When Floyd Mayweather steps into ring to face Miguel Cotto this Saturday on HBO pay-per-view he will bring a 42-0 record with him. Odds are, he'll add one more to the win column before going off to do a stint in jail (nine month sentence, likely to serve 5-6 months).
In his mailbag today, Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports addressed the issue of where he sees Floyd fitting in as far as the top fighters of the past 25 years. I don't really get Iole's methodology on a lot of this, he has guys who were great but well past their prime on the list simply because they did fight in the last 25 years. George Foreman is not someone I'd put at #6 on a list of the best fighters of the past 25 years, but his methodology is his, not mine.
Regardless, here's where Kevin ranked Floyd and his synopsis:
9. Floyd Mayweather Jr., 1996-present, 42-0, 26 knockouts - Mayweather was at his best at super featherweight, when he had a streak in which he beat a string of elite fighters. He remains a masterful defensive fighter who has underrated counterpunching ability.
I think a guy like Julio Cesar Chavez belongs above Floyd, and I have no problem with Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker and Roy Jones, Jr.
It does remain straight up crazy for people to treat Floyd like he's in the running for greatest fighter of all time, a fight with Pacquiao (who ranked #12 on the list) would be a great help to his legacy, but there are simply too many great fighters ahead of him.
Then again, I also think his "0" has an asterisk given that i think he lost the first fight with Jose Luis Castillo (which necessitated a rematch to "clean up").
Regardless, nothing can take away from Floyd's status as a great fighter and his accomplishments to this point are outstanding.