Yet, the champ seemed to raise an eyebrow or two with telling Stephen A. Smith that he is better than the man who many believe to be the greatest of all time.
“No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me. No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that,” Mayweather said before his bout with Pacquiao. “But one thing I will do, I’m going to take my hat off to them and respect those guys because those are the guys that paved the way for me to be where I’m at today.”
Mayweather’s comments apparently caught the attention of Laila Ali, who weighed in on the athlete’s opinion of high opinion of himself compared to her legendary father during an interview with CBS Sports last weekend.
Laila Ali: Mayweather has recently said that he’s better than Muhammad Ali.
Reporter: Those are fighting words.
Laila Ali: That’s OK because I believe that as a fighter and a champion, especially as someone on his level, he should feel like that about himself. But that doesn’t make it true. The first thing I think about is, first of all, I don’t agree that he’s better than Muhammad Ali and that’s a whole ‘nother conversation. But I think about the man my father is, outside of the ring. So there’s times when–cuz I know Floyd, I know his family, Roger Mayweather, Floyd Mayweather Sr. both used to train me. I’ve been in the gym with him. And there have been times when I wanted to reach out to him and have a conversation with him because I see a little boy, even though he’s a grown man.
And I see a broken person. And I know when you have money and you have “power” and you have all these ‘yes’ people around you, sometimes you don’t have that person to really pull you aside and give it to you straight. So every once in a while, I’m just like ‘I need to reach out to Floyd and have a conversation with him’ because I don’t hate him. I dislike the way that he acts, I dislike the way that he treats people and obviously I’m definitely not down with this beating up on women. Because that’s very cowardly. But the first thing I think about is he needs somebody to reach out to him and kind of guide him.
So what say you? Do you agree with Laila or would she have been better off to talk with Mayweather personally about what he said in private before putting him and his domestic violence issues out there on a national platform?
Check out Laila Ali’s interview and weigh in with your thoughts.