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Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Is Floyd an all-time great?

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Joseph Herron Updated
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After Floyd Mayweather’s dominant victory over Manny Pacquiao on May 2, there has been much discussion concerning the 38 year old fighter’s place in boxing history, and where he ranks among the sport’s perceived all time greats.

According to longtime ESPN ringside analyst Joe Tessitore, “Money” Mayweather doesn’t crack the top 15 of boxing's “ATG” list.

“Just like Rocky Marciano, Floyd Mayweather is a great, iconic fighter, but do not be deceived by undefeated records in boxing,” stated the host of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” after Mayweather’s dominant victory over Manny Pacquiao.

“There’s an age, old axiom which states, ‘if you’re undefeated, then you just haven’t fought the right opponents yet’.”

“Every generation has had the great champion who finds a rival, has to overcome adversity, and has to take on that challenge time and time again. Floyd Mayweather, time and time again, has fought the right opponents at the over-ripened time.”

"Floyd Mayweather Jr. may go down as one of the top-five career managers of all time, but he is far from being considered a ‘Top 15’ all time great. Henry Armstrong, Harry Greb, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran…those are all time greats."


To support Joe’s personal theory, his “Friday Night Fights” counterpart, Teddy Atlas, chimed in with a controversial analogy.

“Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns at 147, Robert Duran at 135, and even Aaron Pryor at 140 beats Floyd in their respective primes,” states the longtime trainer and ESPN analyst. “If Mayweather were a farmer, you could say that he was around during a time when the climate and the soil were perfect for growing the best crops.”

“It’s not that he’s a great farmer, but the environment around him was perfect in yielding the greatest amount of success.”

FightSaga Radio’s strategic expert and boxing analyst James Gogue believes members of the ESPN commentary team are allowing their personal feelings to cloud their respective judgment and hinder their scope of the boxing reality.

“Leonard was a businessman as well…He avoided Aaron Pryor at 140 pounds and a prime Marvin Hagler like the plague,” states the three decade fight trainer.

“So if you’re upset about fighters picking and choosing your opponents at the right time, then blame Sugar Ray Leonard too, because he did the exact same thing."

"Floyd is just doing it at a different time where there are more revenue streams and social media outlets.”

Floyd is the best defensive fighter I’ve seen in my lifetime, and he gives anyone in any era a very tough outing because of his ability to avoid clean punches in my opinion.”

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