Why Floyd Mayweather Jr is an All Time Great
By Duke Pahulu: Last week I read Doug Fischer’s mailbag on Ring.com where he made his argument on why he doesn’t consider Floyd Mayweather Jr. an all time great. He basically stated that Floyd’s failure on not making the Manny Pacquiao fight was the sole reason he’s holding off on calling him an all time great.
Does that make Juan Manuel Marquez an all time great for knocking out Pacquiao? I believe this a case of hate. Fischer along with many boxing people still hold this old notion of what it takes to become an all time great. It’s a different time where elite fighters fight less due to bigger paychecks and limited TV spots.
Along with the cold war between Golden Boy and Top Rank, it makes it that much harder for good match-ups to be made. Fighters don’t have three digit fights in their ledgers because boxing wasn’t as popular as it was from the late 1800’s to the end of the 1980’s.
The argument for Floyd’s all time greatness is that he’s won the ring title in 4 of the 5 weight classes he’s ever fought in his pro career. And he’s got a shot at making it 5 of 5 if he fights Danny Garcia for his 140 title.
Most multi-division titleholders have one ring title and a bunch of paper titles to fill up their trophy case. You can make the argument that Floyd has not fought the best out there. But if these fighters were anywhere near Floyd’s level, they would have stayed undefeated long enough to warrant a showdown.
Freitas was exposed as a quitter. Casamayor lost to Castillo and Corrales. Kostya Tsyzu lost to Hatton and both were Showtime fighters during Floyd’s stay at 140. Margarito was exposed by Mosely of all people. Floyd asked for Cotto while at Top Rank and Bob Arum killed that fight. Paul Williams was exposed by Carlos Quintana. Most fighters that people consider all time greats have left worthy challengers off their resume.
Ray Leonard left Aaron Pryor, Donald Curry and Mike McCallum off his resume for example. But boxing people don’t hold that against him because of his wins against Duran, Hearns and Hagler. Even though he lost to an undersized Duran and should have fought Hagler in 1982 or 1983 where both were closer to their primes.
I truly believe if Floyd acted like humble pie as Manny Pacquiao has done, people would give him his proper dues. But since he’s a loudmouth, people want to hold that against him when it comes to his in-ring accomplishments.
Doug Fischer wants Floyd to fight Sergio Martinez for the middleweight crown to finally earn all time greatness. Really? An old middleweight champ that got lucky against a top twenty middle is the missing piece? Give me a break? A fighter in Martinez who had no interest moving 8 lbs for a Ward superfight is the kind of guy Floyd has to jump 13 lbs to get his proper respect?
Did Sugar Ray Robinson’s all time greatness soley hinged on his light heavyweight challenge where he quit on his stool? Floyd has fought top notch fighters every go since he won the welter crown back in 2006. Say what you want about the guys he’s faced after the fight but all were coming off good wins. Just because Floyd made it look easy doesn’t mean they weren’t worthy opponents.
Some time ago, I read another article of Doug Fishcer’s where he held off Bernard Hopkins all time greatness until his post middleweight career took off. So his middleweight title run alone wasn’t enough? Even though he’ll be quick to state that Marvin Hagler’s title run was worthy of his all time greatness.
Who did Hagler beat during his run? An old and undersized Duran where he had to sweep the championship rounds to get the W. Thomas Hearns who was a newbie at middleweight when he faced Hagler. And whether you have Hagler or Leonard winning the fight, the truth is that Hagler got embarrassed by Leonard for allowing the fight to be so close after a three year hiatus on Leonard’s part.
I’m sorry for bashing Hagler but I had to make a point. Floyd is an all time great whether you like it or not. The sad thing is that his mouth and out-the-ring persona that made Floyd into the biggest boxing attraction is also the reason why people hate. The haters fall into this cycle of hating Floyd so much that they watch his fights hoping for Floyd to lose and then are surprised when it becomes a typical Floyd boxing clinic.