The boxer maintained his incredible winning streak Saturday, but seemed slower, more vulnerable, and concerned about his status as a sports-world villain.
On Saturday night in Las Vegas, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. endured more punishment and threw more punches then he has in years, maybe ever. Mayweather—the greatest American boxer and arguably the best fighter practicing today—said that the reason he took so many concussive blows was to ingratiate himself to the American public who are enduring an economic recession. Mayweather was guaranteed $32 million for the bout, and his promoter was projecting it to be the second largest pay-per-view fight in history. Millions of people, Mayweather said, were making a sacrifice to purchase his $59.95 pay-per-view fight—they deserved a good show.
They got one.
Miguel Cotto, a Puerto Rican star, came into the bout as a longshot but nearly matched Mayweather for 12 rounds. Mayweather would end up victorious in a unanimous decision, increasing his incredible winning streak to 43 straight victories, an epic feat in modern sports. But the fight wasn't without its nervous moments for the American fighter. Cotto, a betting underdog, forced Mayweather, 35, into some precarious situations in the ring. Cotto, 31, who reportedly went to the hospital after the final bell, pressed the action, and took more than he gave, but he fought with incredible verve. It was unclear if it was age or truly a desire to create a "fan-friendly fight"—meaning one with a lot of punches given and received—that forced Mayweather to go toe-to-toe with Cotto, but toe-to-toe he went at his own peril.