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Thursday, May 3, 2012
A brief history of MGM and Money May

By Kieran Mulvaney

Corrales & Mayweather
Diego Corrales gave Floyd Mayweather Jr. a run at the MGM Grand in 2001 before falling late.
Saturday's challenge of junior middleweight champ Miguel Cotto will be Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s sixth successive fight at the MGM Grand and his ninth overall. Here's one man's take on Mayweather's five most memorable appearances at what has become boxing's marquee venue:

5. Sept. 17, 2011: Victor Ortiz

Ortiz was at a high point, coming off his dramatic win over Andre Berto, but he was no match for either Mayweather or his own lack of judgment. Frustrated by his inability to pierce Mayweather's defense, Ortiz launched his head into his opponent's in Round 4, prompting referee Joe Cortez to call time out and deduct a point. When Cortez called time in, Ortiz was focused more on hugging Mayweather to apologize than on defending himself; Mayweather clocked an unprepared Ortiz with a left and a right, putting him down for the count.

4. April 20, 2002: Jose Luis Castillo

Notable for being a fight that, in the eyes of many observers, Mayweather lost. Mexico's Castillo was able to pressure Mayweather for periods and take him out of his comfort zone, but the American won a unanimous decision on the judges' scorecards, and he did so again in the rematch across the street at Mandalay Bay.

3. Dec. 8, 2007: Ricky Hatton

Unforgettable. An estimated 30,000 Brits descended on the Strip, all but emptying the MGM of beer and constantly reminding everyone that there was "only onnnne Ricky Hatton." That one Ricky Hatton was likely seeing two Floyd Mayweathers after walking into a check hook that sent him face-first into the ring post in the 10th. And still the Brits kept singing ...

2. May 5, 2007: Oscar De La Hoya

Was this really five years ago already? Overdramatically dubbed "The Fight to Save Boxing," this was the event that turned Mayweather into a superstar. Overcoming early resistance from a stiff Golden Boy jab, Mayweather scored a split decision win in a contest that secured a record 2.4 million pay-per-view buys.

1. Jan. 20, 2001: Diego Corrales

Like Mayweather, Corrales was an undefeated 130-pound titlist, and there were plenty of prognosticators who expected him to prove too strong. But you can't hurt what you can't hit, and in what remains Mayweather's most sublime performance, Corrales could hardly lay a glove on his rival. Mayweather, by contrast, couldn't miss his, dropping Corrales five times before Chico's corner stopped the contest in the 10th.