Floyd Mayweather and his team have strutted around in gear emblazoned with “50-0” to show how sure they were that he would eventually secure the best record in boxing history.
After months of hype, Mayweather backed up his words by defeating UFC champion Connor McGregor in a spectacular fight.
That places him one win ahead of the previous record holder for the most victories without a loss or draw—Rocky Marciano. But Marciano’s son, Rocky Marciano Jr., believes that Mayweather’s big 50-0 deserves an asterisk.
Marciano Jr. told the New York Post that the match should count only as an exhibition fight, since it was McGregor’s debut in professional boxing.
“I think it definitely should [have an asterisk]. There’s such a big difference from the boxing ring to a UFC octagon, and it’s such a big learning curve,” Marciano Jr. said. “Mayweather’s had an incredible career and he’s had 20 years of greatness, but I would honestly give a boxer who has come up through the amateur ranks, having his first professional fight more of a chance than McGregor.”
“The fight went pretty much the way I expected it to go. Mayweather would take it slow in the beginning and see what McGregor would throw at him. Mayweather knew that McGregor would tire in the later rounds,” Marciano Jr. added.
The boxing legend’s son believes that anyone who isn’t partial would agree with his assessment.
“If people want to say this is breaking Marciano’s record, sure, it’s disappointing because you want to see him challenged and fight the best he could,” Marciano Jr. said. “If he wants to be the best pound-for-pound fighter of his generation or his weight class, I think as fans of boxing, we want to see people pitted against the best and then see the result, and that’s not what we [got].
“There is such a discrepancy in experience. Will they say, ‘Yeah, he got it, but look how he got his 50th win?’ That’s the conversation moving forward,” he said.
Despite challenging Mayweather’s golden 50-0, Marciano Jr. was touched by the boxer’s humility after his victory over McGregor. Marciano Jr. appreciated that Mayweather paid homage to his father, the only other undefeated fighter in boxing history.
“Rocky Marciano is a legend. I take my hat off to him. He paved the way for me to be where I’m at,” Mayweather said.
Marciano stopped fighting after he reached the historic 49-0 record. He was even offered a large sum to come out of retirement and fight a new champion, but refused because he wanted to keep his perfect record.
So what does Mayweather’s big win on Saturday really mean?
“The writers and the historians, they’ll decide what the significance of this is,” Marciano Jr. said. “Is it tying the record, or surpassing the record, or is it the difference that the Marciano family sees, that this is a totally different weight division?
“He was the only undefeated heavyweight champion of the world,” he said.