From 1900 to 1960 & 1960 to 2022 the P4P Best!
By Ken Hissner: Every boxing fan has their own opinion on who were the all-time best pound-for-pound boxers. This article includes “my twelve picks” from 1900 to 2022. I will be interested in others’ choices and comments.
In the 1900 to 1960 group, to me and most people, “Sugar” Ray Robinson was P4P, the greatest boxer of all time. He won the welterweight title in 1946 and the middleweight title in 1951, 1955, 1957, and 1958.
His final record was 174-19-6 with 109 stoppages, only being stopped trying for the light heavyweight title in 1952 to champion Joey Maxim.
At the time, he was ahead on the scores by 10-3, 9-3-1, and 7-3-3, not able to come out for the fourteenth round due to heat exhaustion. Even referee Rudy Goldstein had to be replaced in round ten due to 104-degree heat. He was from Harlem, New York.
Second on that list is Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong, who won the world featherweight title in 1937, the welterweight title, and the lightweight titles in 1938, being the only boxer ever to hold three titles all at the same time. He finished with a 149-21-10 record with 99 stoppages. He had twenty-six successful title defenses. He was from Los Angeles, California.
Third is heavyweight champ Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, who won the title in 1937 and held it to 1949 with twenty-five successful title defenses. He finished with a 66-3 record with 52 stoppages. He was from Detroit, Michigan.
Fourth is Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb, who won the middleweight title in 1923 while being blind in one eye. He was the only boxer to defeat eventual heavyweight champ Gene “The Fighting Marine” Tunney, 65-1-1, in 1922 for the American light heavyweight title. His final record was 108-8-3 with 49 stoppages. He was from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Fifth is Willie “Will o’ the Wisp” Pep, who won the featherweight title in 1942 and 1949. He was possibly the best defensive boxer of all time. His final record was 229-11-1 with 65 stoppages. He was from Rocky Hill, Connecticut.
Sixth on the list was the only boxer not to win a world title in Sam “The Boston Bonecrusher” Langford, who ended with a 178-30-38 record with 126 stoppages. Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey said Langford was the only boxer he feared. He was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, moving to Boston, Massachusetts.
Langford had a draw with welterweight champ Joe “Barbados Demon” Walcott, 87-15-17, in 1904. He had wins in 1910 over former middleweight champ Stanley “The Michigan Assasin” Ketchel, 48-6-3, and in 1911 over former light heavyweight champ “Philadelphia” Jack O’Brien, 147-13-5.
In the 1960 to 2022 group, first is heavyweight champ Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, who won the title in 1964, 1967, 1974, and 1978 after having won the 1960 light heavyweight Olympic Gold Medal. He had nineteen successful title defenses. He was from Louisville, Kentucky.
Second is Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, who won the flyweight title in 1998, the super bantamweight title in 2001, super featherweight and lightweight titles in 2008, welterweight title in 2009, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019, light middleweight title in 2010. He ended with a 62-8-2 record with 39 stoppages. He was from General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines.
Third is Julio “J.C.” Cesar Chavez, Sr., who won the super featherweight title in 1984, lightweight title in 1987 and 1988, light welterweight titles in 1989, 1990, and 1994. He ended with a 107-6-2 record with 85 stoppages. He had twenty-four successful title defenses. He was from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Fourth was “Sugar” Ray Leonard, who won the welterweight title in 1979, 1980, and 1981, light middleweight title in 1981, middleweight title in 1987, light heavyweight and super middleweight titles in 1988. He won the light welterweight Olympic Gold Medal in 1976. He was from Palmer Park, Maryland.
Fifth was Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., who won the super featherweight title in 1998, lightweight title in 2002, light welterweight title in 2005, welterweight title in 2006, 2011, 2014, and 2015 and light middleweight title in 2007, 2012, and 2013. He successfully defended his titles twenty-six times. His final record was 50-0 with 27 stoppages. He was the 1996 Olympic Bronze Medalist. He was from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sixth was Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya, who won the super featherweight title in 1994, lightweight title in 1994 and 1995, light welterweight title in 1996, welterweight title in 1997 and 2000, light middleweight titles in 2001, 2002, and 2006 and middleweight title in 2004. His final record was 39-6 with 30 stoppages. He was the 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist.
All twelve have been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
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