The mouth that roared.
Floyd Mayweather is a good fighter. He might even be a great one. But based on the things I have witnessed over the years, he has to go a long way to earn the sobriquet he bestowed upon himself. When his fists aren’t moving, his mouth is.
As a result, he shouts to everyone within earshot when he announces his arrival that “TBE” is here. When asked by an unsuspecting visitor, be it media, or fan, he will say “TBE, the best ever that’s me”.
He, on occasion, has said that he has done more for Boxing and for the fight game than either Muhammad Ali, or Sugar Ray Robinson ever did.
Let’s look at the record!
Ali stood for something! He was bigger than boxing. He took an unpopular stand based on his beliefs and lived to see his position instead on being vilified as he was in the beginning, but later to be praised. Ali, in his hay day was a man who gave back and cared for people.
Ali made up funny little verse designating what he planned to do in a fight. The doggerel he once spouted, was considered at the time silly little tidbits designed to help build the value of each fight. However, they were found to be worthy enough to earn him a Doctor of Literature and Arts Chair at Oxford University in London.. One which I remember was, “ Liston thinks I won’t come to fight because of fright… I’ll win in eight so I can keep my date”… Ali
Ali was truly “The Greatest” not only in boxing, but the way he carried himself in quiet excellence. I was privileged to be involved in much of his career alongside the late Angelo Dundee, Harold Conrad, Barry Burstein, as with my dear friends Hank Schwartz and the inimitable Dr. Ferdie Pacheco.
Ali was lucky to have as a friend and a brilliant photographer who chronicled his every move for posterity. Part of Ali’s Cadre of trainers was Drew Brown. Everyone called him Bundini. It was he who coined the everlasting descriptive phrase describing Ali’s ring prowess… “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”!
As for Mayweather’s claim he is better than Sugar ray Robinson. I was close to “Sugar” and served on his foundation board. He gave back to society. He cared about people.
Mayweather claims he’s The Best Ever and he cites all the money he has made. He brags about his many valuable possessions which makes him the wealthiest fighter of all time. His record is 47-0.
Ali came back after a four year layoff and fought Joe Frazier to a fifteen round split decision. He was rusty, but it still was one of the gutsiest matches I have ever seen.
When we paid Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali 2.5 million apiece, it was the highest Closed Circuit Gate up until that time. It paved the way for guys like Mayweather to earn much greater purses.
Mayweather says he’s better than either Sugar ray Robinson, or Ali ever were. He claims Ali’s five losses are evidence of that. I was involved in all but the Leon Spinks fight.
Ali looked on Spinks as a blown-up light heavyweight and did not take Leon seriously. As a result, he lost a 12 round split decision. He also lost to Ken Norton in San Diego. In that fight his Jaw was broken in the second round, but he fought on until the 12th round losing by a split decision. Ferdie and I held an Ice Pack on his face until the EMT arrived… Pretty gutsy I would say.
He fought Larry Homes in his next to last fight. Ali was past his prime, but he felt he could beat his former sparring partner. Larry handled Ali so easily, that he begged Muhammad to stop out of respect. He didn’t want to hurt him
I, along with Bob Block, Phil Gillen and the late Jim Levitus did Ali a disservice. Bob and Jim owned SelectTV, the first over-the-air Pay –TV Service. In order to help them be the first to put Boxing on an over-the-air Pay- TV service, Ali, graciously consented to fight Trevor Berbick.
Ali did not wish to retire with his last fight being the loss to Larry Holmes. Berbick was a journeyman fighter who didn’t deserve to be in the same ring as Ali. However, Ali was past his Prime and the result was a disaster… Berbick won!
“Sugar Ray Robinson”, like Ali, took on all comers. He fought 196 bouts. There were two no decisions. His KO percentage was almost 75%. Ali fought 61 times and his Knockout record was 67%. The man who claims to be The Best Ever has fought only 47 times. His Knockout ratio is slightly below 53%. You do the math.
Moreover, Ring magazine called Sugar Ray Robinson pound-for-pound the Best fighter of the 20th Century!
Unlike Mayweather, they never ducked anyone. He has fought , nor has Pacquaio. It’s interesting to note that Pacquaio has had 14 more fights than Mayweather and his percentage of knockouts is 14% higher.
I don’t know?? The Vegas Books have Mayweather to win 3-1.
I am not a betting man, but my gut tells me that Pacquaio is hungrier than Mayweather… so, I am picking Manny.
I really think that TBBE means The Biggest Braggart ever. We’ll soon see!