Floyd Mayweather Talks About His First Fight With Castillo: “I Was Hurting”

By James Slater - 06/26/2023 - Comments

To this day, many fans and critics say Floyd Mayweather should actually be 49-1, not a perfect and spotless 50-0. Why? The date was April 20th, 2002, and Mayweather, moving up to the 135 pound division, met a tough Mexican named Jose Luis Castillo. 12 hard sessions later, most people inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas had Castillo winning the fight.

Officially, Mayweather, not yet “Money,” still “Pretty Boy,” won via UD, the scores being 116-111, 115-111, 115-111. But ever since, Mayweather has heard about this fight, how he lost it. To his credit, Mayweather gave Castillo an immediate rematch, this time winning with no debate (though it was closer on the official cards this time). Recently, Mayweather was a guest on Revolt TV’s Drink Champs, and Floyd said he went into the Castillo fight injured. Mayweather also said that the Mexican won three rounds against him.

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“Jose Luis Castillo, a tough cookie. It’s just that you’ve never seen me lose a round. So it’s more like I can fight an opponent and win nine rounds. He can win three rounds,” Mayweather said. “Then they are going to say, ‘You know what – do a rematch.’ Or, ‘Mayweather didn’t win.’ It’s been like that my whole career. Going into the first fight (with Castillo), I was hurting. The weigh-in was Friday. I was actually shaking out to make weight. The weight was 135 pounds, and my second world title. I was hitting the heavy bag shaking out. I was too close [to the bag]. The rotator cuff got f****d up extremely badly. So I was like f**k it, my kids still got to eat. A true champion can fight through anything. So I said f**k it, let’s do it.”

Mayweather did have the single toughest fight of his HOF career that night, of that there is no doubt. But did Castillo really deserve the decision? It was a close fight, as we can see when we watch it back, as so many fans have, many of them hoping to see flaws in Mayweather’s performance. Imagine if Mayweather waked away and never gave Castillo a return fight though? How controversial would the April 202 fight and its decision be today?

Mayweather is adamant he won the first fight, yet this is one of those decisions plenty of fans will never stop complaining about. Floyd lost, his detractors say. And even if Mayweather did fight injured, these folks are not willing to give him a pass.