May 1, 2010 – Las Vegas, Nevada. Throughout his long (and who knows, perhaps not finished yet) career, Floyd Mayweather was always keen to avoid taking a punch. It is, after all, hit and not get hit; The Sweet Science. And Floyd was a master boxer. This defensive-minded approach (adopted by the older Mayweather, when he had become a real star) turned off many fans, who claimed Mayweather was a boring safety-first fighter. However, at times, when he had to do so, Mayweather could take a massive shot.
Floyd says today he made it his business to not take punishment, “so I can carry out a conversation with y’all.” but on the rare occasion when he had no choice, when he HAD to take a shot, Floyd was not found wanting. Case in point the startling moment when Mayweather was hit harder than at any other time in his entire career – this by Shane Mosley almost ten years ago.
In round two of his fight with “Sugar Shane,” Mayweather arguably came closer to a KO defeat than at any other time in his long career. 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 afterward, 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 and most likely never will be. 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. indeed, the question can be asked: could any fighter, no matter how great, have KO’d 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. Against Mosley, Mayweather proved he could suck it up and absorb a bomb if he had to.