By John F. McKenna (McJack)
There is no question that WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) is one of the elite fighters in boxing. And while the term great fighter is grossly overused when Floyd retires he will unquestionably rank as one of the great fighters of his generation.
But let’s keep things in perspective. The self proclaimed greatest fighter of all time may have overstepped the obvious. Firstly, it is impossible to adequately judge a fighter while he is still active. The great Muhammad Ali would routinely refer to himself as “The Greatest”. But in Ali’s case it was all part of his spiel. He could get away with it because of his personality and realistically no one ever knew when Ali was serious. The other point to make note of was that “The Greatest” fought all the other good fighters of his generation, never ducking anyone and never coming up with his own rules as an excuse not to fight someone.
Sugar Ray Robinson, 46 years after he retired in 1965 is considered by most boxing historians to be the greatest Pound for Pound fighter of all time. As a matter of fact the term Pound for Pound best fighter was a term invented by boxing writers when they were attempting to figure where Robinson rated compared to past greats such as Benny Leonard, Harry Grebb, Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis.
Sugar Ray won all 85 of his amateur fights, 69 by KO, 40 in the 1st round. He then went on to win his 1st 40 fights before losing a decision to the “Bronx Bull” Jake Lamotta in 1943. He avenged the loss to Jake three weeks later then went on an incredible 90 fight winning streak. During his winning streak Robinson fought as many as 15 fights in a single year.
When it comes to “Money” Mayweather, the hype machine is in full swing. But as they say money is what makes the world go around. Every one of Floyd’s fights brings in millions of dollars for the promoters and everyone involved. It is understandable that when Mayweather fights even a Victor Ortiz the fight is heavily hyped. But let’s be real, “Vicious” never belonged in the same ring with Floyd. It was predictable that when pressure was applied to Ortiz he would self destruct and that is exactly what happened.
No one questions or argues that Mayweather did anything wrong when he KO’d Victor while he had his hands down at his sides. Ortiz violated the cardinal rule of boxing which states “protect yourself at all times.” Ortiz should have known better. But by the same token does a victory in that fashion elevate a fighter to the title of Pound for Pound king for the year 2011 as some boxing writers have done? Keep in mind that Floyd’s fight with Ortiz in September was his first fight in 16 months. The frequency a boxer takes to the ring and his opponents should be a criterion when selecting the mythical Pound for Pound king. Again, it is not how good a fighter is. That fighter must fight more than once every year and a half to receive recognition.
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