Criticism of Floyd Mayweather has been over the top and here’s why

Due to aspects of his character and history of domestic abuse Floyd Mayweather will never be celebrated as much as other athletes, which is understandable. Opponents he has beaten like Hatton, Pacquiao and De La Hoya will all have hero status in their home countries for the rest of their lives. Floyd won’t have that luxury. But what he does warrant, is respect.

Throughout Floyd Mayweather’s career I have wanted to see his downfall. Since shouting for Oscar De La Hoya to backing Manny Pacquiao I always rooted for the money man’s opponent. But by constatnly finding a way to win its time Mayweather gets recognition for his achievements.

Unfortunately not every fighter picks the best available one after the other. Gennady Golovkin is dubbed the most feared man in boxing but who has he fought?

Fight fans rightly wished for Mayweather to choose a Keith Thurman, Amir Khan or Kell Brook for his September date. Yet who did they previously face? Thurman vs Luis Collazo. Khan vs Chris Algieri. Brook vs Frankie Gavin. Judging by those match-ups Floyd isn’t the only one who cherry picks.

What other boxer could beat De La Hoya, Hatton, Márquez, Mosley, Ortiz, Cotto, Guerrero, Álvarez, Maidana (twice), then Pacquiao and at 38 be heavily criticised from fans and ex-fighters alike for deciding to fight someone average in Andre Berto?

Yes, Berto is not a test for Mayweather but he has treated fans to a lot of them throughout his long career. People discredit him for his victories against great fighters and accuse him of cherry selecting. “Cotto came off two losses” and “his opponent was at the wrong weight” are solid arguments but these hall of famers still couldn’t put a dent in Mayweather.

Less focus needs to be whether all of his opponents were at their peak and more emphasises placed on how Mayweather performed. In the ring he is a genius and has displayed many boxing masterclasses. He has proved how talented he is.

“How does he have the nerve to call himself TBE when he is fighting a bum like Berto?” Calling himself the best ever is just a man having self-belief and confidence. Obviously he isn’t the greatest fighter ever but because he labels himself with it doesn’t mean we should hold it against him and compare everything he does with Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Hopefully one day Mayweather receives acknowledgment for all he has accomplished in boxing. He will probably be an old man by that stage but at least his legacy will be remembered. Kids growing who fall in love with boxing will read about Mayweather and watch clips on YouTube. They will surely be impressed by his record and the way he mastered the technique of hitting accurately at the same time as not being caught.

Floyd Maweather has not been bad for boxing. He has been exceptional. Its a shame that a lot of people wont appreciate that for a long time to come.

Liam McInerney

Colour writer for world section of A Sugar Ray Robinson biography inspired me to be a boxing journalist. Twitter- @_LiamMcInerney