by James Slater – 33-year-old Floyd Mayweather Junior may be unbeaten at 40-0, he may have won himself a handsome collection of titles in a number of weight divisions and he may be one of the greatest fighters of his era. However, unless I’m mistaken, most fans would agree with me that the recent claims “Money” has made about him being a greater fighter than the incomparable duo that is “Sugar” Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali are false.
Mayweather may be better in certain areas than either Ali or the original “Sugar Ray,” but no way does he deserve to call himself a better all-round fighter than either legend. But, ahead of what is arguably the toughest test for him as a pro, certainly at welterweight, against “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Mayweather has indeed stated that he is the best boxer of all-time..
“What makes them [Ali and Robinson] any better than I am?” Mayweather is quoted as saying by ESPN.com. “Muhammad is one hell of a fighter but Floyd Mayweather is the best. Sugar Ray Robinson is one hell of a fighter but Floyd Mayweather is the best.”
While a whole article could be devoted to just what makes Robinson and Ali better than the man who has (rightly) been accused of being a “cherry picker” when it comes to who he will and will not fight, there is the chance that 38-year-old Mosley will single-handedly force Mayweather to eat his bold words this coming Saturday evening in Las Vegas.
To my way of thinking, Saturday’s scheduled 12-rounder with Mosley IS the toughest fight (on paper at least) that Mayweather has ever agreed to take. Facing his first genuinely world class welterweight, Mayweather is going in with a fighter who has, in my opinion, a very good chance of hitting and hurting him on the way to taking away his unbeaten record.
For the first time in a long time, Mayweather is taking a risk. Never before has he met a fighter who is as fast as he is, and also a harder puncher. Zab Judah, Mayweather’s only notable victim when it comes to him having beaten a genuine welterweight (and Zab was pretty small for the weight, his best performances always coming at 140-pounds), had speed, but he didn’t have Mosley’s one-punch KO power. And Carlos Baldomir, Floyd’s only other genuine welterweight opponent, was big and strong but had no speed or punching power to really speak of.
Against Mosley, a guy who has never been stopped, Mayweather will be in with a big welterweight who is perhaps even a millisecond faster than he is where his hands are concerned, who certainly hits harder than he does (no fragile hands for “Sugar” Shane), is taller than he is and who also has a longer reach.
After having added this all up, I am – for the first time ever – picking a fighter to beat Mayweather. Mosley may be 38 and he may have been out of the ring for well over a year, but he, like Mayweather, never allows himself to get even remotely out of shape between fights and he has been training virtually non-stop since crushing Antonio Margarito. And Mosley is HUNGRY! Annoyed at how he was unable to get a big fight post-Margarito, Mosley will be certain to make the most of the huge opportunity he now has. Mayweather has said Mosley is desperate, and he may be right – but a desperate man is a dangerous man.
What was it Mosley said in the first episode of his upcoming bout’s 24-7 show? “Mayweather says he’s the best of all-time. At some point you’ve got to back that up.”
Mayweather has indeed said he’s the best of all-time, and as such losing to Mosley is not an option for him. But I feel he will lose, on points, and in so doing Floyd will be made to eat his claims of being greater than Ali and Robinson.