That’s two names that most will take in the same breath whenever there is a discussion about the greatest boxing has ever seen.
It is such a shame, however, that the iconic duo share a rivalry which, unfortunately, didn’t stem from the ring, but outside of it – would you believe it?
Almost every month, you would find one of the two tearing into the other for any of a random thousand reasons possible. Very recently, for example, Tyson opposed Mayweather’s view on boxing having too many belts and therefore too many champions.
“Boxing never has too many belts because every time it’s a championship fight, it’s more money for the fighter,” he said, as per Essentially Sports.
“There’s never enough belts you know?
“To say there’s one champion and there’s 10 guys, how long will it take for the champion to fight the 10 guys?
“Plus they gotta go through each other… It’s good to have three champions because then everybody can get paid… Everybody makes money.
“That’s what this business is about. Money.”
Money is indeed the name of the game – and who would know better than Money Mayweather himself? After all, the sport’s biggest rapscallion has earned a lot of it. The one thing he hasn’t earned, or perhaps not earned enough, is big Mike’s respect.
There are a few reasons for that, too, otherwise, why would the two have got into a feud at all? It may not be common knowledge, but they did have a decent relationship up until the turn of the century. It was when Mayweather allegedly had the police raid Tyson’s mansion in Las Vegas – and no, on this occasion, what happened in Vegas didn’t happen to stay there.
That is said to have been in retaliation to Tyson playing a part in something yet more notorious. When Mayweather was charged for sexually assaulting and kidnapping a woman, Tyson is reported to have been the man responsible for inciting her to do so. Mind you, none of the claims have ever found any ground to stand upon.
Speaking of claims, though, it was a bold claim by Mayweather in 2015 that reignited the rivalry – not going to lie, it was class entertainment.
Money, well on top of his game at the time, branded himself as the greatest of all time, which would mean he thinks he’s better than Muhammad Ali, too. Now, he does have an undefeated record, so you can’t blame him statistically, but Tyson had no time for it, calling the 50-0 boxer “delusional.”
“He’s very delusional,” Tyson chirped.
“Listen, if he was anywhere near that realm of great as Muhammad Ali, he’d be able to take his kids to school by himself.
“Ok, he can’t take his kids to school by himself, and he’s talking about he’s great?
“Greatness is not guarding yourself from the people. It’s being accepted by the people.
“He can’t take his kids alone to school by himself. He’s a little scared man. He’s a very small, scared man.”
That’s not even the most hilarious of his comments. GQ once took the unnecessary liberties to ask him as to who would win in a street fight between the two. Mike had a response for the ages.
“[I would] kick Floyd’s a***… there wouldn’t even be no match.”
ShoBox also asked him the same question, the only difference being an actual fight in the ring, not on the streets. The response, or indeed the intensity thereof, didn’t change a bit.
Tyson said: “We can never fight, of course, because of the weight difference, but I wouldn’t fight him the way they fought him.
“I would be mean, I would be dirty. Because you’d have to do everything to fight him because he’s just so good.
“It’s impossible to fight him clean. It’s almost impossible to fight him clean. You can’t fight him clean. You can’t fight this guy clean.”
Tyson really likes it dirty, doesn’t he? He could have almost done Mayweather dirty, when the two came across each other in a gut-wrenching moment at the WBC Convention at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Vegas, 2014.
Mike being Mike, he did a right hook impression at his ‘best friend’ before hugging him – God knows the exchange the two had.
Truth be told, they could really do with an exhibition fight in Vegas to settle it once and for all. The boxing faithful would have a fight for the ages and the duo will both have money and a chance to avenge whatever they want to avenge.