Monday, March 23, 2015

What constitutes being considered the G.O.A.T.?

What constitutes being considered the greatest of all time? Okay, I realize that's a debate that can never be won. However, earlier today a friend of mine asked a question that I could debate and feel very strongly about. He asked me if Floyd Mayweather will be considered the greatest of all-time in the same breath as "The Greatest" Muhammad Ali?

My response was pretty simple and clear or at least I thought so. I said that the fact that he is now fighting Manny Pacquiao would help boost that argument. Had he retired without ever facing Pacquiao, there is no way he would be considered on the same level as Ali because that would forever have been a question mark on his career. I also went on to say that should he defeat Pacquiao and go on to retire undefeated, there is no question he should be considered on the same level.

His response was, even considering his weight division? My response was once again, simple; even the greatest welterweights of all-time such as Leonard, Hearns, Duran, De La Hoya and Trinidad all suffered defeats. His response was to question Mayweather's opposition. This is what prompted me to write this blog and expand on my argument.

This is the same bull sh** argument people use against Larry Holmes whenever discussing his place among the greatest heavyweights of all-time. The fact that he fought at the end of the "Golden Era" of heavyweights and dominated in the '80's when the division wasn't as "good." This is a ridiculous stance and I'll explain why.

It is not Mayweather's fault, the same way it wasn't Holmes fault that they dominated in an era when the star power within their divisions just wasn't there; they fought the best that were there at the time. When it comes to Mayweather, whom did he not fight that he should have? The only one was Pacquiao and now that is about to happen. The fact that his opposition wasn't on his level was not his fault. That's basically penalizing a fighter for being too good, or in this case great.

Sadly in the end this will be the downfall for current Heavyweight Kingpin Wladimir Klitschko. If Holmes has difficulty garnering respect for his generation of heavyweights, I can only imagine what people will say about Klitschko when he's finally done. Unfortunately for him the best heavyweight opponent of his era was probably his own brother; so because of that he should be looked upon as not great?

The man has held a portion of the heavyweight title for nearly 10 years and has not lost a fight in 11. He fought whoever was put in front of him and won and in most cases easily. It is ridiculous to not acknowledge his greatness. Had Klitschko fought in the '70's, I'm not saying he wouldn't have suffered a few losses, but to think he could not have possibly defeated some of the greats of that era, especially at his size and skill is crazy.

Considering that argument, then Mayweather's case strengthens. Forget not losing in over 10 years, Mayweather has never lost in 47 fights; and as for holding a title, Mayweather has been a world champion in multiple weight divisions for nearly 17 straight years now. Should he go on to defeat Manny Pacquiao, considered an all-time great in his own right, and ultimately retire undefeated I think he would have answered the question; what constitutes being considered the G.O.A.T?

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