Floyd Mayweather Jr. had plenty memorable fights in his impressive career. While he achieved an unblemished 50-0 record, there were more than a few occasions when Mayweather found himself in trouble facing possible defeat. Impressively, each and every time, like Houdini, he managed to escape.
However, on one night in 2006, Mayweather found himself in one of the most challenging situations in his entire boxing career. It was a set of circumstances not of his own doing, but one that he couldn’t escape. He was trapped inside the ring as all hell broke loose around him and law enforcement officers flooded inside the ropes. Here’s a look back at that chaotic night where there was a fight within the fight.
Floyd Mayweather in a tough battle against Zab Judah
The fight between Floyd Mayweather and Zab Judah almost never happened. Judah unexpectedly lost in his previous fight to Carlos Manuel Baldomir. As a result, promoters Don King and Bob Arum worked to make the much-anticipated fight happen, with Judah receiving a smaller payout.
In the fight, Judah started out strong taking the fight to the champ. In the second round, the first controversial incident of the night occurred when it appeared that Judah connected and knocked down Mayweather. However, referee Richard Steele ruled it a slip.
After enduring Judah’s attack in the early rounds, momentum shifted in the fifth when Mayweather delivered a stiff combination to his opponent’s face, causing his nose to bleed. Mayweather continued the onslaught into the tenth round.
Floyd Mayweather gets hit by low blow and a riot breaks out
With seconds to go in the tenth round, Zab Judah delivered a low blow with his left hand. He immediately followed it up with a rabbit punch to the back of Floyd Mayweather’s head. Steele immediately called a timeout as Mayweather bent over writhing in pain, before slowly making his way back to his corner.
As Mayweather arrived at his corner, chaos erupted behind him when Roger Mayweather, his uncle and trainer, entered the ring and approached Judah. The elder Mayweather was restrained by Steele. Unfortunately for Steele, he couldn’t stop the mad rush of other people pouring into the ring, including Judah’s father and trainer, Yoel, who threw a punch at Mayweather’s uncle.
With punches flying, members from both fighters’ camps and arena security raced inside the ring. An all-out melee followed. After several minutes, with at least a dozen law enforcement officials inside the ring, order was restored.
When the fight resumed, Judah was the fresher of the pair, but it didn’t matter. Floyd Mayweather was well ahead on the scorecards and won by unanimous decision.
The aftermath included huge fines and revoked licenses
After the fight the Nevada State Athletic Commission came down with punishments for those involved. The Commission sent a strong message with some stiff penalties.
The Commission fined Roger Mayweather $200,000, took his entire share of his nephew’s purse, and revoked his license. Yoel Judah received a $100,000 fine and also had his license revoked.
Mayweather’s cornerman, Leonard Ellerbe, received a $50,000 fine and had his license suspended four months. Zab Judah received the harshest of punishments for joining the melee when his cornermen entered the ring. He received a $250,000 fine and had his license revoked.
The penalties brought closure to one of the most bizarre moments in boxing history. For Floyd Mayweather, it was just another victory. He went on to win his next 14 fights and achieve his 50-0 record.