Before Floyd Mayweather fights Conor McGregor, check out Mayweather’s destruction of Arturo Gatti in 2005.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor is quite possibly going to be the biggest-selling pay-per-view of all time. Mayweather already holds the current record, with his 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao pulling in well over 4 million buys.
The very first PPV main event for Mayweather was on June 25th, 2005 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Floyd went into enemy territory to take on WBC 140-pound champion Arturo Gatti, who’d won five straight fights, including the last two of his epic trilogy with Mickey Ward (both non-title). Gatti successfully defended his belt against Jesse James Leija in January 2005, while Mayweather easily dispatched Henry Bruseles in the same month, thus setting the stage for this showdown.
For as much as Mayweather has been disparaged for his “boring” style, “running” in the ring and being labeled as not willing to engage (particularly by UFC president Dana White), what Mayweather did to Gatti was one of the most one-sided beatdowns I’ve ever seen at a high-level of either boxing or MMA. You could tell by round 2 that Gatti, who’d engineered multiple comeback and near-comebacks throughout his career, had no chance against the speed, accuracy, and timing of Floyd. Trainer Buddy McGirt told Gatti he was taking too much punishment, and stopped the fight at the end of round 6. This was a fight the now-deceased Gatti would never recover from, as he was knocked out in two of his final three bouts, and then retired from the sport.
You can watch the full video at the top of the page. At 20:20 you can see Roger Mayweather tell the cameras, “I told y’all he’s gonna get his ass whooped… on HBO!”
We’re almost certainly not getting this version of Mayweather this Saturday night against McGregor, but it’s always good to look back and see some of his classic performances. By the way, Gatti vs. Mayweather pulled in 365,000 buys.