Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Back up the (Money) truck

Aaand the Hyperbole Alert Level officially goes to orange.

Overheard on sports yap radio yesterday: At least one caller declaring Floyd (Money) Mayweather Jr. "the greatest fighter of all time."

We'll give the man the benefit of the doubt. He is, after all, a child of 2015, the age of in-the-moment snap judgment. And maybe he hadn't gotten the word yet that Mayweather's win over Manny Pacquiao wasn't quite the signature moment he and his supporters no doubt hoped it would be.

That's because Pacquiao took on Mayweather with a torn rotator cuff.

The news that he was wounded enough to require surgery certainly takes a bit of the bloom off things for Money, because ... well, because he essentially beat a one-armed man. Kudos to Pacquiao for not only going through with the fight, but going the distance with the best fighter of his era. Perhaps we should re-evaluate Pacquiao's place in history, considering.

 Mayweather, on the other hand, is the best fighter of his era. Period. To suggest he's more than that is frankly laughable, considering every significant victory he's ever had has either been against fighters on the downslope of their primes, or, as with Pacquiao, injured and on the downslope of their primes.

This certainly wasn't true with, say, Sugar Ray Leonard, who beat Roberto Duran, beat Tommy Hearns, beat Marvin Hagler ... we could go on. And it wasn't true with Muhammad Ali, who had Joe Frazier and George Foreman to test him. Mayweather was better than either of them? Or better than, say, Sugar Ray Robinson or Joe Louis?


All we know about Mayweather is what we still don't know -- i.e, just how much the injury affected Pacquiao. He was, as has been noted, uncommonly passive Saturday night. Whether or not that was due to the shoulder or simply flawed strategy ... again, we'll never know.

What we do know is what sounded like a standard loser's excuse when Pacquiao brought it up Saturday night turned to be legit after all. And we know, boxing being boxing, that the conspiracy theories will now blossom that Pacquiao chose to go through with the fight because, if he lost, it would set the table for the inevitable loot-the-rubes rematch.

Jury's still out on that one. But on the Greatest Fighter Ever noise?

Back up the truck, people. Back it waaay up.


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