Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s dominant win over Miguel Cotto on Saturday may have been more impressive than anyone outside of Money May's camp was aware at the time.
According to ESPN boxing buff Dan Rafael, Mayweather came into the Cotto fight with an injured right hand and a case of the cold that dropped him to 147 pounds, a full four pounds lighter than what he checked in as at the weigh-in on Friday.
Those impediments might help to explain the physical toll that the fight against Junito took on Money May's body. The undefeated champ usually leaves the ring in nearly as pristine condition as that in which he entered it, but this time came away with a broken nose and a face that, generally speaking, was uncharacteristically in disarray.
Of course, Cotto deserves plenty of credit for doling out said punishment to Mayweather's noggin. The Puerto Rican pugilist was aggressive, persistent and smart, particularly through the first eight rounds of the fight. He landed some big blows against a competitor whose quickness and defensive prowess have helped him to become one of the most elusive fighters in boxing history.
But as legitimate a challenger as Cotto is, would he have been so fortunate to keep things as interesting as he did if Mayweather hadn't had the sniffles and had, instead, been able to retain those extra four pounds and a greater measure of strength as a result? Would Mayweather have separated himself even further from Cotto—or sent him out of the fight entirely had his left hand not been impaired by an injury during training?
We'll never know, simply because we don't have access to Doc Brown's flux capacitor.
What we do know, though, is that he defeated Cotto quite handily even with those hangups, despite moving up from welterweight to junior middleweight to fight Cotto in his class of choice.
And for that, Mayweather deserves even more credit for his spectacular performance and another smidgen of praise as one of the greatest fighters in the history of boxing.
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