Floyd Mayweather is fresh off what he calls (and I think we can all agree actually is), a “Legalized bank robbery” in his hundred-plus million dollar exhibition payday against YouTuber-turned-boxer, Logan Paul.
Whether it’s a real bout or an exhibition, if Floyd Mayweather stepping into a ring does anything, it just causes us to re-ignite the absurd and unresolvable debate of whether Floyd Mayweather is the greatest boxer of all time.
While I’m sure to get plenty of pushback from Money Mayweather’s always passionate fan base for not crowning him the best ever, I would be an absolute lunatic to deny that he’s the most skilled and successful defensive fighter of my lifetime.
He’s as good at defending himself as the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons were at defending the entire NBA.
Am I making a weird comparison here? Sure, but I’m right. Here’s why:
If you push the action against Floyd, we’ve seen time and time again, the result will be will be pain and frustration. Trying to punch Floyd Mayweather is like trying to retrieve a ball from under a thick rosebush- even if you get what you came for, you’re going to get hurt.
But this last weekend, he couldn’t even muster the strength to knock out a regular citizen. You can make the argument that he had no incentive to do so, but I’m sure you’d agree that he had plenty of incentive against the opponents he faced over the previous two decades, right? Well if you look at the last 22 years, Floyd only has one non-technical knockout, and it came against a fighter in Victor Ortiz, whom Floyd knocked out during the course of a… friendship hug?
I’m not an idiot. Of course I know Floyd has power. But he doesn’t have the same level of power as many of his elite contemporaries. Ultimately that comparative deficiency doesn’t matter. Floyd is too smart, too fast, and too disciplined to take the type of fight-stopping power punches that he himself has not been able to land. You can’t hurt what you can’t hit.
Floyd is so good on defense that his defense is his offense. Much in the same way that the World Champion 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons, led by Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince, was so good on defense that they won an NBA title despite having one of the worst offenses in.
What Floyd Mayweather and the 2004 Detroit Pistons truly have in common is that in their respective sports and eras, it was their ability to wear opponents down, not blow them away, that made them the best.
And make no mistake- even with all the criticisms and “what-if’s,” they still did the only thing that matters when it comes to determining greatness…
The greatness of the 2003-2004 Pistons was dismissed by critics who say that Detroit only got a championship over Los Angeles because they were fortunate enough to encounter the dynasty as it was on its last legs.
Surely the 2003-2004 Pistons couldn’t have kept stride with the Lakers that had torn through the 2000-2002 playoffs with a cumulative record of 45-13.
Doesn’t matter. The two teams played when they played and the Pistons took care of business. It’s not Detroit’s fault the Lakers were past their prime and beat up… just like it can’t be Floyd Mayweather’s fault that Manny Pacquiao was beat up when the two of them finally got around to stepping into a ring together.
Could Mayweather have beaten a healthy Pacquaio, especially under the condition that they’d met earlier in their careers? Just like with the 2004 Pistons, the result is the result. It doesn’t matter.
Critics might also point to the fact that the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons weren’t just 24th in offense during the regular season, but ranked 10th among playoff teams in field goal percentage, and eighth in total points per game. But again, none of those deficiencies matter when you hold your playoff opponents to 80.7 points per contest- the lowest of any team in the last 20 seasons.
Do fans remember that the Pistons won their last 2004 Eastern Conference final game over the Indiana Pacers in horrifically boring fashion, 69-65? No, they remember a trophy.
Do fans remember Floyd Mayweather’s win over Canelo Alvarez as Alvarez being the age of a college senior? No, they remember a belt.
Both Floyd Mayweather and the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons prevented opponents from getting good shots, and despite none of the top five purses Money Mayweather has collected including a single knockdown by the victor, including his latest sparring session with a YouTuber, a win is a win.
Defense wins, and if people want to debate whether each respective defense simply never met its match, they can do so full-well knowing both Floyd Mayweather and the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons did the only thing that mattered to them- they walked away winners.
If you have a take on this and want us to address it on the Wrighster or Wrong Podcast, email us at ImMad@unafraidshow.com