ESPN’s Skip Bayless: “Floyd Mayweather’s criticism of Muhammad Ali is not only disrespectful, it’s blasphemous!”
Where Floyd Mayweather Jr. goes, controversy soon follows.
In a series of candid interviews with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, the pound for pound king of boxing put yet another size 10 in his often loud and abrasive facial orifice.
The 38 year old prizefighter not only controversially stated to the broadcast journalist that he was indeed better than the Heavyweight legend from Louisville, Kentucky, but also grossly diminished his celebrated and fabled accomplishments in the ring.
“No one can ever brainwash me into thinking that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me,” emphatically stated Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. “But on thing I will do is take my hat off to those guys, and pay my respect to them for paving the way for me to be where I’m at.”
“But is Muhammad Ali better than Floyd Mayweather? How? He only fought in one weight class,” retorts the current pound for pound king of boxing.
“Leon Spinks beat him when he only had seven fights. They’ll never put a fighter in with Floyd Mayweather who only has seven pro fights.”
“So you want to tell me that it’s cool to lay on the ropes, taking punishment, and tire a man out from beating you until he’s basically fatigued? And then you hit him with a few punches, he lays down and quits? And you want to be glorified for that?”
“Absolutely not…not me.”
Smith’s on air counterpart on the popular ESPN morning show, “First Take”, took great exception to Floyd’s controversial and candid statements regarding “The Greatest”…especially Mayweather’s reference to Ali’s stunning and historic KO victory of Big George Foreman.
“In all of my career, I have never encountered an athlete who flaunts his wealth the way Floyd flaunts his wealth, and also one who is so blindly full of himself,” claims ESPN’s Skip Bayless. “The way he blithely scoffed at Ali’s accomplishments…it wasn’t just disrespectful, it was flat out blasphemous.”
“Twice Ali beat the great Sonny Liston…not once, but twice. Can you please show me on Floyd’s resume where he’s fought a ‘Sonny Liston’ or anyone in his class? I’m sorry, I just don’t see it. And let’s look at his epic trilogy with Joe Frazier…can you show me where he fought a ‘Joe Frazier’? Just show me one name on Floyd’s resume that you could compare with Liston or Frazier!”
“I’m looking at De la Hoya at age 34, Shane Mosley at age 38, Cotto at age 31, and Marquez at age 36...sorry, I’m not seeing a Joe Frazier or Sonny Liston.”
“But what I can’t believe is how Floyd so easily diminished Ali’s accomplishment in stopping a previously undefeated George Foreman…a man who most thought might literally kill Ali in the ring?
Because before his fight with Ali, Foreman was destroying everyone prior to his fight with Ali.”
“For anyone who was following the sport like I was back then realizes that Floyd’s words are indeed blasphemous!”
Well said, Mr. Bayless.