Much has been made of the recent top-five unbeaten superstar Floyd Mayweather Junior came out with in terms of his picks for the five best fighters in boxing history. For those fans that missed it, Mayweather – currently, of course, 48-0 and closing in on his 49th and “final” fight, against huge underdog Andre Berto in September – listed the following top-5:
1: Floyd Mayweather Junior (wow, what a surprise!)
2: Roberto Duran
3: Pernell Whitaker
4: Julio Cesar Chavez
5: Muhammad Ali
That’s quite an interesting list, for many reasons. Many fans have been angered at how Mayweather left off names, perhaps their own favourites, such as Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Harry Greb and Archie Moore to list a mere few of Floyd’s “omissions.” However, when he was put on the spot, as it were, by ESPN Deportes, Mayweather was presented with a list of ten fighters from which he could choose. The ten in question were:
Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, Muhammad Ali, Pernell Whitaker, himself, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez and Rocky Marciano.
So, even though it’s sacrilege for Mayweather to have left the original “Sugar Man,” in Ray Robinson off his top-5, his choices from the ten fighters he was given are maybe not all that bad. Many have moaned at how Mayweather had Ali as low as number-five, but over the years, the Ali critics seem to have grown, and in their opinion, number-five of all-time is high enough. Or maybe Floyd is not that big a fan of the heavyweights; which would perhaps explain Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano not being included in his list.
It is odd why Mayweather would not do what practically every fan and boxing historian does, though, and that’s agree how Robinson is without doubt the finest boxer in history. But otherwise, Floyd can, and did, make his own arguments for picking who he picked. And it is tough picking just five fighters when attempting to compile a list of the greatest fighters ever. Even more so when you are only given only ten fighters from which to make your list.
Maybe the people at ESPN Deportes should be the ones being asked why they left off greats like Ezzard Charles, Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler, Marvin Hagler, Jack Johnson, etc, etc, etc when they were compiling the ten choices Floyd could look at. Why limit the options to just ten? Better yet, why not let Mayweather pick his own top-five using nothing but his own knowledge of the sport he himself has so excelled in?
In any case, the topic has people talking, and talking, and talking……..