I could only laugh when Floyd Mayweather declared himself the greatest boxer of all time. Understand, this is in no way a shot at Mayweather’s skills, because it is obvious he is a talented fighter, who belongs in the conversation as one of boxing’s best ever.
However, he doesn’t have the resume to be the best ever. I am still waiting for one of Floyd’s epic fights. He just doesn’t have enough moments, especially compared to Ali, who fought iconic battles against Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and George Foreman.
Ali’s greatness went far beyond the ring, and it was about substance. He challenged the federal government by taking a stand against the Vietnam war. He spoke out on issues of black people, poor people and human rights. Meanwhile, Floyd seems consumed by showing people how much money he has by flaunting material things.
That’s fine, if that is what you like. But that is not how you become the ‘greatest of all time’, the title Ali holds. Mayweather must think that crown comes with what you do in the ring, and how much money you have. Nope, it is what you have done in the ring, and how much courage you have.
Muhammad Ali has all of those characteristics. He made black people feel proud of themselves. He helped to make black, beautiful, telling white reporters how good he looked, how and how bad he was. His willingness to stand up against anyone, any where, makes him a beloved figure even today. An example of his fearlessness is this verbal altercation with a woman on the Phil Donahue show circa 1974: