I once wrote an article about how “Sugar” Ray Leonard knocked out Floyd Mayweather. Their fight was on September 9, 1978. Oh, did I mention it was Floyd Mayweather, Sr.?

Leonard was 13-0 and Mayweather 15-1 when they met at the Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Mayweather was on the canvas twice in the eighth round and stopped in the tenth and final round at the 2:16 mark by a technical stoppage by referee Mark Taber. I never heard what Floyd Sr. ever said about who was better, if ever.

Let’s get back to Ray and Floyd, Jr. Obviously, Ray had a much better amateur career. He was the 1976 Olympic God Medal winner, on possible the greatest Olympic team the USA ever produced.

Ray was reported to be 145-5 with 75 knockouts. He was the National Golden Gloves and AAU champion in 1973 and 1974. In 1975 he was AAU champ and Gold Medalist at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City.

In 1976 he defeated boxers from Sweden, Soviet Union, Great Britain, East Germany, Poland and Cuba all by scores of 5-0, in the Light Welterweight division, at Montreal, Canada. Yet didn’t win the Val Barker award as the best boxer in the Olympics, but his teammate Howard Davis, Jr. did. Go figure.

Floyd was 84-9 winning the 1993, 1994 and 1996 National Golden Gloves champion. He lost to Carlos Navarro in the Pan Am Games trials. He would go onto defeat Nararro at the 1995 National Police Athletic League and 1996 Olympic trials. He also reversed a loss to Augie Sanchez in those trials twice in the Box-offs to go to the Atlanta Olympics losing a controversial decision to Serafim Todorov, of Bulgaria, 94-14, by 10-9, in the semi-finals to receive the Bronze Medal.

In the professional ranks Ray won world titles in the Welterweight, Junior Middleweight, Middleweight, Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions with seven defenses. Floyd won world titles in the Super Feather, Lightweight, Welterweight, and Super Welterweight divisions with 26 defenses.

Ray’s final record was 36-3-1 with 25 knockouts, having lost his final two bouts. Floyd’s final record was 50-0 with 27 knockouts.
Ray, from November 1979 to September 1981, fought Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran (twice), Ayub Kalule, and Thomas Hearns.

They had a combined record of 177-1-1 when he faced them. While he trained to defend his Welterweight title against Roger Stafford on May 14, 1982, and then to defend against Aaron Pryor in the fall, he discovered that he had a detached retina in his left eye. He announced his retirement. He was 32-1 at the time. In his return he went 4-2-1.

Ray’s wins over Hagler and the draw with Hearns were disputed by many, not this writer.

Floyd’s win over Jose Luis Castillo was disputed and in a rematch in their next fight it wasn’t. I agreed with both. In his majority win over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 42-0-1, while 44-0, I thought Floyd won all twelve rounds. In his first fight with Marcos Maidana, ending in a majority win, I thought it was a draw.

In their rematch in their next fight Floyd the winner without a question. Then his win over Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 57-5-2, improving to 48-0, with Pacquiao claiming to have injured a shoulder in training. I don’t think it would have mattered if he hadn’t had the injury.

Winning his 49th fight, Floyd defeated former welterweight champion Andre Berto, 30-3, who was 3-3 in his previous six fights. In winning his 50th fight, he stopped former MMA boxer Conor McGregor from making his professional career in the tenth round of a non-title bout. After nine rounds the scores were 89-81, 89-82 and 87-83, Mayweather. He averaged only throwing three punches a round carrying McGregor until unloading on him in the final round in my opinion.

There you have it, boxing fans. Both were inducted into the International Hall of Fame. Leonard or Mayweather, Jr.: Who wins prime time to prime time?

 

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