Eight Years Ago Yesterday - Floyd Mayweather Junior TKO 10 Diego Corrales

photo by tom casino21.01.09 - by James Slater - Exactly eight years ago yesterday, at the fabulous MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Floyd "Money" Mayweather Junior, then known as "Pretty Boy," fought and won what is generally regarded as his best pro performance. Facing the full of heart Diego "Chico" Corrales (photo by Tom Casino / Showtime ) down at super-featherweight, the 23-year-old Mayweather, entering the bout with a 24-0 record, exited the MGM with a 25-0 record.

Defending his WBC 130-pound world title for the sixth time, Mayweather was having what he later called his, "Thomas Hearns fight;" meaning this was his defining moment, against a fearsome puncher who many thought would bring out the very best of him. In hindsight, maybe the late Corrales did succeed in bringing the best out of the now "retired" Mayweather. At the time of the contest, however, most observers saw a fight that wound up being nothing but a veritable mismatch..

Corrales, then aged the same as Floyd at 23, and with a very impressive 33-0 pro record, was a former IBF super-featherweight champion (title relinquished). He was also many a fight fan's pick to emerge the victor in January of 2001. Known for his height and reach, along with his punching power and terrific heart, "Chico" looked set to take the "Pretty Boy" into the deep waters. But though the fight went as far as into the 10th round, there was only ever going to be one winner.

Quite simply, Mayweather boxed sublimely. Corrales never stopped trying, but he was never able to get himself into the fight. Knocked down a total of five times, Diego showed his refusal to quit in graphic fashion, but on this occasion (unlike in the late, great warrior's finest hour against Jose Luis Castillo in May of 2005) there would be no unlikely come-from-way-behind win.

Diego was downed in the 7th round, three times - and he was downed in the 10th round, on two occasions. Never giving up or even thinking about doing so, "Chico" was incensed when his corner threw in the towel at 2 mins and 19-seconds of the 10th round. But the halting of the contest by those who saw Corrales' plight as nothing but a lost cause was something that had to be done, as at the time of the bout's termination the former champ was down by as many as 12 points on one of the three judges' scorecards.

There was never going to be any way back for the fiercely proud warrior in this one. But Corrales, though mightily disappointed, had nothing to be even remotely ashamed of - he had just faced the very best version of a fighter many say was the best pound-for-pound operator of the 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s.

Indeed, even today fans are still expecting the return of the superb Grand Rapids boxer who has never been defeated. If Floyd does ever come back, he will really have to go some to put on as fine a display as the one he gave eight long years ago in Las Vegas!

Article posted on 21.01.2009

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