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Official 2013 Boxing Thread: Year is over, please lock. - Page 23  

post #661 of 6620

 

#61 Lou Ambers (91-8-7)

Eight losses posted in nine years over more than one-hundred fights in an era as deep as the one he fought in is an insane return. He was stopped but twice, by big punching Lew Jenkins, both occurring in the final ten months of his career and this diminutive lightweight (5’4) took some scalps.

Take a deep breath, say it with me:

Bummy Davis, Henry Armstrong, Baby Arizmendi, Paul Junior, Tommy Cross, Pedro Montanez, Tony Canzoneri, Fritzie Zivic, Jimmy Leto, Cocoa Kid and about eighty-five other forlorn souls who had the bad luck to share the ring with a lightweight as brutal as any who would come after him.

Beyond the names lie almost exclusively clean wins, although his single victory over Armstrong is tainted by the involvement of referee Arthur Donovan who took away multiple rounds from Henry in what was considered excessive interference, and he was perhaps a shade lucky to get through versus Zivic. The victories over Canzoneri are legitimate and at least one of those encounters was as brutal a lacing as that ring giant has ever suffered, right behind his victory over Jimmy McLarnin no less. His shallower win resume and lack of their startling pound-for-pound achievements means he doesn’t quite belong in their company, but as a fighter he sure as hell belonged in their ring.

 

post #662 of 6620
Love the list.

I think He's got 5 wins over Hall of famers. that's enough for me

Just for beating Jersey Joe and Joe Louis, Rocky has to be in top 20. (at least thats where I would have him) and he wasnt "hand picking" fights. That's my Main issue/gripe with FLoyd.
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post #663 of 6620
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT View Post

Love the list.

I think He's got 5 wins over Hall of famers. that's enough for me

Just for beating Jersey Joe and Joe Louis, Rocky has to be in top 20. (at least thats where I would have him) and he wasnt "hand picking" fights. That's my Main issue/gripe with FLoyd.

 

Maybe in Floyd's later career but he beat everybody in front of him and looked good doing it.

 

And Louis was shot to hell, Walcott win was pretty good (not an ATG by any means).

 

Charles was more impressive and a top 10 lock of all time P4P (imo) but he was at his best as LHW but it's still a good win.

 

The fighters on the list from 25 and below have dozens of HOF(not an indication of greatness either, Hall of Fame).

post #664 of 6620

A quick 20 fighters who I'd no question put over Rocky (not in the top 20 but just a list of 20 fighters over him)

 

Greb

Langford

Robinson

Charles

Duran

SRL

Whitaker

Ali

Moore

Pep

Fitzsimmons

B. Leonard

Roy Jones

Napoles

Hearns

Hagler

Chavez

Arguello

Monzon

Hopkins

post #665 of 6620
Imma get killed for this but who besides Hearns, Benitez and a split with Duran did Sugar Ray Leonard beat?

He certainly didnt beat Hagler in their show down.

and do we just forget about Leonard late in his career. it's still part of his career. If we take away strength of wins for fighters who fought older fighters, dont you have to take into consideration how bad some fighters looked later on?


thats the thing with lists, whats more important? the skill of a fighter or their resume?

Roy Jones skill off the hook, his resume is average at best
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post #666 of 6620
Sugar Ray Leonard is always going to get the poster boy treatment. Its arguable both ways whether he deserves it or not.
post #667 of 6620

He's a Top 5 WW with good reason, beating Hearns, the rematch with Duran (as much as I'm a Duran fanboy SRL did a great job there).

 

Faces Benitez ( A wunderkind and one of the greatest defensive fighters the sport has ever seen) and basically smashing him up and gets the TKO. Good wins in Shields, Virulet, Finch, and right before fighting Hearns lest I forget he goes up to 154 and beats Kalule (Damn good at the weight and would do in plenty of good fighters).

 

Retires for 2 years (comes back to beat Howard but gets decked and hangs them up again), and then comes back another 3 years to fight the undisputed MW champ and... beats him. If you think Hagler was past his prime then Leonard must have been near shot.

 

A definite Top 20 fighter, if not Top 15.

 

And a proper list is made up with a fighters skills and resume but for me it's a bit more important who they fought and how dominant at their best they were.

 

Jones has a prime Toney and Hopkins (maybe slightly green but still was great) and beats the latter with just one hand, his right being injured, and gets wide decisions over both.

 

Good wins over Griffin, Hill, Johnson, (Old) McCallum and then goes to HW and beats Ruiz handily.

 

I never get where people think Jones has an "ok" resume, it's good. Damn good.

 

Then you factor in his H2H (skills) and he's rated very highly.

post #668 of 6620
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidus Snake View Post

And a proper list is made up with a fighters skills and resume but for me it's a bit more important who they fought and how dominant at their best they were.

Agreed.
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post #669 of 6620

What do you think of the list so far Pro?

post #670 of 6620
Best thing about the list are the history lessons

I want to just be able to raid the late Cus d'amato's film room and see what all is up in there
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post #671 of 6620

I'm glad Azumah Nelson was on it, overlooked by so many.

 

McCallum isn't as forgotten as years ago, the fight against Toney was awesome. Makes how dominant Kalambay was over him in their fight that much more impressive.

post #672 of 6620
Keep em coming love reading and watching the vids man
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post #673 of 6620
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidus Snake View Post

What do you think of the list so far Pro?

I'm loving it so far. I don't have any problems with it so far, maybe just with Marciano. I think once you start getting into the top 50 or so, it'll pick up with who you think should be higher or lower than another fighter.
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post #674 of 6620

Yeah, it actually started as a Top 20, then 50, and lastly 100. It took 160 odd pages to complete it.

 

Good thread it was.

 

Can't wait for Greb's write up. Not too many know of that man's greatness.

post #675 of 6620

 

#60 Freddie Steele (125-5-11)

Undisputedly the most underrated middleweight ever to have drawn breath, Steele’s paltry five losses from more than one-hundred and forty contests came as bookends to a prime during which he was undefeated for four calendar years and fifty-five contests. Even before hitting his stride he twice flattened future middleweight strap-holder Ceferino Garcia sending out the warning that, whilst he might be king of a shallower pond than the one that pooled in New York, nobody was really going to be safe once he left Washington and California behind him.

This proved to be the case as after defeating Joe Glick, Frankie Petrolle, Gorilla Jones, Fred Apostoli, Vince Dundee, Gus Lesnevich and lifting the middleweight title against Babe Risko, Steele added the best New York had to offer. Frank Battaglia and Ken Overlin both succumbed early and then in 1938, with his record standing at 122-2-11, Apostoli exacted a terrible revenge on the champion, breaking his breastbone in a non-title fight. It ushered in the end of Steele’s astounding prime and he stuttered through his curtain call going 3-2.

Although he has been accorded recognition in the previous decade, Steele was something of a forgotten man for much of the last seventy years; no more. One of the best runs in all of middleweight history makes him a lock for any ATG middleweight list and a pound-for-pound list such as this one. Game, and in his best years granite-chinned, he had two-handed hitting power and was a superb boxer. He feasted on the best in the world when they dared broach his Washington territory and he dented New York when he finally got there. His failure to rematch Apostolini for the title is a black mark but is heavily outweighed by a brilliant march to the title.

 

post #676 of 6620

 

#59 Freddie Welsh (74-5-7; Newspaper Decisions: 48-24-9)

Freddie Welsh was crazy. Whilst his compatriot Jim Driscoll was born into poverty and turned to boxing as a means to elevate himself, Welsh came from a family of wealth and when he went to America to ride the rails and fight as a professional he was still just a boy, bound by some savage impulse most of us cannot understand. Fortunately, Welsh’s instincts were borne out. Whatever “it” is, Welsh had it, in his blood. He was born to fight.

On paper his best run came before the title. In 1907 he turned the corner, boxing an ND over six rounds with the more established Jim Driscoll before adding an additional 17-0-1. In 1908, he took his step up but dropped a ten-round decision to emerging demi-god Packey McFarland. At this point the press was still less than impressed with Welsh who the New York Sun named a “second-rater,” criticizing McFarland for failing to put him away. He would change minds by going 6-0-2 for the rest of the year, boxing a draw with McFarland and picking up a win over the reigning featherweight champion Abe Attell.

When he headed home in 1909 it was as one of the best lightweights anywhere in the world, and picking up the European and British titles against the excellent Johnny Summers seemed almost a routine matter. He got another stab at McFarland, the man he never could best, boxing another draw but in the fifty-six fights that had followed his loss to his nemesis, Welsh slipped up just once, against Matt Wells. Future champion Willie Mitchel, Pal Moore, Matty Baldwin, future welterweight champion Jim Duffy and Jim Driscoll all fell to him in this time. After he lifted the title in 1914, Welsh took something of a low-road, preferring non-title fights and no-decision fights to legitimate title affairs, but perhaps he had earned it. Regardless, he continued to hoover up top-draw scalps including Jimmy Anderson, Charley White, Frank Fleming, Ad Wolgast, and best of all, Benny Leonard in a non-title fight in 1916.

Welsh “not only boxed with wonderful cunning but he sent in several blows that [shot] Leonard’s head back,” reported The New York Tribune. “Round after round the confident smile of Leonard dwindled whilst the surly grin of Welsh widened.”

It was his finest moment.

Leonard would eventually get the best of him, and McFarland, too, shaded their series, but these are two of the most wonderful lightweights in history. The surviving film of Welsh reveals a boxer equal to the legend in print, difficult to hit, quality of jab, capable of direct punching and as tough as they come.

Certain inconsistencies married to a sometimes unfortunate laziness in no decision affairs leave him coming up short of the absolute greatest, but make no mistake, Driscoll’s appearance heralds the gateway to the absolute quill of boxing’s best.

 

post #677 of 6620

 

#58 Ted Kid Lewis (192-32-13; 40-13-12 Newspaper Decisions)

Even on this list there aren’t many fighters with 100 wins. Fighters with 200 wins belong to an exclusive club indeed, and as we are allowing newspaper decisions for the purpose of this list, the great Ted Kid Lewis is a fully paid up member. He was also a deep contradiction; an ultra-aggressive swarmer who fought often who also had extreme longevity. His last meaningful win was over London tough Joe Rolfe, fought in October of 1927, his pro debut was fought in 1909. With the kind of style that should have seen him burnt out in ten years and a schedule that should have seen him burnt out in six, Lewis remained at least nationally relevant for the best part of two decades.

A career welterweight, the final curtain on Lewis’s career was an extraordinary romp through the best Europe had to offer. Banished from the world title scene in 1919 by middleweight champion Mike O’Dowd, Lewis returned to the UK and won the British and European welterweight title, the British, Commonwealth and European middleweight title and the British light-heavyweight title. Lewis was brought up short by no less a figure than Georges Carpentier, who knocked him out in the first round after Lewis, showing a lack of ring-smarts that bellied his incredible ring-experience, turned to remonstrate with the referee during action.

Regardless, his astonishing mop up of domestic and European talent was an astounding feat given the amount of ring-wear he was carrying and some of the opposition that he faced, men like Johnny Basham (60-10-7) and a fifteen-pound heavier Roland Todd (54-3-2).

This is the tip of the iceberg for Lewis. Often at a serious disadvantage in weight, he managed to pick up wins over Mike O’Dowd whilst giving up ten pounds, Willie Ritchie whilst giving up four pounds, Soldier Bartfield whilst giving up five and even against the man who defined his savage career, he was often the lighter man.

Lewis met the wonderful Jack Britton an incredible twenty times between 1915 and 1921, many of them engagements to settle the designation of the world welterweight title. It is typical of a career lathered with tribulation that Britton is the perhaps the one great welterweight Lewis would have least enjoyed sharing an era with. Lewis was basically the British Mickey Walker, a ring jackal who would fight anyone breathing if the price was right, a savage attack dog who placed the opponent under relentless pressure, trying to break, outwork, or stop them. Britton was the Pernell Whitaker of his era, almost impossible to hit, thriving off opposition activity through parrying and counterpunching, equipped with a chin of hot-dipped steel. Lewis would never be able to stop him, attempting to outwork him placed him in the mouth of a stylistic lion and as a fighter, Britton was utterly unbreakable.

Almost inevitably, Lewis lost their series, but he did pull of the significant feat of beating Britton—three times by decision (on one occasion when he was outweighed by ten pounds) and at one point got the better of four consecutive newspaper verdicts in no-decision bouts, his peak year of 1917.

What he leaves in terms of legacy is a two-time stint as welterweight champion of the world, this in spite of his sharing an era with one of the greatest welterweights of all, a man who was also his natural stylistic kryptonite. He has many losses, but all this really proves is that he couldn’t maintain the same scheduling as one Harry Greb without suffering defeat, for his itinerary was at times directly comparable. Certainly brilliant pound-for-pound achievement coupled with perhaps the greatest longevity of any swarmer more than eclipses any shortcomings and sees him ranked comfortably in the fifties.

 

post #678 of 6620

 


#57 Mike Gibbons (65-3-4, Newspaper Decisions 47-9-4)

Mike Gibbons turned pro in 1907 and hung ‘em up in 1922 universally lauded for his version of pure-boxing which stressed brilliance of footwork and elusiveness of body, both aspects that he completely mastered in the ring, earning him the nickname “The St. Paul Phantom.” Unquestionably one of his era’s many true greats, it is perplexing that Mike, despite every advantage—he was white, brilliant, and straddled two divisions in welter and middleweight—never won a world title. He boxed many champions, and attempted, like many others, to claim the title when Stanley Ketchel passed (his claim did not stick), but it was an honor that evaded him. The claims and counter-claims that muddy the picture after the removal of any dominant champion confuse the issue, but his only real chance seems to have come in 1919 in a fight he lost to Mike O’Dowd for the middleweight title. Even more frustratingly, he would get the better of O’Dowd in ’21 but only after the title had passed from him and to Johnny Wilson who Gibbons never met. Still, at his best he turned in a run any champion would be proud of.

Between 1913 and his loss to the immortal Harry Greb in the summer of 1916, Mike dropped just two newspaper decisions in over forty fights. In that time he beat such top men as title claimant Young Ahearn, became the first man to stop Wildcat Fearns (unbeaten in thirteen), Al McCoy (who would stop reigning middleweight champ George Chip in one round just a few weeks later), the much bigger and unbeaten John Howard, Bob Moha (who counts Battling Levinsky and Mike Sullivan amongst his victims), world title claimant Eddie McGorty and, best of all, Harry Greb over the short distance of six rounds and two ten-round victories over Jack Dillon. It is true that many of these men are no longer household names, but they represent some of the very best of a confused era. Wins over Greb and Dillon, unquestionably great fighters in their own right, helps us to understand what he was capable of regardless of the ravages inflicted upon his legacy by the passage of time, but let it also be known that Gibbons was considered by many to be the very best at what he did during his career.

The shine is rubbed from that gem a little by his inability to defeat Packey McFarland who basically came out of retirement to battle Gibbons in a marquee event. The fight seems to have been a case of weighing Mike’s harder punches against Paceky’s higher connect rate, but more ringsiders went for the latter than for the former. This made Gibbons a loser to a smaller and an inactive man who boxed with a style similar to his own, and probably put claims that he was amongst the best defensive fighters of all time to bed once and for all. Taken in tandem with his inability to distinguish himself from Mike O’Dowd (with whom he went 1-2 in a series) this finds Gibbons further down the list than many would like to see him. Whilst victories in series against Jack Dillon and the superb Jeff Smith in addition to a deep wider resume marks him out as top sixty material, there are fighters who distinguished themselves even further to follow.

 

post #679 of 6620

 

#56 Young Corbett III (122-12-22)

Corbett was born in Italy, moving with his family to the US when he was just a boy, settling in Fresno, California sometime around 1910; when he went pro, like so many ethnic minorities turning to the hardest sport during the First World War, he took a fighting name, “Ralph Giordano” a shortened version of his given name, Raffaele Capabianca Giorgadno. Later, he would become Young Corbett III and embark upon one of the most brilliant careers in ring history.

He cut his teeth boxing as a bantam and featherweight in the Californian rings of the late ’10 and early ‘20s and although he sports early losses, his level of consistency is surprising for a teenager—Corbett turned professional aged just fourteen and boxed his way into adulthood. His run to greatness began in earnest with his four-fight series with Jack Thompson, a future welterweight champion of the world, whom he first beat on a razor thin six-round decision in 1926. The two would box a draw in 1927 before Corbett picked him off again, in ’28 and ’30 by which time he had hit his astonishing prime.

Corbett was a cagey fighter, one that had spent the first eight years of his career learning, learning that crystalized into a ten-year run at some of the best fighters in the world, and in history, through the late twenties and early thirties. He had become a fighter with an exceptional judgement of his own positioning and distance, almost impossible to pressure effectively due to the exquisite timing with which he brought across a smashing left hand straight out of the southpaw stance. On the inside, he was bulldog strong with a great line in defensive smothering and a good line in thumping offense. This combination brought him the welterweight championship of the world as he defeated the excellent Jackie Fields on points for the second time in 1933. Although his win ledger was by this point already thick and dusty and included the name of future middleweight champion Ceferino Garcia, three-time world title challenger Joe Glick, as well as the aforementioned Thompson and a host of regional toughs and champs, it was not yet the stuff of legends, so when Jimmy McLarnin bagged himself what may well be the most impressive one-round knockout in history, stopping Corbett in 2:37 three months after he lifted the welterweight title, he had a lot of work to do to make the top sixty fighters in all of boxing. Slinking immediately from the welterweight division and into middleweight, rarely weighing more than a modern light-middleweight, Corbett set to work. After dispatching Babe Morino and contender type Young Terry, Corbett took to the ring with no less a figure than Mickey Walker, who was moving down from light-heavyweight where he had just outpointed the great Maxie Rosenbloom. Walker claimed the best condition of his career for what some sources name a middleweight title bout.

Describing a fighter “at the peak of his career,” The Oxnard Daily Courier has Corbett winning “nearly every round” over Walker. The UP scorecard had the fight 8-0-2 despite Corbett’s brief visit to the canvas in the ninth. After two defeats of contender Bep Van Klavern (the first fight was close enough to warrant a rematch which Corbett dominated), Corbett lost to former champion Lou Brouillard after which he appeared to retire—and then he came again. Frankie Britt was beaten first before future light-heavyweight champions Gus Lesnevich (stopped in five) and Billy Conn, whom he floored and outpointed in 1937, nearly twenty years after his professional debut. The outstanding Fred Apostoli followed. Both men avenged themselves upon Corbett but neither was able to distinguish themselves from him, an astonishing achievement given his natural size.

 

post #680 of 6620

 

#55 Evander Holyfield (40-10-2)

…he’s retired, right?

If so, the sun has set on one of the great heavyweight careers, although the professional sun rose on a cruiserweight. That was in 1984. Although he had left it behind by 1988 it is still difficult to find a boxing person who seriously believes the division has born a rival to Holyfield for excellence.

He was just 11-0 when he stepped up in class to take on the more seasoned, not to mention extremely dangerous Dwight Muhammad Qawi in June of ’86 for the cruiserweight title. Qawi, the sawn-off shotgun champion did his best to out-psyche the green Holyfield in the build-up. He could not have known at that stage that you might as well try to psych out a pillar of salt. Fewer more self-assured men have ever taken to the ring.

The resulting fight was as compelling as anything we have seen in the ring, and it made Holyfield a champion. He did his very best Ezzard Charles impression that night, showing astonishing maturity in controlling the action at a variety of ranges with a variety of styles. Holyfield was not just better; he was also, astoundingly, the harder block of granite. He would underline this in the fourth defense of his title, becoming the first man to stop Qawi (George Foreman would be the only other man to turn the trick and it would take him nearly twice as long). He added one more defense against strap-holder Carlos De Leon, and then it was off to heavyweight, where he beat Riddick Bowe, destroyed another, even more fearsome sawn-off shotgun in Mike Tyson, not once but twice, beat James Douglas, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, and extended Lennox Lewis in their close second fight in 1999. Post 2000 he was something of a caricature of that early brilliance, going 1-1-1 with John Ruiz, beating Hasim Rahman and turning in a spirited effort against the giant Nikolay Valuev.

For all the glory, there were concerning losses. He was unable to best Bowe, who took their series 2-1 and in the end 2-0 would have been a fairer reflection of his fights with Lewis, the gift draw in the first fight remains one of the century’s more controversial results. Most of all there is his slip up against Michael Moorer in ’94 and his twin defeats by light-heavyweight naturals James Toney and Chris Byrd. But Holyfield always bounced back. It was a testimony to an iron will that, for all his technical and physical gifts, may have been his greatest asset.

 

post #681 of 6620

 

#54 Ruben Olivares (89-13-3)

Ruben Olivares is a two-time bantamweight champion of the world and also twice hoisted straps at featherweight. More, he may be the single greatest fighter ever to take to the ring at 118 lbs. That this can be suggested with a measure of confidence is due to the fact that he emerged atop as deep a field of bantamweights as has ever been assembled.

After knocking out his first twenty-four opponents, many of them with perhaps the best left hook in the history of boxing, Olivares added a draw and another twenty-six stoppages before taking on the superb Lionel Rose for the bantamweight title, immolating him in just five torrid rounds. He next dispatched the superb Alan Rudkin in two rounds, the first and last time he would be halted by punches (though he was stopped on a cut very early in his career). Next to be beaten was the superb Chucho Castillo, a dominant champion in any other era, here completely outboxed and outpunched over fifteen. Kazuyoshi Kanazawa might have looked a softer defense if he had not, like Olivares himself, dispatched Jesus Pimentel, perhaps the deadliest puncher in bantamweight history. As a set of defenses go, few at any weight can match them purely in quality.

He did not have it all his own way, however. Olivares has an overall record of just 8-5 in title fights. In part, this was due to the depth of quality of his bantamweight competition, as he would lose his title and then reclaim it form Castillo. When he finally lost it once and for all to Rafael Herrera in 1972 after “sacrificing much” to gain the bantamweight limit, he made one of the most difficult moves in all of boxing, from 118 up to 126 where he added two straps, on either side of his drubbing by Alexis Arguello, beating quality fighters like Bobby Chacon, Art Hafey and Zensuke Utagawa but going 2-3 in featherweight title fights.

 

post #682 of 6620

 

53 Fighting Harada (55-7)

Fighting Harada was a flyweight champion of the world for three months at the end of 1962 going 1-1 with the excellent Pone Kingpetch, but when his inevitable step up to bantamweight occurred it was foreshadowed by two losses at the weight, to Edmundo Esparaza, who, if not quite old news, was on his way to losing to every high-class bantamweight he would ever meet, and Joe Medel, a ranked contender who knocked him out after losing most of the rounds. He recovered by cracking some heads at the weight, including an impressive stoppage of Katsutoshi Aoki in three—the same number of rounds it had taken the luminous Eder Jofre.

Jofre was at that time nothing less than a Brazilian hero and at 47-0-3 an undefeated giant of a fighter whose name will echo in the boxing Hall of Fame for all time. He was a true beast, a boxer-puncher of the highest order and not the type of fighter a Joe Medel victim should mess with under any circumstances—suffice to say that Jofre was a favorite when the two met for Jofre’s bantamweight title in Japan, May 1965.

Harada’s style can be surmised in many ways by his approach at the opening bell. He hurled himself across the ring like a missile, landing punches on Jofre’s concrete guard before trying to get inside or into range as the Brazilian measured his laser-guided jab, a punch he finds inordinately difficult to get going. Harada was not the unthinking fury of lore; he had his own superb jab, as different to Jofre’s elegant striking punch as it is possible to imagine, more like a swarm of angry bees. Whilst Harada shows his capability in this fight for boxing for the opening, you know, watching him, that he is dreaming of that left hook to the body.

He beat Jofre cleanly and by distance, although it is possible to find people who disagree, including judge Jay Edson, who rendered this a split decision, but whomever you side with on that debate, Harada put it to bed by beating Jofre again in a rematch one year later. He also defended against #3 contender Joe Medel, avenging that earlier defeat, and two men from the top five, Bernardo Carabello and Alan Rudkin. Because Medel had eliminated Jesus Pimintel in 1965, this made an almost clear sweep of the top five contenders for his reign, a neat trick given that he only fought four defenses! When Lionel Rose boxed him to a decision in 1968, it seemed possibly to be no more than a blip and when he beat Dwight Hawkins to earn a ranking up at featherweight the wheels were set in motion to match him with the champion at 126 lbs., Johnny Famechon. When a knockout resulted in the rematch of the controversial points win for the champion in the first fight, Harada called it a day.

Harada was not one of boxing’s perennial contenders, taking great scalps even as he waited for the champion to call and his two reigns were short, no defenses at flyweight and four at bantam. But there is something deeply compelling about those defences—and this, taken together with the greatness of the man he ripped the title from, the immortal Eder Jofre, is enough for me to see him tucked in just ahead of Ruben Olivares. Olivares managed more total defenses and his ability to bounce back must also be recognized as superior, but Harada’s overall arch impresses more, if barely. Those who disagree are certainly entitled and those that don’t, I’m sure, like me, do not rest easy in that opinion.

 

post #683 of 6620

 

#52 Carlos Ortiz (61-7-1)

Such is the quality of fighter that has dominated the lightweight division through the years, Carlos Ortiz arguably does not crack the top five. In almost any other division his brilliance, dominance and resume would likely bring him such a berth but not at lightweight; still, his greatness is undeniable and a spot just outside the top fifty is justified.

After losing a non-title bout to Kenny Lane in 1958, Ortiz lifted the vacant 140 lbs. title by stopping the same fighter six months later, an apparent clash of heads opening a cut over Lane’s eye. He defended against puncher Battling Torres before being chased from the division by the superb Duilio Loi, who beat him 2-1 in a three fight series. Ortiz dropped down to lightweight which would prove a better fit. He beat the brilliant Joe Brown to lift that title in 1962 and then posted four defenses, including against super-featherweight champion Flash Elorde and the always excellent Kenny Lane, finally proving his superiority over him in a fifteen-round meet in 1964. In ’65 he lost his title to Ismael Laguna in the closest of decisions out in Panama, only to regain its seven months later in Puerto Rico. Another step up to light-welterweight saw him outbox the great Nicolino Locche in Argentina, only to be robbed by corrupt judging which rendered the fight a draw. Five more defenses followed, including two against former featherweight champion Sugar Ramos, both of which ended in stoppages.

Strong and armed with a brilliant offense, Ortiz was hittable but durable and did a great line in traps and reads. He lost his first fight to Kenny Lane and although fortune was on his side in their second fight, in the third he had solved that particular problem and Lane was made to eat straight right hands all evening. Only that majority decision loss to Laguna prevents him from making double figures for defenses and in tandem with the disputed split decision loss Carlos Teo Cruz that cost him the title in 1968, is all that keeps him from the top fifty.

 

post #684 of 6620

 

#51 Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2)

“The Clock has worked in my favor.”

If you have time, watch this. It is footage of Bernard Hopkins’ unique 1997 stoppage of Glen Johnson. The first thing you will hear the commentator say is “Hopkins, relentless in attack.” For readers of a certain age, hearing this may come as something of a surprise. Sure, Hopkins burst into the mainstream with that brilliant knockout defeat over a favored Felix Trinidad in 2001 when he was still riding the coattails of this style, but it was his 2004 knockout of Oscar De La Hoya that really made him famous. By this time, Hopkins was training to master lions rather than to fight like one.

The defeat of Johnson represents the perfection of Bernard’s first stylings, namely those of an aggressively stalking box-puncher. On his toes on the outside, Hopkins flashes in fast hard punches and when he falls in, it is not to neutralize or stall but to flesh out his offense with infighting ability all but unequaled for his era. See him, on the bell for the ninth, make room for his own shots without giving up space for Johnson to retaliate. Hopkins is a hurting, points-gathering machine that is using physical and technical advantages to defeat his opponent. Look closely however, and you will see the genesis of the thinking style that would take him into the next decade and then the one after making him one of the few professionals to box in four. His control of range and his uncanny ability to read the machinations that control the ebb and flow of offense and defense are already at work. At 2:40 of the next he stands at range, hands up, flat-footed, he has dominated the round so far with stiff jabs and that is what Johnson expects, so Hopkins surprises him with a lead left hook to the body. Then he goes on walkabout, dancing on his toes, lashing out with a wide variety of punches against an unbeaten opponent that would one day be the champion at 175 lbs. Listen to the great Gil Clancy wax lyrical:

“Hopkins is just enjoying himself in there now. Doing anything he wants to do…just about anything you’ve seen a fighter do, Hopkins is doing in this fight…look at that feint…he feinted a right hand. His balance is so good Jim. That’s why he can do these things.”

Doesn’t that sound to you a little more like something a commentator would say about Roy Jones? Hopkins had an offense in those days that in no way compromised his defense because he was able to move back into the defensive envelope as fast as any fighter I have ever seen. If he felt something he didn’t like in the opponents offense, he would make a move, in or out, that would stymie that offense and this was the essence of his defining win over Felix Trinidad, crystalized in the one-handed parry and knockout punch he lands in the twelfth round to become the first man to stop Trinidad, too.

In an irony not infrequently seen in boxing, Hopkins in 2001 and 2004 won fights that brought him the fame he craved just as his body was beginning to let him down. Unlike, say, Ivan Calderon, he birthed a solution, a solution that had its genesis in the fights that immediately followed his one-sided loss to Roy Jones back in 1993, that bore fruit even as he moved into his forties. By this point, he had amassed twenty defenses of his IBF strap and unified the titles, unquestionably a lock for both the Hall of Fame and your average top ten middleweight list.

After dual losses—the second, very questionable—to the athletic but limited Jermain Taylor, Hopkins used his incredible skills at reverse engineering based on existing qualities that did not dominate his style to buy him victories over middleweight champion and pound-for-pounder Kelly Pavlik, 3-1 favorite and light-heavyweight supremo Antonio Tarver, thoroughly intimidated pound-for-pounder Winky Wright, the seventeen years younger Jean Pascal and very nearly pound-for-pounder Joe Calzaghe. The Calzaghe fight, in my opinion, represented the beginnings of a new genesis in Hopkins, one that relied upon absolute control of footwork, yes, partly his own in terms of economy, but more than that, the opponent’s. That saw its final resolution against Tavoris Cloud earlier this month. What is terrifying is that this latest incarnation may allow Hopkins to remain relevant into his fifties—and that would be amongst the most astonishing achievements in boxing history.

Of course, we have Archie Moore, rightly and inarguably lurking somewhere above Hopkins on this list but I think it must now be agreed that Hopkins is the man who has done the most to keep Time at bay in the boxing ring. When he says “the clock has worked in my favor,” what Hopkins means is that he has had the opportunity to gather information about the nature of himself and of boxing whilst iron discipline keeps total disintegration of his physical assets at bay; the result is as astonishing a career as has been seen in the modern era. Whilst losses to Dawson and Taylor, the best athletes he has faced in a boxing ring, is concerning, it is also true that Hopkins has continued to bounce back. He might continue to bounce back well into this decade.

 

post #685 of 6620
Cintron was painful to watch.
TEAM PLATANO!!!
PSN: burrrNT
TEAM PLATANO!!!
PSN: burrrNT
post #686 of 6620
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackngold1z View Post

Cintron was painful to watch.

Cintron vs Canelo? I can't believe I actually thought he stood a chance. laugh.gif
post #687 of 6620
cintron needs find another job asap
post #688 of 6620
Ohh shoot Cintron had a fight last night. I thought he retired.
post #689 of 6620

I had no idea Cintron was on last night smh..  After watching a few rounds though I really felt Cintron had plenty of opportunities to lure Granados in for some good counter shots.  But in typical Cintron fashion, he let his chances go to waste.

post #690 of 6620
Omar chavez with the W
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