For years we have heard, “Floyd has trouble fighting southpaws (left handers).” On August 26th, Floyd Mayweather will box Conor McGregor, a left-handed fight, and once again the topic of Floyd vs southpaws has reared its ugly head.
Why do people say Floyd has trouble fighting southpaws?
In regards to Floyd Mayweather, the genesis of having trouble with southpaws is surrounding by 3 events:
1. Floyd Mayweather vs Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley
Corley was a southpaw and one of the first to hit Floyd with big, clean shots (rounds 3 & 4). This is the sequence most often cited in regards to this fight:
In round 3, Corley landed 10 punches, Floyd 16. In round 4, Corley landed 26, Floyd 23. Corley hit Floyd early in the round, but Floyd was able to swing the momentum in the second half of the round. Corley expended himself in his 4th-round efforts. In round 5, Corley landed 6 punches. In round 6, Corley landed 10 punches. Floyd dominated the fight, knocking Corley down twice, and won via unanimous decision.
Here is a more accurate depiction of Floyd Mayweather vs Demarcus Corley:
Let’s take a look at the scorecards. 119-107, 119-108, 118-108.
These scores are not indicative of Floyd Mayweather having trouble with southpaws.
2. Floyd Mayweather vs Zab Judah
Zab Judah was a lightning-quick southpaw, with a plethora of potential. In round 2, Judah should have scored a knockdown when Floyd’s glove touched the canvas after a Judah punch.
Here is a click of the knockdown:
Does this mean Floyd has trouble with southpaws? No.
Even if Judah knocked him down, Floyd has one official knockdown scored on him, Carlos Hernandez, an orthodox fighter. So, Floyd would have been knocked down by an orthodox and a southpaw fighter. If Judah were to be the only one to knock down Floyd, you still cannot declare it as “trouble with southpaws.” You need to look at it within the context and entirety of the fight.
Many scored 3 of the first 4 rounds for Judah, citing this as evidence of Floyd having trouble with southpaws. Judah’s record going into the fight was 34-3-1. Out of those 34 wins, 21 of those came in the first 4 rounds. Judah having early success against Floyd was not due to Judah being southpaw, but due to Judah being Judah.
Let’s take a look at the judge’s scorecards: 119-109, 117-111, 116-112. Do these scores indicate “trouble?”
Judah landed a total of 82 punches … an average of 6.8 punches per round! But wait, there is more. Judah became so frustrated, he resorted to intentionally hitting Floyd low, then to the back of the head, causing a melee in the ring.
Check out Zab Judah vs Floyd Mayweather brawl:
3. Floyd Mayweather sparring Paul Spadafora
Paul Spadafora is a southpaw with a 49-1 record. The sparring footage of Spadafora vs Mayweather went viral, oh wait, there wasn’t viral back in that day. The footage was shown on networks broadcasting boxing matches, especially this portion at the end of sparring.
Clip of Floyd Mayweather collapsing after sparring Paul Spadafora:
We aren’t going into all of the reasons why you shouldn’t takeaway too much from sparring footage. When it comes down to it, the scoreboard in actual competition is what counts.
Floyd has taken big shots from orthodox fighters?
Zab Judah and Demarcus Corley are not the only fighters to hit Floyd. Some say Marcos Maidana and Shane Mosley have hit Floyd the hardest.
Watch Floyd Mayweather get hit by Shane Mosley:
Watch Floyd Mayweather get hit by Marcos Maidana:
Both Mosley and Maidana are orthodox fighters. Southpaws are not the only ones to hit Floyd with big shots. If you were just going to base “trouble” on big shots, it could be argued Floyd has more trouble with orthodox fighters based on who is more recent. Floyd fought Corley in 2004, Judah in 2006, Mosley in 2010, and Maidana in 2014.
Floyd vs recent southpaws?
Let’s look at the 3 most recent southpaws Floyd has faced:
- Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao (2015)
Floyd defeated Manny via unanimous decision: 118-110, 116-112, 116-112
- Floyd Mayweather vs Robert Guerrero (2013)
Floyd defeated Guerrero via unanimous decision: 117-111, 117-111, 117-111
- Floyd Mayweather vs Victor Ortiz (2011)
Floyd defeated Ortiz via 4th round TKO. The ending of this fight was nothing short of chaotic:
Floyd Mayweather’s TKO of Victor Ortiz:
Yes, the knockout was unusual to say the least. Ortiz was not winning the fight. Floyd was pursuing Ortiz and well on his way to victory. Ortiz resorted to the headbutt out of frustration. All three judges had Floyd up on the scorecards, 3-0 on two of them. Ortiz landed 5 punches in round 1, 8 in round 2, 4 in round 3, and 9 in round 4.
The closest Floyd has come to losing?
Who has come the closest to beating Floyd? There are many ways to analyze this, but let’s just take a look at scorecards. Floyd has one split decision in his career, Oscar De La Hoya. He has two majority decisions, Marcos Maidana and Canelo Alvarez. This means a total of three judges did not have Floyd winning a fight, while one judge, one time in Floyd’s career, had Mayweather losing a fight on a scorecard.
The important part here is all three of these boxers are orthodox. You may not entirely agree with the judges, but a southpaw has never come as close as orthodox fighters to beating Floyd Mayweather in terms of scoring.
When Floyd faces Conor McGregor on August 26th, the winner of fight does not decide if Floyd does or does not have trouble fighting southpaws. Yes, if Conor wins, we do have to factor in him being left handed, but there is a large enough body of work to support Floyd not having trouble with southpaws. If Conor wins, he wins for a number of reasons, not just him being left handed.