Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the greatest active fighter. He is the pound for pound king, the biggest draw in the sport, and by far the biggest earner. In spite of all of this, there is heavy criticism directed at him, and the "0" on which his career is built. So if hardly anyone disagrees that Floyd has been the best fighter in the sport over the last decade, why isn’t he lauded as being among the all time greats? Because he hasn’t proven that he should be. The "Money" moniker says it all. Floyd isn’t in the sport to prove that he is the best fighter out there, he is in it to make money. He has basically said it himself, many times. With that being his primary goal, you would have to admit that he has been successful beyond any expectations. It is perfectly within his rights to earn the most money possible, manage his career to that end and calculate risk vs. reward to maximize profits. That said, it has cost him his place among the all time greats. Floyd’s legacy will be one of being the biggest earner in boxing, but he lost his chance to be definitively crowned as the best of his generation. Fans don’t watch sports to see who earns the most, they watch to see who is the best. Floyd likely was the best, but he didn’t prove it. He didn’t seek to challenge himself, he sought to earn the biggest paydays. He chose sound business over pride. That is something we aren’t entirely used to in boxing, especially at the truly elite level. We wish to see fighters embark to prove they are the best, to be driven to take on all comers and silence the critics, and we are not used to seeing a man complicit in collecting the check but letting the respect go by the wayside. Because of this, rightly or wrongly, Floyd will never be completely forgiven for not facing Manny Pacquiao in his prime. Floyd certainly would have been favored in this match-up, and would likely have won, but alas, fights are not fought on paper, but in the ring, and no credit is given for victories that were never earned. Of course, Pacquiao is but the most glaring blank spot on Floyd’s resume. Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito and a fresher Shane Mosley are routinely mentioned as fights that should have, but didn’t, materialize. Mayweather probably would have beaten them all; but he didn’t. While "ducking" opponents is a frequent occurrence in boxing, it usually has a lot to do with the compensation involved in taking the risk. That is why it is unfathomable that someone who calls himself "Money" would turn down a career high payday to face the opponent who could have cemented his legacy. Certainly there were obstacles on both sides that led to this fight not happening, but because of the history of opponents that Mayweather Jr. didn’t face, he, fairly or not, will shoulder the blame for this fight not occurring. The question is, why would such an elite fighter be so risk averse? Perhaps it was simply that the money was prized that much higher than the glory, and even a moderate risk wasn’t seen as worthwhile. History will surely remember Floyd as a truly great fighter, but a man who may have proven capable of beating all of the best of his generation chose not to prove he could do so. No one will question whether Floyd was great, but there will be always those who begrudge him for turning to down the opportunity to prove he was the best.