His fists flew so fast that they were impossible to stop. His feet moved so fast that he was impossible to catch.

He landed shots from every conceivable angle and left the ring with nary a scratch on his face.

So thoroughly dominating was Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall, that from the second round on, the result of his 140-pound world title fight against Arturo Gatti was never in doubt.

The end came when Gatti, one of the world's toughest fighters, could not get off his stool to answer the bell for the seventh round. Mayweather had won all six rounds on all three judges' scorecards, showing his confidence -- some would say cockiness -- before and during the fight was well-founded.

But when referee Earl Morton waved his hands over his head to make the result official, it was as if Mayweather finally seemed to grasp the magnitude of his victory. He fell to his knees and cried tears of joy.

With his technical knockout, Mayweather (34-0, 23 KOs) took Gatti's World Boxing Council title and provided the most compelling evidence to date for his case that he is -- pound-for-pound -- the world's best fighter.

"Right now, he's the best out there," said Buddy McGirt, Gatti's trainer. "He's beaten the best. I can't take anything away from Floyd."

But perhaps most importantly, Mayweather's victory might close the significant gap between his prodigious talent and his marketability in the sport.

"There was a lot riding on this," Mayweather said. "Not just to get a victory, but to perform. To perform well for the media. To perform well for my fans. To perform well for Gatti's fans."

Saturday night's fight was Mayweather's first on a pay-per-view card. And though he clearly was the co-star to the wildly popular Gatti, his dazzling performance improved his cachet and his viability as a headliner.

"Now, he can start making money, hopefully the way I was able to do with [Oscar] De La Hoya," said Bob Arum, Mayweather's promoter.

The question facing Mayweather is who he will face next. The seemingly obvious choice would be a bout against one of the other three 140-pound title holders: Carlos Maussa (19-2, 17 KOs), who took the World Boxing Association title from Vivian Harris with a seventh round knockout on Saturday night's undercard; International Boxing Federation 140-pound champion Ricky Hatton (39-0); or World Boxing Organization 140-pound champion Miguel Angel Cotto (24-0).

But Arum, said Mayweather's next fight could be against a 147-pound champion.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is overjoyed after knocking off Arturo Gatti.