Floyd Mayweather's career has seen him win titles at 130, 135, 140, 147, and 154 pounds, and tomorrow night against Miguel Cotto, he looks to add a second reign -- however brief it is -- at the junior middleweight limit, as he challenges for Cotto's WBA belt.
Whatever you may say about Mayweather outside of the ring, or even sometimes inside of it, there's no denying the man's brilliance. I've always found it sort of interesting that so many clueless putzes call what Floyd does "running," when the reality is when he's met top brawlers who make for great fights, like Arturo Gatti and Diego Corrales, he has absolutely demolished them.
Will tomorrow's fight with Cotto, should Mayweather win as almost everyone expects, be one of the five best of Floyd's long and storied career? I think there's a chance it could sneak in, but it will have to be something special, and not just another Floyd Special where he just flat-out routs a guy. Either he has to beat Cotto down bad, or Cotto has to give him the challenge he's been lacking for years.
Here's my pick for Mayweather's best five, and surely more than one of you has arguments here.
1. Diego Corrales (Super Featherweight, 2001)
Hard to figure why Mayweather vs Manfredy made it over Mayweather vs Corrales. It was a shockingly one-sided thrashing, in a fight many favored Corrales to win at the time. It was a true statement about the greatness of Mayweather.
2. Jose Luis Castillo (Lightweight, 2002)
The only rematch Floyd has ever needed to fight, he fought. And he beat Castillo, who once again had a good plan of attack and executed well. This time, Floyd left no doubts, though, and clearly won.
3. Oscar De La Hoya (Junior Middleweight, 2007)
Look, it was the biggest PPV of all-time and history's richest fight. It kind of has to be here. Also, it was a good win, and not nearly as bad a fight as some make out. Some people would have you believe it was Hopkins-Dawson II or something.
4. Ricky Hatton (Welterweight, 2007)
The undefeated welterweight champion against the undefeated junior welterweight champion. Also, a testament to what can happen when you fill even a casino venue with passionate fight fans who believe in the cause of their man, and I don't just mean the rowdy Hatton supporters. Floyd's fans were in full effect, too.
5. Shane Mosley (Welterweight, 2010)
You could argue a lot of fights in here: Gatti, Jesus Chavez, Genaro Hernandez, Judah. Probably not Manfredy, though. Definitely not JM Marquez. Mosley was still considered at the time to be the world's third-best welterweight, and had last been seen pummeling Margarito. Even given my modern reservations about the Margarito win, I guess I don't downgrade this fight much because it's actually what I expected to happen. Some thought Shane had a shot, but I was fully expecting Mayweather's hand speed to be an enormous advantage, as Shane's had slipped pretty seriously. But the way Mayweather held on and survived getting legitimately shaken to his core by Mosley was pretty special. He'd never had to do that. It was no guarantee he knew how. But he knew, and then he beat the hell out of Mosley for 10 rounds.