The All Time Welterweight Tournament

By Cain Bradley on September 21, 2017
The All Time Welterweight Tournament
People often try and compare fighters of different eras by discussing who is the greatest.

Often ranked as the best boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson’s career started with an incredible 128-1-2 record…

People often try and compare fighters of different eras by discussing who is the greatest. One way to do this is to rank fighters by who achieved the most in their careers. However perhaps a more entertaining way is creating fantasy fights to work out the greatest ever. I have taken the 32 best welterweights (any fighter can only be ranked in one division) of all time and put together a random draw. Some of the fighters are admittedly not technically welterweight but I had to find a way to get them in a tournament. Who will be the winner? Let’s watch the tournament unfold!

The Draw:[1]
Aaron Pryor
Carlos Palomino v Kostya Tsyzu
Wilfred Benitez v Barbados Joe Walcott
Oscar De La Hoya
Kid Gavilán v Jose Napoles
Young Corbett
Jimmy McLarnin
Ted Kid Lewis v Cocoa Kid
Sugar Ray Robinson v Sugar Ray Leonard
Hector Camacho
Henry Armstrong
Jack Britton v Thomas Hearns
Luis Manuel Rodriguez
Emile Griffith v Carmen Basilio
Floyd Mayweather v Fritzie Zivic
Felix Trinidad

[2,3 and 4]

Odds:
Sugar Ray Robinson 5.2
Floyd Mayweather 6.8
Jimmy McLarnin 9
Oscar De La Hoya 14
Emile Griffith 18
Kid Gavilán 18
Henry Armstrong 20
Sugar Ray Leonard 22
Jose Napoles 26 [5]

THE BOXERS:
Aaron Pryor—Pryor did his best work at light welterweight and was actually voted the best light welterweight of the 20th century by Associated Press. His best wins were over Antonio Cervantes and stopping Alexis Arguello in two wars. Potential bouts against Ray Mancini, Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard were missed. He finished with a 39-1 record with his later career wrecked by drugs. He was a terror in the ring who fought with an aggressive intensity and solid chin.

Barbados Joe Walcott—The man from Barbados is the shortest in the competition at 5’1. He first challenged for the lightweight world title but lost to Kid Lavigne. After moving up he failed in a title challenge to Mysterious Billy Smith before beating James Ferns to win the title. He drew with legendary boxers Sam Langford and Joe Gans. His final record finished at 104-32-27.

Carlos Palomino—The Mexican was an impressive amateur who defeated future Olympic gold medalist Sugar Ray Seales. He became world champion defeating John H. Stracey. He lost the title in a split decision loss to Wilfred Benitez. Afterwards he would also lose to Roberto Duran. He had a warrior mentality with the ability to take a punch and give his own knockout punch. He was also a slick mover who was hard to hit.

Carmen Basillo—The Italian American had a rough start to his career. He begun to rise through the ranks beating Billy Graham, Lew Jenkins and Ike Williams. He lost his first world title challenge against Kid Gavilán. He won the title by stopping Tony DeMarco who he also beat in a rematch. A dodgy loss to Johnny Saxton cost him the belt but he avenged the defeat with two wins. His most famous fights actually came at Middleweight as he split victories with Sugar Ray Robinson. His final record was 56-16-7.

Cocoa Kid—Cocoa Kid is a Puerto Rican boxer who was actually named Herbert Lewis Hardwick. Cocoa Kid was one of the top African American boxers of the ‘30s and ‘40s who was part of The Black Murderers’ Row. He fought Holman Williams thirteen times, winning eight. He did not manage to get a title shot when in his prime against Henry Armstrong. He won the World Colored Welterweight Championship defeating Young Peter Jackson. He also won the Middleweight version of the belt defeating Holman Williams. The final record of the heavily avoided fighter was 176-56-10.

Emile Griffith—One of the most interesting figures in the boxing world, Griffith was born in the US Virgin Islands. He won the title over Benny Paret and in a nasty tragic trilogy he got the best of his opponent twice. He also overcame Luis Manuel Rodriguez in a trilogy before moving to middleweight. He beat Dick Tiger to win the middleweight trilogy and lost 2-1 in a trilogy with Nino Benvenuti.

Felix Trinidad—The Puerto Rican was one of the most exciting fighters at the turn of the century. He had the longest welterweight world title reign of anyone following his defeat of Maurice Blocker. He defeated a who’s who of the division at that time including Hector Camacho, Yori Boy Campas, Freddie Pendleton, Oba Carr, Pernell Whitaker and Oscar De La Hoya. He followed that by winning light middleweight and middleweight titles before his first defeat, coming against Bernard Hopkins.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.—The undefeated American could still add to his legacy. BoxRec already rate him as the greatest welterweight of all time. He is a five-weight world champion having won between super featherweight and light middleweight. His pre-welterweight résumé  was very impressive prior to going on to dominate welterweight. He beat Judah, De La Hoya, Hatton, Marquez, Mosley, Cotto, Canelo and Pacquiao. He is a defensive maestro who controls the ring and distance effectively.

Fritzie Zivic—The Croat Comet was one of five brothers knowing as the “Fighting Zivics.” By 23, he was a top ten welterweight in the world. He beat Sammy Angott to win a title shot and would defeat Henry Armstrong as a 4:1 underdog. He lost his title to Red Cochran. He split two more bouts with Armstrong and had wins over Lew Jenkins and Jake LaMotta. His record stood at 158-65-9.

Hector Camacho—The Puerto Rican was a three-weight world champion and unlucky to be in a great welterweight era to not become champion. He defeated Rafael Limon, Jose Luis Ramirez, Edwin Rosario, Cornelius Edwards, and Ray Mancini before splitting bouts with Greg Haugen and then losing to Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. twice. Up at welterweight he lost to Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya while beating Roberto Duran twice and Sugar Ray Leonard at higher weights.

Henry Armstrong—A three-weight world champion who held titles at featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. Bert Sugar called him the number two boxer of all time. He defeated Petey Sarron, Lou Ambers and Barney Ross to win his world titles. At welterweight his wins include Ceferino Garcia, Bobby Pacho, Pedro Martinez, Fritzie Zivic, Tippy Larkin and Sammy Angott losing to Beau Jack, Fritzie Zivic twice and Sugar Ray Robinson. His final record stood at 150-21-10.

Jack Britton—A three-time world champion, Britton has had the most bouts of anyone in this tournament. His final record stood at 236-59-41. He was a master boxer who was only stopped in his second ever bout. Nat Fleischer and Charley Rose ranked him as the number three welterweight. He won a fight series as well as defeating Benny Leonard and Mickey Walker although he also has losses against Willie Ritchie and Patrick McFarland.

Jimmy McLarnin—Arguably the greatest Canadian or Irish boxer, depending on which nationality you would describe him as. Over a 13 year span he fought the best over seven weight classes, fighting 15 world champions. At 17 he drew with Fidel LaBarba. At only 18 he beat Pancho Villa, Jackie Fields and Bud Taylor. He lost to Sammy Mandell at lightweight but by beating Benny Leonard, earned a shot at Young Corbett who he stopped for the welterweight title. He had a classic trilogy with Barney Ross, winning one and losing twice. He beat Lou Ambers and Tony Canzoneri late on his career finishing with a record of 63-11-3.

Jose Napoles—Mantequilla is one of the greatest Cuban boxers of all time. He found asylum in Mexico when Fidel Castro banned professional boxing. Napoles won the title over Curtis Cokes and regained it when winning a rematch. He won a decision over Emile Griffith but was surprised by Billy Backus, losing the title. He managed to regain it beating Backus. Rumors of poor training habits begin to surface but Napoles was successfully defending his belt around the globe. An attempt into the middleweight division was stopped by Carlos Monzon before a defeat to John H. Stracey led to his retirement.

Kid Gavilán—Gavilán is another great Cuban boxer. After emigrating to America he lost to Ike Williams and Sugar Ray Robinson. He rebounded to beat Williams twice but lost a title bout with Robinson. After beating Beau Jack he defeated Johnny Bratton for the world title. After defeating the likes of Billy Graham, Gil Turner and Carmen Basilio he stepped up to middleweight where he lost toBobo Olson. He lost his title to Johnny Saxton.

Kostya Tsyzu—The Russian-Australian boxer is another who excelled at light welterweight. As an amateur he was a world champion and behind his boxing skills he exhibited great timing and power. He had a two and six year reign where he looked absolutely dominant. His losses came against Vince Phillips and Ricky Hatton. The wins included Zab Judah, Sharmba Mitchell, Julio Cesar Chavez, Diosbelys Hurtado and Rafael Ruelas.

Luis Manuel Rodriguez—“El Feo” was a Cuban who fought out of Florida. He was probably most famous for four fights with Emile Griffith. Griffith won three, all by split decision with Rodriguez winning the second by unanimous decision to become world champion. Rodriguez also has two wins over Benny Paret and went up to challenge at middleweight, losing by stoppage to Nino Benvenuti when ahead on the cards. Herb Goldman ranked him as the 8th best welterweight of all time. He was an exciting boxer who was versatile.

Oscar De La Hoya—The Golden Boy rose to fame with his feel good story at the 1992 Olympics when he won gold. After that he rose through the weights beginning with super featherweight. At Welterweight he started with a disputed win over Pernell Whitaker to become pound for pound number one. Quartey, Camacho and Chavez were also defeated before a controversial first defeat to Felix Trinidad. After losing the first bout against Shane Mosley he would never return to welterweight until his final bout, against Manny Pacquiao.

Sugar Ray Leonard—Sugar was another hugely popular boxer who was a five weight world champion and part of the popular “Fabulous Four.” He was the 1976 Olympic gold medalist and stopped Wilfred Benitez in 15 to become world champion. His first defence came against Davey Boy Green, who he stopped. He split bouts with Roberto Duran, winning the second which became known as the “No mas” fight. He moved up the weights defeating the likes of Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Duran again.

Sugar Ray Robinson—Often rated as the best boxer of all time, Robinson was an unbeaten amateur. His career started with an incredible 128-1-2 record with wins over Sammy Angott, Fritzie Zivic twice, Jake LaMotta twice, Kid Gavilán twice and Henry Armstrong. His only loss in that spell came in a rematch with LaMotta. He won the title defeating Tommy Bell and also moved up to middleweight to win a world title. His final record was 173-19-6-2.

Ted Kid Lewis—The English boxer was a double world champion who is ranked 41st all time by ESPN. He turned professional at only 16. Four years later he won the British Featherweight Championship. He won the title off Jack Britton and the pair fought twenty times. He lost the title for the last time against Britton in 1919. He challenged for the light heavyweight title against Georges Carpentier but was stopped in round one. His final record was 232-46-24.

Thomas Hearns—The Hitman became the first five weight world champion who was twice The Ring Fighter of the Year. He won the title over Pipino Cuevas by stoppage before being stopped while ahead on cards against Sugar Ray Leonard. He also dominated at light middleweight with wins over Wilfred Benitez and Roberto Duran. He ventured through the weights defeating the likes of Dennis Andries and Virgil Hill but was stopped by Marvin Hagler at middleweight.

Wilfred Benitez—The Puerto Rican was the youngest world champion in history having turned professional at 15. It was Antonio Cervantes who he beat to win a light welterweight title by split decision. After retaining the belt three times, he moved up to win a split decision over Carlos Palomino. He was stopped late by Sugar Ray Leonard. Up at super welterweight he had wins over Maurice Hope, Roberto Duran and Carlos Santos before losing to Thomas Hearns. He was known as a superb defensive boxer finishing with a record of 53-8-1.

Young Corbett—The Italian moved to America as a child. He fought all the best fighters of his generation, winning three of four bouts against Young Jack Thompson as well as defeating Jackie Fields and Ceferino Garcia. He won the world title off Fields but lost the bout to McLarnin by knockout. Up at middleweight he scored wins over Gus Lesnevich, Fred Apostoli, Mickey Walker and Billy Conn. He is known as a tough southpaw with speed.

First Round
Carlos Palomino v Kostya Tsyzu
Tsyzu is probably a swarmer with a low punch output but was a superb boxer with accuracy and power. His two losses came when old against an inspired swarmer who did not stop throwing and a boxer puncher with a chin and power. Palomino had the chin needed to get through the power. Palomino probably does not have the power or work rate to stop Tsyzu. Instead I think Tsyzu ends up relatively dominating to a comfortable decision with his accurate punching too much for Palomino.
Result: Kostya Tsyzu defeats Carlos Palomino by Unanimous Decision (148-137 and 146-139 twice)

Wilfred Benitez v Barbados Joe Walcott
Barbados Joe Walcott is another swarmer, constantly coming forward with attacks although more than once he showed his ability as a pure boxer. Benitez was known as radar due to his defensive abilities. What an awful matchup for Walcott. A defensive specialist who has a nine inch height advantage and five inch reach advantage. It is just too much for Walcott to overcome and he gets beat up a bit.
Result: Wilfred Benitez defeats Barbados Joe Walcott by Unanimous Decision (146-139, 148-137 and 149-136)

Kid Gavilán v Jose Napoles
The irresistible force takes on the immovable object. The two were very competent boxers, both coming from the Cuban system. Napoles has a slight speed and technical edge with the snappy jab popping Gavilán. Gavilán would look to pop Napoles and follow in with a sustained onslaught in order to hurt Napoles. He managed it every so often but Napoles does enough to win.
Result: Jose Napoles defeats Kid Gavilán by Split Decision (145-140, 144-141 and 142-143)

Ted Kid Lewis v Cocoa Kid
Another tough first round bout. Kid Lewis was an all action stalker who fans loved. Cocoa Kid was a powerful boxer who was best known for beating Holman Williams. Looking at his record, Cocoa has more losses than you would expect and he struggled with crouching crowders. Lewis was the kind of stalker who would really give Cocoa troubles although Cocoa would land a couple of his bigger punches, it was not enough to stop Kid Lewis.
Result: Ted Kid Lewis defeats Cocoa Kid by Unanimous Decision (145-140, 146-139 and 150-135)
Sugar Ray Robinson v Sugar Ray Leonard
Arguably the clash of the tournament. Leonard has the speed and movement advantage with Robinson more power, work-rate and timing. This will cause arguments and I think this could be fought 100 times and each wins at least 40. The speed would give Leonard a small advantage in the early rounds as he picks away at Robinson. Robinson is relentless and his work to the body can start to slow down Leonard. Leonard was superb at winning rounds for minimal effort often for late, speedy flurries. Against Robinson however the laziness will eventually cost him and although a judge gives him the benefit of the doubt, he sees the decision of the other way.
Result: Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Sugar Ray Leonard by Split Decision (144-141, 143-142 and 141-144)

Jack Britton v Thomas Hearns
This is as hard as it comes. Britton was an incredibly smart boxer who could adapt himself to fight any style. Hearns was a physical freak with power and great boxing skills. Did Britton have the power to defeat Hearns? Probably not. The Kronk fighter was almost impossible to outbox and the reach advantage here would be enough for him to win a decision. He shocks the crowd when he wobbles Britton in the fourth round.
Result: Thomas Hearns defeats Jack Britton by Unanimous Decision (144-141 and 146-139 twice)

Emile Griffith v Carmen Basilio
Another bout that is so tough to call. Griffith was the boxer with more speed. Basilio was the savage brawler with a power edge. Griffith would have the edge early but Basilio would be getting good work off. The effects of those punches would come into play later in the bout as Griffith tired. Griffith was a master at grabbing his opponents and holding them so they are unable to work. A point is deducted late on as he continues his dirty work. Basilio does not have the power to stop Griffith but hurts him late on and does just about enough.
Result: Carmen Basilio defeats Emile Griffith by Split Decision (143-141, 141-143 and 144-140)

Floyd Mayweather v Fritzie Zivic
Mayweather is a modern day great with his incredible defensive reflexes and timing. Zivic had wins over some great fighters but was inconsistent. He was a well schooled boxer with craft footwork and best known for his dirty nature. Floyd is hardly a fighter averse to roughing up an opponent. The size and strength of Zivic would give Floyd trouble. I do struggles to pick someone as inconsistent as Zivic over Floyd. Floyd has an incredible ability to get the win and by forcing Zivic to come to him, I think the fight would suit him more.
Result: Floyd Mayweather defeats Fritzie Zivic by Unanimous Decision (147-138, 145-140 and 144-141)

Round of 16:
Aaron Pryor v Kostya Tsyzu
Interesting enough, this is a clash between two of the pre-eminent light welterweight boxers. Pryor would be slight favorite. Although Pryor did not quite box in the vain of Ricky Hatton, he would follow a similar blueprint looking to pressure Tsyzu. Tsyzu was at his best when given time to work and he could make a home for his accurate right hand. Pryor would not allow that. He was a boxer who was in perpetual motion. He would throws punches in combinations from angles using his intelligent pressure. Pryor often got better once he had taken a shot and saw the canvas, but Tsyzu was a slow starter meaning it would not happen here. Pryor cruises to a wide decision win although for a few rounds in the middle of the bout Tsyzu starts to land his punches before Pryor can adjust.
Result: Aaron Pryor defeats Kostya Tsyzu by Unanimous Decision (146-139, 147-138 and 148-137)

Wilfred Benitez v Oscar De La Hoya
Another fight that looks 50-50. ODLH was the stronger boxer with an incredible jab and left hook. Benitez was the better defensive fighter who had a speed advantage. Benitez profiles as a similar fighter to Whittaker and Mayweather but with additional size and the strength that comes with it. ODLH struggled against the speedier defensive fighters and that means Benitez should take a decisive win here. ODLH tries to steal round with his big late flurries but Benitez tended to be wise to what was coming
Result: Wilfred Benitez defeats Oscar De La Hoya by Unanimous Decision (145-140, 143-142 and 146-139)

Jose Napoles v Young Corbett
There is not much film available on Corbett which makes it a tough one to evaluate. Corbett was a heavily avoided boxer who was a tough southpaw often working well to the body. I do think Napoles is just too good for him although he will not hit hard enough to stop Corbett, he will win a nice decision.
Result: Jose Napoles defeats Young Corbett by Unanimous Decision (143-142 twice and 144-141)

Ted Kid Lewis v Jimmy McLarnin
Another brawl for the ages with a high pace. Kid would likely be marching forward aggressively looking to land his punches. McLarnin however is the classier boxer and also has an all time chin. His classier work gives him the edge early on. Although both are powerful, Lewis probably has the edge. It is matched by the advantage McLarnin has in terms of his chin. Lewis hopes his power can wear down McLarnin late but McLarnin does not slow down enough for Lewis and takes a close win.
Result: Jimmy McLarnin defeats Ted Kid Lewis by Unanimous Decision (144-141 twice and 143-142)

Sugar Ray Robinson v Hector Camacho
Robinson has all the advantages here with five inches of height and four inches of reach. The difference in size and strength is probably too much for Camacho to overcome. The flashy southpaw Puerto Rican cycled through a few different styles but none of them would have beaten Sugar. He would fight at a distance that suited Sugar and although I think he had more speed it is not enough. His foot speed and being a southpaw keep it more competitive than most would imagine but the winner is clear
Result: Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Hector Camacho by Unanimous Decision (144-141, 145-140 and 147-138)

Henry Armstrong v Thomas Hearns
I decided to put Armstrong in the welterweight tournament but this matchup is absolute hell for him and the argument that he should have been in the lightweight tournament. Hearns has 7 inches of height on Henry. Looking at Fritzie Zivic beat Armstrong gives you the blueprint for Hearns. Armstrong tries to keep it difficult for him with his pressing style, constantly looking to get inside and work the slim body of Hearns. It works occasional with his attacks from various angles but it also sees him out his face on the end of Hearns punches too often. The question here is could Hearns stop Armstrong who was well known for having an incredible chin. He just put it in front of Hearns once too often and after being dropped twice in the third he is finally finished in the fifth with his face a bloodied state.
Result: Thomas Hearns defeats Henry Armstrong by Fifth Round Stoppage at 1:22

Carmen Basilio v Luis Manuel Rodriguez
Carmen Basilio was an all action fighter with a warrior spirit. He just kept coming and had a superb chin. Rodriguez was more versatile but was more of a boxer than a puncher. I cannot have either man to knock the other out but Basilio would come closer. Rodriguez would be able to work on the inside when Basilio swarmed and try to keep him at length but it just is too much for him, even with a decent gas tank. Basilio goes early to the body and slows Rodriguez down late on to take the victory.
Result: Carmen Basilio defeats Luis Manuel Rodriguez by Split Decision (143-142, 142-143 and 145-140)

Felix Trinidad v Floyd Mayweather
An intriguing matchup between one of the most powerful punches ever at the weight and one of the best defensive fighters at the weight. Tito was an athletic speed with speed, ability and power. Mayweather is a defensive genius who made his way through the weights. You often see the comment that Tito struggles with good boxers who can move. While there is some truth to that, the bouts that most people attribute as proof also see him fight people with a size advantage that Mayweather would not enjoy. Floyd is so good at taking away an opponent’s prime weapon which would mean neutralizing the left hook. Trinidad could hurt Floyd if he could get to him but Floyd was a master at recovering. Floyd would take advantage of his body weight being planted on the front foot with constant feinting. This is a tough one for Tito and Floyd dominates his way to a decision win despite a flush right hand landing in the fifth that slightly wobbled him.
Result: Floyd Mayweather defeats Felix Trinidad by Unanimous Decision (143-142, 146-139 and 148-137)

Quarter Final
Aaron Pryor v Wilfred Benitez
The quintessential offense v defense matchup. That is not to say in any way that either man lacked the other quality but both were outstanding at one discipline. This is incredibly tough to call, every point in favor of one can be met with an equally reasonable counterpoint. Usually high volume punchers tend to be kryptonite for low output defensive specialists but Benitez would be happy to stand in the pocket and try to make Pryor miss, firing off a great counter. Benitez was not a typical defensive boxer, but then Pryor was not a typical high volume puncher. He was suffocating with a constant movement and could use angles to position himself for shots. Pryor would telegraph his punches to a large degree and Benitez was good enough to see it coming and exploit it. He managed it against Sugar Ray Leonard who was told after the first round to stop throwing his right hand and he replied “but he’s right there.” The counter would probably not stop Pryor though, he would take the shot and continue going. A big factor here is this is fought at 147, with Pryor basically a career light welterweight. This would be a superb fight. The fight sees Pryor with more work and eventually dominating a tired Benitez but Benitez has been landing cleverly, cleaner shots and even dropped Pryor in the second and fifth.
Result: Wilfred Benitez defeats Aaron Pryor by Split Decision (145-138, 143-140 and 139-144)

Jose Napoles v Jimmy McLarnin
Two of the great chins in the welterweight division. McLarnin was a classy boxer but Napoles is nicknamed “Mantequilla” for a reason. He is as smooth as they come and can take advantage of the slight wildness that McLarnin has. He will pick him apart at will and although McLarnin has game changing power, against Napoles it will not matter.
Result: Jose Napoles defeats Jimmy McLarnin by Unanimous Decision (148-137 and 147-138 twice)

Sugar Ray Robinson v Thomas Hearns
Thomas Hearns is a match up nightmare at Welterweight. Long, fast and powerful he can win in any way. He does have his own flaws though. His chin and balance can be taken advantage of. Early on Robinson looks to box against Hearns but the reach and power gives Hearns the edge. In the early rounds Hearns gets the better of Sugar and in the third round he times that long right hand to knock down Robinson. Robinson is unperturbed and beings to takes the fight to Hearns, looking to work his way past the long jab. Robinson switches it between body and head. Neither particularly wants to be on the inside but Robinson pressures quickly and the pop is soon gone from Hearns punches. As it gets toward the latter part of the fight, Robinson lands a vicious left hook and Hearns barely makes it up and Robinson does not let the lanky welterweight off.
Result: Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Thomas Hearns by tenth round stoppage at 2:06

Carmen Basilio v Floyd Mayweather
Another super intriguing bout between an aggressive swarmed and a gifted ring master. Floyd would probably the fastest man Basilio ever fought but he would not have enough have power to deter Basilio. As gifted as Mayweather is defensively he would not want to be caught on the ropes too often, as Basilio would dig him to the body. Mayweather is a skilled fighter on the inside and he could hold and wrestle with Basilio but it would wear him out. The key to the result here comes from looking at how they fared against opponents. Floyd struggled with the strong aggressive Marcos Maidana whilst Basilio gave Kid Gavilán, although not quite the pure defensive boxer of Mayweather, absolute hell. Over fifteen rounds, the bigger man can just about do enough.
Result: Carmen Basilio defeats Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision (143-142, 144-141 and 145-140)

Semi Finals
Wilfred Benitez v Jose Napoles
Benitez was a defensive maestro, Napoles was an offensive maestro. Napoles was too good coming forward for Benitez to easily avoid the punches and counter. This perhaps would not be the exciting fight that people imagine as the two often stand to a stalemate—trying to work each other out. Benitez had a slight speed advantage but Napoles was still quick and would throw punches in flurries behind a great jab. His stamina would also come into play here and I think he really begins to get to Benitez late, even stopping him.
Result: Jose Napoles defeats Wilfred Benitez by 15th round stoppage at 0:39

Sugar Ray Robinson v Carmen Basilio
Of course Basilio’s most famous victory came against Sugar Ray Robinson. That was an older Robinson, who had spent time out of boxing and came up at middleweight. Basilio proved his chin in their first bout and you cannot see Robinson managing to stop him at Welterweight. Basilio was a tough out but Robinson once he realized he couldn’t get Basilio out, would adjust his style. He would lose some rounds as Basilio would bully his way on the inside despite Robinson looking to land a kidney punch to deter the onion farmer from doing that.
Result: Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Carmen Basilio by Unanimous Decision (145-140 twice and 143-142)

Final
Jose Napoles v Sugar Ray Robinson
Two superb offensive fighters here. Not to say that either man lacked defense but both were superb combination punchers with speed and power. Napoles would perhaps enjoy more success on the inside but how often would he be willing to take the punishment to get there. Not very often I would assume. Napoles has a propensity to being easily cut and swelling which would come into play here with Robinson’s accuracy. They spoil a very fun fight as Napoles can barely see which leads to the doctor stopping it.
Result: Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Jose Napoles by tenth round stoppage at 2:12

Footnote 1: This is the first 24 man tournament. There is a bit too much quality for 16 boxers and although I started with 32, I believed the quality had been diluted a bit too much.
Footnote 2: Mickey Walker, Lou Brouillard, Mike Gibbons, Tommy Ryan, Holman Williams and Charley Burley are all under stronger consideration for the middleweight tournament.
Footnote 3: Barney Ross, Lew Jenkins, Pernell Whittaker, Tony Canzoneri, Roberto Duran and Shane Mosley were in the lightweight tournament, while Manny Pacquiao was in the featherweight tournament.
Footnote 4: Pipino Cuevas, Vernon Forrest, Ike Quartey, Benny Paret, Billy Graham, Ceferino Garcia, Johnny Saxton, Antonio Cervantes, Donald Curry and Jackie Fields were my other candidates.
Footnote 5: The odds before and after the draw were vastly changed.

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  1. Coach Hilario 08:45am, 09/26/2017

    Politely; 
    1. The writer shows his inexperience in life [secondly in boxing] by mixing oil with water. The 12Rounds era which consists of mainly a schedule of 2 bouts per year minimum and an average of 50-bout career maximum—can N E V E R be compared to the 15Rounds era.  E V E R. Only hobbyists who just write to be writing with-out educating the reader commit these fallacies.  Then you have [actual] fighters who erroneously praise 12Rounds era fighters [with or] over 15Rounds gladiators.  In the 12Rounds era boxing has lacked High-Risks.  With the exception of Terry Norris,  James Toney, Pernell Whitaker, Marco Antonio Barrera, Manny Pacuiao [who is very small versus larger men] and Bernard Hopkins v. Sergey Kovalev and Chad Dawson versus Mr. Ward and Mr. Stevenson back to back. Outcome is irrelevant to a degree because he took the necessary gladiatorial risks.  The point is Mr. Dawson never [fully] recovered to date, on the other hand Floyd N E V E R took high-risks, how do we know what is in his tank, as we do Chad’s [to date], he’s still may compete.

    2. One can not compare 100 - 200 plus bout veterans with fighters [of the 12Rounds]  W I T H O U T Longevity [a weighty ingredient].

    3.  The criterion used herein are very thin, boxing’s landscape consists of a multifaceted and very diverse criterion on Honest Scales, not used or disregarded herein.

    4.  Floyd Mayweather is a non entity [in boxing] because, like Bernie Madoff, cheated himself and his craft.  Floyd’s [publicly admitted] deception was through a 17-year manipulative matchmaking scheme Roy Jones made popular [from 1995 -2003] through low-risks for high-reward.  People think Floyd hanging on to Shane Mosley was ‘career’ defining. Calm down folks.  That was expected, its boxing.

    5. Today, no one [honours or] talks about Bernie Madoff as a securities ‘legend’.  Mr Mayweather’s career will be overlooked by many soon.  People only see the ‘truth’ A F T E R the fact [in many cases] N O T during.

    6.  There are men of integrity and men who don’t aspire to increase integrity and honour.

    7. The 12Rounds era began in August of 1990.

    8.  The Word Of God hath taught me these.

  2. nicolas 09:44am, 09/25/2017

    While I don’t want to say the writer is wrong, to have Carmen Bassiio go so far is quite surprising, and to defeat Mayweather is more so. Certainly one of the two best welterweights of the 1950’s, him and Gavilan. The sad thing though for me is that while the article is good, not many comments as there might have once been on this sight.

  3. ed labriola 08:27am, 09/22/2017

    no barney ross.no welter tournament.period

  4. Kid Harvey 04:04am, 09/22/2017

    thanks for posting this, and let the disagreements begin.
    In short, Robinson KO’s Leonard and no way at his best slow footed Napoles defeats Kid Gavilan. Tournament final comes down to Robinson v Gavilan and we know who wins that one.

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