setting the template for his late-career run, Mayweather frustrated the more aggressive De La Hoya to pot shot his way to a points win and become a five-weight world champion. He collected the WBC light-middleweight belt in a bout that, at the time, was the richest in boxing history. A baton was passed in terms of who was American's pay-per-view superstar – it was the night 'Pretty Boy Floyd' became 'Money'.

3) MIGUEL COTTO (MAY 2012, 12 UD)

The eventual wide points totals of 117-111 twice and 116-112 do not do justice to Cotto's contribution to a lesser-spotted thriller in the autumn of Mayweather's career. Defending his WBA 154lb title and with the vacant WBC strap on the line, the Puerto Rican great bloodied his opponent's nose and caused plenty of headaches with his intelligent pressure. There was more than enough coming back the other way for Mayweather to deserve his triumph, but Cotto made him work like few others.

2) MANNY PACQUIAO (MAY 2015, 12 UD)

Yes, the thrills that might have prevailed five years earlier were sadly absent. The reduction in Pacquiao's buzz saw output was the main factor here, with a rotator cuff injury perhaps key in the surprising fact Mayweather both out threw and out landed 'Pacman'. Still, failing to face and overcome a eight-weight champion who continues to rule at welterweight today, despite being 41, was never an option for Mayweather and his claims to greatness. It was the biggest night of his career and, typically, he made it look easy.

1) DIEGO CORRALES (JANUARY 2001, 10 TKO)

A masterclass and, arguably, Mayweather's masterpiece. All the elements – immaculate footwork, quicksilver hands, impeccable defence – were there against an all-action opponent, who went into the bout with a 33-0 record. Typically, Corrales never stopped coming forward, although the diet of crisp left hooks he swallowed underlined the futility of his endeavours. That honey punch was key as Mayweather decked his man three times in round seven and twice more in 10 to retain the WBC super-featherweight title.

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    "You want to speak about my mother?"

    Romelu Lukaku was seething. A yellow card and a stern talking to from referee Paolo Valeri having done nothing to lift the red mist.

    Inter's diminutive playmaker Nicolo Barella attaching himself to Lukaku's torso in a bid to calm the powerhouse striker was one of the more memorable sights of an action-packed first 45 minutes in this Milan derby for a place in the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

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    It seemed for all the world that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had not spoken about Lukaku's mother with such reverence.

    Here was Milan's 39-year-old talisman, who suggested the youthful make-up of the Serie A leaders' XI was a factor in their 3-0 weekend defeat to Atalanta, deciding to display his own brand of leadership in the guise of juvenile schoolyard bully.

    Ibrahimovic's crowing chuckle as mayhem unfurled around him (Arturo Vidal got involved - of course he did - for no apparent reason) was one of a player who had recently enjoyed a familiar feeling for the 499th time in his career.

    Freed from shackles of their knife-edge Scudetto battle, both teams played with freedom and the intent to land a psychological blow. The fact each team had the same idea appeared to irritate all concerned, but it made for great entertainment.

    It is doubtful Antonio Conte would consider such a cavalier selection in league combat as he rolled out on Inter's left flank here. Ivan Perisic was at wing-back, paying as much attention as you'd expect to the part of his position lurking after the hyphen.

    That increased the defensive burden on Aleksandar Kolarov on, a defender who has worn 11 for the bulk of his career. Kolarov's shirt number is a statement of particular intent.

    Ibrahimovic showed he recognised that point of weakness in the 13th minute, when he leapt athletically to meet a Rafael Leao cross, knocking Perisic and Kolarov to the ground in the process. Brahim Diaz was just unable to turn home.

    Kolarov still seemed distracted when he backed off enough for the former Sweden international to fire though his legs and beyond Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

    The script seemed written, goal 500 was surely on the way to take Ibrahimovic closer to yet another piece of silverware. Why not have some fun and wind up the opposition's star man.

    Ibrahimovic's language and his message seemed appalling, with ESPN footage showing him at one point appearing to yell: "Go do your voodoo s***, you little donkey."

    A flaw in the plan to rile Lukaku was the yellow card that Ibrahimovic received for his part in the spat. Not a problem in itself, but in the 58th minute he clumsily and needlessly fouled Kolarov to collect a second booking.

    Displaying none of his vast experience, Ibrahimovic had gone from hero to villain to idiot within half an hour of playing time.

    And so, it was over to the youngsters and backup players who the star striker sometimes seems to consider walk-on extras in his one-man show.

    First there was on-loan defender Fikayo Tomori, who was quickly disabused of the notion he had escaped chaos by leaving Chelsea this week. Thrust into a debut by Simon Kjaer's first-half injury, he made a brilliant last-ditch block to deny Lukaku.

    Alessio Romagnoli and Theo Hernandez defended heroically down the Milan left but reduced numbers forced willing attacking players back to man unfamiliar barricades. Leao was pressed into action and brought down Barella. After consulting the pitchside monitor Valeri pointed to the spot.

    Lukaku has been known to roll his penalties home. On this occasion, he tested the structural integrity of the crossbar and the ball ricocheted into the turf and home. Then there was a shouting match with a team-mate (Yes, Vidal; nope, no idea).

    Enough mayhem? Nonsense. Valeri had to limp out of the action injured. Fourth official Daniele Chiffi looked like he was putting on the microphone and headset for the first time in his life and 10 minutes of stoppage time were required.

    In the seventh of those, wantaway midfielder Christian Eriksen curled home a sumptuous free-kick, leaving Ciprian Tatarusanu no chance to add to his fine catalogue of eight saves.

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    After fatefully dwelling too long in self-parody at the end of the first half, Ibrahimovic owes them an apology, and surely Lukaku is also due one. Perhaps they shouldn't hold their breath.

  • Chelsea appoint Tuchel: Fixing Werner woes on new coach's to-do list Chelsea appoint Tuchel: Fixing Werner woes on new coach's to-do list

    Thomas Tuchel's appointment as the new Chelsea head coach was confirmed on Tuesday - and the new man does not have a lot of time to get settled.

    Frank Lampard was sacked on Monday, with Tuchel's widely anticipated arrival promptly following.

    The former Paris Saint-Germain coach took charge of training on his first day and will be thrust straight into the spotlight when Chelsea host Wolves on Wednesday.

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    HELP WERNER AND HAVERTZ

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    KEEP ACADEMY ACES INVOLVED

    Hindered by a transfer ban in his first season in charge, Lampard at least made use of Chelsea's impressive academy to bring a number of young talents into the team.

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    Both Mount, 22, and Gilmour, 19, started Lampard's final game in charge against Luton Town and formed a creative double-pivot in an attack-minded side, earning praise from the coach for their discipline and movement.

    Mount will surely feature in Tuchel's immediate plans, but Chelsea will hope both the England midfielder and team-mate Gilmour can continue to develop over the coming years.
     

    SETTLE ON HIS BEST SIDE

    Between the big spending ahead of this season and the promotion of a number of academy talents, Lampard was certainly not short of options. But that might have been to his detriment.

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    There has been concern regarding the form of N'Golo Kante, perhaps played out of position, while Lampard struggled to work out the best fit up front in his 4-3-3.

    Tuchel must be more decisive.
     

    EFFECTIVELY MANAGE UPWARDS

    An increasingly strained relationship with director Marina Granovskaia reportedly contributed to Lampard's demise, so keeping the Chelsea board onside will be crucial for Tuchel.

    Dealings with the top brass at PSG in his previous job were not always straightforward for Tuchel and may have been a factor behind his departure from Paris, which came despite impressive results across recent seasons.

    Criticism of PSG's transfer business did not go down well with sporting director Leonardo, who fired back at the coach, telling him he "must decide to respect the choices of the sports management".

    Tuchel could hardly complain about the level of investment at Stamford Bridge over the past year, so similar comments towards Chelsea power-brokers would be unlikely to go down well.

  • Tuchel prospered at PSG - can he succeed at Stamford Bridge? Tuchel prospered at PSG - can he succeed at Stamford Bridge?

    A day after club great Frank Lampard was shown the door by Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has been confirmed as the new head coach at Stamford Bridge.

    Having departed Paris Saint-Germain in late December, the highly regarded tactician will now continue his coaching career in England.  

    Former Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel won two straight Ligue 1 titles and steered PSG to the Champions League final last season, yet ownership decided the time was right for a change in the French capital.

    Mauricio Pochettino's status as a free agent arguably persuaded PSG to act fast and the boot is now on the other foot for Tuchel, whose availability has allowed him to step straight in at Stamford Bridge.

    FROM PARIS TO LONDON

    There was little Christmas cheer for Tuchel, who left PSG with a record similar to his predecessor in the job - Unai Emery. Both recorded an average of 2.37 points per game in Ligue 1 - tied for the best in club history.  

    The German tops the list when it comes to top-flight win rate at 75.6 per cent (62 wins from 82 games), though that number dips slightly when taking into consideration all competitions, albeit only down to 74.8 per cent (Emery's was higher, at 76.3 per cent).

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    Only Laurent Blanc (173 games) was in the PSG post for longer than Tuchel in the time since Qatar Sports Investments purchased the French club. 

    Tuchel averaged 2.67 goals per game in Ligue 1.

    It helps to have a squad that contains stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, of course, though he was the first PSG boss to make it beyond the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, the one trophy that has so far eluded the owners.

    An unconvincing start this term was enough to lead to change. Tuchel became the first PSG head coach to be fired during a season despite sitting in the top three of Ligue 1 since Antoine Kombouare, who lost his job during the 2011-12 campaign.


    FAMILIARITY, PLUS A CASE FOR THE DEFENCE

    Roman Abramovich made clear he has the "utmost respect" for Lampard in the statement released to confirm his departure. Still, there was no doubt left over the reason for making the change. 

    "We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as head coach of the club," the statement read from Chelsea.

    "However, recent results and performances have not met the club's expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement." 

    Chelsea have a home game against Wolves on Wednesday and Tuchel will get up and running by taking training on the eve of the match. He takes over a team in ninth place, though just five points off fourth in what is a congested league table. 

    It will be hoped the new man can get the best out of compatriots Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, two of Chelsea's big-money recruits in the previous window who have yet to fire. 

    However, Tuchel will also need to tighten things up at the back, particularly on the road. At PSG, his teams conceded 0.81 goals per game, while it should be noted they leaked just six in Champions League action in 2019-20.

    Since the start of the previous season, only Newcastle (54) have conceded more away goals in the Premier League than Chelsea (50).

    They kept a clean sheet in just 17 per cent of their away games under Lampard; among those to have taken charge of 10 or more such fixtures in the competition, this is the lowest percentage of any Chelsea boss. 

    Tuchel will, of course, be able to call upon his old PSG captain Thiago Silva in trying to mastermind a defensive revival.

    There will also be an expectancy to improve the team's fortunes against their major rivals, too. 

    Since August 2019, Chelsea have won just 15 points against fellow 'big six' sides, a joint-low tally alongside Arsenal. During that run, they have scored 17 goals and conceded 28 times. 

    At least Tuchel understands the demands of working for owners with lofty expectations. There is still time to turn this season around but, like his most recent Stamford Bridge predecessors, he will be expected to produce instant results.

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