MANILA, Philippines – Floyd Mayweather Jr believes his legacy in boxing is far greater than legends Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.
Mayweather, who is undefeated in 47 professional bouts and has won world titles in 5 different weight classes, set the record straight by proclaiming he is the best boxer of all time according to his résumé.
“No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me. No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that,” Mayweather told ESPN sportscaster Stephen A. Smith.
Ali is generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history and remains as the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion, while Robinson is cited as the greatest pound-for-pound fighter and became the first pugilist to win a divisional world championship 5 times.
Mayweather defended his stance by pointing out that Ali only competed in one division and lost to Leon Spinks, who only had 7 fights under his belt at the time.
“He only ever fought in one weight class,” he argued. “Leon Spinks beat him when he had 7 fights. They’d never put a fighter in there with Floyd Mayweather with 7 fights.”
The 38-year-old ring tactician also appeared to take issue with Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy being remembered as a brilliant ploy, especially in his marquee match-up with George Foreman in October 1974.
“So you going to tell me that it’s cool to lay on the ropes and take punishment and let a man tire himself out from beating you and then he basically fatigued? You hit him with a few punches and he go down and quit, and you want to be glorified for that? Absolutely not, not me,” Mayweather stressed.
Despite his undying belief that he is the best boxer ever, Mayweather made it clear that he respects both of his predecessors.
“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," he said.
Mayweather has finally taken the chance to prove once and for all that he is the greatest fighter of his generation as he is booked to face longtime rival Manny Pacquiao on May 2 (May 3 in Manila) at the 16,800-seater MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. – Rappler.com