The undefeated 38-year-old showed why he is clearly the finest boxer in the world as he dismantled Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden in one of the more straight-forward fights of his glittering career.
In the end two of the judges awarded him a 116-112 win, while the third turned in 118-110 and it was difficult to argue with the gaping margin.
This has been a fight nearly six years in the making but, in truth, Mayweather’s brilliance meant it wasn’t worth the wait. It was certainly one of the biggest anti-climaxes in modern sport, and Mayweather did nothing to take away from that feeling when he addressed the media, at a hastily assembled press conference, in the centre of the same ring he’d earlier beaten Pacquiao.
He said: “This was another day at work. It was no different to the guy I fought in my third fight. I feel the same way about this fight right here.
“You guys were the ones that said this guy could beat Floyd. You only have to look throughout the years: ‘Floyd is scared’, ‘Floyd is a coward’, ‘Floyd is a chicken’. I made you guys eat your words.
“If I’m not mistaken, everyone was saying for years that I was scared and that Floyd would lose. For the last few years I tried to keep myself away from negative publicity because people don’t really know me.
“I’m a person that loves his family and I’m just an American dream.”
As if to labour the point, he poured himself a cup of Coke and said with a smirk: “After a tough championship fight there ain’t nothing like a cold Coca-Cola.”
Mayweather, who revealed he was handed a $100m cheque in the changing room after the fight, is now 48-0 and just one behind Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0, which he will reach with a victory in the fight scheduled for September in what he insists will be his last fight before he retires.
The perceived wisdom is that he is being purposefully misleading and that he will in fact go for 50-0 at some point next year. But he remains adamant that beating the record does not drive him and that September will be his final farewell. He added: “Rocky Marciano is a hell of a champion. He’s one of the guys that paved the way for me to be where I’m at. Rocky Marciano, Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson. But this is no different to Ali; he called himself The Greatest and this is my era and in my era I’m TBE.”
The Best Ever, the arrogant moniker designed to irritate, partly responsible for the groundswell of people rooting for the unassuming Pacquiao. But, despite much talk of game plans and The will of God, The Filipino congressman just could not get going.
He was 3-0 down on the cards before he got any success but a storming fourth round looked like it could pave the way for an enthralling finish. It was the straight left, from Pacquiao’s southpaw stance, which momentarily staggered Mayweather, who retreated to the ropes. But, when Pacquiao seemed to have him pinned and in trouble, he took three steps back to the centre ring.
Many had suggested that for Pacquiao to be successful he would need to keep his opponent on the ropes. But whenever he got him there, he would always allow him to escape.
Mayweather said: “He hit me with a solid shot in that fourth round. Early on in my career I was extremely active but now I take so much time off. Last time I fought was September, Manny just fought in November so he’s a little bit sharper than I am. But I knew I had him from round one. I came out and felt him out, I wanted to see certain moves. I’m 10 steps ahead of any fighter.”
Mayweather unified his WBC and WBA welterweight belts with Pacquiao’s WBO title while he is also the current incumbent of the WBC and WBA light-middleweight belts too.
But he dropped a stunning revelation that he is planning to relinquish all five of the belts, perhaps even today.
“I’m undisputed champion, at welterweight and WBC, WBA champion at super-welterweight,” he began. “But I think on Monday I will relinquish all belts. I made a decision in the back that my last fight may not be a championship fight and I’m going to give up all the belts.”
Pacquiao, still wearing that trademark grin, said: “I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough.I’m happy because for 12 rounds I fought a good fight and I thought I won but I have to review the DVD now.”