Mayweather Jr.: Becoming a champion

Floyd Mayweather Jr. checks in ahead of his Sept. 17 fight against Victor Ortiz. In this blog entry, Mayweather discusses how he felt when he won his first championship.

There is no better feeling than winning, but winning a world title is indescribable. I would know because I have won all of my fights and am a six-time world champion in five weight classes.

I won my first championship over a decade ago. Everyone knows boxing is in my blood and I wanted a title shot as soon as I turned pro in ’96, but I had to wait for that opportunity until Oct. 3, 1998, when I fought Genaro Hernandez for the WBC Super Featherweight title. I was young and hungry.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.
(HBO Sports)

The fight was in Las Vegas and Hernandez was undefeated in the weight class at this time. It was a good fight, but when Hernandez threw in the towel in 8th round, I knew that the word “champion” would always be attached to my name.

That was Hernandez’s last professional fight. It’s sad to say that Hernandez passed away this past year at age 45. I respected him as a man and as a fighter. He gave me my first opportunity to win a world title. He will be missed and may he rest in peace.

I was a young professional and rising star who fought anyone they asked me to fight to help me get to where I am today. That fight was a key moment for me and helped me set my path to the rest of my championships and the boxing greatness I have achieved in my career. I continue that same motto today as I have always been willing and ready to face the best opposition available for me to fight. On Sept. 17, I am facing a hungry, strong champion in Victor Ortiz.

Ortiz is a world-class fighter and the current welterweight champion, but I am the best. I am back in the gym training 24/7 and am excited to fight on Sept. 17. So tune in to HBO Pay-Per-View and be part of another Mayweather experience.

Ortiz better be ready because I will be. I am very blessed to have the career I have in boxing.

HBO’s Emmy Award-winning all-access series “24/7” premieres an all-new edition when “24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz” debuts Saturday, Aug. 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The four-part series will air for three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas.

Mayweather-Ortiz headlines the “STAR POWER” event – during which three titles will be on the line in separate fights – on Saturday, Sept. 17. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

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Updated Friday, Aug 19, 2011