Mayweather boasts that he is the greatest fighter of all time—better than Ali. Yet he is not even considered by many to be the best in his own time.
By Darin Allen
“Let’s Talk About It!”
The following are excerpts from an April, 2010 Floyd Mayweather Jr. television interview with Jim Rome, wherein Mayweather claimed to be the greatest fighter of all time.
Jim Rome: It sounds like you put yourself number one, Would you put yourself in front of Muhammad Ali and Ray Robinson—ahead of guys like that?“
Floyd Mayweather Jr.: I have to.
Jim Rome: Why do you have to? Why—you–for instance, instead of guys like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson?
Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Why Muhammad Ali and not me? I didn’t live in his era.
Jim Rome: You base that on pay per view numbers or body of work?
Floyd Mayweather: I don’t have to base it on pay per view numbers. Muhammad Ali fought Ken Norton. He really lost all three times with Ken Norton. He lost to Leon Spinks. Spinks beat Ali when he had seven fights, and Ali never even threw no body punches.
…Just because I’m Floyd Mayweather and I don’t take a lot of punishment (referring to the public’s perception of him). There’s nothing cool about lying on the ropes and taking punishment and then coming back and fighting a guy (referring to the Ali rope-a-dope).
What’s so great about my career is I went out there and did it in great form and great fashion.
I didn’t live in nobody else’s era, but my era I dominated!
Jim Rome: I don’t think you should be penalized; I don’t think you should take two to give one. I think you are a great defensive fighter… I’m just saying if we are going to argue about the greatest fighter of all time, the one thing that would keep you from getting that spot is quality of opposition.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.: OK. What’s so great about those fighters back then? What’s so great about them that’s not good and great about these fighters now?”
Jim Rome: I think that when we are talking historically about the greatest fighters of all time, Muhammad Ali: who he fought, what he accomplished, what he brought to the table.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Like what? Like he [Ali] fought Ken Norton and lost all three times. What else?
Below, watch the Mayweather-Rome Interview in its entirety
Click or copy and past this link into your browser if the above YouTube Video fails to appear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lkChqwJ3kc
Let’s Get a Grip on Reality, Floyd
Floyd, why are you only challenging fighters at the end of their careers, like Oscar De’ La Hoya and Shane Mosley? I think both would have easily beaten you in their prime.
Listen Floyd, Muhammad Ali fought bad dudes like Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton,George Forman and Larry Holmes in their prime. I guess, you’re kind a doing the same thing–only backwards.
In their prime Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler,Thomas Hearns, and Aaron Pryor were all better fighters than you. They also didn’t run and duck from the best opponents of the day.
Floyd, even today you are not recognized to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. That title belongs to Manny Pacquiao–someone you continue to duck and hide from.
Pretty Boy, you have been boxing professionally for fourteen years now and have yet to take on a truly worthy opponent: a fight historians and the public could look back on and say—Mayweather is the greatest fighter of all time.
You say you that you are better than Ali: Ali won the Light Heavyweight Olympic Gold Medal in 1960 and then, at the age 22, he went on to become the youngest heavyweight champion by knocking out the great Sonny Liston.
Oh, and how can anyone ever forget Ali’s three classic fights against legendary bomber Smonkin’ Joe Frazier.
In your attempt to justify your historical significance to boxing, how do you get its history wrong?
You failed to mention that in 1978 a 36-year-old Ali fought 24-year-old Leon Spinks twice—losing the first fight by split decision and later that year beating Spinks in a 15 round unanimous decision. Ali’s record against Norton was 2-1 and not 0-3 like you stated. All three were great fights too.
The fact is—unlike you—Ali never ran from anyone! In 1974, at the age of 32, Ali KO’d 25-year-old world-beater George Foreman to regain the title.
Some of Ali’s fights were free. Your fights are 50 bucks a whop for 12 rounds of salsa dancing. Pretty Boy you are 32 and have been fighting pro for 14 years now and have still not produced a single memorable fight!
Floyd, if you want to be recognized as a great fighter, please step up to the plate and fight a great fighter in his prime like Manny Pacquiao.
I predict that Pacquiao would knock you out. Deep in your heart you know it, and that’s why you are running from this fight.
Let’s say by chance that we’re in la-la land now and you have stopped being a coward and have coughed up enough courage to fight Pacquiao–and you win. Will this help your legacy?
I really do not know, Floyd, because everyone seems to have lost so much respect for you. Through all you boasting and posturing you seem to forget that the public—not you—gets to decide who the greatest fighter of all time happens to be.
Right now in my book there are many fighters that are well ahead of you!