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Floyd Mayweather pleads for his place in history to be the best of all times

  • American calls himself TBE – The Best Ever
  • Floyd Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao is the highest grossing fight of all time generating revenues of over $500million
  • Mayweather will eventually take home more than $200million for 36 minutes work
  • Floyd “Money” Mayweather is pound for pound the best boxer in the world across all divisions
A beaming Floyd Mayweather after his unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquaio.
A beaming Floyd Mayweather after his unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquaio.

Floyd Mayweather Jnr is loud, brash and extremely confident in his abilities to engage audiences. It is a proven formula that has worked time and time again for the American as he remains the only shining light in a sport devoid of any notable superstars. Mayweather is the king of self-publicity and coupled with an unmatched appetite for mastery of his craft, he has separated himself from his peers. He has a professional boxing record of 48 victories with no losses. The so-called ‘Fight of the Century’ with Manny Pacquaio grossed over 500 million dollars, shattering his own previous record in the fight against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. The fight generated a record 4.4 million pay per view buys.

The Mayweather versus Pacquaio fight is the highest grossing boxing match of all times.
The Mayweather versus Pacquaio fight is the highest grossing boxing match of all times.

The numbers Mayweather generates are astronomical and that is the scale by which he leads his life, in and out of the ring. No other athlete flaunts his wealth as much as Mayweather does.

Love him, loathe him, hate him, Floyd Mayweather Jnr, the little boy from Grand Rapids, Michigan is the epitome of the American dream and all that it represents. He started from the bottom and has worked extremely hard for all of his trappings. And boy, does he want you to know about it.

Aside from the posts on Instagram and Twitter showing the world the fruits of his labour, Floyd Mayweather recently questioned the legacies of “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.

The Greatest? Muhammad Ali, here with civil rights leader Malcolm X, had influence beyond his sporting ambitions.
The Greatest? Muhammad Ali, here with civil rights leader Malcolm X, had influence beyond his sporting ambitions.

In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Mayweather recently stated,

“No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me. No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that.”

He elaborated, “TBE, the best ever… Men lie, women lie but the numbers don’t lie. Look at the stats, I landed the highest percentage (of punches) than any fighter in history, I took less punishment than any other fighter in history. I hold the record at the gate; I hold the record at the box office. I broke all records.”

The 38 year old American has heavyweight backing to his assertions. Former World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman is extremely qualified to have an opinion on the matter, having fought Ali in the “Rumble in the Jungle” in addition to 80 other fights.

Foreman spoke with TMZ Sports and added, “Pound for pound, Floyd is better than me and Muhammad Ali ever were.”

“This is a better generation by far. They’re smarter, they’re stronger, they’re overall just better fighters.”

Another former heavyweight world champion, Mike Tyson, begs to differ, finding both Mayweather and his claims rather unsavoury. In an interview with The Undisputed Champion Network, “Iron Mike” called Mayweather delusional for his comparisons with Ali.

Mayweather has his distractors. Here’s a man standing at only 5 foot 8 inches and weighing 10 stone 10 claiming to be the best ever boxer. That is some claim, and the timing, unusual. In other sports Jack Nicklaus, Roger Federer and Michael Jordan were past their best when they were lauded the title of “the best of all times” by critics and observers. Floyd Mayweather Jnr is still at his peak, unparalleled and unblemished.

Boxing has had its golden generations and marvellous champions. George Foreman at the height of his career probably threw the hardest punch ever thrown in a ring. Muhammed Ali, “the Greatest,” fought and defeated Foreman in the epic in Zaire. Ali also fought other mean bone crushers such as Ken Norton and Joe Frazier.

Mike Tyson at his best was the “Baddest man on the planet.” He had some right ding dongs with Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. Going further back there were prominent champions in Jack Dempsey, the “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis and Jack Johnson, who not only faced adversity in the ring but outside of it. How can a motor mouth like Floyd Mayweather even compare to these great men?

There have been wonderful boxers in other weight classes too. Most observers regard the tall and rangy Sugar Ray Robinson to be the best boxer of all time. His record of just one loss in 123 fights speaks for itself. Robinson was considered a freak of nature fighting almost every two weeks.

The best boxer of all times? Or just the best defensive boxer ever?
The best boxer of all times? Or just the best defensive boxer ever?

After Muhammad Ali retired in 1981, the boxing public was captivated by “The Fabulous Four.” “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns, “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran fought each other in a golden era that produced boxing classics. Many observers believe “The Fabulous Four” would have given Mayweather a run for his money.

For all his perceived faults, Floyd Mayweather Jnr remains a genius in the ring, a great technician, a boxer’s boxer, a great defensive fighter, perhaps the best there has ever been. He does exactly what the great Muhammad Ali once quoted, “In the ring I can stay until I’m old and grey because I know how to hit and dance away.”

This it seems is Mayweather’s mantra, hit and not get hit. It is not spectacular by any means and can be a yawn fest for the fan. But this is the new definition of boxing in the Mayweather era and beyond perhaps.

Boxing is a science of more than just numbers, humans are involved. Analysing the statistics over “Money” Mayweather’s career, the boy from Grand Rapids, Michigan might just have a case. And that case might hold more water once Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record is surpassed and retirement calls.

by,

Al Chabvonga (follow me on Twitter)

 

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