The Five Greatest 154-Pounders In History

By James Slater: Superstar Floyd “Money” Mayweather has already owned a piece of the 154-pound title (see his close, split decision win over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007), and the 35-year-old legend will be shooting for the WBA version in his May 5th challenge of Miguel Cotto.

Created in 1962, the light-middleweight division (or super-welterweight if you prefer) does not have the history or the glamour of the traditional middleweight or welterweight divisions, yet the 154-pound division has seen its share of great, great fighters over the years.

Will Mayweather, if he beats Cotto, choose to stick around at 154, thus adding massive interest to the weight class as well as giving the division some potentially great fights? And where will Mayweather wind up being placed amongst the best-ever at 154 if he does stay there and gets busy winning a number of important fights?

Mayweather will have to go some to deserve to be ranked ahead of the current best-ever at the weight. Here are my picks for the 5 best at ‘54:

5: Wilfredo Benitez. “El Radar.” Won WBC title with a crushing 12th-round KO over Maurice Hope. Also beat the unbeaten Carlos Santos and fellow legend Roberto Duran, both WU15.

4: Terry Norris. “Terrible.” Won WBC crown via electrifying 1st-round KO over John Mugabi, went on to make ten retentions - beating top names Sugar Ray Leonard, Meldrick Taylor, Don Curry and Maurice Blocker, all but the Leonard win coming via stoppage - before losing to, and then defeating, Simon Brown. Then, after two bizarre DQ losses to Luis Santana, Norris made a further six retentions of his WBC belt, also winning the IBF crown.

3: Ronald Wright. “Winky.” Won WBO title with split decision win over Bronco McKart, made three retentions before close points loss to Harry Simon. Then lost a razor-thin decision to Fernando Vargas (a fight many people feel Winky won), before winning IBF crown with UD over Robert Frazier, then made five retentions and added WBC and WBA belts to collection. Wright then made one defence of WBC and WBA belts, having relinquished IBF. Top names Wright defeated include: Sugar Shane Mosley (twice) and Angel Hernandez. Never stopped.

2: Mike McCallum. “The Body Snatcher.” Won WBA title with 15 round UD over Sean Mannion, then made six retentions before moving up to middleweight (losing a close decision to Sumbu Kalambay in Italy). Never beaten at 154, defeated stellar names such as Julian Jackson, Milton McCrory and Don Curry - all via stoppage.

1: Thomas Hearns. “The Hitman.” Won WBC crown with 15-round MD over Wilfredo Benitez, then made five retentions. Among the top names Hearns defeated: Murray Sutherland, Fred Hutchins and, in one of the greatest one-punch KO’s in boxing history, Roberto Duran. Hearns never lost a fight at 154-pounds.

Article posted on 24.04.2012

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