Floyd Mayweather is dominating the boxing news world right now, following his latest performance this weekend. He survived a tougher than expected encounter against Argentinean slugger Marcos Maidana to maintain his undefeated ledger and status as the number 1 pound for pound fighter in the sport.
Muhammad Ali — The Greatest, as long as you weren’t listening to the guy in Mayweather’s corner ceaselessly shouting “TBE!”, “TBE!”, or The Best Ever, in reference to Mayweather — has chimed in offering his take though. He congratulates Mayweather, but then expresses his interest in seeing him take on Manny Pacquiao.
Here’s what Ali had to say:
— Muhammad Ali (@MuhammadAli) May 4, 2014
(According to the Twitter account, any Tweet which includes the above hashtag actually comes from Ali himself, as opposed to a staffer or another person associated with him.)
Ali, of course, became The Greatest not only through boasting, and certainly not from maintaining an undefeated record. He lost his share of bouts, particularly at the end of his career.
He became The GOAT though by taking on all challengers, often times more than once, in an effort to establish himself as the best. That is what has been the biggest argument against the success and legacy of Mayweather. His detractors believe he has consistently avoided the toughest challengers, including Pacquiao, while hand-picking easier opponents.
The truth is that at 46-0 and with dozens of title fight wins and victories over top contenders and other champions, Mayweather has fought a true who’s who of the sport over the past 15 years. But the Pacquiao fight is the big missing piece to the puzzle, and the huge lingering question mark in terms of his all-time status. Certainly, even Ali himself is wondering about the bout, and would love to see it take place.
When Muhammad Ali talks, the world listens. So Mayweather, are you going to face Pacquiao? If you want to follow in The Greatest’s footsteps, it remains a necessity.