FLOYD MAYWEATHER was thought exceptionally lucky to become a two-weight world champion when he won a 12-round decision over WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo in April, 2002.
The Mexican – a former sparring partner of the great Julio Cesar Chavez – bullied Mayweather, roughed him up on the inside, and according to the official punch stats outlanded the favourite by 203 shots to 157. But Floyd was awarded the decision via two scores on 115-111 against the same tally favouring the underdog.
“Most thought Castillo won,” said HBO’s Larry Merchant, “but the house fighter got the decision.”
There was a rematch, of course, and Mayweather exhibited maturity and the ability to learn. Few argued with the scores this time (115-113 twice, 116-113) but Floyd’s erratic out-of-the-ring behaviour was alienating fans.
Even promoter Bob Arum was infuriated with his young star when he failed to show up for the pre-fight press conference.