Floyd Mayweather: 'No one can brainwash me' into thinking Muhammad Ali was better

Floyd Mayweather has never lacked confidence, and ahead of his much anticipated bout with Manny Pacquiao on May 2, he went on First Take and told Stephen A. Smith that he is the best boxer of all-time and a better fighter than even Muhammad Ali.

Comparing boxers across weight classes and eras is nearly impossible, but most would say that Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Louis are the three greatest boxers of all-time. Mayweather thinks he's above all of them.

"No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me," Mayweather said. "No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that. But one thing I will do, I'm going to take my hat off to them and respect those guys because those are the guys that paved the way for me to be where I'm at today."

Mayweather has every reason to believe he's the best. He's never lost a professional fight, and most of those 47 victories have been dominant — that said, recent bouts with Marcos Maidana have been fairly close. Mayweather has faced many tough opponents — Oscar de la Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Arturo Gatti, Canelo Alvarez, Shane Mosley, and Maidana — but he doesn't have legendary names on his record like Ali or Robinson.

Beating Pacquiao next weekend would do that, but with an asterisk by it as both fighters are now outside their primes. Not getting the Manny fight accomplished 3-5 years ago will always be a sticking point with his legacy. Another part of what will tarnish Mayweather's legacy in the ring are his legal issues out of the ring with domestic violence.

While I don't agree with Mayweather that he's the best fighter of all-time — he might be the best ever from 130-154 pounds — his performances in the ring certainly make the case that he's deserving of being in the conversation with those legends.