Floyd Mayweather is one of the best boxers of all time. One of the reasons why he’s so great is because he’s undefeated with a record of 50-0. Not only that, but he earned his wins against some of boxing’s toughest men, including the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez. However, neither of those were his toughest fight. Here’s a look at Floyd Mayweather’s most controversial fight in his professional career.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Jose Luis Castillo
In early 2002, with an undefeated record of 27-0, Mayweather, who had fought and won titles in the 130-pound super featherweight division, challenged Jose Luis Castillo for Castillo’s 135-pound lightweight title, according to BoxRec. Castillo was the champion, but he wasn’t undefeated. As a result, Mayweather was a massive favorite in terms of betting odds.
Mayweather started the fight strong, fighting defensively and landing punches on Castillo. Then, in the middle rounds, Castillo started to turn the tides and he landed shots on Mayweather.
BoxRec says that Mayweather actually started complaining about a shoulder injury at this stage of the fight. Castillo ended the fight strong, while Mayweather looked beaten and bruised.
The three judges who were watching the fight all agreed that Mayweather won the first four rounds and that Castillo won the sixth and seventh rounds. Those six other rounds though were up in the air. But, when all their scores were added up, the judges decided in Mayweather’s favor unanimously.
The fans booed the decision, as many thought that Castillo had won. In fact, Castillo had landed far more shots on Mayweather than Mayweather had landed on Castillo. BoxRec says that Castillo landed 203 punches to Mayweather’s 157. Additionally, most of the Castillo’s punches were hard punches, while most of Mayweather’s punches were lighter punches.
Why the fans were angry
The fans were angry for two reasons, according to Bleacher Report. The first one had to do with the level of activity from both men. Castillo landed more punches, and even though fans weren’t counting who landed what, it was clear to many that Castillo was doing more than Floyd Mayweather was.
On top of that, boxing is a sport where many fans expect to see knockouts. Even if knockouts don’t happen, it’s still entertaining to watch people try to knock each other out. Mayweather wasn’t doing that, while Castillo was.
As BoxRec said, most of Mayweather’s punches were jabs, which means that he wasn’t really hurting Castillo with them. On the other hand, Castillo was trying to knock Mayweather out, which made him more entertaining than Mayweather.
This mostly has to do with Mayweather’s defensive boxing style. Mayweather loves to use techniques such as the Philly Shell to protect himself while throwing out jabs to score points.
The other reason had to do with the scores. The fans simply disagreed with the judges’ scores, according to Bleacher Report. The fans thought that it was a close fight, and some thought that Castillo won. However, all three judges thought that Mayweather won at least 8 of the 12 rounds, which didn’t seem very accurate to fans and to the media.
Floyd Mayweather wins the rematch
The fight was so controversial that a few months later, in late 2002, the two men fought again in a rematch. Unfortunately for Castillo though, Floyd Mayweather had improved and easily beat Castillo in a 12-round decision. This time, Mayweather won without as much controversy.
That said, Bleacher Report still considered this rematch as one of Mayweather’s toughest fights. Castillo was still throwing heavy hands at Mayweather, but Mayweather’s shoulder didn’t get injured and Mayweather also fought better. As a result, Mayweather was able to hit Castillo without getting hit too much, and that earned him the win.