Floyd Mayweather Jr. gave fans, arguably, the most exciting performance of his career on Saturday evening (May 5), taking a “W” over Miguel Cotto with a unanimous decision.
Although the Puerto Rican warrior was able to put some pressure on Mayweather in middle rounds, and hit him more times in one fight than anytime in his career, the undefeated boxer’s superior defense and speed was just too much for him when it was all said and done.
In the end, three judges scorecards were as follows: Robert Hoyle, 118-110; Patricia Morse Jarmon, 117-111; Dave Moretti, 117-111.
From the opening bell, Mayweather had trouble finding his way through Cotto’s tight defense, but his speed allowed him to counter and sneak punches in quite often. Cotto, on the other hand, enjoyed success, over and over, with his jab, and tried to follow with right hands, but many either grazed Mayweather or he’d slip the punch altogether.
It was like this for most of the fight, but the tides shifted in 6th, 7th, and 8th rounds when Cotto began pressuring Mayweather into the corner and capitalizing, landing flurries and combos while blocking his opponent’s shots well.
Although Cotto had a shot at making the fight really close, Mayweather took over in the final rounds, showing everyone vintage Mayweather. He began fighting Cotto from the outside, making him miss and countering or following up with lightning fast combinations.
Floyd, in too form, is just too much for most fighters, especially for the latter rounds for Cotto.
“You’re a hell of a champion,” Mayweather told Cotto in the ring afterward. “You’re the toughest guy I ever fought.”
If you didn’t have a ringside seat, or watched on HBO PPV, it may have seemed as though Cotto landed his power shots flush, but that was not the case, so when the decision was announced, it booed by the crowd at the MGM Grand arena. During replays, us watching on PPV saw how many punches Cotto were actually missing and/or had partially blocked.
“He’s a tough competitor,” Mayweather said during the post-fight interview. “He came to fight, he didn’t just come to survive. I dug down and fought him back.”
Before leaving, HBO’s Larry Merchant had to ask, what’s next? Of course, after he serves a three-month sentence for domestic abuse beginning June 1st. Mayweather responded immediately, “I want to fight Pacquiao but he needs to take the tests before we make that fight. If you’re the best, take the test. Let’s give the fans what they want.”
With the win, Mayweather improved to 43-0, while Cotto’s record fell to 37-3.
According to an ESPN report, prior to Saturday’s fight, Mayweather had the largest contract guarantee for one fight in boxing history, earning at least $32 million for his title bout. Mayweather stands to earn significant money on the profits from the pay-per-view as well, which is expected to sell well in excess of 1 million units.
The figure beats out the previous largest guarantee in Nevada — where most of the biggest money fights have taken place — which was the $30 million Mike Tyson was guaranteed for the infamous heavyweight championship rematch with Evander Holyfield in 1997, ending in the infamous ear-bite.