Floyd Mayweather and His Place in History


Floyd Mayweather Jr., the presumptive #1 ranked pound-for-pound boxer in the world interviewed with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith wherein he stated he believed he was better than Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali. Fine. That’s confidence and no one has a problem with that. Then Floyd took things a step past reasonable by explaining he wasn’t going to be “brainwashed”. He denigrated Ali’s loss to Leon Spinks at 36 by stating that Leon only had seven professional fights and the Rope-a-Dope strategy Ali employed George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle” saying, “So you gonna tell me that it’s cool and take punishment and let a man tire himself out from beating you? And then he’s basically fatigued, you hit him with a few punches and he go down and quit and you want to be glorified for that? Absolutely not”.

Of course as is his wont, Floyd leaves out important facts in the story. Facts like Leon Spinks was a 24-year-old Olympic Gold Medalist when he fought Ali. Facts like George Foreman was regarded in the same way Gennady Golovkin is regarded now, as an eater of worlds who had just come off disassembling Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica.

If this had been just the first time Floyd had said something like this, I would have let it go. Might have raised an eyebrow, but that’s all that it would have been. Then I remembered: He’s done this before. His bragging about supremacy and being “The Best Ever” is as tired as it is simple. If you ask him why, he just tells you it’s because he’s made the most money and because he’s undefeated.

He might get away with this when people who don’t know boxing are around, or talking to web sites who are so besotted over getting an interview with him that they don’t pressure him. He will not get away with this here.

Mayweather fans, have a seat and enjoy a cream soda. It’s time for a history lesson.

First point, we’re comparing Floyd against IMMORTALS. If he wants to be considered the best ever and routinely talks himself up as such, that’s who his peer group now is.

Whenever you hear Floyd talk about this always remember the way he talks about the men who would be his peers. Does he treat the old lions of his sport with respect? Does he tell you about Robinson’s greatness or Duran’s fighting heart and will?

There is a long-held apocryphal story of Floyd Mayweather going up to Ray Leonard at a Boxing Writers of America dinner and telling Sugar Ray that he doesn’t see him as a Top-Ten welterweight……if he was fighting now. Let me say that again, so that it sinks in: Floyd Mayweather Jr., at least if this story was true, believes that Ray Leonard would be beneath Diego Chaves, Kell Brook, and Robert Guerrero as a welterweight if he was fighting now.

This defies logic and description.

Getting to the heart of the matter with Floyd, he has bled through every time he begins to talk about his claim to being the best. Insecurity. It bleeds from every pore, every word and sentence.

Did Ray Robinson boast about being the best, constantly demanding to be credited as such, constantly denigrating the greats from earlier eras? Or was he humble and secure enough in what he had already done? How about Roberto Duran or Ricardo Lopez?

That leads seamlessly to the next point about his insecurity: Deep down, in his heart of hearts, he knows his legacy is incomplete.

Now I know you reading this might be thinking: Of course his legacy is complete. Look at all the money he’s made, look at all the opponents he’s beaten. On the surface, this is true.

Remember one thing: Floyd Mayweather has never unified titles in any division he’s fought in. He’s never cleaned a division out the same way the greats he puts himself above did.

Ray Robinson cleaned out welterweight. Bernard Hopkins did the same at Middleweight. Willie Pep at featherweight, the list could go on and on.

Floyd has none of those fights. Meanwhile, while fights against men like Kostya Tszyu and Stevie Johnston were never made, we did see mismatches against Victoriano Sosa, Philip N’Dou, and Henry Bruseles.

And that leads to the next point: Floyd’s fetishization of an undefeated record.

Muhammad Ali lost so did Ray Robinson.

The difference between them and Floyd? They lost because they fought great fighters.

Is Ray Leonard looked down on because he lost to Roberto Duran in Montreal? No, because he fought the best fighter in the world at the time in a 15-round pitched battle and gave him everything he wanted.

How about Muhammad Ali against Joe Frazier in their first fight? Does anyone really believe that Ali is lesser because he fought Frazier tooth-and-nail and wasn’t the better man?

I’m tired of debunking Floyd’s bragging, and nonsensical taunting every time he opens his mouth.

So until May 2nd, I don’t care what he says. Show me, Floyd. Once and for all, show me.

5 Responses to “Floyd Mayweather and His Place in History”

  1. DN says:

    He will.

    Did you like him, support him, before the last two weeks?

  2. Okori Wadsworth says:

    I’m a fan of his defensive skill. Increasingly, though, I’m not a fan of HIM if that makes any sense.

    Also, I’m not sure if he will. He hasn’t knocked out anyone clean in seven years, and he’s been getting hit cleaner and cleaner in his last few fights. Point of fact: If Marcos Maidana can tag him with a right hand and pressure him in their 2 fights, Manny can do better than that. Also, Manny is a miles better finisher than Maidana or even the corpse of Shane Mosley.

    There are reasoned arguments to be made for each man winning.

  3. ks says:

    C’mon now Okori, you know you’ve been throwing Mayweather the side eye for years. lol.

  4. ks says:

    Solid win for Floyd. He put on a clinic.

  5. Sweet Jones says:

    Pacquiao just became yet another flummoxed victim of one of the greatest defensive fighters of all time.