Floyd Mayweather will be fighting Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in one of the most highly anticipated fights in recent memory.
Floyd Mayweather is a confident man. Muhammad Ali was (and still is) also a confident man. The former took a page out of the latter’s playbook for a bit of large proclaiming.
In the lead up to the fight of the week of the year of the century of the lifespan of the universe, where Mayweather will be taking on Manny Pacquiao on May 2, ESPN aired a clip with Mayweather discussing his place in boxing history with Stephen A. Smith.
"“No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me,” he said. “No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that. But one thing I will do, I’m going to take my hat off to them and respect those guys because those are the guys that paved the way for me to be where I’m at today.”"
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Whoa there, maybe you’re better than Ali now that he’s old and sick, but I think you may be confusing brainwashing with education.
Here’s a quick and incomplete list of well known boxers possibly better than Mayweather:
- Ali: He won “Sportsman of the Century” from Sports Illustrated, was generally regarded as the poster boy for the golden age of boxing and became a leading figure in the fight for civil rights and against the Vietnam War.
- Sugar Ray Robinson: He is considered the greatest pound-for-pound boxer, and went on a 91-fight unbeaten streak from 1943 to 1951.
- Joe Louis: He single-handedly won World War II by knocking out Nazi heavyweight Max Schmeling in the first round, then joining the U.S. Army.
- Rocky Marciano: He went 49-0 in his heavyweight boxing career, including 43 wins by knockout.
- Mike Tyson: The youngest heavyweight champion in history at 20 years old, he won by knockout in his first 19 fights, 12 of those knockouts in the first round.
And that isn’t even including Joe Frazier, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, George Foreman, Julio César Chávez, Henry Armstrong, Larry Holmes, Sugar Ray Leonard and Willie Pep. There will be people upset with me for disrespecting every name I just listed because they deserve a blurb like the other five guys (I apologize to the supporters and defenders of Willie Pep).
Certainly, you may be able to be included in that list of boxers, but to straight say that you are better than all of them is a bit silly. Though to be fair, Ali did say this:
"“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”"
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