Love him or hate him, there's no denying Floyd Mayweather's accomplishments inside the ring. A 5-division world champion, he's defeated 45 different opponents, nearly half of which were world champions themselves, in 46 fights and has collected numerous titles and awards along the way. From Fighter of the Year to Highest-Paid Athlete in the World, it seems like no goal is unobtainable for the undisputed pound-for-pound king of the sport. Until recently, however, there was one accomplishment that seemed to be eluding him. Despite all the championship belts that he's collected across multiple divisions, Floyd Mayweather had never been called a unified champion.
That changed, however, last September when Mayweather, the reigning WBC jr. middleweight champion, unified his title with then-WBA jr. middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. His performance against the younger, stronger, previously undefeated Alvarez, who outweighed him by nearly 20 pounds, was so thorough and dominant that it left no doubt that Mayweather was indeed the best fighter at 154 pounds. Two Saturdays ago, on May 3, Mayweather duplicated that accomplishment at 147 pounds, defeating former world champion Marcos Maidana and again unifying the WBC and WBA welterweight titles in the process. To put it in perspective, it took less than a year for Mayweather to add the only accomplishment seemingly missing from his illustrious 18-year career, and he didn't just do it once...he did it twice!
At 37 years old, Mayweather now simultaneously holds multiple world titles in two different weight classes. To my knowledge, he is the only modern day fighter who can lay claim to that fact. While it's not the first time in the history of the sport that someone has been able to become the undisputed champion in multiple divisions, the accomplishment is so rare that only a few of the all-time greats have achieved it. In fact, don't quote me on this because I'm no historian, but I believe Tony Canzoneri (137-24-10, 44 KOs), Barney Ross (72-4-3, 22 KOs), and Herny Armstrong (150-21-10, 101 KOs) are the only ones to ever legitimately do it (there's a debate as to whether or not Sugar Ray Leonard can also lay claim after defeating Donny Lalonde to win the WBC light heavyweight and super middleweight titles, but keep in mind, he did not unify in those divisions). So regardless of whether or not you agree with Mayweather's claim to be "The Best Ever", there's no denying that his accomplishments inside the ring are on par with the greatest fighters throughout the history of the sport.
[NOTE: While his achievments inside the ring speak volumes, what he's been able to do with the business side of the sport is a testament to just how accomplished Mayweather truly is as a boxer and, in my opinion, one of the main reasons why he refers to himself as "The Best Ever". Throughout the history of combat sports, no fighter has ever been able to make the kind of living that Mayweather does with his fists. For his last fight alone, he was guaranteed a minimum of $32 million, more than most fighters make during their entire careers. Though the pay-per-view buys for that fight have yet to be reported, FightHype.com has been informed that the number is at least 1 million, which means Mayweather, being self-promoted, could walk away with nearly double the amount of his guarantee.]
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