SLIDESHOW: Pretty Boy to Money Man: Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s Payday Climb
He has been hailed as champion, decried as a chump.
He rose to the top just as past greats have, but some say he started ducking opponents when he got there.
Much like his fighting style, however, ducking and jabbing has brought Floyd Mayweather Jr. all the fame a poverty-stricken child could have ever dreamed.
Mayweather made his first national impression after winning a bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He fought his way up the professional ranks the next several years, winning the Super featherweight, Lightweight, Light welterweight and Welterweight belts. He cashed in an $8 million purse when he defeated Carlos Baldimor in the winter of 2006. That was just the beginning. The next seven years would bring an exorbitant amount of wealth to Mayweather's pocket.
Muhammad Ali knew how to talk, but could back it up in the ring. This Grand Rapids, Michigan native did the same, and kept the dying sport of boxing in the limelight along the way.
All figures are a combination of Mayweather's guaranteed fight money and his Pay-Per-View (PPV) percentages. Courtesy of CelebrityNetWorth.com
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
DATE: May 5, 2007
OPPONENT: Oscar De La Hoya
PURSE: $25 Million
It is still the most-bought PPV in history and may never be passed. 2.5 million people tuned in to see boxing's golden boy, in the twilight of his career, take on the undefeated trash talker.HBO's 24/7 debuted the month leading up to the match, adding even more hype to the bout. The series has now had sixteen installments for boxing matches, in addition to NASCAR and NHL editions.
Mayweather defeated De La Hoya in a 12-round split decision, winning the World Boxing Commission (WBC) Light Middleweight title, his fifth career belt. Following two more matches, De La Hoya retired the next year. Mayweather marched on.(Photo Credit)
DATE: December 8, 2007
OPPONENT: Ricky Hatton
PURSE: $25 Million
It didn't take long for a new and younger challenger to step in with the man now known as "Money" to most. Despite being a tough competitor, Hatton couldn't shake him.
Mayweather retained his championship in a 10-round technical knockout (TKO). It was a $50 million year for the man who was raised by his grandmother. He announced his retirement shortly after the fight. It wouldn't last.(Photo Credit)
DATE: September 19, 2009
OPPONENT: Juan Manuel Márquez
PURSE: $25 Million
Like many of his fights, Mayweather took his return bout in a 12-round unanimous decision. He earned his original "Pretty Boy" nickname because he was rarely left with any damage after a match. This one was no different
He spent his retirement building his Mayweather Promotions company, and stepping into a different kind of ring - pro wrestling. He participated in WWE's (NYSE: WWE) flagship PPV Wrestlemania XXIV. The actual number has been disputed, but the sports-entertainment company has been known to give special gusts several million dollars for their appearances.(Photo Credit)
DATE: May 14, 2010
OPPONENT: Shane Mosley
PURSE: $30 Million
Mayweather had seen other fighters in the prime of their careers. Outside of De La Hoya, however, there was probably no bigger name he had faced before "Sugar" Shane.
Mayweather was already well into his villain role with fans, as many tuned in just to see if he would finally lose. Mosely knocked him around early, but the Grand Rapids native bounced back to stay undefeated.(Photo Credit)
DATE: September 17, 2011
OPPONENT: Victor Ortiz
PURSE: $40 Million
Another year away from the ring and a 24-year old bulldog seemed primed to finally take out the man with the perfect record. Ortiz did not back down from the challenge, but unfortunately left his guard down for a split-second too long.
Ortiz was deducted one point for illegally head-butting Mayweather in the fourth round. After touching gloves to resume, the elder boxer caught Ortiz with a left hook as Ortiz wasn't looking. Another punch in the face and Ortiz was done.
He won the WBC Welterweight belt, his first new title in four years. Mayweather's first knockout in 12 years came with some controversy, but sent him home smiling as always.(Photo Credit)
DATE: May 5, 2012
OPPONENT: Miguel Cotto
PURSE: $40 Million
Another day, another dollar. In front of the largest PPV audience since his bout with De La Hoya, Mayweather again took a 12-round decision. He won Cotto's WBA Superlight Middleweight belt.
While a fine opponent, many had thought Mayweather would finally match up with world renowned Manny Pacquiao around this time. Issues with drug testing have kept that fight from happening, even though many believe it could be the biggest draw in boxing history.(Photo Credit)
DATE: May 4, 2013
OPPONENT: Robert Guerrero
PURSE: $50 Million
A turbulent year in Mayweather's life. He served two months in jail or domestic violence, stemming from an incident with his now ex-girlfriend. It was business as usual in the ring.
He defeated Guerrero in a 12-round decision and earned his first $50 million payday.
DATE: September 14, 2013
OPPONENT: Saul Alvarez
PURSE: $80 Million+
Mayweather's most recent fight saw the 36-year-old come away with Alverez' WBC and The Ring Light Middleweight belts. In another testament to Mayweather's appeal, the CBS (NYSE: CBS) and Showtime production drew $150 million, becoming the highest grossing PPV fight of all time.
2.2 million people bought purchased the fight, the second time ever a fight drew at least two million buys (Mayweather-De La Hoya). Expect to see him back in the ring soon. And if his trajectory is any indication, Mayweather will only get richer with age.(Photo Credit)
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