Day 12: With less than 12 days remaining until the mega fight between Oscar Dela Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. training camp has intensified and things are beginning to heat up. During the countdown so far (Began on Sunday, April 15th) we’ve covered some very hot topics and that won’t change as the days narrow down. Today we take a look at some of Floyd Mayweathers key fights and how he overcame certain odds to get the job done. Baldomir vs Mayweather (11/04/06) On this night Floyd Mayweather Jr. came in as the smaller man who, (although faster), was taking a huge risk coming in against a bull like Carlos Baldomir who, earlier in the year defeated another quick, yet small fan fave in Zab Judah. For the most part, Baldomir was pretty game from the start as he tried to use his size advantage over Mayweather but as they say, speed kills and on this night it would be no different. By Baldomir’s own admission, he stated after the fight that “he (Mayweather) was too fast and I couldn’t catch him”, and that basically summed the night up. Mayweather fought what he and most Boxing insider’s called a perfect fight by sticking to the gameplan and not trying to outbully the bigger bully, but simply stick to speed and footwork and it worked. Mayweather took the 12 round decision on all three score cards. Gatti vs Mayweather (06/25/06) This was a matchup that most felt Floyd would win but with the gritty Gatti forever known to put on a show, there was still tha question of whether or not Floyd would sustain over the long haul to actually get the “W”. The question of Floyd’s determination would not take long to answer as he peppered Gatti from the early going and never looked back. Punch stats told the whole story as Mayweather threw 50 more punches (295-245) but landed 40% higher at 57% to a weak 17% posted by Gatti. This fight highlighted what many have said all along. “You can never really appreciate Floyd’s speed until you get in the ring with him”. Gatti learned this in a first class fashion as the one-sided loss was perhaps one of the more embarrassing of his career. Floyd scored a TKO in the 6th round as a 6-punch combination sealed the deal. Judah vs Mayweather (04/08/06) This matchup was Boxing’s spin-off to daytime soap opera’s as there was much drama surrounding one boxer who considers himself ‘bold and beautiful’ (Floyd) against another who most consider ‘young and restless’ (Judah). Both fighters are easily ranked in the top 5 fastest in the sport and both had great accomplishments under their belts. After a lowblow sparked some mid-round drama, things got back to normal and these two fighters continued to slug it out. In one of the few times in his career, Floyd was outworked statistically throwing 404 punches to Judah’s 444 but this would be very misleading as Floyd landed at a much higher connection rate 47% to 18%. Drama aside, Judah had his moments but Mayweather simply outboxed him and showed a very classy effort that helped him score a unanimous decision by winning on all cards. Corrales vs Mayweather (01/20/01) This was Mayweather’s biggest challenge to this point in his still very early career. He was being challenged by a very lanky challenger who’s skill and heart level could never be mistaken as weak. Corrales, always game for anything, got a chance to see exactly what type of skill level Floyd had early as he got peppered from the opening round by Mayweather in a scintillating fashion. He did manage to land some solid shots of his own but once again Floyd’s footwork and speed was the determining factor. Floyd wore the challenger down round by round and it all culminated in the 10th round as two consecutive right hands jarred Corrales. He would bounce up quickly from the knee he fell to but his corner had seen enough as they jumped on deck and signaled for the ref to stop the fight. These four matchups each required something different, yet the results remained the same. In one match Floyd had to overcome speed (Judah), in another one he had to overcome size (Baldomir), then there was one where he had to overcome heart (Gatti), as well as one where he was up against a man who combined all three (Corrales). These four fights was a testament to Mayweather’s ability and although they were a measuring stick for him at the respective times, perhaps the truest form of ‘measuring stick’ still awaits…and so does the world…thus the affectionately dubbed promotional title….”The World Awaits”. Check out tomorrows countdown article which will take a look at Dela Hoya’s Greatest Hits.