Mayweather, 49-0, who recently announced his retirement, considers himself, pound-for-pound, the greatest fighter of all time. There is no doubt that his perfect mark as a professional puts him in the conversation for this mythical title, that most boxing observers says belongs to Muhammad Ali. Mayweather’s accomplishments in the ring are impressive.
However, former light weight champion Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini doesn’t think Mayweather is any where close to being the ‘TBE’. Mancini gives Mayweather his due, and his respect, as one of boxing’s all-time greats.
But the best ever? Not hardly.
“Floyd is a special fighter, but all that TBE stuff? He is delusional. Sugar Ray Leonard? Roberto Duran? Tommy Hearns? He wouldn’t beat any of those guys, and it is disrespectful to them,” Mancini said. “First of all, boxers should be humble, and if they are mentioned with the best guys of all time, they should be honored. You don’t turn around and say you are “The Best Ever.’”
“Ray Leonard is a good friend of mine and he came by and I said ‘This kid [Mayweather] does a lot of things you couldn’t do,’” Mancini said. “Ray looks at me. I say ‘Relax, he couldn’t have beaten you, though.’ Leonard wanted to annihilate fighters, he didn’t want people to finish on their feet, but this kid [Mayweather] will just slap you round for 12 rounds. He won’t take any chances, and that’s the difference.”
I disagree with Mancini on boxers being humbled. No one had more bravado than Ali. Where do you think the ‘Greatest of all time’ came from? No one should be offended that Mayweather thinks of himself as the TBE. He should have that kind of confidence in his abilities.
But, Mancini touched on what you hear all the time regarding Mayweather, and that is his style. Mayweather liked to hit, and not be hit, which is actually one of the tenets of boxing, scoring points and keeping fighters from hitting you.
But it doesn’t make for exciting fights, and in the poll of public opinion, that is always going to hurt Mayweather. While these debates are fun conversations, we will truly never know how some of the matchups Mancini talked about would fare. I have to agree with him, though. It is hard for me to envision Mayweather beating Hearns, Roberto Duran or Sugar Ray Leonard.