By Chris Williams: Floyd Mayweather Jr. (40-0, 25 KO’s) recently said that he saw himself as better than Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali – two of the greatest fighters in boxing – on a recent HBO Mayweather/Mosley 24/7 episode. Shane Mosley, who will be fighting Mayweather next Saturday on May 1st, had this to say about Mayweather’s comments:
“I think that it’s important that it’s not for you. It’s not for myself to tell everybody that I’m the greatest. You’re not just tooting your own horn and saying, ‘Oh, I’m the greatest. When the people start deciding that Sugar Ray Robinson is the greatest or Muhammad Ali, who is the greatest, it’s the people who have spoken. As a welterweight, he [Mayweather] hasn’t fought another top welterweight and I’m the first one that he’s fought that’s a world champion, so it makes the fight a big fight.”
Mayweather is certainly an extraordinary fighter and has won all his fights so far. However, Mayweather hasn’t fought enough big time fights for him to be considering himself as better than Ali and Robinson, in my view. Who knows? Mayweather might be a better fighter than both Robinson and Ali, but we can’t know that because he’s not been tested enough. It’s like having a Ferrari in your garage that you think will go 180 MPH. You won’t know that unless you actually the test the car. For all you know, it might come up way short of that or it could blow a rod when you attempt to take it that high.
Mayweather, unfortunately, hasn’t had enough quality fights in his career for me to consider him in the class of Ali and Robinson. Mayweather’s best opponents have been Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Zab Judah, Carlos Hernandez, Arturo Gatti, Carlos Baldomir and Sharmba Mitchell. Those are all good fighters, but those aren’t kinds of guys that Mayweather needs to be put in the same category as Robinson and Ali.
Mayweather needs to keep fighting, beat Mosley next Saturday, and then take on Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Sergio Martinez, Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander, and Andre Berto. If Mayweather sticks around and beats all those guys, he will have gone a long way towards proving himself as a great fighter. But I seriously doubt he will fight more than one or two of those fighters before retiring from the sport. This is why it’s hard for me to even consider putting Mayweather in the same class as Ali and Robinson.
Mayweather may feel that he has better ability than both Ali and Robinson, but he’s unproven. He hasn’t shown it in the ring. That’s the problem. Mayweather, if he wants to be considered by the fans to be better than Robinson and Ali – or even to be considered in the same class – he’s going to have to get busy and start beating some a lot of fighters in a hurry before he starts to fade and take losses.
Mayweather had previously said, “Yes, I’m better than Muhammad Ali. Yes, I’m better than Sugar Ray Robinson. I would never say there’s another fighter better than me.”