Malignaggi: Floyd Mayweather is best ever

September, 16, 2013
9/16/13
11:09
AM ET
Paul Malignaggi sat ringside Sunday morning in Las Vegas, watching Floyd Mayweather turn in another virtuoso performance, rendering Canelo Alvarez -- a top-grade boxer who is a favorite probably to beat everyone other than Mayweather at 154 pounds -- an ordinary athlete. Malignaggi helped call the action on the Showtime pay-per-view offering, with Mauro Ranallo and Al Bernstein, and left the building mightily impressed with "Money" and his skill set.

How impressed, Paulie?

"I think Floyd beats everyone in history, and anyone who doesn't realize that by now is stubborn, blind, stupid, or all three," he told NYFightblog. "He is the best ever."

Yes, you read that right. The best ever, no one better, not Ali, Joe Louis, the Sugar Rays ...

"Me and Floyd are not friends, I don't need to say this if I truly don't believe it," continued the 32-year-old Bensonhurst-bred welterweight, who held crowns at 140 and 147 pounds. "I'm saying it because it is simply the truth. I respect the guy but I don't know him well, I don't owe him any favors, so when I say he's the best ever it's because that's truly what I feel."

And, I wondered, did he think Floyd was THE BEST all-time before doing what he did to Canelo, or did Mayweather's classic at the MGM convince him?

"I learned that way before the Canelo fight, but this kind of convinced me fully," said Malignaggi in closing.

Readers, weigh in. Is Malignaggi right? Where do you rate Mayweather all-time? Is he above Sugar Ray Robinson, who exited the ring with a 175-19 record? Or is the jury still out on Floyd's status in the pantheon of the ultra-greats?

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Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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