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Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Greatest Ever

So who is the Greatest Boxer of all time, a question that has been asked every moment a new elite boxer enters the list of all time greats. I will be looking at the best boxers that have ever entered the ring from 1900 – present, but please remember this is my opinion, ultimatly this will always be up for discussion, i will be building up to who i think is my all time greatest boxer.

(images have been purchased and are a part of my personal collection)

Floyd Mayweather 

I understand that Floyd Mayweather will not come close to some of the Fighters in my list, but he is for me the best Boxer of recent times and a Superstar that is currently crossing over the sport from the 1990s era of Boxing. Another Boxer of controversial nature but take nothing away from his incredible skill and technique inside the ring. For me there is only 1 other boxer that could counterpunch like Mayweather, and that was Muhammad Ali. Mayweathers ability to move about the ring at such a rate that other boxers would get tired just trying to hit him, and once they could manage to land a shot it was very rare that they would'nt get hit themselves. Wins against Corralles, Castillo, Gatti, De La Hoya, Marquez and Mosely has placed Mayweather amoungst some of the greatest Boxers of all time. Does he need to fight Manny Pacquiao to solidify his status as one of the best ever? for me no, it would only increase his already pound for pound champion status.

Mike Tyson
One of the most powerful punchers that have ever entered the ring. I would like to point out that in no way is this a contradiction to my post a couple of days ago. As i firmly believe he could have been one of the greatest if it wasnt for his life outside of the ring. Take nothing away from ‘Iron Mike’ because for 4 years of his career before he was sentance to 6 years in prison he dominated the heavyweight division like no other. With his biggest wins coming against Trevor Berbick, Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks, Tyson finished his career with 50 wins out of 58 fights and what was most impressive was that 44 of those 50 fights was won by KO. I put Tyson in my list for his ability to scare his opponants before they even entered the ring due to being so fast and powerful with his punches, but also his defensive technique, which stopped so many boxers from being able to come close to hurting him. The reason he wont be entered any higher on my list is due to his losses to Douglas, Holyfield and later on Lewis, as it seemed anytime Tyson encountered a Boxer who could stand toe –to –toe with him or mess with his game plan he couldnt handle it and would go on to lose these fights on lack of ability or stupidity.

Julio Ceaser Chavez
A 25 year career that saw Chavez remain as the best pound for pound boxer for many years. A six time world champion at 3 different weights and without doubt the best Boxer to come out of Mexico. Chavez holds the record for the longest undefeated streak, over 13 years and ending up 89—0-1 going into his first loss. He also holds the record for the most consecutive defenses of the world title (27) and most title victories (31). Training legend Angelo Dundee said that Chavez had the strongest chin of any Boxer ever, weather this be true or not fights against Camacho, Haugen and Whitaker proved that Chavez was able to take a shot to the chin but also give out some of the most devestating hooks by any fighter in the ring. Chavez earns his place on my list with his ability to take any boxer to the trenches and stand and fight with his opponants leaving him with a Career record of 107-6-2, thats impressive by any measure.

Joe Louis
One of the most iconic and defining sportsman in the history of the sport. Louis ended his career with a great record of 69-3-1. With 2 wins over the boxing technician Jersey Joe Walcott and a win over Billy Conn, and ending his Career with a boxing classic against Rocky Marciano where he was beat by TKO in round 8, it was infact his 2 encounters with German Max Schmeling that would shape not only the sport of Boxing but every Sport you see around today. In 1936 Schmeling handed Louis his first loss with a 12th round KO, which had given not only Schmeling but the whole German race led by Adolf Hitler the right to declare his white race the perfect race that could not be beaten. It was in 1938 that Louis seeked his redemption and defeated Schmeling in round 1 with a TKO, he had defied all odds and made a statement for the Black race and all other races that were being torn apart at this point. It was not long after louis was announced the winner that all German radio stations were cut off from the fight and the fight would be completly ignored. Louis was assigned to a Calvelry unit during WW2 where he served his country and continued to do celebrity tours during the war with Sugar Ray Robinson. A true legend of the sport that has to be on my list for his Life changing 3mins against Schmeling.

Rocky Marciano
49-0, Undefeated and never lost his World Heavyweight crown. Marciano goes on my list as one of the greatest Boxers ever due to his incredible wins over some of the best heavyweights of the time and his hard hitting brawling style which saw Marciano so determined that he would walk out of every one of his fights the winner and left him only ever getting knocked down twice. His win over Joe Louis probably being his most famous, but incredible matches with Jersey Walcott and Ezzard Charles over 13 and 15 rounds proved why Marciano was such an incredible Boxer. Winning a title eliminator in 1952 and never letting it go, Marciano bridged a period of Heavyweight Boxing until his last win against Archie Moore in 1955. 

Jack Dempsey
The Manassan Mauler, although not even close to the stature of todays heavyweights it is known that Jack Dempsey had the most powerful punch ever inside the ring. Winning 66 of his 83 fights it doesn’t initially look like the most impressive record by a boxing legend, but when watching the fights Dempsey was in, you will see that this wasn’t just the modern day 12 rounds of dancing inside the ring, this was the 1900’s and these were fights that would have very little of today’s major ruling. Boxers would literally fight until the other could not stand. If you want to see Dempsey at his fighting best please see the Jess Willard bout in which saw Dempsey hand 7 knockdowns just in round one and go on to win in round 3. People would come from all over to watch Dempsey beat fellow fighters usually in devastating fashion, he was also the first boxer to break the $1,000,000,000 gate. Dempsey was in no way the greatest boxer ever but most certainly one of the most iconic.

Muhammad Ali

Where do you start when trying to compile everything that Muhammad Ali has acheieved throughout his Boxing career, inside and outside the ring Ali built himself a reputation that has now gone down as him being 'The Greatest'. Altho he is not number 1 on my list he comes very close, and i think he would for any boxing fan. It is hard to deny that Ali stood out from the crowd with his Loud mouth, cocky yet confident attitude and ultimatly his Boxing talent. 61 fights and 56 wins, but this is usually over looked as some of the losses on his record came at a time when Ali was definatly past his best. The 2 main losses on his career came against Frazier and Norton, nothing to be ashamed of, especially as Ali found redemption against both of these losses. February 26th 1964 was Ali's defining day, and a day that he had predicted he would acomplish before he had even won gold at the Olympics, he had done what many thought impossible and beat the fearsome Sonny Liston. His lightning fast hand and foot speed helped him produce another win against Liston in round 1, and further wins against Floyd Patterson, Henry Cooper and Cleveland Williams. But Ali's most famous of wins were against Joe Frazier in 1974 and 1975. Ironically his most famous loss was against Frazier in the 'Fight of the Century' in 1971, i have watched this fight numerous times and it gets better every time, many say that Ali would have won if he hadn't have just completed his prison sentance for refusing to engage in the Vietnam War. Further wins against George Foreman, Ken Norton and Leon Spinks took Ali to the end of the most famous career in Boxing history. A career made up of dramatic Match ups, controversial interviews and political and religious stands. Stripping everything away and looking at Ali as just a Boxer he was not the best, but as a complete package...... he was by far 'The Greatest'

Sugar Ray Robinson

My number 1 all time greatest Boxer is Sugar Ray Robinson, i was torn between Robinson and Ali but for me Robinson edges it due to his incredible Ring Record and wins over some of the greatest Boxers that have ever lived. With a total of 173 wins over 200 fights, Robinsons record stands as one of the best ever. The best boxer over Welterweight and Middleweight divisions and holder of both world titles, this caused sports writers to create the first ever pound for pound world champion and Robinson was that man. Robinson is the only Boxer i have watched that could produce the same amount of devistating power in every type of shot he threw from either arm. Robninson could work the jab better than anybody in the ring, and for some Boxers even facing the power Robinson could put into a jab was enough. Outside the ring he was a larger than life character that was renouned for having one of the biggest entourages to follow him, Trainers, coaches, vocal coaches, barbers, dancers, secretary and many woman. He was not only a performer in the ring but ouitside as well, a trained singer and dancer who like Jack Dempsey, owned his own resturant that would show some of the biggest talent in the music world. Over a 26 year career Robinson beat hall of famers such as, Carmen Basillo, Henry Armstrong, Gene Fullmer, Randy Turpin, Rocky Graziano and Jake La motta (as pictured above). Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard have all been quoted saying that Sugar Ray Robinson is the best ever, and Ring Magazine both have hime as the Greatest Boxer that has ever lived, and i have to agree.

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