3. Floyd Mayweather Jr. WRTD6 Arturo Gatti
June 25, 2005
Anytime Floyd Mayweather stepped in the ring, he walked away the winner. The way his fights were judged was based on how he won. The victory itself felt like a foregone conclusion.
On PPV, there are several bouts where Mayweather put on what could be considered virtuoso performances.
The victory that has gone on to age the best is his 2013 win over Saul Alvarez, who became a four-division champion and one of the best fighters in the sport.
But, sometimes, it’s critical to go back to the beginning, where it all started. Before he was “Money,” Mayweather, there was “Pretty Boy” Floyd. Mayweather’s first foray into PPV was against legendary action star the late Arturo Gatti.
Moving up to super lightweight, Mayweather was still a heavy favorite over Gatti, who had a career resurgence but was seen to be at a substantial stylistic disadvantage against the former junior lightweight champion.
The apex performance by Mayweather is considered to be against Diego Corrales, but on PPV, the Gatti fight has yet to be surpassed.
Mayweather looked almost unbeatable against Gatti, landing perfectly placed shots and combinations in succession. The gap in quickness and speed was vast, with Gatti unable to start an attack of his own. After six rounds, Gatti’s corner stopped the match, ending the punishment.
The fight is a perfect summary of boxing as it showcases the beauty and brutality of the sport all in one. It was hard to watch Gatti take such a beating but even harder to look away at Mayweather’s brilliance.
Whenever a fighter wins in a dominant fashion, it is compared to Mayweather-Gatti, almost using the fight as an adjective to describe what occurred in the ring.
The opponent itself wasn’t what one would consider top-tier. The one-sided nature is how other performances are measured, with Mayweather setting a bar that has rarely been matched.