It was a real jump from the couch moment in sports, and fight fans were almost certain a huge upset, even an unthinkable sight was mere seconds away. It was seven years ago today in Las Vegas when a 40-0(25) Floyd Mayweather Junior met a 46-5(39) “Sugar” Shane Mosley in defence of both his unbeaten record and his lofty pound-for-pound status.
And in round two, Mayweather came closer to a KO defeat than at any other time in his long career; or so it seemed. Mosley, still fast if not the lightning puncher he had been as a lightweight around a decade earlier, cracked Mayweather with a powerful right hand to the head, and then another. Mayweather’s knees buckled and for a split second it looked for all the world as though he was going down, never to get up.
Instead, the boxing master showed in dramatic fashion that if he had to, he could take a punch; a hard punch. Mosley’s big moment passed and “Money” quieted the large crowd inside The MGM Grand, taking over and then dominating the fight to the final bell. In the end it was another wide win for the superstar, but afterwards the big talking point was not the points win Mayweather had picked up, but that second round.
To this day Floyd has never been hit harder or hurt more visibly. The way he came back demonstrated how tough Mayweather was inside, and it also showed how hard he worked in the gym; his superb conditioning allowing for such impressive recuperative powers.
Could any fighter, no matter how great, have KO’d Floyd Mayweather? Only the true elite welterweights such as Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard and maybe Thomas Hearns might have done it; while at lightweight maybe the likes of Roberto Duran could have. But aside from Mayweather moving up too far in weight, to middleweight or beyond, it isn’t too likely anyone else would have managed to flatten the defensive master in a 12 round fight.
And against Mosley, Floyd showed that aside from his sublime defensive qualities, he also had a damn fine chin.