Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How Does Floyd Mayweather Stack Up To The Greats?

So now a lot of people are irked that Floyd Mayweather has declared himself better than such luminaries as Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. That's understandable. Ali and Robinson are true icons, after all. The fact that they weren't undefeated, like Floyd currently is, almost ironically adds to their prestige. For here were men who knew how to come back from tough losses. The same can't be said of Floyd.

Still, I'm not so quick to write Mayweather off. Let's face it, the guy has earned the right to be considered one of the greatest ever, if not THE greatest. So, how good is Floyd, and - pound for pound - how does he stack up?

Let's start with Robinson. Frankly it may be tough to imagine Floyd beating the man. There was just something about Robinson - the way he was able throw numerous body shots in rapid fire fashion, the way he was able to last fifteen full rounds with incredible energy. Still, Floyd has proven himself to be incredibly disciplined in the ring. He also adapts well. Could he adapt to the endless energy and skill of the esteemed boxer-puncher? Perhaps not.

Then again, Floyd is more accurate and hits a lot harder than he's given credit for. Were he able to land clean when Robinson was going to the body with two fisted abandon...

As for Ali, it's almost hard to picture the heavyweight stepping into the ring with the welterweight Mayweather. Still, pound for pound and all things being equal, I think it all would come down to activity. Could Ali throw enough to beat "Money?" Fast as Ali was, I think Mayweather would have the edge.

Ali wouldn't be able to float like a butterfly against Mayweather. The question is: would he be able to sting like a bee? And if he could sting, how often would be able to?

Truth be told, there's other known legends who I believe could give Floyd real trouble. Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Roy Jones Jr, Willie Pep and Pernell Whitaker all come to mind. Whether or not they could actually beat the man (or if he could actually beat them) will always be a matter of conjecture.

Perhaps what's important is the fact that Mayweather's name deserves to be mentioned alongside those other men's. That and the fact that he's got a real life challenge against another real life legend just weeks away.

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