Mayweather's a great but is no Marciano.
Byline: SPOT-ON OPINION David Prentice OUR MAN ON THE INSIDE OF MERSEYSIDE SPORT
THIS time next week, Floyd Mayweather will be on the verge of making history. And make history he will. He will outbox and outpunch the outclassed Andre Berto, take his record to a perfect 49 and 0 - then apparently retire.
But while his record will stand alongside the great Rocky Marciano's, he won't replace the Brockton Blockbuster in fight fans' hearts.
Which is understandable, if a little sad.
Mayweather's love of money, his ability to pick fights at just the right time and the domestic violence charges he has pleaded guilty to, shouldn't dilute his majesty in the ring.
If he's difficult to love outside the ring, he's impossible to ignore inside it.
Unlike The Rock, who was loved inside and out.
Marciano contested seven world title fights in a spell of three years, edged a split decision to Roland LaStarza, came from behind on the judges' cards to knock out Archie Moore, then survived a brutal cut against Ezzard Charles to stop that fight early, too.
We love him because those fights were classics and Marciano was thrilling to watch.
But Mayweather should not be made to suffer for his art.
He is an Olympic medalist, has boxed 25 world title contests, held world crowns all the way up from super-feather to lightmiddle - and has done so over a period of 17 years.
He is truly great. He will never receive the love Marciano received, but he deserves just as much respect.