Mayweather said he’s better than Ali, is he though?
Floyd Mayweather and Muhammad Ali, an incredibly difficult comparison to make.
Floyd Mayweather in recent days has said he believes he is better than both Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson, two of boxing’s all time very best fighters.
For the purpose of today’s article, lets focus on Muhammad Ali first off. It is always very difficult to compare fighters from different generations, but lets have a look at four categories objectively as possible, to see how both guys match up.
Muhammad Ali takes this category for me. He was part of a golden age of heavyweight boxing and fought and beat legends like Sonny Liston, George Foreman, Ken Norton, Joe Frazier, Archie Moore, Leon Spinks, Floyd Patterson, to name but a few.
Floyd has fought some elite competition in his era to be fair to him also, that included great champions and fighters like Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley, among others.
If comparing the two guys resumes based on quality of opposition faced in their careers, you’d have to give Ali a slight edge in this department in my opinion.
Obviously Ali was a heavyweight and Mayweather is a welterweight, but their skill sets as technical boxers can definitely be compared.
Both guys had and have incredible boxing skills. Ali was arguably the fastest heavyweight that ever lived and rattled off combinations that very few could live with during his career. His footwork, hand speed and head movement made him a very hard man to compete with in his prime.
You could argue that for punch variation, ring craft and defensively, Mayweather might have a slight edge in the skills department over Ali.
Mayweather statistically is the least hit fighters of all time and Ali never really through much body shots, mostly overwhelming opponents with unbelievably fast combos.
Mayweather for me could be up there as the most skillful boxer ever, so in this regards I give the edge to “Money”.
Two very different fighting styles. A very calculated defensive counter puncher vs an electrifying offensive fighter.
Its probably fair to say Ali had the much more appealing boxing style to watch, but was it more effective than Mayweather’s defensive style in today’s time?
Its a tough one to answer.
Thus far, Mayweather has proven his fight style to have been a winning one in his pro career and say what you like, its hard to argue with the undefeated record.
For effective fight styles, it give Mayweather an ever so slight edge.
Ali wins this hands down for me, although I do not want to come across as saying Mayweather doesn’t have any heart, far from it. Its just we have never seen it tested as much as Ali’s was.
Mayweather has shown good bounce back ability in fights like Judah, Mosley and Corley, where at times he took some big single shots and came back strong down the stretch to get the win.
Ali however made a string of performances where his bravery, courage and heart was tested to the absolute limit. The ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ against George Foreman spring to mind, along with ‘The Thrilla In Manila’ against Joe Frazier.
Genuine blood and guts affairs, wars of attrition where he needed to dig deeper than most are prepared to. For this reason, I give the edge to Muhammad in heart.
2-2 in the above four categories for me. An extremely difficult call to make.
Perhaps if Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao in sensational fashion on May 2nd, it might tip the favor ever so slightly in his direction.
Two all time greats though, no denying that.
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