FLOYD MAYWEATHER had no hesitation in naming HIMSELF the best fighter ever – before launching into a rant about Muhammad Ali after placing him fifth.
The 43-year-old Mayweather holds an untarnished 50-0 career record ahead of a comeback in Japan next year.
In the summer, he appeared on ESPN and was asked to pick the best of the best from his sport, with 'Money' having legendary names such as Ali, Rocky Marciano and Joe Louis to choose from.
But he instantly named himself as top choice and explained why.
He said: “He's beat more world champions than any other fighter in a shorter time and less fights than any other fighter.
“Landed punches at the highest percentage and took less punishment. He's been world champion 18 years in five different weight divisions.”
Regarding placing Ali in fifth, a man widely-regarded as the best of all-time, he said: “Ali, only one weight class and really lost to Ken Norton three times.
“What he did is he stood for a cause in an era when African-Americans didn't stand up for their people.”
Mayweather also launched an extraordinary rant against Ali as he was named the best boxer of all time.
He said: “What are we judging fighters on? Because if we're judging fighters on standing for a cause, then it's Ali hands down.
“But if we're talking about taking the least punishment and breaking records, it's Floyd Mayweather.
“Muhammad Ali paved the way for me to be where I'm at today, he's a legend.
“But when we talk about record breaking, we've got to talk about Ali losing his world title to a fighter with only seven fights.
“I have to take my hat off to Ali, but I didn't give this sport 40 years to say that there's another fighter better than me.”
When the host argued that Ali's boxing resume included legendary fights like his Thrilla in Manila showdown with Joe Frazier and suggested Mayweather did not have the same type of brawls, that ignited the flame further.
Mayweather said: “That's not cool. That's not cool.
“What I'm here to teach fighters is this: the name of the game is to hit and not get hit. It's not about taking punishment.
“And I love Ali, but sitting on the ropes, taking punishment as far as doing a rope-a-dope — that's not cool.”
Mayweather named Roberto Duran second, Pernell Whitaker third and Julio Cesar Chavez fourth in his own list.
He explained: "[Roberto Duran]. Came up from lightweight to world champion at 160lbs. Love that guy. A legend.
"[Pernell Whitaker]. Really, he beat Julio Cesar Chavez (the fight was a officially a draw). And he did beat my uncle Roger twice.
"[Julio Cesar Chavez]. Was 79-0 in different weight classes before he lost."
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