My Top Pound-for-Pound Fighters (Since 1945): Numbers 16-20

By Ted Sares on November 16, 2013
My Top Pound-for-Pound Fighters (Since 1945): Numbers 16-20
The one-of-a-kind Archie Moore had an astounding record of 194-26-8-1 with 141 KOs.

Having fought for an amazing 27 years, Archie Moore knocked out more opponents than anyone else in the history of boxing…

When the boxers touched gloves before the first round began, Holmes told Cooney, “Let’s have a good fight.”

This is the fourth in a five-part series of my Top Pound-for-Pound Fighters (Since 1945). As I have written in several prior articles, I picked 1945 because I actually witnessed each boxer in action at one time or another and in that regard, I feel more comfortable in my evaluations and selections. And once again, I carefully analyzed records, style, chin, KO percentages, skill-sets, entire bodies of work, prime years, dominance, quality of opposition, and the era(s) in which a boxer worked. In an attempt to validate my selections (as much as validation is even possible), I also used the following guidelines:

1) Was there a reasonable distribution regarding weight classifications?
2) Was there a reasonable distribution regarding era?
3) Did I know enough about each boxer to make a qualitative judgment?
4) Did I benchmark? For example, if Joe Frazier is too far away from Rocky Marciano, something is probably amiss.
5) Did I avoid personal bias in making the selections?
6) Did Hall of Fame induction bias my selections?

First Fifteen

My first fifteen have been documented as follows:

1. Sugar Ray Robinson
2. Willie Pep
3. Joe Louis
4. Eder Jofre
5. Muhammad Ali
6. Carlos Monzon
7. Sandy Saddler
8. Sugar Ray Leonard
9. Roberto Duran
10. Ezzard Charles
11. Salvador Sanchez
12. Julio Cesar Chávez Sr.
13. Marvelous Marvin Hagler
14. Tie between Pernell Whitaker and Aaron Pryor
15. Khaosai Galaxy

The first five were the easiest (relatively speaking), but as the list got longer, the degree of difficulty got greater. In particular, the five set forth below were the most difficult, as legends like Alexis Arguello, Fighting Harada, Thomas Hearns, Ruben Olivares, Michael Spinks, Jose Napoles, Louis Manuel “El Feo” Rodriguez, Wilfredo Gomez, Nicolino Locche, Marcel Cerdan, Ike Williams, Holman Williams, Emile Griffith, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Rocky Marciano and others had to be evaluated, ranked and otherwise sorted out. In just about every instance, the difference between the fighters was razor thin, but once again, choices had to be made and here they are:

16. Archie Moore ranks number 4 on The Ring’s list’s list of “100 greatest punchers of all time,” number 14 on its list of the “80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years,” and has the longest reign in light heavyweight history. Moore had an astounding record of 194-26-8-1 with 141 KOs.

Having fought for an amazing 27 years, he knocked out more opponents than anyone else in the history of boxing. He became the light heavyweight champion at the age of 39 and is the only man to have fought both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. The cagey Moore—the quintessential cutie—fought just about everyone in just about every location and arguably developed the cross-armed defense used by many fighters out of the San Diego area. Moore was a mainstay in the 175-pound rankings until 1952 when he beat light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim by decision. He held the coveted title for almost 10 years. In 1955, he made an ill-fated attempt to win the heavyweight title from Rocky Marciano. Although he dropped Marciano early in the fight, Rocky stopped Archie in the ninth. A year later, Moore met Floyd Patterson for the vacant heavyweight crown but was stopped in five. Like Bob Foster, Moore was nearly unbeatable at light heavyweight but had trouble when he moved up in weight. He made nine title defenses and engaged in one of the greatest fights in boxing history with Canadian Yvon Durelle. Archie was dropped three times in the first round and once in the fifth round. But he responded by dropping Durelle in the seventh and knocking him out in the 11th round. Moore fought nine world champions and seven Hall-of-Famers. He had multi-fight series with some of the game’s top fighters. He was the oldest boxer to win the world’s light heavyweight crown, and is believed to be the only boxer to have boxed professionally in the eras of Louis, Marciano, and Ali.

The Old Mongoose” was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990. He also belongs in the Breitbard Hall of Fame (San Diego), St. Louis Walk of Fame, California Boxing Hall of Fame, among other honors too numerous to list here.

He remained active in boxing as a trainer and once worked with a young Ali and later with heavyweight champion George Foreman. The ageless warrior passed away in 1998 at age 84.

“Very few people could make me fight out of my system. Burley was one.”—Archie Moore

17. Ricardo “Finito “Lopez. He fought in the 105-pound strawweight division, and despite their greatness, the little men of boxing rarely attract much attention, but Finito got mine. With a 51–0–1 record and 38 KOs overall, Lopez had an amazing 25-0-1 championship run. He was like a miniature Joe Louis. He could crack but he also could be a stylist. His last victory, a KO victory over recent world champion Zolani Petelo, book-ended his career with solid efforts and showed that his skills remained intact. He was a dominant world champion for over ten years and fought many of his opponents in their home countries of Japan, South Korea and Thailand. He fought ten times in Las Vegas and also battled in California and Texas. Like Rocky Marciano, you can’t argue with perfection. At the end of the fight, it’s whose hand the referee raises that matters and Finito’s hand was raised 51 out of 52 times!

The only mark on his record was an eighth-round technical draw against tough Rosendo Alvarez in March 1998, an outcome he avenged in a rematch that might well have been the Fight of the Year had it not been for Robinson-Gatti. Lopez and Alvarez let it all hang out in the final round, each fighting as if he were behind in the cards. Though many thought Lopez had dominated, the judges had it 115-113 Alvarez, 116-112 Lopez, and 118-110 Lopez. “Finito” had unified the WBC and WBA strawweight championships in dramatic fashion.

Ricardo was a great sportsman, always complimenting his opponents and never making self-promoting boasts. In this respect, he was “old school.” He was a 2007 Hall of Fame inductee along with Roberto Duran and Pernell Whittaker. Oh yes, he had an undefeated percentage (sometimes referred to as a winning percentage) of 98%!

18. Kid Gavilan, known as The Cuban Hawk, finished with a record of 108-30-5 and remarkably was never stopped. He may have had the greatest chin in boxing history. In my opinion, The Kid was the best of the many great Cuban exports, even better than Luis Manuel “El Feo” Rodriguez. This select group also included Ultimino “Sugar” Ramos, Jose Napoles, Florentino Fernández, Benny “Kid” Paret, Orlando Zulueta, Jose Stable and Jose Legra. He came out of the Cuban sugar fields to become the world welterweight champion of the early 1950s, displaying a flashy style that featured his signature bolo punch, a looping, whirling uppercut that was flashier than it was effective. He said he developed the punch cutting sugar cane with a machete.

The Kid was a staple in the early years of TV boxing, eventually appearing in 34 televised bouts. He captured the welterweight title in a 15-round decision over Johnny Bratton in May 1951. He took the crown that Sugar Ray Robinson had vacated when he defeated Jake LaMotta for the middleweight championship.

Gavilan made seven successful defenses of his title, defeating, among others, Carmen Basilio and Billy Graham, whom he outpointed twice. The following were among his best performances: Carmen Basilio (W 15), Beau Jack (W 10), Ike Williams (W twice), Ray Robinson (L 15), Billy Graham (W thrice), Gil Turner (KO 11), Walter Cartier (KO 10), Johnny Bratton (W twice), Chuck Davey (KO 10), and Tony Janiro (W twice). His KO of local favorite Gil Turner in Philadelphia in July 1952 set an attendance record of 39,025 for a welterweight title fight that lasted until the 1980 Roberto Duran-Ray Leonard classic in Montreal

Arthur Daley wrote in The Times in 1954: “Gavilan will let go with a furious flurry, almost like a madman gone berserk. Then he’ll coast. Then, with a quick peek at the clock, he’ll time his closing sprint just before the end of each round with the hope of convincing the ring officials that he’s delivered that identical kind of fisticuffing for the entire three minutes. Even the least gullible of them sometimes find it difficult to disregard the psychological seed he’s planted, especially in a close round.’‘

He returned to Cuba after his fighting career ended, but lost everything when Fidel Castro came to power. Eventually returning to the United States, he lived out his remaining days in relative poverty. In 1991 he was found to have decreased memory function and disorientation. He died in 2003 at a hospital in Miami. He was 77.

In 1990, The Kid was among the first inductees in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He remains a hero to the people of Cuba.

19. Jose Napoles. With an amateur mark of 114-1 and a professional record of 81-7-1 with 54 KO’s, Jose “Mantequilla” Nápoles was one of the greatest welterweights of all time. Trained by Angelo Dundee, his combination of speed, elegance and power thrilled fans during his Hall of Fame career. He won the WBC/WBA welterweight titles in 1969 and successfully defended the crown fourteen times and was a dominant force in his division.

“He was smooth and slick; He could attack, box, punch, defend, endure – whatever it took; He packed nice solid punches along with his fighting ‘savvy’ and demonstrated his skills time and again; During his career, he was an outstanding lightweight and light welterweight – then moved up and won the WBC Welterweight Championship of the World and the WBA Welterweight Championship of the World.”—Tracy Callis Historian, IBRO, assisted by Seth Callis.

Among his victims were such notables as Emile Griffith, Curtis Cokes (twice), Carlos Hernandez, Eddie Perkins, Clyde Gray, Hedgemon Lewis (twice), Billy Backus, Alfredo Urbina, Johnny Santos, Ralph Charles, Ernie Lopez (twice), Armando Muniz (twice),  Eugenio Espinoza, Roger Menetrey, Horacio Agustin Saldano, Adolph Pruitt (twice), L. C. Morgan (thrice),Ralph Charles, Kid Anahuac, Giordano Campari, Edmundo Leite, Angel Robinson Garcia, Rolando “Chico” Morales, Jean Josselin, Ramon Bobby Cervantes, and Bernabe “Baby” Vasquez.

His first win over Cokes gave him the coveted welterweight titles.

“He (Cokes) didn’t know where all the blows were coming from. I spread mantequilla (butter) on him and he didn’t see me.”—Jose Napoles

During his great run from 1969 to 1975, he lost to Billy Backus on a bad cut in 1970 but avenged the loss six months later with a TKO. He then stepped up in weight but lost by TKO to Carlos Monzon for the WBC and WBA middleweight titles in 1974. Between a shocking upset loss to L.C. Morgan in 1966 and the first Backus fight, Mantequilla won 20 in a row. Between the Backus loss and the Monzon defeat, he won another 12 straight.

After losing on cuts to John Stracey in his last fight, Napoles retired and stayed retired. However, like fellow Cuban great Kid Gavilan, Napoles fell on hard times. Sadly, and according to a report in the El Paso Times, he is “down and out – physically and financially.” A few years ago Jose was in a car accident after which things have not been good.

Herb Goldman ranked Napoles as the number four all-time welterweight. Jose was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1984 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

20. Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes had a final record of 69-6 with 44 KOs. He was an old-school type, always ready and eager to enter the ring, sometimes fighting as many as nine times in one year. Holmes was under-appreciated by fans since he followed the more charismatic Ali, but arguably he possessed the best jab in modern boxing history, a solid chin, and a great resilience as evidenced in his fights with Shavers, Snipes, and Weaver. The “Assassin” was a dominant champion who never backed down from any contender throughout his career. His second loss to Michael Spinks is considered among the worst decisions in boxing history and some believe there may even have been some political implications behind it.

Holmes won his first 48 pro bouts and fell just one short of matching Rocky Marciano‘s career record of 49-0 when he lost to Michael Spinks in 1985. He retired after losing the controversial rematch to Spinks, but made repeated, albeit unsuccessful, comebacks in three further attempts to regain the title, the last in 1995.

Holmes’ victory over Earnie Shavers in 1978 set up a title shot between Holmes and WBC heavyweight champion Ken Norton on June 9, 1978. The fight between Holmes and Norton was a tough, competitive fight. After fourteen rounds, all three judges had the fight scored dead even at seven rounds each. Holmes rallied late in the incredible fifteenth to win the round on two scorecards and take the title by a split decision. It was a classic battle.

Holmes’ iconic fight with “Irish” Gerry Cooney on June 11, 1982, was orchestrated as white vs. black. In reality, however, the formula was white vs. black equals green, as neither fighter was concerned about race. Holmes took the highly anticipated encounter with a TKO win coming in the thirteenth round when Cooney’s corner threw in the towel ending what had been a thrilling fight with ebb and flow.

The quality of Larry’s opposition was arguably as great as that of any fighter of his era with the possible exception of Evander Holyfield and Ali. It included Mike Weaver (twice), Oliver McCall. Michael Spinks (twice), Scott Ledoux, Cooney, Mike Tyson, Ray Mercer, Carl Williams, Leroy Jones, James “Bonecrusher” Smith (twice), Tim Witherspoon, Scott Frank, David Bey,  Renaldo Snipes, Trevor Berbick, Tex Cobb, Ali, Ernie Shavers (twice), Kenny Norton, Roy “Tiger” Williams, and Holyfield.  A little known fact is that fourteen of his opponents after the Norton fight came in undefeated. Unlike many retired boxers, Holmes invested his money wisely and manages several business enterprises in Easton, PA.

“I came from m a dirt farm, now I’m filthy rich.”—Larry Holmes

“Ali was a guy that had a lot of discipline. If you hung around him, you’d be able to get some of that discipline that he had. And I learned from that. He was a sweet man.”—Holmes

“All fighters are prostitutes and all promoters are pimps.”—Holmes

So this is how my top twenty pans out as of now; there will be five more.

1. Sugar Ray Robinson
2. Willie Pep
3. Joe Louis
4. Eder Jofre
5. Muhammad Ali
6. Carlos Monzon
7. Sandy Saddler
8. Sugar Ray Leonard
9. Roberto Duran
10. Ezzard Charles
11. Salvador Sanchez
12. Julio Cesar Chávez Sr.
13. Marvelous Marvin Hagler
14. Tie between Pernell Whitaker and Aaron Pryor
15. Khaosai Galaxy
16. Archie Moore
17. Ricardo Lopez
18. Kid Gavilan
19. Jose Napoles
20. Larry Holmes

My Top Pound-for-Pound Fighters (Since 1945): Numbers 1-10
My Top Pound-for-Pound Fighters (Since 1945): Numbers 11-15
My Top Pound-for-Pound Fighters (Since 1945): Numbers 16-20
My Top Pound-for-Pound Fighters (Since 1945): Numbers 21-25

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Archie Moore vs Joey Maxim

Archie Moore vs Yvon Durelle I (Full fight)

Ricardo Lopez vs Rosendo Alvarez I

Ricardo Lopez vs Rosendo Alvarez II

Kid Gavilan vs Johnny Bratton I

Kid Gavilan | Carmen Basilio 1/1


Jose Napoles

Earnie Shavers Battle Royale with Larry Holmes

Larry Holmes vs Ken Norton (High Quality)

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  1. Ted 10:25am, 11/20/2013

    Thanks Bill. These lists are very difficult to do. You never really know when to hit the send key.

  2. dollarbond 06:29am, 11/20/2013

    Another nice job of research, Ted.

  3. Ted 07:18am, 11/19/2013

    Irish, I never select based on country or locale. I select based on my own criteria and then let the chips fall where they may.  I did give Ortiz and Gomez plenty of consideration, however.

  4. tED 07:15am, 11/19/2013

    B Red. LMFAO

  5. B Red 01:20am, 11/19/2013

    Ted, wheres Bhop and Floyd ? :twisted:

  6. B Red 01:17am, 11/19/2013


  7. B Red 01:13am, 11/19/2013

    My Top five since 1982, Floyd, Bhop, Leonard, Holmes, Whitaker, ya dig

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:48pm, 11/17/2013

    Not one Boricua…in my mind Carlos Ortiz was a beautiful fighter who is drastically underrated and discounted….Sugar Ray had style and power but good God Almighty so did Carlos.

  9. Ted 06:55am, 11/17/2013

    Naw , he was just high on Brandy

  10. Don from Prov 05:44am, 11/17/2013

    Interesting that Holmes is your third heavyweight—

    I don’t know why I say “interesting” like the pick is some specimen to be probed, but he was a very good fighter and the Norton fight is a great one.

    Mr. Crawford MUST be misspeaking when he indicates that Mayweather would handle anyone on your list who weighed less than 175 pounds.  He must.

  11. Ted 09:55pm, 11/16/2013

    beaujack , I respect your age and your opinions, but I simply don’t know enough about Beau Jack, Bob Montgomery, Sammy Angott, Willie Joyce, and Freddie Dawson to make an intelligent comment. I do know a lot about Ike Williams, but I think Burley and Holman Williams were better all-around fighters.

  12. beaujack 09:43pm, 11/16/2013

    Ted I have seen ringside many of the fighters of the 1940s on your list…I think it is a good list in general but I believe on a man to man basis, the Ike Williams I saw several times, and when he almost killed Beau Jack in Philly in 1948, would have beaten Roberto Duran at LW were they to have fought. Which 135 lb LWS such as Beau Jack, Bob Montgomery, Sammy Angott, Willie Joyce, Freddie Dawson,  did a Roberto Duran have to contend with as the murderous punching Ike Williams met time and again ?  I also think that a Ray Leonard or an Ezzard Charles were better all around fighters than Clay/Ali who I saw at the FOTC. But there is no doubt of Ray Robinson as #1 and Willie Pep #2, both of who I was fortunate to see in their primes…

  13. Ted 06:18pm, 11/16/2013

    11 blacks
      1 white
      8 Latinos
      1 Asian

    res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself—or in today’s colloquial terms, it is what it is.


  14. Ted 06:12pm, 11/16/2013

    Well it was either him or Ruben Olivares

  15. Tex Hassler 04:52pm, 11/16/2013

    Jose Napoles was a truly gifted and great fighter who seems to be forgotten today.  Thanks for including him on your list.

  16. Ted 04:07pm, 11/16/2013

    Arghh. I still have 5 to go.

  17. kid vegas 04:01pm, 11/16/2013

    Nice list Ted but where is Arguello and where is Tommy Hearns?

  18. Ted 02:50pm, 11/16/2013


  19. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:48pm, 11/16/2013

    OK….OK…. I’ll get out of the way….anyway….my Courvoisier has just been cut off here by popular demand. Peace.

  20. Ted 02:38pm, 11/16/2013

    See, there it is. Iris is trying to f—k up this thus far marvelous string of comments. And CG is still knapping.

  21. Ted 02:36pm, 11/16/2013

    Ike is likely a butt ranger and also stark raving mad. Why would someone rape a prostitute for Gods sakes? He has been in a Loooooong something must not be wired right. Some bad juju with Ike.

  22. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:34pm, 11/16/2013

    Matt McGrain-Please don’t stop me while I’m on a roll…. I’m just trying to bring a sense of proportionality to the issue at hand….no wait….that’s not it all because I assert that Floyd Mayweather could have handled most of the “pre-modern” heavyweights campaigning in the thirties.

  23. Ted 02:29pm, 11/16/2013

    Irish is stirring up the shit. I know he is doing that. He has to be doing that.

  24. Ted 02:27pm, 11/16/2013

    AKT, I am 76

  25. Matt McGrain 02:19pm, 11/16/2013

    Louis would kick the shit out of Ike.

  26. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:07pm, 11/16/2013

    I thought my work was done here…. but I guess not….Ike Ibeabuchi would literally taken Joe Louis’ head off his shoulders….yet Joe is an icon for the ages and Ike languishes in prison idling his time away as a butt pirate extraordninaire.

  27. AKT 01:59pm, 11/16/2013

    “As I have written in several prior articles, I picked 1945 because I actually witnessed each boxer in action at one time or another and in that regard, I feel more comfortable in my evaluations and selections.”

    How old are you Ted?!?

  28. Ted 12:38pm, 11/16/2013

    I quite agree. If he keeps on fouling up his legacy, he can only go south on my list. However, a prime Jones gets on it.

    If Mayweather fights stiff opposition and wins his last 4 or 5 and finishes undefeated, it will be difficult to keep him off the list. If he beats Pac, Garcia, Martinez, and maybe two others that don’t include Khan, he will be difficult to discount.

    Lots of “ifs” involved, of course. Hopkins has not fought the level of opposition to suit me but he is very impressive.

    Aside from these three, it gets mighty lean. Vitali remains viable.

  29. nicolas 12:33pm, 11/16/2013

    Ricardo Lopez is the greatest mini flyweight champ of all time, but then the question would be, how would he have done in a fight with Jimmy Wilde, who was flyweight champ nearly 100 years ago, and weighted about the same as Lopez. In both cases of the fighters, their opposition is questionable, but one needs to remember that Lopez defeated the Thai fighter by knockout in two rounds, and that fighter two years later would beat Humberto Gonzalez and hold the light flyweight title for some three years. Lopez’s legacy would be more cemented had he fought Gonzalez and Michael Carbajal., instead he was champion of a division that when he retired was not even a quarter of a century old. He may have defeated some really other talented fighters, but did he really aspire to try to be greater? He has been a champion in an era where there was only the flyweight championship, and not so many organizations, and two weight classes below, perhaps he would be greater. Perhaps that is the answer to his humbleness.

  30. Matt McGrain 12:30pm, 11/16/2013

    I think the only active or near active fighter that belongs on this list would be Roy Jones, and even that is highly debatable.

  31. Ted 12:26pm, 11/16/2013

    Arghh, Irish. Wlad and Vitali are still fighting. JC was and is great but he was a very fortunate fighter to catch his opponents at just the right time in their careers. Jones was done but still managed to deck Joe. An aging Hopkins gave him a close fight and also floored him. His win over Kessler was solid as was his win over the overrated Lacey. He caught Eubank at the right time as well. His level of opposition frankly was underwhelming to me.

    Saying that he would beat Monzon or Robinson or Hagler is, how shall I say, reckless? I don’t want to lose you as a loyal poster, BUT I cannot in all conscience agree with anything you say about Joe. Sorry SOB

  32. Clarence George 12:20pm, 11/16/2013

    Ha!  Well done, Larry!

    My tummy’s full, which always puts me in good humor.  She Who Must Be Obeyed just spent a literal fortune at Bergdorf Goodman on whatever it is women spend fortunes on.  Can’t complain, as it was her money.  Moreover, I didn’t have to be present for the shopping.  Rather, I was summoned for lunch at the store’s fancy restaurant…which, because of the aforementioned spent fortune, was on the house!  I had the Lobster Napoleon, two blueberry lemonades, and a hot chocolate with whipped cream.  I unfortunately had to contribute five dollars toward the tip.  Anyway, now that my Ty Cobb reference has been made clear…I’m going to take a nap.

  33. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:18pm, 11/16/2013

    Ted Sares-“Was there reasonable distribution regarding era?”......errr…….and not only on this well researched and documented list, but others as well….. at least for the era that covers the last decade. Where’s 46 and 0 Joe Calzaghe, another fighter who could clean up on all the fighters listed here that are 175 and under (yes, that includes Robinson, Monzon and Hagler) or 45 and 0 Floyd Mayweather or Andre Ward or for that matter…. where the heck is Kostya Tszyu (was he some sort of mirage that my feeble mind conjured up) or Wlad and Vitali or Lennox…...why are they discounted. Someone once said that familiarity breeds disrespect and I’m inclined to believe that is true when it comes to these lists because these fighters are the ones that we and that includes all of us including out of date fossils like myself, are most familiar with.

  34. Matt McGrain 12:10pm, 11/16/2013

    You might find you want to flesh it out more as you go because as you say, it’s fun (up to a point!).

  35. Larry Link 12:07pm, 11/16/2013

    Here he is.

  36. Clarence George 12:04pm, 11/16/2013

    Not to mention Ty Cobb.  And, indeed, why hasn’t he been mentioned?  Aha!

  37. Ted 12:01pm, 11/16/2013

    19. Kid Gavilan (19)
    20. Jose Napoles (21)
    8. Sugar Ray Leonard (8)
    I like that

    11. Salvador Sanchez (32)
    12. Julio Cesar Chávez Sr. (18)
    Not bad

  38. Ted 11:57am, 11/16/2013

    Thanks, Matt. I’ll see how the 25 looks and then assess whether to keep on. It is a lot of fun. Like I said in my very first post on yours, the list you came up with far surpasses mine because you did your due diligence. Not that I didn’t, but I simply did not want to venture beyond my comfort zone.

    Tux, what is your boxing name?

  39. FrankinDallas 11:43am, 11/16/2013

    Tye Fields better be in the next 5…...

  40. Matt McGrain 11:32am, 11/16/2013

    We’re close on a lot of stuff Ted, and disagree on a lot of stuff.  Here is your 21 so far with my respective ranking in brackets:

    1. Sugar Ray Robinson (1)
    2. Willie Pep (6)
    3. Joe Louis (4)
    4. Eder Jofre (16)
    5. Muhammad Ali (3)
    6. Carlos Monzon (15)
    7. Sandy Saddler (10)
    8. Sugar Ray Leonard (8)
    9. Roberto Duran (5)
    10. Ezzard Charles (2)
    11. Salvador Sanchez (32)
    12. Julio Cesar Chávez Sr. (18)
    13. Marvelous Marvin Hagler (17)
    14. Pernell Whitaker (9)
    15, Aaron Pryor (UNRANKED)
    16. Khaosai Galaxy (UNRANKED)
    17. Archie Moore (7)
    18. Ricardo Lopez (UNRANKED)
    19. Kid Gavilan (19)
    20. Jose Napoles (21)
    21. Larry Holmes (46)

    (I’ve ironed out your tie in the name of ease).

    So we can be said to disagree on Holmes, Lopez, Moore, Galaxy, Pryor, Sanchez, Charles and probably from your point of view on Monzon and Jofre (though I don’t find your ranking of them objectionable).

    Of course, different criteria would always produce different rankings, but Lopez is a problem for me.  He made his way in an atrocious division.  He has a level of competition so far below everyone on that list (Aside from Galaxy) that it isn’t really comparable.  Kid Gavilan crushes his resume with 2 or 3 names alone.  He fought good fighters - but no very good fighters.

    Apart from Alvarez.  Alvarez was unlucky not to come away with something IMO.  Lopez was an exceptional talent - i believe your comparison with him to Louis is reasonable - but only as far as punching and technique go.  He dominated the weakest division in boxing history (105), and was bigger than almost every man he ever met there.  I personally do not regard him as a great fighter - but rather one who is elite in terms of skill, which I don’t see as the same thing.

    I hope you don’t stop after five more, this is good reading.

  41. tuxtucis 11:29am, 11/16/2013

    I agree with McGrain.
    I said about Galaxy in previous writing…
    Finito never won against a great fighter…He drew and split against the best fighter he ever met, Rosendo Alvarez (for sure not an all time great)...
    Even Sor Vorapin and >Petelo were past their primes in their fights with Lopez…

  42. Ted 11:17am, 11/16/2013

    John, Hagler really only lost to one man he never beat.

    He wasn’t perfect and his fights against Geraldo and Duran stunk up the place. But aside from those, he was very , very good.

  43. Ted 11:15am, 11/16/2013

    Ha, come on Matt, if you strip your list of the older guys, mine is pretty darn close to yours. But I’m going to stop at 25. This stuff is very difficult to do with backup narrative which is why your list is so impressive.

    Still, I get the Galaxy thing because of his opposition, but his dominance was beyond dispute and you yourself put a premium on dominance.

    Lopez was 99% perfect. Why are you down on him. Give me something I can work with on Finito.  As for the Kid. we are very close are we not?. I didn’t mean to cause you any pain. Maybe a, Migraine—pun intended lol

  44. Ted 11:09am, 11/16/2013

    Irish , I don’t think so. It was mostly flash.

  45. john coiley 11:03am, 11/16/2013

    glad to see MARVIN HAGLER on your list…

  46. Matt McGrain 10:18am, 11/16/2013

    Moore below Galaxy hurts my eyes, handsome Ted.
    Lopez above KG only a little less so.
    Neither man made my top 100 (all time).

  47. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:23am, 11/16/2013

    Donaire was so giddy when he finally hurt Darch the other night that he let loose with a bolo punch when finishing up. Which reminds me…did Kid Gavilan ever KO anyone with that showboat punch?

  48. Ted 09:23am, 11/16/2013

    Thanks Dan and Clarence. And SRL also used it in more modern times. In fact he arguably used it to humiliating Duran into saying “No Mas.”

    Dan, I rank El Feo next on my list of great Cuban fighters.

  49. Clarence George 09:15am, 11/16/2013

    I too have heard the story of Macario Flores.

  50. Dan Cuoco 09:10am, 11/16/2013

    Nice list. I’m glad that you rated Kid Gavilan just above Jose Napoles. I love them both, but have always favored Gavilan a shade over Napoles. I’ve also wondered how Luis Rodriguez would have done in a matchup with both.

    Re. the bolo punch. Here is what the IBRO’s Ric Kilmer picked up some years back while doing research on boxing in Tacoma back in the 1920s. “Macario Flores was perhaps the inventor of the so-called ‘bolo punch’—a combination of a wide uppercut/right cross. At the least, he was one of the very first to use it, by no later than 1924. See the Tacoma News-Tribune newspaper, March 27, 1924.”  I believe Ceferino Garcia was next and then Kid Gavilan (regarding prominent practitioners of the bolo punch).

  51. Clarence George 09:04am, 11/16/2013

    Language, Ted!  There may be ladies present.

  52. Ted 08:52am, 11/16/2013

    Irish Frankie, I picked them first and then noticed the heavy Black and Latino representation. I too was amazed, but as they say, res ipsa loquitur.

    I did not include any current fighters which eliminated Jones, Hopkins, and Mayweather.

    The next 5 will be excoriatingly dificult

  53. Ted 08:47am, 11/16/2013

    CG, don’t know the answer on the Bolo punch

  54. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:15am, 11/16/2013

    Ted Sares-It appears that your list does not include any currently active fighters or any that campaigned in the last ten years for that matter. P4P lists do nothing for me because being the simple minded fan that I am, in my mind I immediately start doing head to head match ups past to the present. I can’t stand Mayweather or Ward for that matter, but they clean up on any and all on your list under 175 (yes, including Robinson and Monzon) and the KBros drill all above the weight limit. One more thing…Willie Pep shines like a diamond in a billy goats ass on this list made up for the most part of ATG black and Latin fighters

  55. Clarence George 08:03am, 11/16/2013

    Another thoughtful, as well as thought-provoking, installment, though I agree with Eric about Larry Holmes.  I think he’s very overrated, and have never understood his reputation.

    You refer to Kid Gavilan’s “signature bolo punch.”  Do you consider him, rather than Ceferino Garcia, the originator?  Or, rather, do you think he perfected it?

    Look forward to the final five.

  56. Ted 07:22am, 11/16/2013

    Well maybe. I know the stuff pretty well but there are some very savvy posters around here who know it just as well. Remember, these are boxing aficionados here on

  57. BIG WALTER 07:20am, 11/16/2013

    No argument from me, but then you know this stuff and I really don’t except for what I watch on television.

  58. Ted 07:19am, 11/16/2013

    I get your point Eric, but I ranked Holmes where I did because of his dominance over whatever opposition was available. Fighting Shavers twice, Norton, Weaver, and Cooney is not bad in my view. And he beat Mercer when no one gave him a chance to go more than three rounds. He had a great, great jab, matched by a great great chin and he knew how to box.

    I’ll stay with him but your points are taken.

  59. Eric 07:15am, 11/16/2013

    Just never a big supporter of Larry Holmes and I am puzzled at how much his stock as a great fighter has went up since retiring. Followed boxing more closely during any period of my life during Holmes’s lackluster title reign and remember quite well that Holmes was nearly criticized as much as the Klits back then. Some of the criticism leveled at Holmes was unfounded while some was right on the mark. His opposition in title fights is every bit as underwhelming as any heavyweight champ in history. Look at some of Holmes’s challengers like Evangelista, Ocasio, the one dimensional Earnie Shavers who was past it, Mike Weaver who gave Holmes all he could handle, Scott Ledoux, Leroy Jones, Snipes who nearly knocked Holmes out. After Cooney, Holmes’s list of challengers is every bit as inexperienced and limited, fighters like Lucien Rodriguez, Marvis Frazier, Scott Frank. There were the controversial wins against Witherspoon and Carl Williams, and the losses to blown up light heavyweight Michael Spinks. I would rank Michael Spinks ahead of Larry Holmes on a P4P list and I can’t see Holmes being higher than fighters like Tommy Hearns,  or even fellow heavyweights like Liston, Marciano, Frazier, and Foreman.

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