The fight May 2 between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. might just settle this debate, but Mayweather has announced that he is the greatest boxer of all time. However, he does give respect to the greats before him that have paved his way.
Mayweather is undefeated, and reminded listeners that Muhammad Ali lost to Leon Spinks in 1978. Spinks had only seven fights when he faced off with and beat Ali. Mayweather said they would never put a fighter against him, after just seven fights.
He also mentioned the “rope a dope” tactic Ali used to beat George Foreman in 1974, for the world heavyweight championship. Ali allowed Foreman to put him up against the ropes and beat him until he was exhausted, so Ali only had to hit him a few times to drop Foreman. Mayweather says that is not a victory, and Ali should not be glorified for using that tactic.
Monday, Ali retaliated against Mayweather on Twitter when he said “Don’t you forget, I am the greatest!” Ali’s truest Twitter fans sang his praises and said Mayweather was not nearly as good a boxer as their idol. Ali was not just retaliating against Mayweather, but Foreman as well for agreeing. However, it is very possible that it was not Ali who sent that tweet. When Ali, himself tweets, the message includes the hashtag: #AliTweet, and this challenging tweet did not contain the hashtag; however, it did stir people up.
Even though the tweet was missing the noted hashtag, it has become the “tweet heard around the world.” Mayweather and Ali have people discussing who is the greatest and who was the greatest, in every home that has ever heard of boxing.
George Foreman did agree, and he said that Mayweather is better than himself and Ali. Foreman said that this is a stronger, smarter generation of fighters. The self-proclaimed greatest boxer, told Stephen A. Smith from ESPN that he could not be brainwashed into believing that Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson were better than his is now.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, said that although the boxer is a truly excellent fighter, he cannot compare to the past greats such as Sugar Ray Robinson or Muhammad Ali. The boxer has gone undefeated for 47 fights. However, Ali won 56 out of 61 fights. He has a genuine appreciation for Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran and Harry Greb and highly praises them as great boxers.
It may never be known who the greatest boxer is or ever was, however, Mayweather will push to enhance his already legendary status with a win Saturday. He will face off against Pacquiao Saturday, which promises to not disappoint. These two boxers are the best boxers of this generation, they have conflicting personalities and they are meeting in the ring for the first time. This fight offers it all.
A lot of money has impacted this fight, as it is an economic event. It has been anticipated that the boxers will be splitting the $300 million. There is also the $100 million in bets wagered in Nevada. Millions of dollars will be spent on sold-out hotels, meals out at restaurants, cocktails and casino tables. The business of boxing is a small group of people counting a lot of money, and following this it is back to a regular Monday.
By Jeanette Smith
Photo courtesy of Prize Fights.com – Creativecommons Flickr License