Floyd Mayweather The GOAT?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. surprised the world Saturday night in his 10th round TKO victory over UFC star Conor McGregor. But it wasn’t Mayweather’s win over McGregor that astonished anyone. It was how Mayweather beat McGregor that caught everyone off guard.
Everyone expected perhaps the greatest defensive boxer ever to box circles around an incompetent boxer like McGregor. But he did more than just out box him. Floyd beat the breaks off McGregor and, unlike the bulk of his fights over the last 10 years, he did it in fighting fashion.
Most casual boxing fans had possibly never seen Mayweather fight so destructively before. And although avid boxing fans may recall a younger Mayweather that could aggressively brawl with the best—as he did when he knocked out known brawlers Arturo Gatti and Diego Corrales—those days for Mayweather have long been over.
It’s been years since we’ve seen Floyd walking down opponents, standing right in front of them and sanctioning himself to be hit while trading haymakers in the middle of the ring. He hadn’t knocked anyone out since his fight with Ricky Hatton 10 years ago. Brawling simply wasn’t “Pretty Boy” Floyd’s style any longer.
Now nobody can say Floyd ran the entire fight to escape with an easy victory. That’s an excuse critics have used over the years to downplay his career. Now we’re all required now to give him his props as the greatest to ever do it.
Floyd came out of a two-year retirement at age 40 to fight a 29-year-old mixed martial arts champion fighter with a tremendously treacherous left hook, and knocked him out. And although McGregor may not have much pro boxing practice, he proved during the early rounds that he had some boxing skills. His unorthodox style gave Mayweather a look he had never seen before, which allowed McGregor to land some sparkling punches. He even landed more hits on Mayweather than Manny Pacquiao did against Floyd. Nevertheless, Floyd proved he could adapt to any style, irrespective of the fighter, and get the win.
Now he’ll retire 50-0, a deed never done before in boxing. Many greats have tried to do what Mayweather just accomplished and failed. Even the legends like Mike Tyson lost to smaller opponents, occasionally, such as Buster Douglass. By the time legendary Muhammad Ali was age 40, he was losing to no name guys like Trevor Berbick.
So far, Mayweather has been the only man to go a flawless 50-0 over a 21-year career. And that’s why he’s worthy of the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) moniker in my book. He truly earned it.