Mayweather is 47-0. At age 38, he is on the precipice of finishing his career undefeated—an obsession of his, say people inside the bruising game. But the boxing gods haven’t always been kind to those seeking perfection.
For virtually everyone who steps in the ring, defeat eventually comes. It doesn’t matter how invincible you look. It is almost an immutable law of the sport, applicable to Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali and nearly everyone else who has had a long career and taken on tough competition.
Now it’s Mayweather who is trying to defy boxing gravity. Even though Manny Pacquiao is an international icon and one of the top fighters of this generation, Saturday’s showdown in Las Vegas is about this: Can Mayweather stay perfect? Or will he go down like so many greats before?