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One Lethal Punch
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Graham Houston: "Floyd beats Duran, Hearns, Napoles and Trinidad @ WW"
So how would Mayweather have fared against past welterweight standouts? Here are some guesses:
Mayweather against Jose Napoles: Cuban great Napoles, who moved to Mexico City when the Castro regime banned professional sport, was a superb boxer-puncher but Mayweather might have been faster and smarter, with a better jab. Napoles had a difficult fight with Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez, a game slugger who might not have been competitive with Mayweather.
Mayweather against Carmen Basilio: Basilio was as tough as they come, with a wicked left hook, and he beat the bigger Sugar Ray Robinson. Although outscored by the smart-boxing Johnny Saxton, Basilio brutally stopped this skilled boxer in two subsequent meetings. He might have had the tenacity and pressure to overcome Mayweather's superior artistry in a 15-round fight.
Mayweather against Thomas Hearns: The Hit Man's right hand would have been a constant threat, but Mayweather seems the more reliable, steadier boxer, and his quickness could have flustered Hearns.
Mayweather against Roberto Duran: As relentless as Duran was, he might have been bothered by Mayweather's speed, jab and accurate countering. Mayweather would have looked the bigger, stronger man in the ring. It is possible to visualize Duran struggling with Mayweather's style, as in his rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard.
Mayweather against Felix Trinidad: Trinidad was an offensive force, but he fought in straight lines, as the British say. Mayweather would probably have outmaneuvered him.
Mayweather against Sugar Ray Leonard: This would have been a marvelous match. Leonard would have been Mayweather's equal for quickness and intelligence, but he had the punch-volume and extra power to prevail, if barely.
Mayweather against Sugar Ray Robinson: Robinson is generally regarded as the greatest of them all. He was a wonderful boxer -- fast, powerful, courageous and exceptionally tough. Robinson's combinations would likely have trumped Mayweather's sharpshooting.
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