People debate ad nauseum about who is the best player in their respective sports. They even rage on about who is the best player of all time, or the “GOAT.” LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan. Sidney Crosby vs. Wayne Gretzky. Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Barry Bonds vs. Babe Ruth. These debates never reach a conclusion because it is a matter of opinion, and it is hard to accurately compare statistics given the time period in which each player played. My contention is given that humanity evolves over time, the players who played in yesteryear are at a disadvantage. Humans get bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter (debatable) as time moves forward, so while it may be an unfair comparison, the fact remains. I’m sorry to say this, but Barry Bonds would send one to fucking Neptune off of Sandy Koufax. A Clayton Kershaw (regular season) 12-6 curveball would make Babe Ruth’s head explode. Imagine accidentally getting teleported back to biblical times with an iPhone. Everyone would think you are God himself, or you would end up with your head in a guillotine for being some sort of sorcerer. That’s how NBA teams from the 1980s would look at the 2018 Golden State Warriors if they ever had to play each other. Unfortunately, for the old-timers and for everyone’s nostalgia, this is just how things work. In 10-20 years, we will be talking about how some team in the future would wipe the floor with that same Warriors team. Point being, no matter who you point to, there is always somebody better. If not now, there will be later.
However, there is one sport where there is no debate to be had: Boxing. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the greatest boxer of all time. The casual boxing fan may scoff at such proclamations but if you want to argue against perfection, then be my guest. He is the embodiment of perfection in one’s profession. The point of boxing is to hit the other guy and avoid getting hit yourself. Well, that is exactly what Floyd does, regardless of whether or not he does it the way you would like him to. He has been ruled to be knocked down once in his entire career, and that was not even due to a punch. His glove touched the canvas after he hurt his hand while punching the other guy. According to CompuBox, in the nine fights Floyd had in the prime of his career, he has a plus/minus rating of 30. The only fighter in the history of boxing that even comes close to that is Joe Louis, with a plus/minus rating of 26. If you were scoffing at the beginning of this, time to head to Google to find proof that “numbers lie.” People who used to be die-hard fans of boxing will point to fighters like Hagler, Hearns, Marciano, Ali, and Frazier as the ones being in competition for the greatest of all time. It’s just nostalgia. Sure, boxing may have been more entertaining back in the day when fighters didn’t care to defend themselves and swung for the fences like a bunch of wild animals. That doesn’t make them better. If you think Floyd is getting duped by some bullshit like “rope-a-dope,” you are horrendously mistaken. Apologies for this, but all that entertaining fighting from yesteryear is the reason a lot of your favorite fighters have brain damage. Aside from that, for all this nonsense about “Floyd being a boring fighter,” he made $915,000,000 this decade, which is the most of any athlete. That is $115,000,000 more than the runner-up, Cristiano Ronaldo. We could only dream of being so “boring.”
How did such a boring fighter continuously fool you (this time, when I say “you,” I actually mean you. He didn’t fool me. I love watching Floyd win.) all into buying his fights? Floyd became the biggest star in the sport after fighting Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar was your classic “white meat superhero,” and Floyd took the opposite end of the spectrum. He was a charismatic shit-talker and took on the role of being the “heel.” After he beat De La Hoya, that persona became his “shtick.” Everybody wanted to see the bad guy lose. They wanted to see him lose so badly that they willingly paid $100 to watch some drunken, Irish idiot who doesn’t even box try and beat him. Surely, they knew what was going to happen! He duped you all into buying his fights because, after all that shit-talking, you wanted to see him get humbled. We have no idea if the way Floyd acts in those press conferences leading up to his fights is the way he is in real life. Is he really that arrogant, self-centered, egotistical, etc., etc.? All we can do is judge from what he shows us, and it’s not like he walks around with a sign that says, “this is all shtick.” That would ruin the gimmick, and then you wouldn’t be dumb enough to order his fights again.
We have to assume that it is somewhat a part of who he is in real life, or at least was. The reasoning behind this assumption is that, eventually, Floyd did get humbled. It just wasn’t in a boxing ring that it happened in. Instead, it came when he went on the radio with “The Breakfast Club.” If you don’t know what happened, Floyd had to read an advertisement for “iHeartRadio.” He couldn’t. There is no other way to put it. The man just simply could not read the ad. Charlamagne, one of the hosts of the show, read the ad in 10 seconds, whereas Floyd… could not read it at all. 50 Cent said that he would donate $750,000 to a charity of Floyd’s choice if Floyd could read just one page out of a Harry Potter book. Later, 50 changed the book from Harry Potter to “Cat in the Hat” in order to “not put pressure” on Floyd. The comments 50 Cent made are hilarious, but as a fan of Floyd, it really hurt to watch him struggle. It was embarrassing, cringe-worthy, sad, and, I would have to think, humbling. I’ve mentioned this before, but I believe it to be true: If you don’t humble yourself, society will do it for you, and you’ll look real funny in the light if that happens. You look pretty funny in the light when the whole World finds out you can’t read. Although Floyd could buy Power 105 about 500 times over, shut it down, and that would be the end of the careers of the people that exposed his illiteracy. Maybe he didn’t end up looking that funny in the end, considering the size of his bank account. Would you rather make $915,000,000 in a decade or know how to read?
I’m not saying Floyd is stupid whatsoever. After all, he “tricked” almost everyone into making him the highest-paid athlete. In 2017, Floyd was on a different radio station (one they didn’t make him do any readings on) and was asked about Donald Trump, to which he said this: “The thing is this, there’s too many people worried about what Trump is doing and what other Presidents are doing, instead of worrying about what you’re trying to do and what level you’re trying to get to. I don’t give a fuck what nobody else doing. I got to worry about what I’m trying to do.” That’s a statement that most Americans can’t come up with right now, and they know how to read. All that knowing how to read, and we can’t take responsibility for our own lives. Who might be the idiot now? Us or Floyd?
Recently, I had a friend of mine tell me that he gets down on himself when he scrolls through Instagram and sees a lot of his friends doing so well in life. One of the things I like about AA meetings is that they are kind of the opposite of Instagram. They have you humbling yourself straight away. “Hi, my name is Josh, and I’m an alcoholic.” You never see somebody post a picture of themselves with the person they have “on the side” with a caption saying, “Hi, my name is so and so, and I cheat on my significant other.” No. We all see the exact opposite, don’t we? It’s the best picture of a couple that they possibly could have taken with some horseshit like, “Three years with the love of my life! Heart emoji, heart emoji, heart emoji.” Of course, people can post pictures of their relationship or marriage on Instagram, and there is no infidelity in the mix at all, but you get the point. How many successful businessmen do you know that are raging alcoholics in their home lives? A counselor that worked at the treatment center I went to implored us never to compare ourselves to others but instead to compare ourselves to who we were yesterday. He told us to grade ourselves at the end of each day on a scale from 1 to 10, judging on how we thought, acted, and behaved. A lot of days, I suck at all three of those things and let’s say I score a 1.1. Well, hell, this job just became easy. All I must do tomorrow is score a 1.2, and that’s progress. Albeit just a little, but progress, nonetheless. If we can improve ourselves by just a measly 0.1 each day, where would we be in 100 days? Our scores might start to look good, especially if we don’t already start out at the lowest number possible. Maybe the guy you see posting or alluding to “how many bitches he gets” actually doesn’t get them at all. That happens. A lot. I’ve been that guy. Maybe the hottest girl from high school gets 30,000 likes on any given picture but is miserable and alone. Or, maybe even this:
The Greatest Boxer of All-Time Can’t Even Read.
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