Floyd Mayweather Jr extended his perfect record to 41 fights with a unanimous points victory over Shane Mosley in a welterweight contest in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old, in his first fight since taking on Juan Manuel Marquez in September, suffered a brief scare in round two but from that point on always had the measure of his courageous 38-year-old opponent. Mayweather exhibited more aggression than usual as he sought a knockout victory to excite a Vegas crowd brimming with stars of stage and screen.
The fight underlined Mayweather’s status as arguably the finest fighter on the planet and will surely lead to renewed calls for a showdown with Filipino star Manny Pacquiao, after the original fight collapsed over a disagreement over dope testing procedures.
Mayweather seemed comfortable enough in the opening three minutes but Mosley rocked his opponent with a right hand to the chin in round two, and another quick combination left the five-weight champion teetering again and mighty close to a first knockdown in 41 fights.
Mayweather countered to an extent in the final 30 seconds of a pulsating round, and the question was whether Mosley had punched himself out.
Mayweather’s lightning speed enabled him to land a few punches in rounds three and four as he began to reassert his authority.
Mosley looked increasingly tired as Mayweather’s combination of assured defence and lightning raids helped him get comfortably on top. Mosley was hammered hard by a right hand in the eighth round when he appeared to be discussing a brief stoppage in the fight.
Punches were raining down on Mosley by round 10 as Mayweather pressed for the knockout, although he was well ahead on the judges’ scorecards by this stage.
A left hand from Mayweather in the 11th rocked Mosley’s head back but the latter’s corner still opted to send him out for the last round despite the constant punishment he was now taking.
Mosley made a decent fist of the final round but there was very little surprise when the contest went Mayweather’s way on points, the fighters embracing at the final bell.
Mayweather said: ``I gave the fans what they wanted to see. They wanted to see me moving, and coming forward and that's what I did tonight.
“We should have pressed the attack a lot earlier and we could have got the knockout, but Shane Mosley is a tough customer and he is one hell of a fighter.”
Asked about the brief period in round two where Mosley appeared to get on top, Mayweather added: “That’s all with the territory of boxing – only the strongest survive. This is a contact sport, some time you are going to get hit with big shots, you must suck it up and keep fighting hard like a warrior.”
Mayweather insisted he was prepared to fight Pacquiao, but insists he and his camp will stick to their guns on the issue of blood testing.
“If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight, it’s not hard to find me,” he said. “If Manny Pacquiao will take the blood and urine tests, we can make the fight happen for all the fans.”