Boxing

Why Floyd Mayweather Jr can never be the greatest

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Floyd Mayweather Jr can never be considered the greatest fighter of all time.

His fans may argue but Floyd only has himself to blame when it comes to his all time ranking.

A reluctance to take on all comers, preferring instead to hand pick opponents, will always tarnish his legacy and sadly, at 36, it is probably too late for him to change this.

Just look down Mayweather's record and how many big name opponents have their been? Oscar De La Hoya, who was well past his prime.

Sure, Floyd has won titles in five weight divisions and has been considered the pound for pound best fighter of the last few years. But compare his record to legends such as Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson and he pales by comparison badly.

Robinson beat everyone around during his time, Jake LaMotta, Randy Turpin, Henry Armstrong, Kid Gavilan, Sugar Ray avoided no one. Ali had his famous wars with Joe Frazier and unforgettable fights that were world events, against the likes of George Foreman and Sonny Liston.

Marciano beat top men such as Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles (twice) and Archie Moore.

Leonard fought all the top fighters of his era, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler, registering victories over all of them on his way to winning titles in five divisions.  His fights against those fellow legends will never be forgotten.

And that's where Floyd falls down. In 20 or 30 years time will his fights still be being replayed as classics or indeed will anyone really remember many of them at all.

Mayweather's fans may say he was so good no one ever gave him a decent fight, but the truth of the matter is that Floyd has either by his own choice, or by his advisors, always carefully chosen his opponents.

His upcoming fight with Robert Guerrero is another fight which if truth be told he can't lose. Previous opponents such as Juan Manuel Marquez have been great fighters, but have usually been much smaller than Floyd.

The best that Mayweather's record can offer is Ricky Hatton, a long past it Shane Mosley and De La Hoya and perhaps Jose Luis Castillo, purely because he nearly lost that fight rather than Castillo being a legend.

What Mayweather really needed were fighters such as a peak Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao on his record.

He may well still fight Pacquiao and is now probably more likely to bearing in mind Pacman's recent performances, but that fight is now meaningless as Manny has long since peaked and any victory over him is now hollow.

If Floyd had taken on more challenging fights and not played it so safe, perhaps he could have been up there with the all time greats, but alas it now looks too late and he will have to content himself with believing in his own mind that he is up there with Ali and the rest, whilst most sane boxing fans will never agree.

 

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