Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Naseem Hamed could have been an interesting match-up in the late 90s. Hamed was a slick boxer, with great movement, and knockout power in either hand. He had the perfect combination of speed, power, and reflexes which often allowed him to produce sensational knockouts. While Mayweather didn’t have the reputation of being a one-punch knockout artist, he was also quite an aggressive fighter in his youth, often producing stoppages. However, while they were both technically great boxers, Mayweather was more well-rounded and had classic technique with impeccable defense.
I imagine that Hamed’s movement and angles could have caused Mayweather some trouble early on. However, Mayweather’s greatest attribute is his Boxing IQ. Mayweather is brilliant at adjusting to new situations, so while Hamed might have been able to throw him off with awkward punches for a while, I think Mayweather would’ve eventually caught on and started to dominate.
I think this, combined with Mayweather’s defense would have got him a unanimous decision win by some margin or a late round TKO. Hamed was great but his match-up Kevin Kelley and Marco Antonio Barrera exposed some holes in his game which I’m sure Mayweather could have also exploited.
How Floyd Mayweather would win
|Name||Floyd Mayweather Jr|
Being the bigger man would’ve greatly helped Mayweather in this match-up. The lightest Mayweather fought at was 130lbs whereas Hamed was heaviest at 126lbs in his career. They probably would’ve fought at a catch-weight if the bout were to ever take place, but I imagine Mayweather would’ve had a significant weight advantage on fight day.
I think to start off with, Mayweather would stay at range and try to read the unorthodox angles and power punches that Hamed liked to throw. Its possible that some of the more creative and elusive punches from Hamed could pass Mayweather’s guard but he’s shown a great chin throughout his career and his defense would probably prevent Hamed from landing too cleanly.
As the fight progresses, I can imagine Mayweather becoming increasingly active – as is the pattern with most of his fights – and starting to land hard counter punches as well as throwing his snapping jab to Hamed’s midsection. His accuracy and composure I believe would allow him to take control of the fight at this point and dominate Hamed. I’m fairly certain that Mayweather wouldn’t look to initiate brawls with Hamed but instead box on the outside for the majority of the fight and look to pick Hamed apart.
Any exchanges between these two would have been fireworks, both of them were blessed with fast hands and reflexes although I think Hamed would’ve edged Mayweather out on power. Overall I think Mayweather would dominate the action using his patience and IQ to adapt to Hamed’s flamboyant style and the bout would go to the judge’s scorecards or a late round TKO for Mayweather.
Floyd Mayweather’s competition and notable wins
In regards to the competition they faced, Mayweather has Hamed beaten clearly. He’s faced a plethora of champions and former champions and beat them all decisively. Some people criticize Mayweather for not making particular fights when certain fighters were in their primes but I think this predominantly stems from the fact that throughout Mayweather’s career, the general public wanted to see him get beaten for his arrogant approach. He even came back in 2017 to face MMA’s biggest talent in Conor McGregor at 40 years old.
- Miguel Cotto
- Canelo Alvarez
- Manny Pacquiao
- Victor Ortiz
- Robert Guerrero
- Marcos Maidana
- Conor McGregor
- Zab Judah
- Shane Mosley
- Carlos Hernandez
- Jose Luis Castillo
- Phillip Ndou
- Diego Corrales
- Juan Manuel Marquess
- Oscar De La Hoya
- Ricky Hatton
- Aurto Gatti
- Andre Berto
- Jesus Chavez
How Naseem Hamed would win
I think Hamed’s loss to Marco Antonio Barrera has swayed people’s view on how good he was in his prime. While I do favour Mayweather to win, Hamed would have had a chance at getting the better of Mayweather in his prime and if there is a chink in Mayweather’s defensive armour, it is probably southpaws.
Hamed heavily relied on his natural reflexes and athleticism to win fights and often fought with this hands down. When he was comfortable and fighting with confidence, he was at his best. I think if Hamed were to win it would come from an early knockout if one of his elusive punches was able to pass Mayweather’s guard. I don’t think this would have been very likely and Mayweather has shown a great chin throughout his career, so it’s difficult to guess if he could even hurt Mayweather, but there is a possibility.
Mayweather fought many great fighters throughout his career that often had him beaten in the department of speed and power like Zab Judah, Miguel Cotto, and Canelo Alvarez. However, none of these fighters had the awkward, slick style of Hamed, so it would have been interesting to see how Mayweather would initially deal with Hamed’s flamboyant style of Boxing.
Naseem Hamed’s competition and notable wins
While Hamed’s resume isn’t on the level of Mayweather’s, he still has beaten an impressive group of people. We also have to take into consideration that Hamed retired at just 28 years old due to a decline in performances from hand injuries and arguably lost out on the best years of his career.
- Kevin Kelly
- Steve Robinson
- Tom Johnson
- Wilfredo Vasquez
- Vuyani Bungu
- Billy Hardy
- Vincenzo Belcastro
- Jose Badillo
- Manuel Medina
- Wayne McCullough
- Cesar Soto
- Augie Sanchez
What the fighters think would happen
At one particular time, there was a chance that a fight between these two was going to happen. When asked about Hamed in a post-fight interview, Mayweather said “I would like to fight Prince Naseem, hopefully, we can meet at 128 or he can come up to 130”. Despite this and the public interest in the fight, the match-up unfortunately never came to fruition. Recently when reflecting on their careers, Mayweather said “Prince Naseem is a legend, I commend him and I take my hat off to him”.
Well after his retirement in 2016, Hamed was asked again about Floyd Mayweather Jr and his career. Hamed expressed his admiration and friendship with Mayweather but joked “its a good job he didn’t fight me though because he might not have had the career that he did”. So it’s fair to assume that both fighters imagine they would have beaten each other in their respective primes, but as of now, they show nothing but respect and admiration for each other.
I think one of the main reasons these two are so often compared and matched up in this fantasy fight was because of their personalities. Both fighters presented themselves as the villains of boxing that were unbeatable, they both carried the same brash confidence, and they both backed up their talk by putting on spectacular performances in the ring.
For Boxing fans, this fight would’ve been an amazing match-up. While I do feel that Mayweather would stay in control for most of the fight, it would still be exciting due to the Prince’s eccentric style. Regardless of the outcome, I’m sure it would have been a brilliant fight, and its slightly disappointing that the fight was never made.