Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Jr added the WBA Super World light-middleweight title to his supreme career roster with a battling unanimous points victory over Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, fighting at the 154lbs limit for the first time since defeating Oscar De La Hoya to win the WBC belt exactly five years ago, won favour by margins of 118-110 and 117-111 (twice) on the judges’ scorecards to preserve his unblemished 43-fight record.
Defending champion Cotto, unbeaten in his previous three bouts at light-middleweight, enjoyed moments of success with brutal spells of inside pressure, but ultimately slipped to his third professional defeat.
Attentions will once again turn towards the prospect pairing Mayweather with pound-for-pound rival Manny Pacquiao, but the 35-year-old US fighter must first serve a three-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge.
Mayweather said: “This fight right here, I was looking to fight Manny Pacquiao. The fight didn’t happen, I don’t think the fight could happen because of Bob Arum (Pacquiao’s promoter).
“Bob Arum was in the way — he stopped the Pacquiao fight.
“Let’s give the fans what they want to see. They want to see Mayweather — Pacquiao.”
Mayweather’s crisp left jab was the defining feature of the opening round while the challenger showed he was willing to trade at close quarters.
An absorbing ebb and flow continued across subsequent sessions as Mayweather’s slick backfoot work gave way to another dose of Cotto’s frenetic pressure.
But Mayweather’s dazzling defensive and counter-punching skills came to the fore in the final two rounds, as he sealed an eighth world title across five weight divisions.