Mayweather and Sugar Ray Leonard exchange words
By Allan Fox: Former 5 division world champion Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather Jr. had words with one another on Sunday. Leonard commented about how Mayweather told him that he was the best fighter he’d ever seen. However, since Mayweather has retired, he’s been calling himself the ‘The Best Ever,’ and Leonard doesn’t understand how he could be now calling himself the best ever given his earlier comments.
“Floyd Mayweather, remember that night when we bumped into each other and you commented that I was the best you’ve ever seen, so are you changing you mind because you’re now retired?” said Leonard to Mayweather.
Mayweather didn’t take this comment too well from Leonard, as he fired back at him, reminding him how he was beaten by Roberto Duran by a 15 round unanimous decision in their first fight on June 20, 1980. Mayweather didn’t point out that Leonard came back to avenge the loss in his next fight by stopping Duran in the 8th round on November 25, 1980. That was the fight in which Duran said, “No mas” in the 8th round in quitting on his feet. Leonard was clowning Duran and making him look really bad in front of the boxing fans at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
”You lost your first fight to a lightweight, which was Robert Duran,” said Mayweather to Leonard. ”TBE has never lost. You’re Sugar. I’m TBE. Whether a fighter was young or old, in his prime or past his prime, I beat them all. #NoExcuses,” said Mayweather.
It’s tough to know who the better fighter was between Mayweather and Leonard. One difference between the two was Leonard was willing to take the best fighters on when they were in their prime rather than picking guys that were fading, or not in their prime. Leonardo also didn’t push for catch-weights the way Mayweather did in his fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez. Leonard didn’t pick an athlete from another sport to pad his record the way Mayweather did in fighting UFC star Conor McGregor last August.
Mayweather broke Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0 in the McGregor fight. The Nevada State Athetic Commission gave McGregor a boxing license, and they sanctioned the fight with Mayweather despite the UFC fighter never having fought a professional fight in the sport. A lot of fans saw that as a cheap way to break Marciano’s record.
Leonard captured a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics for the U.S. Mayweather won a bronze medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Mayweather lost to Serafim Todorov of Bulgaria by a 10-9 score. Todorov ended up winning a silver medal in the Olympics.
Leonard’s best wins of his 20-year pro career came against these fighters:
• Roberto Duran
• Thomas Hearns
• Bruce Finch
• Marvin Hagler
• Kevin Howard
• Donny Lalonde
• Dave ‘Boy’ Green
• Wilfred Benitez
• Ayub Kalule
• Floyd Mayweather Sr.
• Randy Shields
Mayweather’s best wins of his career came against these fighters:
• Miguel Cotto
• Saul Canelo Alvarez
• Jose Luis Castillo
• Diego Corrales
• Zab Judah
• Carlos Baldomir
• Ricky Hatton
• Oscar De La Hoya
• Shane Mosley
• Victor Ortiz
• Manny Pacquiao
• Marcos Maidana
• Carlos Hernandez
• Jesus Chavez
Mayweather’s first win over Castillo was a controversial victory, as a lot of boxing fans thought he lost that fight. That fight tainted Mayweather’s unbeaten record in the eyes of a lot of people. Even today, if you look at the first Mayweather-Castillo fight or even the rematch, it’s hard not to think Castillo was robbed of a win over the more popular Mayweather at the time.
Leonard could have gotten a lot more out of his boxing career if he had stuck with it instead of retiring at an early age. Leonard’s career was essentially done by 1982. He stopped fighting for 2 years following his win over Bruce Finch. From that point on, Leonard was a part time fighter, who took long breaks in between fights. Leonard came back from a 2-year absence to beat Kevin Howard in 1984. Leonard then disappeared for 3 years until making a comeback in 1987 in defeating Marvin Hagler by a controversial 12 round split decision. Leonard didn’t fight from 1989 to 1991. When he did come back in 91, he lost to Terry Norris in a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. Leonard was then out of boxing from 1991 to 1997, returning in an ill-advised fight with Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho. Leonard lost that fight by a 5th round knockout. Leonard looked bad in that fight. That was Leonard’s last fight of his career.
“There’s only one godfather in boxing and that’s Floyd Mayweather,””Nobody did it stylish like me. Nobody got all my faculties and mart investments. I set all these boys up and went for the kill. My thing is this about legendary fighters. My, myself, I’m always going to feel like I’m TBE. How many world champions did Rocky Marciano beat? I’m such a don in the sport. I’m the reason small guys are getting what they’re getting,” said Mayweather.