Ah yes, the age old debate that is guaranteed to always cause debate, disagreement and opinion in what could be the most subjective topic in all of sports – ranking the top 10 pound for pound best fighters of all time. Everyone has their own favorite fighters and their own ranking criteria when it comes to judging greatness.
For me the main factors I consider when looking at who is the very best of all time and where I put them in my list depends on factors like; impact they had in their prime, fight record, ability to overcome adversity and level of competition faced during their career. Many times I’ve changed my mind on this list over the list few years (and probably will again over the next few) but considering these factors this is what forms the basis for my list of the greatest boxers to ever walk the face of the Earth, regardless of weight division:
Sugar Ray Robinson
For me by far the best ever still to this day. A man who had it all, essentially the ultimate boxer. A guy who could fight on the inside, outside, could box, move, fight, punch and had a good chin. An apex pugilist specialist who had every string to his bow, every weapon in his arsenal that a fighter could want. He fought more high level opposition than anyone and took on all comers often fighting every week. A credit to the sport and himself. The best ever.
One of the toughest human beings to ever walk the Earth. A fearless heavyweight warrior who had a right hand that was indicative of his nickname “The Brown Bomber”. Still holds the record for most defenses of the heavyweight title ever. The best heavyweight for me.
Always an inclusion when talking about the greatest boxers ever. Probably the fastest big man to ever live, not to mention one of the bravest. Took on the best and beat the best. Outside the ring he transcended the sport and without him boxing might not be where it is today. A very special human being.
In his prime probably the best fighter that ever lived in my opinion. But this list doesn’t just take prime into account, he did come up short on a few big occasions notably to Lewis and Holyfield. However in his prime before he went to jail – the scariest puncher of them all. A guy who cut through the heavyweight division like a knife through butter. The hardest puncher that ever lived.
For pure boxing skills he probably deserves to be higher in the list but as he’s still active I think number five currently is fair. Say what you will about Floyd Mayweather but to date he has beaten everyone put in front of him, the majority been the best fighters of his generation. A guy who was simply born to be a boxer and bred into the sport since a baby by his father. A rare talent, a winner.
The only heavyweight champion to ever go undefeated, a record which will take some beating. He fought off both challengers and mob approaches to take dives. An old school fighter, a man of integrity. Perhaps in today’s terms he would of been a middleweight but for his time he fought off some of the most ferocious heavyweights around, often giving up a lot of size. A legend of the game.
Sugar Ray Leonard
Ridiculous combinations that would break even the best of defenses. Hand speed, footwork and a warriors heart. Ray Leonard’s boxing skills when on form where breath taking but he also could go into the trenches when he needed to. He fought arguably some of the best competition ever. A fighter who will always be remembered.
“The hands of stone” was probably one of the most macho and out in out fighters that ever graced the soil of this planet. Probably the toughest fighter in terms of grit and meanness on this list. A guy who took on all comers and never backed down from anybody. A pure fighting machine.
A fighter who went through the weights and fought the who’s who of his time. A massive puncher with over 100 knockouts to his name. The only boxer ever to hold three world championships at the same time, holding the featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight world titles for a brief period in 1938. That says it all about the man, a fearless competitor.
The “Pacman” has to be on this list for me as he is the only fighter to ever win world championships in seven different weight divisions, an astonishing accomplishment that will likely never be matched. To go from 105 lbs up to 150 lbs and win world titles shows how special this fighter really is. One would hope he and Floyd Mayweather get it on before both men’s careers end to establish who is the greatest fighter of their generation!
This topic is always a very hard one to discuss and decipher, I’d be delighted to get feedback from you guys on who some of your top fighters pound for pound of all time are.