Mayweather v McGregor: Floyd's greatest nights in the ring

Floyd Mayweather is protecting a proud legacy against Conor McGregor and here's a look at his five greatest nights in the ring.

The richest bout in boxing history — Floyd Mayweather (left) versus Manny Pacquiao — AP

On paper, Mayweather is the overwhelming favourite. His defensive skill, ring craft and big-fight experience of the squared circle mean that McGregor has it all to do to make good on his promise to shock the world in Las Vegas.

Over 49 fights, Floyd Mayweather has proven to be the man that cannot be beaten.

But the former five-division world champion is putting that proud legacy on the line this weekend against UFC star Conor McGregor, who is taking part in a professional boxing bout for the first time.

On paper, Mayweather is the overwhelming favourite. His defensive skill, ring craft and big-fight experience of the squared circle mean that McGregor has it all to do to make good on his promise to shock the world in Las Vegas.

Making McGregor's challenge all the more difficult is the fact that Mayweather's list of beaten opponents includes a who's who of boxing greats.

And ahead of their eagerly anticipated showdown, here's a look at five of Mayweather's most important nights in the ring.

Genaro Hernandez – October 3, 1998

Mayweather was robbed of the ultimate amateur accolade in an Olympic gold medal when Bulgaria's Serafim Todorov was handed a controversial 10-9 victory in the Atlanta 1996 featherweight semi-finals. It has been suggested that loss is what set the American on his stunning career path, and after starting out as a professional with 17 wins he earned his first shot at a title against Hernandez (38-1-1).

Mayweather, just 21 at the time, overpowered his more experienced opponent with an eighth-round stoppage securing him the WBC super featherweight title. It proved to be Hernandez's final fight.

Zab Judah – April 8, 2006

Mayweather came out on top by unanimous decision against Judah (34-3) in a fight that was billed as "Sworn Enemies". Off the back of a defeat to Carlos Manuel Baldomir, Judah looked to assert himself in the early stages but saw a possible knockdown ruled as a slip by referee Richard Steele in the second round.

The tide turned in the fifth with Mayweather drawing blood from Judah's nose, but a brawl was sparked when Judah struck his opponent with a low blow and followed it with a right hand to the back of the head.

Mayweather's coach and uncle Roger entered the ring and confronted Judah, sparking a melee with members of the opposing team and prompting security to flood the ring, but Mayweather cruised to the end when the fight resumed.

Oscar De La Hoya – May 5, 2007

He was already a champion at super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight and welterweight, but Mayweather's victory over De La Hoya (38-4) at super welterweight established him as a superstar.

Two-time WBC champion at the weight De La Hoya – who replaced previous coach Floyd Mayweather Sr with Freddie Roach ahead of the bout – was the busier of the pair in the ring, but Mayweather produced a stunning show of efficiency with accurate punches off a typically defensive approach.

It clearly won him favour with the judges, and a split-decision victory gave him a title in a fifth different division.

Ricky Hatton – December 8, 2007

Mayweather's superior technique was astoundingly clear in this WBC welterweight title fight in Las Vegas. A raucous travelling support offered the unbeaten Hatton (43-0) plenty of backing but he was completely dominated on the inside, and the top pound-for-pound fighter underlined his status as the best in the business with a 10th-round knockout.

As Hatton leaned to take a left hook, Mayweather spotted his right hand drop and caught the Brit flush on the chin with a powerful left as he skipped to the side. Could anyone get the better of him?

Manny Pacquiao – May 2, 2015

It was the fight everyone had been waiting for, the two greatest fighters of their generation going toe to toe for Mayweather's WBC, WBA and WBO welterweight titles – the 'Fight of the Century'.

Ultimately, though, it fell short of that billing, with the American simply too good at the MGM Grand once again. His brilliant right hand controlled the fight, with Pacquiao briefly threatening in the fourth and sixth rounds with some solid strikes.

Mayweather was at his best when attacking but picked out some lovely counter-punches to earn a unanimous points decision, much to the chagrin of the Filipino. After taking a cool $100million away from the win, Mayweather took his record to 49-0 against Andre Berto before retiring in September of that year – a decision he has now overturned to face McGregor.

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