Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. (born Floyd Joy Sinclair; February 24, 1977) is an American professional boxing promoter and former professional boxer. He competed between 1996 and 2015, and made a one-fight comeback in 2017. During his career he won fifteen major world championships from super featherweight to light middleweight, including the Ring magazine title in five weight classes, the lineal championship in four weight classes (twice at welterweight), and retired with an undefeated record. As an amateur, Mayweather won a bronze medal in the featherweight division at the 1996 Olympics, three U.S. Golden Gloves championships (at light flyweight, flyweight, and featherweight), and the U.S. national championship at featherweight.
Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. was born Floyd Joy Sinclair on February 24, 1977, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, into a family of boxers. His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., is a former welterweight contender who fought Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard. His uncles Jeff and the late Roger Mayweather were professional boxers, with the latter—Floyd's former trainer—winning two world championships, as well as fighting Hall of Famers Julio César Chávez, Pernell Whitaker, and Kostya Tszyu. Mayweather was born with his mother's last name, but his last name would change to Mayweather shortly thereafter. His maternal grandfather was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He attended Ottawa Hills High School before dropping out.
Mayweather had an amateur record of 84–8 and won national Golden Gloves championships in 1993 (at 106 lb), 1994 (at 114 lb), and 1996 (at 125 lb). He was nicknamed "Pretty Boy" by his amateur teammates because he had relatively few scars, a result of the defensive techniques that his father and uncle (Roger Mayweather) had taught him. In his orthodox defensive stance Mayweather often utilizes the shoulder roll, an old-school boxing technique in which the right hand is held normally (or slightly higher than normal), the left hand is down around the midsection and the lead shoulder is raised high on the cheek in order to cover the chin and block punches. The right hand (as in the orthodox stance) is used as it normally would be: to block punches coming from the other side, such as left hooks. From this stance Mayweather blocks, slips and deflects most of his opponents' punches (even when cornered) by twisting left and right to the rhythm of their punches.
Mayweather won his first professional bout on October 11, 1996, when he knocked out fellow newcomer Roberto Apodaca in Round 2. Mayweather's trainer at the time was his uncle, Roger Mayweather; his father was still imprisoned after his conviction for illegal drug trafficking in 1993. The latter took over as his son's trainer when he was released from prison (after Mayweather Jr.'s 14th fight—a second-round knockout of Sam Girard). From 1996 to early 1998, Mayweather won most of his fights by knockout or TKO.
In 1998, within two years of entering professional boxing, Mayweather decisively won his first world title (the WBC super featherweight (130 lb) championship) with an eighth-round technical knockout of The Ring world #1-ranked super featherweight Genaro Hernández after his opponent's cornerman stopped the fight. It was Hernández' first defeat in that weight class; he said after the fight, "He defeated me, he is quick, smart and I always knew he had the speed. I give him respect. He is a true champ".
After his fight with De La Hoya, Mayweather decided to relinquish his WBC light-middleweight championship, retaining his welterweight title. On July 28, 2007, it was announced that Mayweather would come out of his brief retirement to fight The Ring light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton; the bout was promoted by De La Hoya's promotion company (Golden Boy Promotions) and Mayweather's Mayweather Promotions. The fight was entitled "Undefeated"; it took place December 8, 2007, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, the biggest welterweight showdown between two undefeated fighters since De La Hoya met Félix Trinidad in 1999. During the run-up to their fight Mayweather claimed he was the greatest boxer ever: "I respect what Robinson and Ali did for the sport. But I am the greatest and this is my time."
By the end of 1998 Mayweather was ranked by The Ring as the #8-ranked pound-for-pound best boxer in the world, and became one of the youngest recipients of The Ring's Fighter of the Year award (21, the same age Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali were when winning their first awards). In 1999, Mayweather continued his domination of the super featherweight division by defending his title three more times. The second defense of his title was against the Argentine Carlos Rios, which he won in a unanimous decision. Mayweather, fighting past the eighth round for only the third time in his career, won on the judges' scoring 120–110, 119–108, and 120–109.
Mayweather's third title defense was against Justin Juuko, which he won via knockout in the ninth round. Juuko could not beat the count of 10 by referee Mitch Halpern, and the fight ended in Mayweather's favor 80 seconds into that (the ninth) round. His final title defense in 1999 was against Carlos Gerena, with Mayweather winning in a seventh-round referee technical decision (RTD). Mayweather said after the fight, "I want to show the world that along with Oscar De La Hoya and Roy Jones Jr., I'm the best fighter in the world". This dominance did not go unnoticed in the boxing world; by the end of the year, the 22-year-old Mayweather was ranked The Ring's #2 pound-for-pound best boxer in the world (behind Roy Jones Jr.).
On May 26, 2001, Mayweather, fighting in his hometown of Grand Rapids, pounded out a 12-round unanimous decision over future IBF super featherweight titleholder Carlos Hernández to retain his WBC super-featherweight title. Calling it "one of the toughest nights of my career", the 130-pound champion overcame injuries in both hands to improve his record to 26–0. "He is a very, very tough fighter," Mayweather said of the challenger, whose record fell to 33–3–1. "I'm disappointed in my performance." Mayweather suffered the first knockdown of his career when he hit Hernández with a left hook in round six, which caused him sufficient pain that he dropped his injured left hand to the canvas. He wasn't hit, but was given a standing eight-count by the referee.
On October 10, 2001, boxing trainer Eddie Futch died at age 90. Tim Smith of the New York Daily News remembered an encounter with the trainer in an article.
In 2002, Mayweather was charged with two counts of domestic violence and one count of misdemeanor battery. He received a six-month suspended sentence and two days of house arrest and was ordered to perform 48 hours of community service.
With Mayweather's win he became lineal champion of the division; Genaro Hernández had previously beaten Azumah Nelson, whose dominance of the super-featherweight division had prompted boxing publications to give him the vacant lineal championship. The Ring stopped awarding belts to world champions in the 1990s, but began again in 2002. Nelson won his lineal status during the 1990s; therefore, The Ring's vacant title was awarded neither to him, Hernández, nor Mayweather (although Mayweather was The Ring's #1-ranked super featherweight).
Due to the closeness of their first bout, Mayweather accepted an immediate rematch with José Luis Castillo which took place on December 7, 2002. Before the rematch, Mayweather reiterated that he had torn his left rotator cuff two days before the first fight and could not throw a jab or a left hook. He had surgery following the controversial decision over Castillo, and said his shoulder had fully healed.
On April 19, 2003, Mayweather defended his WBC lightweight title in a unanimous decision over Dominican Victoriano Sosa. Mayweather (30–0) fought a tactically-sound 12-round bout against an aggressive Sosa (35–3–2). His next fight (on November 1 of the same year) was in his hometown of Grand Rapids against WBC #1-ranked contender Phillip N'dou, whose record was 31–1 with 30 KOs. During the run-up to the fight Nelson Mandela invited N'dou to his office for a pep talk before his departure for the U.S., advising him to "keep Mayweather on the outside with the jab, work the body and the head will become available". South African president Thabo Mbeki, in a note, said he had "full confidence" N'dou would put on a performance to make all South Africans proud and would return home with the WBC belt. When told of his opponent's high-level support Mayweather responded, "Nelson Mandela's a great man, he's big in America, but Mandela can't get in there and fight for him".
In 2004, Mayweather was given a one-year suspended jail sentence, ordered to undergo counseling for "impulse control" and pay a $1,000 fine (or perform 100 hours of community service) after being convicted of two counts of misdemeanor battery against two women.
In 2005, Mayweather pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge after hitting and kicking a bouncer, receiving a 90-day suspended jail sentence.
On January 22, 2005, Mayweather fought Henry Bruseles in another WBC elimination bout, outclassing Bruseles throughout the first seven rounds. In round eight, Mayweather knocked Bruseles down twice and the fight was stopped. Mayweather's victory made him the mandatory challenger for Gatti's WBC light welterweight championship.
The pay-per-view fight between Mayweather and The Ring #1-ranked contender Arturo Gatti took place June 25, 2005 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where fans heavily supported Gatti. Before the fight Mayweather was confident, describing Gatti as "a C+ fighter," "a fake" and "a blown-up club fighter". Mayweather entered the ring being carried on a chariot to the song "Another One Bites the Dust". Gatti entered the ring accompanied by the song "Thunderstruck" and was momentarily frightened by the pyrotechnics exploding. Near the end of round one, Mayweather pushed Gatti's head down in close; Gatti broke, leaving himself vulnerable while Mayweather continued landing punches. Gatti turned to the referee to complain; Mayweather capitalised, sending Gatti to the canvas with more shots for what was scored a knockdown. Throughout the next five rounds, the quicker Mayweather landed nearly every shot against Gatti, who had no offense with which to return fire. Gatti's corner stopped the fight after round six, giving Mayweather his third world title.
On September 9, 2010, it was reported that Mayweather was being sought by police for questioning after his former girlfriend, Josie Harris, filed a domestic battery report against him. Harris accused Mayweather of battery in the past, but those charges were dropped in July 2005 after Harris testified that she had lied and that Mayweather had not battered her. Mayweather was taken into custody September 10, 2010, but was released after posting $3,000 bail. Mayweather was initially charged with felony theft (stemming from the disappearance of Harris's mobile phone); on September 16 two felony coercion charges, one felony robbery charge, one misdemeanor domestic-battery charge and three misdemeanor harassment charges were added.
After his fight with Gatti, Mayweather moved up to the welterweight division. On November 19, 2005, Mayweather fought a non-title bout at 147 lb (67 kg) against welterweight Sharmba Mitchell. In round three, Mayweather knocked Mitchell down with a straight right hand to the head. In round six another straight right hand—this one to Mitchell's body—dropped Mitchell again, ending the fight.
Mayweather is one of the most lucrative pay-per-view attractions of all time, in any sport. He topped the Forbes and Sports Illustrated lists of the 50 highest-paid athletes of 2012 and 2013, and the Forbes list again in both 2014 and 2015, listing him as the highest-paid athlete in the world. In 2006, he founded his own boxing promotional firm, Mayweather Promotions, after leaving Bob Arum's Top Rank. Mayweather has generated approximately 24 million PPV buys and $1.67 billion in revenue throughout his career, surpassing the likes of former top PPV attractions including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao. In 2018, Mayweather was the most-paid athlete in the world, with earnings amounting to $275 million.
On April 8, 2006, Mayweather defeated Zab Judah for the IBF welterweight title in a unanimous decision. Plans for the fight had been jeopardized after Judah lost the WBA, WBC and The Ring Welterweight titles to Carlos Baldomir on January 7, 2006; however, Mayweather's and Judah's camps reworked the contract and decided that the fight would go on. During the bout, Mayweather stayed calm during Judah's aggressive early rounds. He began to dominate Judah in round five, and the latter eventually bled. Late in the tenth round Judah hit Mayweather with a left hand that was clearly below the belt, following with a right-handed rabbit punch. Referee Richard Steele called time out with five seconds remaining in the round. Roger Mayweather entered the ring and approached Judah, but Steele restrained him; Judah's father (and trainer), Yoel Judah, entered the ring as well. Mayweather remained in the neutral corner while the Judahs scuffled with Roger (and others who had entered the ring), until police and security restored order. Roger was ejected, and the fight continued for the scheduled 12 rounds. Mayweather won a unanimous decision by official scores of 116–112, 117–111, and 119–109. CompuBox statistics showed him landing 188 punches, compared with 82 for Judah.
Five days after the fight, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) decided not to overturn the result of the bout; however, Roger Mayweather was fined $200,000 and suspended for one year. The suspension stipulated that Roger could train Mayweather in the gym, but could not work the corner during fights. On April 17, 2006, the IBF ordered a rematch between Mayweather and Judah; however, the NSAC suspended Judah for one year on May 8 and Mayweather vacated the IBF title on June 20.
After his fight with Judah it was reported that Mayweather rejected an $8 million offer to fight Antonio Margarito, citing his split with promoter Bob Arum as the reason. However, Oscar De la Hoya postponed his decision until 2007, leaving Mayweather to obtain Mayweather Promotions and choose his next opponent. Mayweather considered moving up in weight again to fight light middleweight champion Cory Spinks, but because of negative publicity and Spinks' impending mandatory defense of his title, he decided to face WBC and The Ring welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir on November 4, 2006 in Las Vegas.
Mayweather's next match was the long-anticipated fight against six-division champion and WBC light-middleweight titleholder Oscar De La Hoya on May 5, 2007. De La Hoya's belt was on the line, which required Mayweather to move up in weight from 147 pounds to 154. However, Mayweather was outweighed by more than 10 pounds the night of the fight, coming in at only 150 pounds. Despite De La Hoya's insistence that money was not a factor, the Mayweather-De La Hoya bout set the record for most PPV buys for a boxing match with 2.4 million households, breaking the previous record of 1.95 million for Evander Holyfield-Mike Tyson II. About $120 million in revenue was generated by the PPV, another record. Including percentages De La Hoya earned $58 million for the bout, the highest purse ever for a fighter; the previous record was $35 million, held by Tyson and Holyfield. Mayweather earned about $25 million for the fight.
Mayweather appeared on the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars; his partner was Ukrainian-American professional ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff. On October 16, 2007, Smirnoff and Mayweather were the fourth couple to be eliminated from the competition, finishing in ninth place.
In 2008, Mayweather recorded a rap song titled "Yep" that he used for his entrance on WrestleMania XXIV in his match against Big Show.
Mayweather appeared at WWE's No Way Out pay-per-view event on February 17, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was involved in a storyline altercation with Big Show when Mayweather jumped a security barricade and attacked Big Show to help Rey Mysterio, whom Show had threatened to chokeslam. Mayweather originally assumed a babyface role in the story lines, which met with some resistance from fans. The attack resulted in Big Show receiving a broken nose. The following night on Raw, Big Show challenged Mayweather to a one-on-one No Disqualification match at WrestleMania XXIV, which Mayweather accepted. At WrestleMania, Mayweather defeated Big Show in a knockout with brass knuckles to maintain his unbeaten record. Mayweather was reportedly paid $20 million for the fight. 1 million PPV buys were reported for WrestleMania XXIV, grossing $23.8 million in revenue.
On December 28, 2009, video from an episode of HBO's Pacquiao-Hatton: 24/7 surfaced on the internet showing Pacquiao giving blood in the weeks leading up to his May 2, 2009, bout with Ricky Hatton. Documents confirmed that the video was recorded on April 8, 2009, 24 days prior to the fight and past the 30-day cut-off date that Pacquiao had demanded for a Mayweather fight.
On May 2, 2009, it was confirmed that Mayweather was coming out of a 21-month retirement to fight The Ring lightweight champion and #2 pound-for-pound Juan Manuel Márquez, at a catch weight of 144 lb on July 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO PPV. The fight was postponed due to a rib injury Mayweather received during training. HBO's sports series 24/7 was also rescheduled for August 29. The fight took place on September 19 in conjunction with Mexican Independence Day, traditionally a big boxing weekend. During the official weigh-in for their 144 lb bout, Mayweather failed to meet the weight limit at 146 lb and was fined as a result. However, it was later revealed that the contract was changed so that Mayweather could make weight within the welterweight limit of 140–147 lb as long as Marquez received a large guarantee. Mayweather won a unanimous decision after 12 rounds in a lopsided fight; scorecards read 120–107, 119–108, and 118–109. Marquez landed 12 percent of his total 583 punches, while Mayweather landed 59 percent of his 490 total punches. This fight marked only the fifth time in boxing history that a non-heavyweight fight sold more than 1 million pay-per-view households, with HBO generating a revenue of approximately $52 million. Four of the other fights featured Oscar De La Hoya as the main event, making this fight the one of two events where a non-heavyweight fight sold over 1 million PPVs without Oscar De La Hoya. The other fight was Manny Pacquiao versus Miguel Cotto, which sold 1.25 million PPVs.
Mayweather was guest host for Raw in Las Vegas on August 24, 2009. He interfered with a tag-team match, which resulted in a loss for the Big Show (again a heel) and his partner Chris Jericho as Mayweather gave MVP brass knuckles to knock Jericho out, giving MVP and his new tag-team partner Mark Henry the win and a shot at the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles at WWE Breaking Point against Jeri-Show. He then celebrated with Henry and MVP, turning face. Later that night, he was involved in a backstage segment with Vince McMahon, D-Generation X, and Carlito, helping McMahon prepare for his six-man tag team match against The Legacy and DX. During the segment, McMahon knocked out Carlito.
On December 5, 2009, ESPN reported that eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao signed a contract to fight Mayweather on March 13, 2010. Shortly afterward, Pacquiao denied ever signing a contract to fight Mayweather, telling FanHouse, "There are still some things that need to be negotiated."
According to Yahoo! Sports, an eight-page contract was sent on December 11, 2009, by Golden Boy Promotions on behalf of Mayweather to Top Rank, representing Pacquiao, that proposed a 50–50 financial split between the sides for a fight to take place on March 13, 2010.
In a video titled "Boxing Legend Freddie Roach Updates Us On Pacquiao" uploaded to YouTube on December 11, 2009, Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, revealed the first hint about Mayweather's request for Olympic-style drug testing, telling roving reporter Elie Seckbach, "I hear negotiations are a little shady. Schaefer and them are unhappy about something. They want Olympic-style drug testing. I said, 'Yeah, no problem.' I said, 'Whatever you want.' Since we accepted that, now they're running scared again."
On December 13, 2009, Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, said Mayweather's request for Olympic-style drug testing was a laughing matter and they had no concerns whatsoever about it. "Our reaction is, 'So what?' We know Manny doesn't take any illegal drugs or anything. And none of this is getting under Manny's skin or anything. I'm here with Manny, and to him, it's like a joke. It's a laughing matter," said Koncz.
After reports had surfaced that both parties had agreed to all terms, Golden Boy Promotions released a press release on December 22, 2009, revealing that Pacquiao was unwilling to comply with the Olympic-style drug testing requested by Team Mayweather. The following day, Bob Arum, Top Rank founder and CEO, declared the fight was off and Pacquiao would be facing a different opponent:
Both sides agreed to enter into mediation on January 7, 2010, in hopes of coming to an agreement on the blood testing issue. Retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein, who successfully resolved a prior dispute between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, would again act as mediator. Two days later, after hours of negotiating during mediation, Arum declared that the fight was officially off after Mayweather refused to agree to a 24-day cut-off date. Mayweather revealed that he offered a 14-day cut-off date to Team Pacquiao, but it was rejected.
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe declared on January 18, 2010, that random blood and urine testing will be implemented in all of Mayweather's future fights, regardless of the opponent. On February 13, 2010, in an exclusive interview with David Mayo of The Grand Rapids Press, Mayweather said, "I gave him [Pacquiao] a chance, up to 14 days out. But my new terms are all the way up to the fight. They can come get us whenever, all the way up to the fight, random drug test. That's what it is."
After the failed negotiations, both fighters moved on to instead face other opponents. On March 13, 2010, Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey via unanimous decision, and on May 1, 2010, Mayweather beat Shane Mosley by a unanimous decision.
Negotiations for a proposed match between Mayweather and The Ring #3 pound-for-pound Shane Mosley began right after Andre Berto pulled out of his scheduled January 30 unification bout with Mosley due to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Both sides eventually agreed to fight on May 1, 2010, for Mosley's WBA super-welterweight title. It was later revealed that Mayweather refused to pay sanctioning fees required by the WBA, saying "All belts do is collect dust". However, the belt was only on the line for Mosley to defend against Mayweather. Both Mayweather and Mosley agreed to Olympic-style testing for this bout.
Also on July 26, Greenburg released a statement saying that he had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2, 2010. "I had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2, carefully trying to put the fight together. Hopefully, someday this fight will happen. Sports fans deserve it," Greenburg revealed in a prepared statement sent out to select members of the media.
Pacquiao was quoted by the Manila Bulletin on May 20, 2010, as saying, "As long as they're not getting a large amount of blood, I am willing to give out blood as close to two weeks before the fight." On the same day, Mayweather revealed that he would be taking the rest of 2010, and possibly 2011, off.
On June 10, 2010, Oscar De La Hoya said negotiations for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight were close to being finalized. Speaking to Spanish-language sport show República Deportiva, De La Hoya briefly talked about the current status of negotiations and, with a grin on his face, said that the two sides were extremely close to making the biggest fight in boxing a reality. "These negotiations have been real difficult for various reasons, but we're really close to finalizing the contracts, even though they've been complicated," he commented. "Today, I can't really talk about the negotiations, but we're really close." A week later, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer refuted De La Hoya's comments. "I saw those quotes as well, and I had no idea what Oscar was talking about. And I called him up and asked him about them, and he said that he was misquoted," Schaefer explained to Lem Satterfield of FanHouse.
Arum declared on June 30, 2010, that there were no longer any issues and the decision was up to Mayweather. "That's all been resolved," Arum stated to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports regarding the dispute over random blood and urine drug testing. Arum would also tell the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "There's no longer any issues....The question is whether Mayweather is willing to fight this year." He would reiterate that comment to the Manila Bulletin, stating, "It's now up to Mayweather if he wants to fight."
On July 13, 2010, Arum issued a July 16 midnight deadline for Mayweather. "Mayweather has until the end of the week. He could wait until the last minute. If it's Friday [July 16] and it's 11 p.m., and he says we have a deal, we have a deal," Arum would explain to Dan Rafael of ESPN. On July 15, 2010, Top Rank's website unveiled an official countdown to the deadline entitled "Money" Time: Mayweather's Decision.
On July 19, 2010, Ellerbe denied that negotiations ever took place and nothing was ever agreed on. Ellerbe stated:
Regarding comments he made suggesting that contracts for the mega-fight were close to being finalized, De La Hoya told BoxingScene.com on July 26, 2010:
On December 21, 2011, a judge sentenced Mayweather to serve 90 days in the county jail for battery upon Harris in September 2010. Mayweather reached a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery in exchange for prosecutors dropping the felony battery charge. Mayweather also pleaded no contest to two counts of misdemeanor harassment, stemming from threats to his children. In addition to the 90-day sentence Mayweather was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, a 12-month domestic-violence program and to pay a fine of $2,500. On June 1, Mayweather began serving his county jail sentence, and was released on August 3, 2012.
In 2011, Mayweather paid for the funeral of former super lightweight world champion and former opponent Genaro Hernandez, who died of cancer after a three-year battle.
On June 7, 2011, Mayweather announced via Twitter that he was set to fight WBC welterweight champion and The Ring #2-ranked welterweight Victor Ortiz on September 17. Ortiz was Mayweather's first challenger in 16 months. The fight took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. From round one, Mayweather used his speed, skills and accurate right hand to tag Ortiz repeatedly. Mayweather seemed in control through the first three rounds, judges' scores were 30–27, 30–27, and 29–28 for Mayweather, in the fourth round Ortiz had some success, landing a few shots and stinging Mayweather before bulling him into the corner. He then rammed Mayweather in the face with an intentional headbutt, opening a cut on the inside and outside of Mayweather's mouth. Referee Joe Cortez immediately called time out and docked Ortiz a point for the blatant foul. Ortiz, apparently acknowledging his wrongdoing, hugged Mayweather in the corner and even appeared to kiss him.
On July 8, 2011, ESPN reported that Pacquiao was willing to agree to random drug testing—but not by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). "We have agreed in the Pacquiao camp to unlimited random testing done by a responsible, neutral organization," Arum told Yahoo.
Mayweather's adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, announced on November 2, 2011, that Mayweather would return to the ring on May 5, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. After negotiations with Manny Pacquiao failed again, on February 1, 2012, it was confirmed that Mayweather would be moving up in weight to fight WBA super welterweight champion and The Ring #1-ranked light middleweight Miguel Cotto. The WBC put their super welterweight diamond belt at stake.
Roger Mayweather returned to his role as his nephew's trainer for his next bout; a non-title lightweight fight against Emanuel Augustus (then known as Emanuel Burton), which Mayweather won by ninth-round technical knockout. Years later, in an interview in 2012, Mayweather would name his fight against Augustus as the toughest of his career, and said, "If I was rating certain fighters out of every guy that I fought, I'm going to rate Emanuel Augustus first compared to all the guys that I've faced."
ESPN reported on January 20, 2012, that Mayweather called Pacquiao on the telephone and spoke directly with him in the Philippines. "He ask about a 50/50 split and I told him no that can't happen, but what can happen is you can make more money fighting me then [sic] you have made in your career," Mayweather said. Mayweather offered to pay him a flat fee of $40 million for a proposed fight but would not allow him to share in the revenue. Pacquiao said, "I spoke to Floyd...and he offered me an amount," Pacquiao said. "He didn't talk about the pay-per-views here and that's it. I can't agree with that. I told him I agree with 55 and 45 (split)."
On June 1, 2012, Mayweather reported to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas to serve his jail term for domestic abuse. After serving two months, he was released from prison on August 3, 2012.
Pacquiao appeared on the ESPN program First Take on September 20, 2012, and said he had no problem with the drug-testing issue. "No problem," Pacquiao said. "Whatever he wants to do." Pacquiao said he was willing to be tested even on the night of the fight. "No problem," he said. "Even the night of the fight. No problem."
Mayweather returned to the ring on May 4, 2013, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to face the WBC interim welterweight champion, Ring No. 3 ranked welterweight, and the WBC's mandatory challenger Robert Guerrero. This was Mayweather's first fight since being released from jail, and was the first time Mayweather has fought on Showtime PPV after a long relationship with HBO. Mayweather was guaranteed $32 million for the fight.
Mayweather confirmed via Twitter that a deal was reached to face Ring No. 10 ranked pound for pound, WBC and WBA Super welterweight champion Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez in a championship bout on September 14, 2013, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. A catchweight of 152 pounds was established for the fight. Mayweather received a boxing record $41.5 million for the Alvarez fight, according to Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's confidant. In front of a sold out crowd of 16,746 at the MGM Garden, Mayweather defeated Álvarez by majority twelve-round decision. In a fight that many thought was going to be Mayweather's toughest, he outclassed the younger Álvarez. Many observers at ringside thought Mayweather won all twelve rounds. Judge C. J. Ross scored the fight 114–114, a draw. Judge Dave Moretti had it 116–112, and Craig Metcalfe scored it 117–111. Judge Ross retired after this fight. Speaking of the controversial scorecard, Mayweather said, "I can't control what the judges do." Compubox stats showed Mayweather's dominance in the fight, landed 232 of 505 punches (46%) and 117 connected of 526 thrown (22%) for Álvarez, who earned a base purse of $5 million.
Despite interest in a bout with Amir Khan, Mayweather announced that he would fight 30 year old Marcos Maidana (35–3, 31 KOs) on May 3, 2014, in a unification bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena, with Mayweather's WBC and The Ring welterweight titles at stake, as well as Maidana's WBA (Super) welterweight title. Maidana won the WBA tite in December 2013 against Mayweather’s friend, Adrien Broner. Mayweather tweeted the news the day after his 37th birthday. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn also made a case to showcase the fight. Mayweather explained why he chose Maidana, "Marcos Maidana's last performance immediately brought him to my attention. He is an extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring. I think this is a great fight for me and he deserves the opportunity to see if he can do what 45 others have tried to do before him – beat me." Maidana was a 12-to-1 underdog going into the fight.
On December 20, 2013, The Daily Telegraph reported that Mayweather said Pacquiao's association with promoter Bob Arum is the reason why the bout will not happen. "We all know the Pacquiao fight, at this particular time, will never happen, and the reason why the fight won't happen is because I will never do business with Bob Arum again in life, and Pacquiao is Bob Arum's fighter," Mayweather said.
On July 10, 2014, Mayweather made the announcement that a rematch with Maidana (35–4, 31 KOs) was confirmed. The fight was to take place on September 13, 2014, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, with Mayweather's WBA (Super), WBC and The Ring welterweight titles at stake, as well as Mayweather's WBC light middleweight title. The fight was billed as "Mayhem".
Nevada State Athletic Commission announced the live gate for the event was $55,414,865.79 from 13,094 tickets sold and 137 complimentary tickets given out. It was the second-largest gate ever for a combat sporting event, behind only the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, which grossed just over $72 million from a paid attendance of 16,219 in 2015. Sky Sports announced the fight garnered over a million PPV buys in the UK and grossed in excess of £20 million, surpassing the record set in April 2017 when Anthony Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 at the Wembley Stadium. This also meant the fight generated more buys in the UK than Mayweather-Pacquiao which took place in 2015.
On February 4, 2015, Mayweather, who was planning to do a tour in Australia, was denied a visa on the basis of his criminal record and jail term.
In May 2015, following his bout against Pacquiao, Josie Harris sued Mayweather for $20 million for defamation, claiming that Mayweather lied during an interview with Katie Couric in April. During that interview, he called her a drug abuser while discussing the 2010 domestic-violence incident which ended up with Mayweather going to jail for two months. The case remains pending as of September 19, 2017 .
Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, after several negotiations spread over years. Mayweather dictated the pace early, controlling range with the jab. His deft movement and pivoting made Pacquiao consistently miss, landing only 19% of his punches. Mayweather was able to counter Pacquiao with his right hand throughout the fight and won via unanimous decision with the scorecards reading 118–110, 116–112, and 116–112. The vast majority of media outlets (16/18) scored the bout in his favor. In the days following the fight, many observers felt the match failed to live up to expectations. Pacquiao told the media after the match that he was limited in the fight due to an injured right arm. Sports Illustrated reported that Pacquiao fought through a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, which will require surgery. Bob Arum revealed Pacquiao's injury to have been a persistent one dating back to 2008. Additionally Pacquiao's camp had not requested a cortisone injection, which is allowed by the US Anti-Doping Agency, but rather a last-minute toradol injection, which was declined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Mayweather, who originally had no plans for a rematch with Pacquiao, told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith in a text that he would be open to a rematch after Pacquiao recovers from shoulder surgery, however as of May 9, 2015 , Mayweather stated "Did I text Stephen A. Smith and say I will fight him again? Yeah, but I change my mind. At this particular time, no, because he's a sore loser and he's a coward." On July 6, 2015, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) stripped Mayweather of his welterweight championship because he was not permitted to hold titles in multiple weight classes, and because he failed to pay a sanctioning fee.
Mayweather had until 4:30 p.m. EST on July 3 to vacate the two other belts and pay a $200,000 sanctioning fee. He did not comply, and the WBO vacated the title on July 6, 2015.
On Monday, July 6, 2015, Mayweather was stripped of his WBO Welterweight Champion (147 lbs) title for noncompliance with the regulations of the organization. Mayweather won the WBO Welterweight title when he beat Manny Pacquiao in the May 2 bout. However, the WBO rules say that boxers cannot hold world titles in multiple weight classes, and Mayweather already held two junior middleweight championship titles when he won the welterweight title.
Mayweather confirmed through Instagram that he would defend the WBC, WBA (Super), and The Ring welterweight titles against WBA interim champion Andre Berto on September 12, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The announcement received some backlash due to Berto being (3–3) in his last 6 fights. Many felt he wasn't a credible opponent. Welterweight contender Amir Khan was said to be disappointed with the selection. Berto believed Mayweather chose him as his final opponent due to personal reasons, which could date back to when he won the National Golden Gloves tournament. Showtimes, Stephen Espinoza revealed the reason why Mayweather never chose Amir Khan, was because Khan would have been observing Ramadan before the fight and therefore wouldn't be "at the top of his game". The reason to why he decided not to fight then IBF titleholder Kell Brook was a business decision, with Brook not being known in the US compared to Berto.
Keith Thurman noted, "Amazing speed ... he showed tremendous skill and talent." Mayweather announced his retirement in the ring after defeating Berto, walking away from the sport with an undefeated record of 49–0. The WBC declared his welterweight and super welterweight titles vacant in November 2015.
Mayweather was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 2010s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), a two-time winner of The Ring magazine's Fighter of the Year award (1998 and 2007), a three-time winner of the BWAA Fighter of the Year award (2007, 2013, and 2015), and a six-time winner of the Best Fighter ESPY Award (2007–2010, 2012–2014). In 2016, Mayweather was ranked by ESPN as the greatest boxer, pound for pound, of the last 25 years. As of May 2021, BoxRec ranks him the greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound. Many sporting news and boxing websites, including The Ring, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, BoxRec, Fox Sports, and Yahoo! Sports, ranked Mayweather as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world twice in a span of ten years.
The idea of a Mayweather comeback floated around April 2016, as rumors of Mayweather Promotions filing for trademarks of "TBE 50" and "TMT 50" hinted that Mayweather might have been targeting that 50th win. This was confirmed by posts from the U.S. Patent and Trademark website.
Around May 2016, another rumor started that a crossover fight between Mayweather and MMA star Conor McGregor was in the works. On May 7, 2016, Mayweather confirmed that he was the one who started the rumors regarding the potential clash. Mayweather followed it through with an Instagram post of an unofficial teaser poster showcasing both fighters. Dana White dismissed all the rumors and stated that Mayweather had yet to contact him in case he wanted the fight to push through, since McGregor was in contract with the UFC. On January 13, 2017, White continued his stance against a Mayweather-McGregor boxing matchup and insisted that, because of McGregor's contract, it would never happen and even went as far as offering Mayweather to box McGregor in the UFC for $25 million.
On March 7, 2017, Mayweather urged McGregor to sign the contract, hinting that a fight was really in the works. On March 10, 2017, Mayweather stated that only a fight with McGregor would make him come out of retirement. On March 16, 2017, Dana White backpedaled on his stance against Mayweather fighting McGregor and said that he would not deprive McGregor of making a massive payday. On May 18, 2017, McGregor reportedly agreed to all of Mayweather's updated terms and signed the contract.
On June 14, 2017, after months of negotiations, both fighters announced via their Twitter accounts that they would fight on August 26, 2017, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. On August 24, 2017, it was announced that Mayweather and McGregor would be facing off for the WBC Money Belt, specifically made for the fight. According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Mayweather would earn a guaranteed purse of $100 million and McGregor was guaranteed $30 million.
In November 2018, together with DJ Khaled, Mayweather agreed to a total settlement of $750,000 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to disclose payments accepted from issuers of initial coin offerings, including a personal $100,000 promotional payment from beleaguered cryptocurrency firm Centra Tech Inc., whose co-founders were indicted for fraud in May 2018. According to the SEC, "they are its first cases involving charges for violating rules on touting investments in so-called initial coin offerings, or ICOs." As part of the settlement, Mayweather undertook to forgo any endorsement or promotional agreement with a securities participant for three years.
In September 2018, during the electronic music festival Ultra Japan, both Mayweather and Pacquiao posted videos of encounters at the festival, which implicated the possibility of a rematch. It is unknown if any formal negotiations occurred.
On September 19, 2018, Mayweather stated in an interview that, despite references to "this year" in the videos, he planned to hold a fight in Japan before any possible rematch with Pacquiao. On October 18, 2018, Pacquiao told the Daily Mirror that a rumoured rematch with Mayweather would occur in 2019, as Mayweather was planning to fight an unnamed opponent on December 31, 2018. On November 5, 2018, the Japanese MMA promotion Rizin Fighting Federation announced that Mayweather would face undefeated kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa at Rizin 14 on December 31, 2018, under unspecified rules. Of the bout, Mayweather stated in a press conference that "it wasn't easy to make this happen, but we told the people anything is possible, so now we're here and we wanna make sure that we give the people in Tokyo what they wanna see — blood, sweat and tears."
On November 16, 2018, Mayweather confirmed that a three-round exhibition boxing match against Nasukawa would indeed happen after the initial misunderstanding had been resolved.
On December 6, 2020, it was announced that Mayweather would face YouTube personality Logan Paul in an exhibition bout on February 20, 2021. The fight was postponed, and took place on June 6, 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. On May 6, 2021, Mayweather and Paul met for the first time at a press conference at Hard Rock Stadium, where the latter's brother, Jake Paul, became involved in an angry brawl with Mayweather when he removed Mayweather's hat from his head. A visibly irate Mayweather was captured on video saying, "I'll kill you motherfucker! Are you crazy? I'll fuck you up, motherfucker. I don't play motherfucking games. I'll fuck you up."
Before making the fifth successful defense of his title against former WBC Featherweight Champion Gregorio Vargas in early 2000, Mayweather fired his father as his manager and replaced him with James Prince. A few months after the fight, the rift between father and son grew when Mayweather also fired the elder Mayweather as his trainer. In a 2004 interview Mayweather said that although he loves his father, he had a better chemistry with Roger because his father had put too much pressure on him to be perfect. Mayweather, in his fifth title defense, won a near-shutout over "Goyo" Vargas in Las Vegas. During the 10th round, when Mayweather overheard HBO announcer Jim Lampley say that the champ had switched to a southpaw stance for the second time in the bout he leaned ringside and said "It was the third time". After a six-month layoff, Mayweather was still elusive. During the sixth round, Mayweather dropped Vargas with a hook to the ribs and cruised to a unanimous decision.