Floyd Mayweather Jr. was named “Best Fighter,” or, what is essentially Fighter of The Year honors at Wednesday night’s ESPYs’, trumping other nominees such as RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward and mixed martial arts stars Jon Jones and Anderson Silva.
Mayweather was chosen for the fourth time in the past six years, with boxing rival Manny Pacquiao taking the honors the other two times, including for 2011.
Last month, Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) topped Forbes’ list of its 100 highest paid athletes, trumping second-place Pacquiao with $62 million from earnings and endorsements, and third-place Tiger Woods at $59.4 million. LeBron James of the Miami Heat is fourth with $53 million, followed by Tennis star Roger Federer in fifth at $52.7 million.
Nicknamed “Money,” Mayweather made $85 million for two fights last year, including his fourth-round knockout victory in September that dethroned Victor Ortiz as WBC welterweight belholder in September.
Since the ESPY’s award is bestowed upon the fighter for what happens during previous calendar year, it was the controversial victory over Ortiz for which Mayweather achieved the honor.
“I am very grateful for my fans and all of the continued support. Your letters and pictures are helping my time go by. Thank you to all the fans who voted and helped me win at tonight’s #ESPYs,” stated Mayweather.
“Your continued support is appreciated. Congratulations to all the other nominees. You guys are GREAT fighters.”
Mayweather earned an all-time boxing record guaranteed purse of $32 million for his unanimous decision victory that dethroned Miguel Cotto as WBC junior middleweight beltholder in May.
“Tonight, America and the sports fans voted, and as I have said many times before, Floyd Mayweather is in a league of his own,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who has handled Mayweather along with his own Mayweather Promotions.
“We congratulate Floyd Mayweather for this win tonight. I’m proud of him, and this just goes to show you that he has earned the respect and admiration of fight and sports fans in general.”
Floyd Mayweather and the ESPYs
Floyd Mayweather 2012
Manny Pacquiao 2011
Floyd Mayweather 2010
Manny Pacquiao 2009
Floyd Mayweather 2008
Floyd Mayweather 2007
Photo by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org