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MayweatherAlvarez Hogan90 ad115Did you all catch what was emblazoned on Floyd Mayweather's ballcap plopped on his head as he was waiting for the decision to be announced after he showed Canelo Alvarez that he is–join the club–not in the same league as a prizefighter as Floyd?

“TBE.”

Stands for “The Best Ever.”

Mayweather has now and again offered this self-assessment, that he is THE BEST ever, slotted ahead of Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, all the usual pugilists who take residence on lists of the brightest lights to ever lace on the leather and horsehair mitts. But following his tutorial of Alvarez, who entered with a 42-0-1 mark, a few more naysayers, folks unwilling, unable or uninclined to tab Floyd as the best of the best, re-assessed.

Current boxer, two-division champion and TV analyst Paul Malignaggi went public with his contention that Floyd is the all-time all-star. That means that in his mind, if we had a time machine, with all things being equal, Floyd would beat those Sugar Rays, and yes, handle Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran, and Shane Mosley at his tip top prime.

“The people who say that Floyd isn't the best all-time, I bet most or all never took a single punch in the face,” Malignaggi told me, after I asked for a bit more to clarify material in a Monday ESPNNewYork.com post. “When you do, especially when you do it for a living, you understand just how difficult it is to do what Floyd Mayweather does. No one in history would beat him, he's the greatest of all time, bar none.”

So, when the “haters” say that Mayweather ducked Antonio Margarito at his most fearsome, or Kostya Tszyu at his apex, and that he would have lost to them….?

“He would have beat them,” Malignaggi said. “Every generation has fights that don't happen, that includes Sugar Ray Robinson. No one should ever be penalized because they are in this era and not in the era of 50 years ago.”

Readers, weigh in, in Our Forum. Let's discuss. This is provocative stuff, but I think even if you don't agree, there is merit in the thesis, because Malignaggi is a damned fine ring general, and yes, does deserve extra attention being paid to his declaration, because he has and does toil in the arena. Is Floyd truly “TBE?” Has Mayweather convinced you? Moved a step closer to being No. 1, but isn't there yet? What would he have to do to get there? Your three cents, please.

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter.

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