“No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali were better than me. No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that. But one thing I will do - I'm going to take my hat off to them and respect those guys because those are the guys who paved the way for me to be where I'm at today.” - Floyd Mayweather Jr.
These words caused uproar and consternation in the boxing world and I understand why they did. Muhammad Ali was more than a boxer; he was a social icon, a man who was almost bigger than boxing. Robinson was both majestic and brutal at the same time, immeasurable skills in the ring and a pioneer outside, but is Mayweather stating he’s had the greater career or made a bigger impact? Or is he just saying he thinks he’s the best boxer. ‘The Best Ever’, in fact.