Floyd Mayweather Causes Furore With His Top 5 Fighters All-Time
Floyd Mayweather (credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
These days, Floyd Mayweather boldly declares himself TBE (The Best Ever) and the unbeaten American has now caused further controversy after revealing who he believes is the best five fighters of all-time.
Most notably, Mayweather ranked Muhammad Ali at number five on his list and found no place whatsoever for either Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis or Sugar Ray Leonard. Predictably, Mayweather ranked himself at number one and was only too happy to offer up a list of reasons why he was the obvious choice for the top spot.
”He’s beat more world champions than any other fighter,” Mayweather enthused of himself on ESPN Deportes.
”He’s done it in a shorter period of time than any other fighter. And he’s done it with less fights than any other fighter. Record-breaking numbers all around the board — pay-per-view, live gate, landed punches at the highest percentage and took less punishment. He’s been world champion 18 years in five different weight divisions.”
Admittedly, Mayweather is an all-time great, just not anywhere near the number one spot in most people’s eyes. But what else would you expect an all-time great fighter to say? They all believe they are higher than they should be. Every elite fighter goes into the ring believing they are unbeatable, so it really should be no shock or surprise that Mayweather places himself at number one.
At number two, Mayweather placed Roberto Duran. The 38-year-old wasn’t as gushing in his praise for the Panamanian as he was for himself, but Mayweather was enthusiastic in speaking about Duran nonetheless.
”Unbelievable. He was the guy that came up from lightweight and he was the first guy to beat Sugar Ray Leonard. He went from lightweight all the way up to 168lbs (super-middleweight). Love that guy. A legend.”
Then, Mayweather, who is promoting his September 12 fight against Andre Berto, declared Pernell Whitaker as his number three fighter of all-time.
”He didn’t lose until the end of his career. He beat Chavez for real (Chavez got the decision victory), and I’m a Julio Cesar Chavez fan. And he did beat my uncle Roger twice.”
Next up, Julio Cesar Chavez himself was placed at number four by Mayweather.
”Julio Cesar Chavez was 80-0 before he lost (actually 89-0-1), and he went to different weight classes.”
But the headline selection is no doubt Ali at number five. Some call Ali ”The Greatest,” but Mayweather clearly doesn’t agree. Although, lists of this nature are subjective to a point and everybody is entitled to their opinion, and Mayweather certainly has his on the heavyweight great.
”Muhammad Ali lost to Leon Spinks and Leon Spinks only had seven fights when he beat him,” insisted Mayweather. ”Muhammad Ali was only at one weight class and Ali really lost all three times to Ken Norton. So this is me just being honest. What Ali did was he stood for a cause in an era when African-Americans didn’t stand up for their people. He stood up for a strong cause in his era.”
All true, Floyd. However, don’t forget that Ali also beat Joe Frazier (twice), Sonny Liston (twice), George Foreman and Floyd Patterson (twice). Fighting beyond his time didn’t help Ali, who went 1-3 in his last four fights when he was way past his prime. Before those bouts, however, Ali was 55-2 and should really have retired with only losses to Norton and Frazier on his record. He didn’t, though, and Mayweather is only too happy to use that against Ali at this point.
Although, that is despite Whitaker being number three according to Mayweather because ”he didn’t lose until the end of his career.” That argument doesn’t equally apply to Ali in Mayweather’s mind, clearly.