“If This Is It For Tom Brady, Who Are You Taking?” | Greatest Athlete Of All Time Question Excludes Floyd Mayweather, But Is That Right?

Image Credit: The World Boxing Council

Rumors abounded over the weekend that Tom Brady had decided to retire from professional football.

Although unconfirmed, the world waxed poetic about Brady’s legacy and what he means in the pantheon of top-tier athletes.

However, when another media outlet asked who is the greatest athlete of all time on Twitter, the graphic they added had some of the world’s best.

Forgot About “TBE?”

Along with Brady, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Wayne Gretzky, Simone Biles, Lionel Messi, and Babe Ruth were shown as the greatest athletes of all time.

However, the graphic left the self-proclaimed “The Best Ever” off the list, in undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

The slight was interesting because Brady and Mayweather have a storied relationship and respect as two of the greatest athletes ever.

Pound-For-Pound King

Boxing’s former pound-for-pound king is also the king of the cash register and the headlines. “Money” competed between 1996 and 2015, with a one-fight comeback in 2017.

During his professional career, he won fifteen major world championships from super featherweight to light middleweight, including the Ring magazine title in five weight classes, the lineal championship in four weight classes (twice at welterweight), and retired with an undefeated record.

He would usually fight twice a year, May and September, and was Forbes’ highest-paid athlete of any category every year before his retirement.

Being TBE

As an amateur, Mayweather won a highly contested bronze medal in the featherweight division at the 1996 Olympics, three U.S. Golden Gloves championships (at light flyweight, flyweight, and featherweight), and the U.S. national championship at featherweight.

Mayweather employs tons of people of color.

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From his advisor, Al Haymon, who is solely responsible for the upward trajectory of his boxing career and is the Marvel-style Professor X of pugilism, to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and the fighters they promote, Floyd is a veritable employment machine.

Building A Future Generation

Gervonta “Tank” Davis is a Mayweather boxing protégé and prodigy that was lifted from the rough-and-tumble streets of Baltimore into stardom and wealth at an early age. Badou Jack, another protege, is a former champion and enroute to becoming one of the best fighters ever due to the teaching and direction being applied by the Mayweather machine.

Mayweather is also a philanthropist.

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The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation, founded in 2007, the same year that he established his Mayweather Promotions business, leverages his star power and is dedicated to empowering and promoting adults and adolescents’ social development and advancement.

The foundation is singularly focused on community health and wellness, economic growth and development and impactful youth education. From food drives, a race series, and more, TFMJF provides a beacon of hope worldwide to people in underserved communities, many of which include people of color.

Meet The Bad Guy

Still, the popular narrative is that Mayweather is not a good guy for the many other headline-worthy negatives that have occurred in his life. When he and his father got into a heated verbal spat inside of the Mayweather Boxing Club during the first season of HBO’s critically acclaimed “24/7” behind-the-scenes series, it was deemed a bad look for the Black family dynamic.

Regardless of the two eventually making up and his father replacing his uncle, Roger Mayweather, for medical reasons, those images of the two in a heated personal debate are forever seared into the minds of the world.

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You cannot escape the domestic abuse conviction when mentioning Floyd Mayweather’s name. He served a 90-day jail sentence and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, a 12-month domestic-violence program, and to pay a fine.

According to court documents, the damage was done to his child’s mother and psychologically to the children.

The “Money May” Way

What makes it worse is that Mayweather is very well known for his objectification of women. He routinely parades them around like a flock of peacocks that he disregards just as quickly.

It does nothing to help his reputation and dismiss the memory of the domestic violence charge. And with the opening of his gentleman’s club, Girl Collection, in Las Vegas, it looks as if he has no issue with how his actions create a negative brand towards femininity.

He is one of the greatest athletes and businessmen of our generation. However, unlike Ali, known as the “The Greatest,” Mayweather’s brand is not as revered outside of boxing as a good guy.

Perception Is Reality

The good guy or woman branding is indelibly attached to being the most outstanding athlete in the public’s minds. It is why Barry Bonds was looked over for the Hall of Fame as the poster boy of baseball’s steroids era.

The world chooses its heroes, and the narrative is only based on perception, not just the numbers. However, any list that doesn’t include Mayweather on its greatest athletes list is not valid.


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.