He is boxing's greatest heel since Jack Johnson, the undisputed king of convincing people to pay to watch him lose.
Only he never comes close.
Until Saturday night, that is.
Forced to weather his sternest challenge in years, Floyd Mayweather overcame a bloody nose, busted lip and unflinching opponent Saturday before rallying for a narrow -- but uncontroversial -- unanimous-decision victory over Miguel Cotto before 16,047 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Two of the ringside judges had Mayweather winning 117-111, while the third scored it 118-110. (SI.com had it 116-112.)
All three gave the final four rounds to Mayweather, whose impressive finishing kick -- punctuated by a vicious uppercut that rocked Cotto in the final round -- precluded any shadow of doubt from the verdict. With the win, Mayweather added Cotto's WBA super welterweight title to a collection of eight belts across five different weight divisions from 130 to 154 pounds.
"I could have outboxed him and moved back, made it a boring fight," Mayweather said afterward. "But it's a recession, you guys spent your hard-earned money to see me, so I said f--- it: let me give you guys what you paid for."