Three major points:
1) Being undefeated doesn’t mean you’re the best. It only means you were undefeated. Ali and Pacquiao, two of the most prominent figures in boxing, were both defeated but it doesn’t mean their opponents were better in general. They won the battle but certainly not the war. That is not to take away anything from them, of course. Winning a bout is hard enough, winning a bout against a great player, dude, that’s like LSD trip mixed with cyrstal meth trip.
2) If being called a Pound for Pound King was easy, every boxer would be a pound for pound king now. To even be considered means you have the skills that will have you considered, not just records.
3) There are athletes who thrash talk. That is all part of the game. That doesn’t make them any less of an athlete or any less of a human being. But observe the athletes that have been judged great by history. They never took it personal. It was always about the game.
This is a hard list to make, so bring in the love. I’ll take the punch.
10. Julio Cesar Chavez
Record: 108-6-2 (87 KOs)
Impact: Arguably most revered Mexican boxer in history. Known especially for heavy hands and murderous body punches. Won first 88 professional fights before escaping with draw against Pernell Whitaker in 1993.
9. Salvador Sanchez
Record: 44 – 1 (32 KOs)
Impact: Sanchez turned pro at the age of 16 and won 17 of his first 18 bouts by knockout. In 1977, Sanchez lost a 12-round decision to Antonio Becerra for the vacant Mexican bantamweight title. He would never lose again. In 1980, he met popular WBC featherweight champion Danny “Little Red” Lopez, a hard-hitting American who had made nine successful title defenses. He won a 13th-round TKO. Salvador made four successful title defenses before the year ended. The most remember fight, however, is the 1981 fight against Wilfredo Gomez, the WBC junior featherweight champion. Gomez was unbeaten in 33 fights with 32 knockouts. Still, Sanchez decimated the future Hall of Famer. He dropped Gomez in the first round and maintained a consistent attack until the fight was stopped in the eighth round.
He died in an auto accident on August 12, 1982. One big “what if?”.
8. Joe Louis
Country: United States
Record: 65 – 3 (51 KOs)
Impact: The world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. Nicknamed the Brown Bomber, Louis helped elevate boxing from a nadir in popularity in the post-Jack Dempsey era by establishing a reputation as an honest, hardworking fighter at a time when the sport was dominated by gambling interests.
7. Roy Jones Jr.
Country: United States
Record: 60 – 6 (40 KOs)
Impact: He is the only boxer in history to start his career as a junior middleweight, and go on to win a heavyweight title. He is also noted for holding the WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, NABF, WBF, and IBA light heavyweight championships (Undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion); a record seven belts at the same time. Jones left his mark in history books when he captured the WBA heavyweight title, becoming the first former middleweight champion to win a Heavyweight title in 106 years.
6. Roberto Duran
Record: 103-16 (70 KOs)
Impact: Dominated lightweight division for seven years, and then outhustled Sugar Ray Leonard to become welterweight champ in 1980.
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