Whatever we think about Floyd Mayweather outside the ring, considering his 50-0 record, we must admit he was one of the greatest ever. In his last fight, he gave the public exactly what it wanted. He defeated the most feared MMA fighter on the planet, Conor McGregor, in Las Vegas, at the T-Mobile Arena.
The American boxer managed to overcome Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 mark, which stood from 1955, until Floyd’s latest win. This is surely no small feat and chances are it will take many years to be matched and surpassed.
After the fight, many claimed the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight was not a valid one, since it was the first professional boxing bout for the latter. According to these opinions, the 50-0 record does not rightfully belong to Mayweather.
Moreover, some claim Floyd Mayweather carefully chose all his fights over the course of his career. The fact that he did not fight Manny Pacquiao until 2015 is a good example, illustrating the above.
However, Marciano faced similar controversy, some of his opponents being fiercely criticized by the press. For instance, in Marciano’s fight against Gil Cardione from 1948, Cardione said he was only boxing to support his family. Additionally, according to boxing statistics website Boxrec, Marciano beat American Pat Richards in two rounds, in 1949. Back then, the New York Daily Mirror newspaper described Richards as a man who “had no business being in the ring”.
The objective here is not to criticize Marciano, but simply to point out that both fighters cherry-picked their opponents, according to their critics. They both met substandard opposition, during the span of their careers, according to the same opinions.
Mexican boxer Ricardo Lopez should also be mentioned when discussing Marciano or Mayweather. He retired in 2001 as a two-weight world champion, with 51 wins and one draw. In the rather controversial match against Nicaragua’s Rosendo Alvarez, from 1998, Lopez was badly cut. The match was stopped after 7 complete rounds. One judge favored Lopez, one Alvarez and one called it a draw.
If it wasn’t for this rather controversial draw from 1998, the Mexian would have retired with a 52-0 record. As such, Mayweather’s 50-0 legacy would not have been as important.
While Marciano engaged in 7 world title fights, Mayweather, in a career lasting twice as long, engaged in 26 world title fights, and faced 16 past or present world champions. Whatever we may think of the “Money” man, his legacy is here to stay.