After defeating Victor Ortiz for the WBC World Welterweight Championship on Saturday night, Floyd "Money" Mayweather's career record now stands at a perfect 42-0.
Some may call Mayweather's win cheap as he knocked out Ortiz while Ortiz was apologizing for a headbutt, but Floyd's incredible awareness and cunningness in the ring are unmatched. This has been the case for the past six or so years, give or take a couple hiatuses.
With Manny Pacquiao set to face Juan Manuel Marquez in November, talk is once again heating up over a possible Mayweather/Pacquiao super fight. Pacquiao is widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but I think Mayweather proved on Saturday that such a moniker still belongs to him.
Here are three reasons why Mayweather is, in fact, the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.
His Speed and Defensive Abilities Are Unmatched
While Mayweather was away from the ring for 16 months prior to his fight with Ortiz on Saturday, he returned with absolutely no rust to speak of. Mayweather actually looked better than ever as he floated around the ring with ease and dominated Ortiz through the fight's first three rounds.
Ortiz simply could not square up Mayweather, and the fourth-round headbutt that eventually led to his demise was clearly an act of frustration. Mayweather actually went an entire round without being hit by a power punch, a feat that has rarely been accomplished since punching stats were first recorded.
While Pacquiao is quick in his own right and possesses superior punching power to Mayweather, Floyd would pose a much stiffer challenge to Pacquiao than anyone he has ever fought. Mayweather has never been legitimately knocked down in his career and has an underrated chin, meaning Pacquiao would have to beat him on the scorecards, which is easier said than done.
The Juan Manuel Marquez Indicator
While I admit that it isn't completely fair to compare two fighters that have never faced each other based on common opponents, until Mayweather and Pacquiao step into the ring together, that is the fairest way to do it.
Pacquiao has faced Marquez twice in his career. The first time they met was in 2004. They fought to a tightly-contested draw, prompting an eventual rematch. In the 2008 rematch, Pacquiao beat Marquez in an extremely controversial split decision that many felt could have gone either way.
Mayweather fought Marquez in 2009 and absolutely dominated the bout. Mayweather won by unanimous decision and was even awarded every round on one of the judge's scorecards. Pacquiao will have one last chance to beat Marquez definitively in November, and if he does, then this notion can perhaps be put to rest.
It's quite simple, Manny Pacquiao has a career record of 53-3-2. Floyd Mayweather has a record of 42-0. While Pacquiao has a larger sample size than Mayweather, he has experienced defeat on multiple occasions while Mayweather never has. Pacquiao may be fighting at a higher level now than he ever has, but Mayweather still deserves the "best pound-for-pound fighter" moniker.
In the big moments, Mayweather has never once faltered, but Pacquiao has five different times. The rankings should certainly be an indicator of current performance, but it should take the fighter's history into account as well. Mayweather's history is unblemished, and it seems as though the only man who can put a dent in his resume is Pacquiao.
Despite having lost three times over his career, Pacquiao is regarded as being better than Mayweather. Because of that Pacquiao honestly has nothing to lose. It's hard to imagine that there is a single boxing fan out there who doesn't want to see this fight happen. If it does, though, I think the result will surprise a lot of people with Mayweather being victorious.