Floyd Mayweather’s Top 10 Best Knockout Finishes

In the lead-up to boxing legend Floyd Mayweather’s monumental clash with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in Las Vegas on August 26th, much has been made of ‘Money’s’ punching power, or lack thereof.

Leading the charge has been McGregor himself, who mocked the boxer’s claim during their recent press tour that he would KO him by pointing out, “You haven’t knocked anyone out in about 20 years!”

Of course that was an exaggeration on McGregor’s part, but the reality is it has been six years since Mayweather last experienced a victory inside the distance, with his knockout ratio having noticeably diminished over the years as he’s moved up in weight.

Nevertheless, Mayweather does still have 26 knockout victories to his name, and so it would be a mistake on McGregor’s part to discount the chance that the five-division champion could catch him with a fight-ending punch or combination over the course of 12 rounds of boxing.

With that in mind, in this article we’ll take a look back at the 10 best knockout finishes of Mayweather’s long career, working in chronological order and beginning with his first ever fight as a professional boxer over 20 years ago.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Roberto Apodaca

Back in 1996 at the age of 19, Floyd Mayweather made his professional boxing debut as a super-featherweight (130lbs) against 25-year-old Mexican, Roberto Apodaca, another newcomer who would quickly discover that he was completely out of his depth against the future hall of famer.

The teenage Mayweather’s all-round boxing game was on-point even back then, but it was his savvy bodywork in particular that stood out the most, and he sat Apodaca down with a left hook to the liver in the opening three-minutes of the fight..

Apodaca recovered as best he could, but early in the second round, Mayweather would go back to precisely the same spot, setting it up with a left hook to the head and then digging to the liver for the TKO finish, leaving his opponent writhing in pain on the canvas.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Edgar Ayala

Four months into his professional career, Mayweather was on the hunt for his fourth victory when he took on the debuting Edgar Ayala.

Ayala proved to be another lamb to the slaughter, but the way Mayweather finished him early in the second round was undeniably spectacular, with a counter left hook taking his foe clean off his feet, before landing flat on his back in a daze, with no chance of recovering in time to continue fighting.

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Floyd Mayweather vs. Tony Duran

For his seventh pro-fight in 1997, Mayweather faced journeyman Tony Duran, who he was expected to beat handily, and indeed he did just that.

In fact, the fight would last just 72 seconds as punishing blows to the body forced Duran to lower his defence to cover his vulnerable midsection, at which point Mayweather then switched upstairs with a single right hand that sent his opponent to the canvas.

Still seeing stars, Duran soldiered back to his feet, but the glassy look in his eyes and way he puffed out his cheeks as he let out a deep sigh told it’s own story, and so as he gingerly walked over towards the ropes the ref rightly decided he was unfit to continue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PdFUB4KvYY

Floyd Mayweather vs. Felipe Garcia

Towards the end of his first full year as a pro in October of 1997, Mayweather was already 10-0 and eager to build on that against Mexican journeyman, Felipe Garcia.

The fight would last until the sixth round, the longest fight of Mayweather’s fledgling run in the sport at the time, before he suddenly found a finish out of the blue.

In the dying seconds of the round, ‘Pretty Boy’ uncorked a lightning quick combination to the head, snapping Garcia’s head back with a left hook, then a short right behind it that felled him like a tree, with another flashing right hand also managing to find the target on the way down to seal what would go down as the first clean KO victory of Mayweather’s professional career.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMin7XamuCs

Floyd Mayweather vs. Angel Manfredy

By 1998, the quality of opposition Mayweather head steadily began to rise and he would become a champion for the first time that October by winning the WBC and lineal super-featherweight (130 lb.) titles.

For his first title defence a couple of months later he’d go up against a popular Puero Rican fighter, Angel Manfredy, who was on a 24-fight winning streak at the time and had TKO’d Arturo Gatti earlier in the year.

Stepping up in competition proved to be no problem for Mayweather, however, as he buckled Manfredy’s legs with a straight right in the second round and then swarmed on him against the ropes.

At times in his career Manfredy was too tough for his own good, and this was one of them as she hung on in there despite his head being repeatedly snapped back by a relentless barrage of punches from Mayweather.

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However, it was only the ropes that were keeping ‘El Diablo’ up in the end and so the referee did the right thing to step in to save him from further punishment.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Justin Juuko

For the third defense of his 130 lb. titles, Mayweather went up against Uganda’s Justin Juuko, who held a 33–2-1 record at the time.

Mayweather was always in command during the fight, but he didn’t look like he was going to be able to put Juuko away until the ninth round, when he suddenly hurt Juuko with an overhand right and then a right hook behind it.

Juuko tried to shake it off, but he was never given time to recover as Mayweather came in for the kill with a hard right hand that floored him.

Dazed and confused, Juuko seemed to be struggling to figure out the mechanics of getting back to his feet, and as such Mayweather was soon up on the ropes celebrating another TKO victory.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Phillip N’Dou

A few years later in 2013, Mayweather was now the WBC’s 135 lb. lightweight champion and would go up against heavy-hitting South African Phillip N’Dou.

At this stage, Mayweather was 30-0 in his career, while ‘The Time Bomb’ also held a formidable 31-1 record and had ended all but one of his victories inside the distance.

He couldn’t find a way past Mayweather’s world-class defense however, and instead it was ‘Pretty Boy’ who would dominate him for the best part of seven rounds, before finally sinking him with three rapid-fire right hands in a row.

N’Dou struggled up to one knee and shook his head at his corner who wanted to throw the towel in.

However, after standing up and assuring the referee he could continue, the still-rocked South African then veered away woozily on unsteady legs and the fight was waved off.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Sharmba Mitchell

In November of 2005, Mayweather moved up to welterweight (147 pounds) for the first time against former WBA light-welterweight champion, Sharmba Mitchell.

The 56-4 Mitchell’s career was drawing towards a conclusion at that stage and the fight was believed to be something of a mismatch by pundits at the time.

Mayweather would prove them right, but nonetheless the way he went about dismantling Mitchell was impressive as he continually drove his right hand to the body during the fight.

That gradually wore Mitchell down, until the sixth round when another hard right to the midsection finally sank Mitchell to one knee, and it proved to be a blow that he simply couldn’t recover from.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ULnS9PjcZU

Floyd Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton

The build-up to Mayweather’s 147-pound fight with the undefeated 43-0 Ricky Hatton in December of 2007 was a memorable one, with the passionate, vocal support that the British fighter received and ‘The Hitman’s’ sharp one-liners giving ‘Money’ a little taste of what was to come many years later when he agreed to fight Conor McGregor.

Mayweather was unfazed by all this however and let his boxing skills do the talking on fight night, gradually taking control in the second half or the contest.

By the 10th round, Mayweather was firmly on top and he proved it with a perfectly timed check left hook that sent Hatton crashing face-first into one of the turnbuckles.

Hatton made it back to his feet before the 10 count was over, but he was clearly still dazed and Mayweather soon connected with another left hook.

Hatton tried to move away, but his legs gave out from under him and he fell to the canvas, resulting in the first loss of ‘The Hitman’s’ career via TKO.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYPqspuG4m0

Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz

It’s true that Mayweather’s knockout power has lessened as he’s moved up in weight over the years, and you’d have to go back to September 17th of 2011 to find the last time he registered he won without having the help of the judges scorecards.

His opponent that night was Victor Ortiz in a welterweight title fight at 147 lbs. At that point ‘Vicious’ had only been stopped once in his 33-fight career and had just won the WBC welterweight title in his previous fight by defeating Andre Berto.

There was bad blood between the two fighters leading up to the fight, and that manifested itself in the ring in truly when Ortiz began teeing off on Mayweather against the ropes in the fourth round, and then in a sudden moment of madness lunged forward and headbutted him.

The referee separated them and Ortiz immediately appeared to come to his senses and went over to Mayweather to apologize.

Ortiz was deducted a point and as the fight resumed he again attempted to apologize to ‘Money’ for his action by giving him a brief hug, but as he stepped away Mayweather showed his ruthless side by uncorking a cheap shot left hook and then a straight right that KO’d the stunned Ortiz before he even had a chance to put up his gloves.

Ross has a true passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. Since 2009 he's penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles, reaching millions of fans in the process.