That may be a foolish question to some boxing fans, experts, and enthusiasts.
There have been scores of great fighters, hundreds of very good fighters, and thousands of good fighters.
It is impossible to accurately say that one fighter would beat another fighter from a different era. It is, however, one of the things that makes boxing one of the most debatable and colorful sports there is.
There are obviously fighters in the past, and even currently, who possess(ed) more power than Floyd. Some would be willing to get hit seven or eight times to be able to launch one bomb.
Floyd is virtually unmarked as a fighter, hence the moniker Pretty Boy Floyd. He looks more like a movie star than a pugilist.
While drinking a pint in a tavern, nothing whiles away the time better than a good old fashioned discussion about how Ali could have knocked out Marciano, or how Willie Pep could have given a boxing lesson to Manny Pacquiao (when he was a featherweight).
Thus, we have two factions warring against one another. Old school fans and experts tend to want to give the edge to the guys that they grew up idolizing or following closely.
Secondly, we have the new age fans, who can't seem to imagine how anybody could be better than the current field. Advanced training methods with bigger, stronger, and faster fighters make today's competition much more fierce than in days gone by.
I suppose I would be called old school because of my age, however, I am making a case today for the current best in the world, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
I have thought about it for some time, and have finally pushed myself to a decision. I believe Pretty Boy is the best "boxer" in the history of the sport.
I said boxer, not fighter. Let me illustrate. When you look up the word "boxer" in the dictionary, Wikipedia, or whatever, you should see an image of him right there on the page. He epitomizes the word.
I have seen boxers since the late fifties and there have been some dandies. Cassius Clay (the caterpillar who turned into the butterfly Muhammad Ali), Floyd Patterson, Archie Moore, Emile Griffith, Joe Frazier, George Foreman (twice), Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tommy Hearns, Julio Caesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez, Alexis Arguello, Aaron Pryor, Bobby Foster, Roberto Duran, and Larry Holmes, just to name a few.
I watched those fighters while they were still active and I saw films of most of the other great ones.
There is not one, in my opinion, who is or was superior to Floyd Mayweather. If there ever was a complete package in one boxer, he would be it.
His defense is beyond description, he is as hard to hit as a bat flying in front of you at night.
He has the fastest hands I believe I ever saw. His punch placement is as good or better than Ali's. He wastes no gas. He is as effective with his punches as anyone ever has been. He has developed a respectful portion of power over the years.
It is a joy to watch him as he commands the ring, dictating how the fight goes. His stinging jabs keep the brawlers off balance and measures them for a strong right hand.
Do I think he could have beaten fighters of other eras? Yes, I do. I think he could have won decisions over Robinson, Leonard, and any other fighters who were in his weight classes.
Pound for pound, he is the best ever. I realize this is speculative at best, and everybody has their own opinions, but I believe he is the one.
There have been other fighters who have retired undefeated. The great Rocky Marciano and even more recent than he, Joe Calzaghe (who quit just in time considering he was down in round one and barely won a split decision over Bernard Hopkins).
Money has beaten everyone who had the stones to throw with him. Some of today's best have witnessed his hand being raised at the end of their bout with him; Oscar De Le Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Zab Judah, Diego Corrales, Arturo Gatti, Jose Luis Castillo, Chop Chop Corley, Sharmba Mitchell, and Juan Manuel Marquez.
He is in fact, the best boxer in the history of the sport.
What are your thoughts?