Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather may not be the best fighter from Michigan, let alone the best fighter ever.
Mayweather may be more known for his residence in Las Vegas in recent years, but there’s no getting away from the fact that he was born and bred in Grand Rapids.
The tough neighborhood of Michigan harnessed one of the best ever to do it. He was roundly shaped by the previous groundwork laid down by the father Floyd Sr. and uncles Roger and Jeff.
Floyd Mayweather Jr
All three had their own significant struggles in getting recognized by major promoters. It wasn’t until Floyd Jr. came along that the family hit the jackpot.
His initial ‘Pretty Boy’ moniker, which many saw as something to cherish, was dropped as Mayweather changed his attitude towards the sport.
Mayweather defeating Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 was the turning point. Mayweather would earn close to one billion dollars from boxing Pay Per View within a decade.
A legacy worthy of anyone named the best of all time, Mayweather is undoubtedly one of the best from Michigan to ever laced up a pair of gloves.
But there are still some memorable names to emerge from the state.
In recent memory, the likes of Chris Byrd, Tony Tucker, Johnathon Banks, Pinklon Thomas, and James Toney have flown the flag in the higher weights.
The Dirrell brothers Andre and Anthony both claimed world titles at super-middleweight.
Tony Harrison became unified at 154 for a short period. At the same time, J’Leon Love was signed by Mayweather himself. He didn’t win a championship, though.
In the women’s game, Claressa Shields from Flint is on her way to being known as one of the best females ever.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER or SUGAR RAY ROBINSON
There could be one name to trump them all, though. Dependent on how you see it, Sugar Ray Robinson is at the summit of the shake-up for the greatest.
Firstly, according to his birth certificate, Robinson was born Walker Smith Jr. in Ailey, Georgia, and moved to Detroit as a baby.
In the pages of his authorized biography, the boxer himself says he was firmly born in Detroit.
If the latter is the case, there’s a solid shout for Mayweather to be number two on the infinite list of Michigan‘s best.
Robinson has been named the best by many of his peers. But we could need more time to pass before both could truly be compared.
It’s an entirely different generation and an utterly alternative sport these days. Fighters compete much less than in Robinson’s heyday of the 1940s and 1950s.
Mayweather prides himself on being TBE, self-styled “The Best Ever.” It could be that the outspoken welterweight is not even the best in his state.
To his credit, it’s not a straightforward decision by any means. Furthermore, this is a testament to what Floyd Mayweather achieved and how his legacy could age in the future.