Mayweather vs Sugar Ray Leonard, that would have been one for the ages!
But how would it have played out and who would have won? I think it’s important to consider a few factors when assessing both men’s fighting styles. On one hand you’ve got Mayweather, arguably the sport’s finest exponent of defensive magic that there’s ever been. A defensive wizard who no matter who’s he’s came against thus far
in his career has always found a way to win. I suppose if we are going to talk about a Mayweather vs Sugar Ray Leonard fantasy fight it would be best to look at both men in their primes.
For me Mayweather as we speak in the summer of 2014 is probably now outside of his prime, I’d probably consider his best performances against the likes of Diego Corrales and Ricky Hatton. In those two fights he was as sharp as probably he’s ever been in my opinion. His lighting sharp hand speed, almost impregnable shoulder roll defense, laser like counter punches and a maniacal drive to win make him a formidable opponent for anyone, in any era. His skill set would have translated to any time in my opinion but I think a guy like Ray Leonard would have given him problems because of his style.
If you look at some of the opponents who have done the best with Floyd (Oscar, Judah early on, etc) guys that have speed and that can put combinations together with educated pressure can cause Floyd to feel a little uncomfortable.
I just think back to some of those wicked combinations that I’ve watched on YouTube from Sugar Ray Leonard, there up there for some of the most spectacular in the sport’s history to be honest. The speed, accuracy and power of his combinations when he really got going in full flow, was quite the sight to be hold. I just think to myself that as good as Floyd’s defense is, how would it have really stood up to such pressurized fire power coming his way?
Ray Leonard is a humble guy who comes across as very down to Earth and genuine. Even in all the documentaries I’ve watched over the years I can never recall Ray Leonard in his prime really been too nasty to any of his opponents during his career. Then one day I came across an interview where out of character Leonard displayed some verbal meanness which made me take note.When asked by an interviews on how he thought he would have done with Mayweather, without hesitation he replied crisply “I would have bust his ass”. This was out of character for Ray and really showed his true competitive spirit which made me think that he had given it considerable thought before hand and was sincere in his response.
Of course he did fight Mayweather’s father back in the day and beat him convincingly enough but Mayweather Jr would have been a step up from his pops in terms of skill. However in terms of size Mayweather was a fair bit smaller and when I weigh everything up I think of the terms a “good big man beats a good small man”. Not only way Leonard bigger but also probably just as fast and I;m convinced that Leonard’s busy style and wicked fast combinations would have been enough to win him a close decision victory over the man they call “Money”.