As great and as talented as he is, with many achievements having glorified him during his unbeaten career, has Floyd Mayweather Junior really fought the best opposition he could have faced throughout his time at the top? One man who argues that he himself did just that, in former long reigning middleweight king Marvellous Marvin Hagler, also suggest that Mayweather has not taken on all comers.
In an interview with Mail Online, 59-year-old Hagler, who was part of a golden era that also featured greats Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard, said people will question Mayweather’s willingness to have taken on the best opposition he could have done if he walks away having not fought Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan.
“I think Mayweather, in a couple more fights, might even retire because there is no-one else out there,” Hagler said. “Pacquiao would have been an excellent fight but I think that has gone out of the window now because it wouldn’t have the interest it had. That might have been the biggest fight in boxing history. Maybe they would have pulled in $100 million. He [Mayweather] is having a great time because there really isn’t anyone else out there. He can make all this money and probably walk away from the game.
“We have seen what has happened with that fight with, what’s his name? Amir Khan. Even this guy that Khan beat [Marcos Maidana], who he has given this fight next, this is all crazy stuff.”
So what does Hagler feel Mayweather should do to secure his fighting legacy?
“I believe the best way is to fight the top [fighters] and the way my career led me was fighting the best so this way you feel good about yourself when you have finished because you know you didn’t duck anyone,” Hagler said. “You gave everyone an opportunity. With Mayweather, we have got to see if he retires and hasn’t given Pacquiao a shot or given Khan a shot. There will be a conversation that maybe he was afraid of them.”
Mayweather scared of Khan? Some critics may scoff, but who else aside from Khan can match, maybe even overmatch, Mayweather for speed? Pacquai maybe? Well, we all know that fight should have happened at least three or four years ago. But is Hagler right, will Mayweather go down as something of a ducker if he does walk away – at the end of his current contract with Showtime, that has three fights remaining after the Maidana bout of May 3rd – without having seen off both Pac-Man and “King Khan?”
Hagler certainly fought the best, with important, career defining wins over the likes of Hearns, John Mugabi, Roberto Duran, Vito Antuofermo and many others on his resume, and the shaven headed southpaw is recognised as one of the all-time greats. Will Mayweather be greeted with the same respect and adulation if he retires unbeaten at 49-0 or 50-0 but without having fought the two fastest guys boxing at his weight class of welterweight?