Hate it or love it — Floyd Mayweather Jr. is on top as the Sporting News men's boxing Athlete of the Decade, and it wasn’t a close race.
The boxing legend went 10-0 in the decade, putting his sweet science masters class and “hit and don’t get hit” mantra on full display with each bout.
Mayweather’s decade of boxing brilliance began with a sound unanimous decision over “Sugar” Shane Mosley in May 2010 and ended with a 10th-round TKO of Conor McGregor, with fighters such as Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Marcos Maidana (in back-to-back bouts) and Manny Pacquiao all counted as “Money’s” victims in between. Oh yeah, there were also two comebacks and retirements with a king's ransom of cash within that stretch.
"There's nothing else for me to do in the sport of boxing,” Mayweather said after coming out of retirement to defeat Andre Berto in September 2015, as reported by ESPN. “I made great investments, I'm financially stable, well off. I had a great career. My record speaks for itself."
Mayweather’s 10 victories this decade put him at a perfect 50-0, as the self-proclaimed TBE (The Best Ever) surpassed Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record.
By the numbers
— His 10-0 record this decade began when Mayweather was 33 years old and ended when he was a ripe 40, standing over McGregor. Simply amazing.
— Before defeating McGregor, Mayweather had landed roughly 46 percent of his punches, while limiting his opponents to connecting on just 22 percent. That's a plus 24 percent ranking, which no other boxer is close to, according to the Wall Street Journal and CompuBox.
— Mayweather winning over $1 billion in career earnings is astounding. The $200 million he reportedly made against McGregor certainly helped tip him over the big B mark.
What they're saying:
Even as the longtime trainer of Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach had to admit that Mayweather is the greatest fighter of this era.
The next decade belongs to: Terence Crawford (?)
Considering Mayweather was a five-division world champion whose definitive body of work came as a welterweight and junior middleweight, might Terence Crawford be the best in the decade to come? It's possible. At 32 years old, the reigning WBO welterweight titleholder is already a three-division world champion and regarded as the top pound-for-pound boxer. He has recently flirted with moving up in weight, and WBO junior middleweight champion Patrick Teixeira could be a suitor for him. If Crawford is able to land fights and defeat the likes of Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman, the way Mayweather did with Miguel Cotto, Canelo and Pacquiao, then there's no reason why "Bud" can't be the definitive ruler of boxing from 2020 onward.