Roy Jones Jr. better than Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their respective primes?
Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
The age old adage rings through concerning most things in life, and the sweet science is no exception.
Last week on ESPN's popular morning show, "First Take", longtime boxing analyst Max Kellerman made the bold claim that Roy Jones jr. was head and shoulders above the self proclaimed "TBE" in both combatants' prime fighting years respectively.
"Roy was a guy, in his fighting prime, who never lost a moment of any round, much less an entire fight," remembers the outspoken HBO Boxing commentator. "I want people to understand this; kids, you know Floyd Mayweather. He's been the best pound for pound for a very long, unbroken time, right? And he put real distance between him and everyone else when he was active."
"Floyd was in his prime while Jones was in his prime…for years and years. Not a single person on earth ever even wondered if Floyd was as good as Roy during that stretch."
While no one dares question how special the Pensacola, Florida native was during his impressive run in the 90's, it was very difficult to gauge where Roy stood among the all-time pound for pound greats, because it was so hard to find anyone who could test Jones' fighting mettle in the ring.
During the ESPN morning broadcast, Kellerman used a basketball analogy to help illustrate his point.
"Do you understand how good Roy Jones was? It's like when (Michael) Jordan was in his prime, and Shaq (O'neal) was coming up. No one ever asked whether or not Shaq was as good as Jordan. And the day Jordan retired, Shaq became the best player in basketball and put that same distance between himself and everyone else…that's who Jordan was, and that's who Roy was in his prime."
"He put distance between himself and Floyd Mayweather. Just like the way Floyd currently puts distance between him and everyone else."
Mad Max encourages every fight fan who genuinely believes Money Mayweather to be the very best of his generation to take the "Pepsi Challenge" and judge for themselves...with an open mind of course.
"Roy was the best I've ever seen in person with my own eyes," declares Kellerman. "No one could touch him. Just go look at old clips of Roy from 15 years ago. You'll see how good he was."
To support his theory, the 42 year old boxing analyst remembers Roy Jones Jr's perceived crowning achievement in boxing, which happened back in March of 2003, when the pound for pound king at the time jumped from the Light Heavyweight division to challenge top 5 Heavyweight John Ruiz for his portion of the Heavyweight crown.
"The night he beat John Ruiz to become the WBA Heavyweight champion, people were actually talking about how Roy might be able to challenge Sugar Ray Robinson as the pound for pound greatest of all time."
"That's how Roy was perceived in his prime. This is a fighter who earned titles at Middleweight, Super Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight while only losing a handful of rounds."
"That's how special Roy Jones was in his prime."
While many fans who became avid boxing enthusiasts while Mayweather was the reigning pound for pound king will undoubtedly disagree with Kellerman's claim, it's hard to argue with someone who covered the sport meticulously during both fighters' respective and impressive careers in boxing.
Is Max accurate with his assessment? Or has Roy greatly damaged his overall perception by hanging around the sport long past his fighting prime?