48-0: Floyd Mayweather aims for what Ricardo Lopez couldn’t manage
May 2nd is the date that is set to decide whether the legendary Rocky Marciano’s incredible 49-0 record will ultimately be overtaken by the current pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Former world heavyweight champion Marciano amassed the most victories in retirement (without a draw) when ‘The Brockton Blockbuster’ hung up his gloves back in 1955, a standout C.V that has stood as the best around for almost six decades since.
In 1998, Mexican minimumweight legend Ricardo Lopez was himself on 47-0, the same as Mayweather is today, when he took on unbeaten Nicaraguan Rosendo Alvarez in defence of his WBC and WBA titles at the Plaza de Toros in Mexico City.
After being put down for the first time in his career, Lopez earned a draw once the bout was stopped due to a cut caused by an accidental headbutt – ending his hopes of moving one victory closer to Marciano on 48-0.
Lopez hung up his gloves three years later with a superb 51-0-1, 38 KO record, although what would have been the most perfect record in history was lost, and it’s now up to Mayweather to overhaul arch-rival Manny Pacquiao next month to do what the retired champion couldn’t manage.
Pacquiao, 36, is widely recognised as the second best fighter in the world and the most dangerous opponent for Mayweather, with the general consensus being that if the Filipino can’t put a dent in the ‘Money’ man’s record no-one can.
A win for Mayweather could give the American a clear run to a defining night in 2016 and would have networks scrambling to sign the five-weight world champion in an effort to gain the rights to his bid for a record-breaking 50-0.
Briton Amir Khan is the only other danger in many eyes, but after being shunned in favour of Argentinian Marcos Maidana twice in 2014, it isn’t 100% certain that the former Olympic silver medallist will be given his chance in the future.