Mayweather takes WBA title

Floyd Mayweather Jr claimed the WBA light-middleweight title after an impressive victory over the champion Miguel Cotto. He scored a unanimous points victory after an attritional fight, where both fighters were outstanding.

Mayweather is now one of the hottest box-office attractions in the sport. Estimates suggests that the title victory could be worth about $50 million, and that total would be exceeded if Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao can arrange a showdown in the near future.

Mayweather paid tribute to Cotto after the fight. "I had to fight hard against a future Hall-of-Famer, no push over," Mayweather said. "He came to fight, not just to survive. As for the cuts, they all come with the territory."

Cotto admitted he couldn’t have done any more to retain his title. "I have to take my defeat," he said. "I brought my best and I did my best every day in training and I did my best tonight. I'm happy with my performance."

Mayweather is already looking forward to his next payday. "I wanted to fight Pacquiao this fight but couldn't make it happen," he said. "I still want that fight."

That’s hardly surprising, given the money that is likely to be on offer. Mayweather’s main problem in the immediate future may be his image. He is already in danger of being saddled with the same reputation for brutish criminality that damaged Mike Tyson’s career.

Mayweather is about to start a 90-day jail sentence for domestic violence against his former partner, Josie Harris. That might explain the boos and whistles that greeted him at ringside.

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