Boxing: Is Floyd Mayweather the Most Overrated Fighter of All Time?
As Boxing fans know, Floyd Mayweather is hanging up the gloves. After his victory over Andre Berto, Mayweather is retiring 49-0. Debates are going on everywhere on just how good Mayweather is, where he ranks all-time, and if he deserves to be mentioned with the best ever.
Mayweather may very well be a perfect 49-0, but that doesn't quite tell the full story. His "fight" against Manny Pacquiao this year was delayed for six years because he constantly ducked the Filipino icon and refused to face him. Unfortunately, that trend may very well define the champion's legacy.
Mayweather constantly compares himself to Muhammad Ali, even ranking himself ahead of Ali. That's absolutely ludicrous considering the competition that Ali faced. And that's really the sad thing that keeps Mayweather from being an all-time great. He never really faced the toughest opponents in the prime of their career. Other than a controversial split decision over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, what does Mayweather have to show?
Boxing has never fully been about what your record is. It's about who you beat, who you get beat by, and who you face. It's about competition. Ali wasn't the greatest because his career record was 56-5, it's because he beat Joe Frazier twice and knocked out George Foreman. Remember Eric "Butterbean" Esch? He began his career 63-1. Does anybody honestly consider him an all-time great? Sugar Ray Robinson constantly fought the best fighters, including Jake LaMotta six times.
Mayweather had a golden opportunity to prove his doubters wrong and go out with a bang. If he would have fought a Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, or heck, even a Timothy Bradley, that would done something for his legacy. In his last four bouts, he faced Marcos Maidana twice, an aged Pacquiao who needed shoulder surgery and Berto.
There's no denying Mayweather has exceptional defensive skills, but his lack of power always left doubt. Mayweather's last real knockout (not counting the infamous Victor Ortiz fight in 2011) came all the way back in 1999. Pacquiao said directly after his May 2 fight, "he didn't do anything. He did nothing. He just ran." The truth is, Mayweather has never scared anyone in the ring because he doesn't afflict any big damage at all.
It is also worth noting that Mayweather is the most demanding boxer ever. Ali fought in 13 different countries, Robinson fought in 12 nations and Frazier at least fought in five separate countries in his career. In Mayweather's entire professional career he has never even once fought outside the United States. As a matter of fact, Mayweather limited his fights to not just one country, but to just one city. His last 14 fights were fought in Las Vegas. How can the "greatest of all time" only fight in one location?
As Mike Foss in USA Today explained, "Floyd Mayweather is Worthless." Sure he's undefeated, sure he is the wealthiest boxer of all-time. But he has nothing to truly show for it all. There's no great historical moments. There's no "Thrilla in Manila." There's no knocking out the No. 1 contender in front everyone. His constant hand picking of mediocre and old opponents leaves no lasting iconic memories or images whatsoever.
Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1
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