Today, as athlete contracts continue to outrageously grow, their egos grow along with it. Every other day, someone else claims that they are the best ever at their particular craft, and no one can touch their ability to perform.
Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., the richest athlete on the planet, even has his own clothing line covered with the letters TBE (the best ever). He is an incredible talent, and at 37, no one could take him to a decision victory, but he does not have the whole package.
In boxing, the best to ever grace the ring all have one thing Mayweather doesn’t, and he will try as hard as he can to avoid any situation that may put that in peril. That thing is a loss. Mayweather has taken out 45 opponents, an incredible record, but has he taken on the best of the best? Mayweather choosing an opponent has become an event in itself, as his team will analyze opponents for months before making the announcement.
“The Money Team” (TMT) takes their time in the selection process to ensure that the potential opponent cannot present too much risk to his record. Then that same group turns into a marketing machine and makes each one of these mismatched bouts look attractive enough to purchase. Once we have been sucked into the marketing of TMT, we set ourselves up to be disappointed as Mayweather carefully outpoints his opposition, almost always in a unanimous decision victory with little drama.
It is not possible in all sports as most are team games and the league dictates when and who they will play, but one must dare to be great in boxing. It is something that Oscar De La Hoya constantly did throughout his career, and sometimes lost; some goes with Muhammad Ali. The latter is perhaps the best ever, and he had five losses.
At the end of the day, it is not about the perfection of the record, and contrary to his thoughts and those of his team, Mayweather’s obsession with the zero in his record will not help his legacy as the best ever.