Floyd Mayweather earned every bit of his record $32 million dollars, a decision against Miguel Cotto in what the new WBA light middleweight champ called one of his toughest fights.
Three weeks before he heads to jail, Mayweather improved to 43-0 as he and Cotto produced an exciting action fight that had the raucous crowd of 16,047 standing much of the way Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
“I could’ve just outboxed him and moved, and made it a boring fight. But it’s a recession,” Mayweather said. “You guys spent your hard-earned dollars to come see me, so I said, (expletive), let me give you guys what you want to see.”
The three judges at ringside scored the fight unanimously for Mayweather, 117-111 twice and 118-110. Their scores were not indicative of how close and how action-packed the fight really was.
CompuBox’s punch stats skewed heavily in Mayweather’s favor. Despite Cotto’s constant pressure, Mayweather outworked the Puerto Rican star, landing 179 of 687 punches (26%), while Cotto connected on 105 of 506 (21%).
“You’re a hell of a champion, the toughest guy I ever fought,” Mayweather said to Cotto afterwards. “I had to fight hard, suck it up. He’s no pushover.”
Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, left right after the fight but talked to HBO off camera.
“The judges said I lost the fight. I can’t do anything else. I have to take my defeat,” he said. “I brought my best and I did my best every morning in training camp and I did my best tonight.”
Mayweather will report to jail on June 1 to serve an 87-day sentence for misdemeanor domestic battery.
Cotto earned $8 million for the fight, but likely will make a good deal more, as will Mayweather, off the pay-per-view buys. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefere said he thought the PPV buys might be the second-most in boxing history. Mayweather holds the record of 2.4 million buys for his 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya, the president of Golden Boy and promoter of this fight.