"you win some, you lose some...yea! But what's your record though?"
Floyd or the field? Who would you take? What side would you be on?
In my lifetime (a very short one) I don’t remember anyone in sports being so polarizing, both on and off the field of competition. This man has been nothing short of spectacular his whole career. This is the part where people start throwing shade (trying to diminish his accomplishments) because of his mishaps outside of the boxing ring. I’m here to discuss and offer my opinion on the man inside the ring and with that in mind nothing else is relevant.
Now back to the Mayweather, the self proclaimed best ever, TBE to be specific; would you take him or the field when it comes to being the best of all time? My simple answer is yes.
My complicated answer is actually a question...how can you look at his career and not say he’s the best ever?
I’m not boxing fanatic or expert (I’ll go ahead and disqualify myself now), but the numbers don’t lie. 49 fights and 49 wins. Almost 2 decades of domination. Titles in 5 (not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4) different weight classes. I ask a legitimate question...what more does the man have to do?
Yea, I know he won it with mostly defense. He didn’t knock enough people out. He has no punching power. However, riddle me this, every fighter he’s fought in recent history has known this going into the fight. This isn’t new news. This isn’t some out of the blue idea or fighting style that Floyd is showing people, he’s the same way in every fight. He has also won that same way in every fight. If I remember correctly, the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Take me for instance, I’m 6’8” 230 lbs. If I was playing one-on-one in basketball against someone that was 6’0” 175 lbs, why in the world would I take one shot outside of the paint; post work all day. By the same token, Mayweather has won the majority of his fights a certain way, why change it?
Now I’d like to refer to some opinions of people about Floyd that I happen to agree with.
First, Stephen A. Smith. Mr. Smith is right on the money when he explains all the time that the mystique and the draw of Mayweather has never been that he was going to knock a fighter out, nor has it been that he would engage in a brawl. The draw has always been that Floyd is a certain way, and the fighters that were put in front of him would be the ones to force him to change his style. They would be the ones to put the pressure on him, and catch him while he tries to be elusive in the ring. They have been the power punchers, the faster fighters, quicker hands, and all the other requisite skills that the boxing aficionados have deemed necessary to defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr. They’ve shown these skills against all the fighters they’ve fought leading up to facing Floyd, but when they get in the ring with Floyd, these skills seem to magically disappear as Floyd picks them apart over the course of twelve rounds. It’s not his fault that he’s so good that they can’t get to him to get him out of his comfort zone.
The second point of view I agree with is that of comedian Andrew Schulz. I was listening to the Brilliant Idiots podcast and this was the way he explained it and it made total sense. If a football team, predicated on defense, were to win 10 straight championships they wouldn’t be referred to as a great defensive team, they would be referred to as one of the (if not the) greatest teams of all time. Their defense of course would be mentioned but it would be a footnote and not the headline. Why can’t Floyd be seen in the same light i.e. as an all time great fighter who just happens to have great defense.
The final popular argument against Floyd that I seem to hear a lot is that he didn’t fight anyone. I used to be of that mindset as well until he beat Manny Pacquiao (albeit 5 years later that we all would have wanted to see the fight). Even taking that into consideration, 5 years later, Floyd aged just as much as Manny, and that’s not counting the fact that Manny lost twice in that span as well including a vicious K.O. loss. After that I can’t help but ask, who else is out there for him to fight?
All in all I think Floyd Mayweather is rightfully TBE. He’s never lost, the day he loses then we can revisit this conversation, but as it is, he’s done boxing so that solidifies his spot. Even if you don’t want to give him that title, he’s at the very very very least, the greatest boxer of the modern day era. The only one that rivals him in my eyes is Ali but even Ali has more than a couple of losses on his resume, and so does any other fighter you are thinking of right now that in your mind is better than Floyd.
So to answer the overarching question, even if the odds are stacked against me on this question, I’ll take Floyd Mayweather Jr. over the field.
Who would you take?