PERHAPS the biggest controversy to emerge from Floyd Mayweather beating Conor McGregor in August of 2017 was that “Money”, while beating a debutant, officially overtook Rocky Marciano’s record for the most victories by a world champion retiring undefeated with a 100 per cent record.
Marciano clocked up 49 victories and the win over McGregor moved Mayweather to 50. While the farcical nature of Mayweather’s victory is not up for debate, it is difficult to argue that beating McGregor should not be counted as an official result. As Marciano’s wins over Lee Epperson, Jimmy Weeks and Gilbert Cardone – none of whom had won a fight – are included in Marciano’s record, then McGregor also has to be counted on Mayweather’s.
Also, Floyd Patterson’s 1957 success over Pete Rademacher is accepted by all of the record books as a legitimate world heavyweight title fight, even though Rademacher had never had a professional bout beforehand. So, like it or not, Mayweather sits at the top of the table of world champions who retired with a 100 per cent record, but his claims to be “The Best Ever” – largely due to the importance he places on being unbeaten – should perhaps be put into context.