September 18th, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez

Roberto Duran (1980)

Roberto Duran (1980)


San Francisco, CA- For the life of me, I tried real hard to think of a fighter who was as good as the man who calls himself

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather

Money” in Floyd Mayweather. Going through the history of the welterweight (147 lb.) division and where to rate Floyd. No Ray Robinson, although unbeaten at 147 at like 48-0 before moving up to 160 (middleweight), that is where people rate the man born Walker Smith.


Even though Floyd could beat middles today, the only other welterweights I would rate over Mayweather are Roberto Duran, the aforementioned Ray Leonard and Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns. I would say that these 3 men, all fellow opponents in the last golden era of boxing, the 1980s, would beat Floyd.


Although there are the oldsters out there screaming at their computer, “What no Jose Napoles, no Pipino Cuevas?” To that I say, no! Although Leonard defeated Duran twice, there is a reason Ray waited almost 10 years to give Roberto Duran a rematch, that being the beat down Roberto put on Ray for the better part of 15 rounds that first time.


Leonard-Hearns 1981: When Boxing Was King!

Ray Leonard-Tommy Hearns 1981: When Boxing Was King!

Not that it is his fault, but there isn’t anybody he’s fought that would be considered a “mega” star outside of Oscar De La Hoya, who had been a professional 15 years when he and Mayweather played “pity pat.” Floyd could’ve made a better case for himself had he fought Antonio Margarito, but he “retired” instead of facing the Mexican mauler. Robert Guerrero, Saul Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, good, but not all time greats yet.


Pedro Fernandez


  1. no way mayweather beats these 3 ,maybe ray at the end but then again he has the guts and fortitude to pull out a victory when things are the darkest. different era, better competition.they fought more offten and were better schooled.. floyd is the best in his era today …. but no way ,he’d be in the group possibly

    will on September 18th, 2013 at 9:09 AM
  2. Thank you Pedro. Man its been years since I’ve hit you with any replies but I had to respond to this one. I’ve been waiting for you to bring up this point. I agree 1000%, there’s no way Floyd could hold the jockstraps of these great 15 round bangers. Floyd is indeed the best of his era and he can’t control everything that’s put before him but if you roll the clock back to the 80’s when we had fried bologna sandwiches, jheri curls, atari’s, and tv went off at 1 AM, Floyd wouldn’t have lasted. I’d like to throw in the name Aaron Pryor on your list as well.

    JT on September 18th, 2013 at 9:33 AM
  3. BTW, it was a different kind of fighter back then and they all fought each other and didn’t pick and choose. They fought and were active throughout the year. I believe someone had the same conversation when Roy Jones was at his mountain top about 8-10 years ago.

    JT on September 18th, 2013 at 9:35 AM
  4. Benitez would have exploited Floyd’s lack of combination punching. I don’t see Benitez getting tagged all night by lead rights and jabs from the smaller Mayweather.

    Bob on September 18th, 2013 at 10:58 AM
  5. None of the welters today could have competed with the welters in past eras because they are not real welters, but bulked-up lightweights. There is a vacuum at welterweight where we do not have a real welterweight to put all these small guys in their place. The last time we had real welters was Margarito and Pwill and before we had the trio of De la Hoya, Quartey and Felix Trinidad. A fight between a Tommy Hearns or a Felix Trinidad and somebody like Tim Bradley, Guerrero, Victor Ortiz, Juan M Marquez, Cotto or Paquiao would have looked like a heavyweight fighting a middleweight.

    Emilio on September 18th, 2013 at 12:45 PM
  6. Forgot to mention Vernon Forrest. We saw what he did to one of the most dominant lightweights ever when he moved up (Mosley).

    Emilio on September 18th, 2013 at 12:51 PM
  7. Well thought out, Emilio!

    Pedro Fernandez on September 18th, 2013 at 1:24 PM
  8. The problem for Floyd is that none of those guys would have respected his punching power. He has a very long reach and he can keep all these small guys on the outside. Against the top welters of the past, he would be the one having to get out of his comfort zone to initiate the offense. That shoulder roll defense is great if the other guy is smaller than you, but not necessarily against someone bigger, longer and much more powerful.

    Emilio on September 18th, 2013 at 4:31 PM
  9. Leonard lost to Duran in June 1980 and gave him a rematch in November 1980. 10 years ? If the first fight haunted him so much, then he would’ve waited a bit longer. 3rd fight was inconsequential and Ray ages at the same rate as Roberto anyway. In response to JT, Panama Lewis’ concoction wouldn’t have worked against Floyd. Floyd has better defense, movement, hand speed, angles, and ring savvy than the frequently vulnerable and always disciplined Hawk.

    NiceHands on September 18th, 2013 at 5:40 PM
  10. Floyd is really a lightweight.
    He can’t beat any of the Fantastic Four.
    I see him dominating someone like Chavez.He beats Sweat Pea.
    He loses to Duran.

    pirate on September 18th, 2013 at 5:42 PM
  11. mayweathers skill will follow him to any weight class but for me, I think his best weight classes are 135-140. I just don`t think of Floyd as a 147lbs or 153lbs fighter. Out of the older generation I think Floyd can hang in there with any of them, getting the “win” is another matter but I wouldn`t dismiss him. For me its all weight class and style match up. At 147 I think Leonard would win by decision. Hearns would be the best to watch since he had speed and power and a shaky chin, with Floyds skills it would be a fun fight to watch but at 147 hearns still carried too much power and speed for me to feel good about putting any cash down on Floyd. An I`ll take Duran at a match up at 135/140, guy had a motor and had skills too.
    benitez would have been a fun fight to watch too. Anyone else kinda feel like he got a raw deal with that stoppage to leonard? Yeah he lost UD easy that night but the stoppage with the time remaining seemed unnessasary, like just a way to give a boost to Leonard. Shit man if his life would have been right he could of done alot more.

    MAc on September 18th, 2013 at 6:36 PM
  12. I love Duran, but come on. SRL made him QUIT with sound defense, footwork, speed and counter-punching. Those traits belong to anyone we know???

    Seth on September 19th, 2013 at 9:41 PM
  13. Kid Gavilan beats him and Billy Graham who was just as slick gives him trouble. You think Henry Armstrong loses to Floyd?? No way

    Jim on September 20th, 2013 at 8:38 AM
  14. Floyd is good maybe great, but many fighters of the 80’s and 90’s beat him at welterweight. Any weight class below that I think I’d only give Pryor a chance. The welterweight division is weak and has smaller guys moving up. Notice that Floyd retired when real welters like William’s and margarito were around? Floyd doesn’t like to fight taller fighters with reach advances and volume punchers. He fought Corrales, but Corrales is a tall guy that fights small.Floyd is a cherry picker who would have been schooled by fighters like Mike Mc Callum at 154, and would have been competitive but lost to all the fighters Pedro mentioned. The Canelo fight was a mirage. I knew Canelo had no shot at all, yet the hyped it up to all the casual Mexican fans to make them believe it would be a fight. I was in Vegas…a total hype promotion. Canelo is a good fighter but not in Floyd’s league, actually it’s not that he isn’t good, his style was all wrong. Way too tentative to give Floyd problems. You will never see him fight skilled boxers like Lara or Vernon Forrest types.

    KP on September 20th, 2013 at 8:47 AM
  15. Floyd did not fight Kostya Tszyu when he was fighting at light welterweight and light middleweight.

    Eric on September 20th, 2013 at 2:59 PM
  16. PEDRO finally i can agree with you on something, nothing against floyd , he is great but Duran, Leonard, Hearns would have a edge over him, different era with different fighters…those guys had to fight a lot of very good fighters, floyd is in era where he is great but the competition isn’t…

    mario from phoenix on September 20th, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    lakis krou on September 21st, 2013 at 7:10 PM
  18. If Floyd was fighting in that era he would have never moved up to welterweight. He would have stayed near lightweight and been a great champion with multiple title defenses. He could have beaten Duran, but it wouldn’t have been easy. Floyd just doesn’t have the power or mentality at welterweight to compete with any of those guys. At 135 or 130, he was so quick and threw great combos. At 147 he’s been able to get by with selective matchmaking.

    KP on September 18th, 2014 at 10:02 PM
  19. The snobbing of Manny Pacquiao in this piece is a boxing journalistic crime and not really expert-like. Anyway, we know your hatred of Manny Pacquiao is an open secret that has obviously affected your objectivity.

    Edroland on September 19th, 2014 at 7:08 AM
  20. If Floyd Junior was fighting during that special era he would have had no more success than his daddy did. Hearns would have knocked him out. Like Hearns use to say “To beat me you’ve got to get inside and to get inside means you’re gonna pay a price”.

    Rob Hernandez on September 20th, 2014 at 12:24 PM
  21. It would be interesting pacquaio and maywaether. If only he was 2 inches taller. I still think money is favored, just his left hand is good. Another fighter he didn’t fight was margarito, of course I wouldn’t have to if he was still cheating, another case of Floyd having a rabbits foot.

    JT on September 22nd, 2014 at 8:36 PM

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