FORMER WBA lightweight champion and 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini has slammed Floyd Mayweather over his claims to be ‘The Best Ever’. The popular Mancini – who retired in 1992 – boxed in an era alongside Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran, and believes Mayweather would have lost to each of them.

“Floyd is a special fighter but all that ‘TBE’ stuff? He’s delusional,” Mancini told Boxing News. “Sugar Ray Leonard? Roberto Duran? Tommy Hearns? He wouldn’t beat any of those guys and it’s disrespectful to them. First of all fighters should just be humble, and if they’re mentioned with the best guys of all-time, they should be honoured. You don’t turn round and say you’re ‘The Best Ever’.”

But Mancini, who fought the likes of Alexis Arguello, Jose Luis Ramirez, Bobby Chacon, and Hector Camacho, does believe that Mayweather has something that Leonard did not.

“Ray Leonard is a good friend of mine and he came by and I said ‘This kid [Mayweather] does a lot of things you couldn’t do.’ Ray looks at me. I say ‘Relax, he couldn’t have beaten you, though.’ Leonard wanted to annihilate fighters, he didn’t want people to finish on their feet but this kid [Mayweather] will just slap you round for 12 rounds. He won’t take any chances, and that’s the difference.”

Mancini refused to predict what would have happened if he’d have met Mayweather in the ring but believes his busy, pressure fighting-style would have given Floyd some problems.

“Floyd is a special fighter,” Ray repeated. “I like to think I would have done okay and I’m a pressure fighter but I would never say I would have beaten him. In a fight you have to see what happens, and being as though it’s not going to happen, I’m not going to say I could beat him. I’ll just say I think I’d have done pretty good.”

Mancini did have praise – of sorts – for Floyd’s advisor, and increasingly influential powerbroker, Al Haymon.

“In six months to a year we’ll know if he’s the dumbest guy out there or the smartest. But he’s trying to bringing boxing back to network television, so God bless him for that.”

The full interview with Mancini about his own career will be published in next week’s Boxing News.