Friday, April 23, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., controversially declared himself a better fighter than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson in the latest episode of HBO's 24/7 Mayweather vs. Mosley.
Mayweather didn't back off those comments during a Thursday teleconference to preview his May 1 fight against Shane Mosley at the MGM Garden Arena.
In fact, Mayweather (40-0, 25 KO) elaborated and said a victory against Mosley would further prove his point.
"Things change, it's out with the old and in with the new," Mayweather said. "Muhammad Ali was one hell of a fighter, but Floyd Mayweather is the best."
Asked where he would put Mosley (46-5, 39 KO) on his all-time list, Mayweather said he wasn't sure Mosley should be ranked.
"I don't know how Mosley can call himself great or say he's a future Hall of Famer because we don't know how long this guy was taking enhancement drugs," Mayweather said.
Mosley's name was prominent in the 2003 BALCO investigation, which also included notable athletes such as Barry Bonds, and it was revealed he had taken illegal performance enhancers before a fight against Oscar De La Hoya.
Although Mayweather said beating Mosley would build on his legacy, he didn't have any compliments for his opponent.
"He's a fighter that always worries about landing one big shot and worries about who is strong," Mayweather said. "I worry about being smart and winning."
The conversation naturally drifted toward Manny Pacquiao, whom Mayweather was originally slated to fight in March before the two sides couldn't agree on drug testing procedures.
Mayweather had no slot for where Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KO) ranked in the all-time great list, but assured it was nowhere close to him.
"We know he's been knocked out twice and he's been out-boxed by Erik Morales," Mayweather said. "But they still give him boxer of the decade. That's something I don't understand."
"All I'll say is this: If you're a clean athlete, take the test. Show the world."
Mayweather harped on the idea that Pacquiao gets more credit than him despite his undefeated record.
Mayweather said he heard detractors after every one of his victories and already planned on it happening again after the Mosley fight.
"When I go out and beat Shane Mosley, they will say he's over the hill," Mayweather said. "There's always an excuse."
Although the bout is between two of the biggest names in boxing, a title will not be on the line. Mosley's WBA welterweight championship belt is safe even if he loses.
Mayweather said this did not bother him and that he no longer cared about titles.
"At this level, for Floyd, it's not about belts," said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's promoter. "It's about fighting for his legacy and it's about money."
As far as Mayweather is concerned, however, his legacy should already be intact.
"I got respect for Sugar Ray Robinson. I got respect for Muhammad Ali," Mayweather said. "But I'm a man just like them and put on my pants just like they put on their pants. But what makes them any better than me?"