23.11.07 – By Ron Hansen: In the latest boxing news, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (38-0, 24 KOs) has said that he’s better than both Muhammed Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson, claiming “I respect what Robinson and Ali did for the sport. But I am the greatest, and this is my time.” Mayweather, who fights Ricky Hatton on December 8th, also said “I can quit today and be known as the best fighter that ever lived.” For me, it’s difficult to imagine Mayweather, 30, being as good as either of the two fighters when he’s likely not even the best welterweight, let alone the best fighter of all time.
In case Mayweather may have forgotten, he just narrowly defeated a shopworn 34 year-old Oscar De La Hoya in May 2007, and looked rather timid and average in doing so. For that matter, it’s been two years since Mayweather looked good, at which time he was beating Sharmba Mitchell. However, let’s suppose Mayweather is the greatest of all time. If that’s the case, his level of opposition has been disappointing up to now. You’d like to have seen Mayweather in with Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, Paul Williams, Shane Mosley or Vernon Forrest if we were to bestow upon Mayweather the title as the greatest.
There’s nothing wrong with Mayweather’s win over De La Hoya, except for the fact that it was a split decision, and that it came at the late stages of De La Hoya’s career, not in his prime. Mayweather does have some good wins on his record, I admit. His victories over Diego Corrales, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, and second victory over Jose Luis Castillo, to name a few. But none of these would be enough for me to say that Mayweather is the greatest of all time. In fact, Mayweather appeared to lose the first fight with Castillo, and was given a gift decision the way I see it. It was a poor decision and should go down as a loss on Mayweather’s record.
As for Mayweather’s fighting style, it’s not the most pleasing style of all time. He generally uses a safety first, hit and run style, the type used by fighters like Roy Jones Jr. and Hector “Macho” Camacho. It’s actually quite frustrating to watch, and not the style that many fans would regard as that of a great fighter. While it’s true that Mayweather at one time did mix it up more with his opponents, but those days are gone now. You’d think at 30 years-old that Mayweather is a young fighter, yet he fights like a old man, afraid to exchange for fear of getting his chin tested.
I wouldn’t give Mayweather a chance at beating Sugar Ray Robinson in his prime. It wouldn’t even be close, since Robinson was a human buzz saw, throwing nonstop punches from almost every imaginable angle. It would be a one-sided fight with Robinson winning every round while Mayweather would likely run and peck with his pot shots. I guess you can’t blame Mayweather for being boastful about himself, because he probably has never seen either Robinson or Ali in their prime. Of course, Mayweather could never fight a prime Ali due their size differences, but if there was a way for them to fight, Mayweather would likely be run over in a route.