AFTER accepting a plea bargain in December 2011 for a reduced domestic abuse charge – previously Floyd Mayweather could have been sentenced to over 30 years – he was given permission to suspend his sentence in order to do battle with Miguel Cotto in May the following year. Since returning to action in 2009, Mayweather had trounced two great fighters in Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley, and emerging pretender, Victor Ortiz. He looked unbeateable.

So it came as a surprise when Cotto – thought to be in decline – handed Mayweather his toughest assignment in years. “Money” was forced to fight hard on the inside, take punches, and box his way out of danger. At the end there was no doubt the American had won but the gritty nature of his win attracted mixed reviews. Some felt it was evidence that Floyd was slipping, while others celebrated such a gutsy performance.

On June 1 that year, less than a month after the fight, Mayweather went to prison [above]. He served two thirds of a three-month sentence.