Boxer Floyd Mayweather strongly believes that he is a better fighter than such boxing legends as Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.
The currently undefeated boxing champion explained the reasoning behind his beliefs during an interview with Stephen A. Smith for ESPN First Take.
“No one could ever brainwash me to believe…to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was [sic] better than me. No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that.”
The 38-year-old boxing champion then took a moment to pay his respect for what Sugar Ray and Muhammad Ali contributed to the world and history of boxing during their respective careers.
“One thing I will do… I’m going to take my hat off to them and respect those guys ’cause those are the guys that paved the way for me to be where I’m at today.”
However, Mayweather’s respectful comments seemed to end after that statement — especially since Stephen A. Smith shifted the focus of the discussion specifically to Muhammad Ali.
“You don’t believe that Muhammad Ali was better than you?”
As a response, Mayweather essentially crafted a solid argument consisting of several debatable points.
“How? He only fought in one weight class.”
Throughout his lengthy boxing career of over 60 fights, Muhammad Ali mostly stayed in the heavyweight class.
Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston and defends his heavyweight title in the first round –May 25, 1965 pic.twitter.com/s5O2e60Syk
— Sports in Pictures (@OldSportsPics) March 13, 2015
He also won the Light Heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. On the other hand, Floyd Mayweather became a lineal champion by winning titles in four different weight classes.
“Leon Spinks beat him when he had seven fights. They’d never put a fighter in there with Floyd Mayweather with seven fights.”
Mayweather was referring to the February 15, 1978 fight between Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks. The boxing match took place in Las Vegas at the Hilton Hotel. At the time, Leon Spinks only had seven professional fights on his record.
#OnThisDay in 1978 Leon Spinks became the only man to take a world title from Muhammad Ali in just his 8th pro fight! pic.twitter.com/y9TwMpgGj3 — Boxing Trivia Guy (@BoxingTriviaGuy) February 15, 2015
Ali was definitely not in the best shape, primarily because of his inadequate sparring sessions and overall training. As a result, Ali lost that match and his title by unanimous decision.
“So you wanna tell me that it’s cool to lay on the ropes and take punches and let a man tire himself out from beating you and then he’s basically fatigued… you hit him with a few punches and then he go down and quit and you want to be glorified for that? Absolutely not! Not me.”
— Wisco (@Wisco) March 7, 2015
Although Muhammad Ali has been praised by many boxing fans and critics over the years for his effective use of the rope-a-dope technique, Floyd Mayweather apparently does not feel the same way at all.
Quite a few people have posted their own reactions and responses slamming Floyd Mayweather for his controversial comments against Muhammad Ali.
I have a lot of respect for Floyd Mayweather but him saying he is better than Muhammad Ali is way too far. Ali is GOAT.
— Quentin Goodin (@Goodin_3) April 21, 2015
I already didn’t like Floyd Mayweather… But he just said he is a better boxer than Muhammad Ali, that’s just ridiculous… #norespect
— Eric Patten (@epatten_issexy6) April 20, 2015
Floyd Mayweather claims he’s better than Muhammad Ali…. Now, I really hope Manny Pacquiao knocks him out cold #TeamPacman
— Muhammed Mustaqim (@mo_whufc20) April 20, 2015
Floyd Mayweather will next be seen in the boxing ring on May 2 when he finally faces his biggest contender, Manny Pacquiao.
[Image Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images]