The Top 20 Pound For Pound Fighters Since 1966: A Different Criteria

20.09.06 - By Jim Amato: I thought that this would be easier then doing the Top 20 of All Time list. How wrong I was. Personal favorites played havoc in trying to make objective decisions. In stark reality, it made the job much harder. To me, the top five were fairly easy. Duran was #1, no doubt in my mind. The murderous punching Bob Foster was #2. The dominant Carlos Monzon was #3. I placed Jose Napoles at the #4 slot and Eder Jofre at #5. It was a tough choice to pick Eder over one of my personal favorites, Ruben Olivares who came in #6.

Ali, the best heavyweight of his era comes in at #7. Among the big men he was the "Greatest!" Sugar Ray Leonard took the #8 slot. I was not a Leonard fan but give a man his due. He was great. Alexis Arguello who may have been the best 130 pounder of all time takes #9. Michael Spinks, who beat every light heavyweight put before him and a couple of good heavyweights too comes in at #10. The great Emile Griffith is #11. He competed with the best welterweights and middleweights for nearly two decades.

Marvin Hagler is #12. What a great champion he was. Julio Cesar Chavez is next. What a great run he had at the top. Tommy "Hit Man" Hearns is #14. For explosive one punch KO power he comes in right behind Bob Foster and slightly ahead of Arguello. Next is Carlos Zarate. How he dominated the bantamweight division for years. #16. Larry Holmes, one of the best heavyweights of all time.

Roy Jones Jr. comes in at #17. I am not a Jones fan but he, like Sugar Ray Leonard, was a great talent. Their accomplishments speak for themselves. The "Big O," De La Hoya is next. He truly made his mark on this generation and he ducked no one. Floyd Mayweather Jr. follows him. The late great Salvador Sanchez comes next. I could probably move Sanchez up several spots, but his early demise left a lot of unanswered questions. No doubt, he was destined for greatness with wins over Danny Lopez, Wilfredo Gomez, Juan LaPorte and Azumah Nelson.

Just missing the cut:

It was very hard to leave the slick Wilfred Benitez off this list. Also, the equally slick Pernell Whitaker and James Toney. Carlos Ortiz, Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, Foreman, Frazier, Tyson, Dick Tiger, Tito Trinidad, Cervantes, Locche, Loi, Saldivar ( one of my all time favorites ). Ricardo Lopez, Miguel Canto, Galaxy, Wilfredo Gomez, Calzaghe, Barrera. You could make a strong argument for all these fine fighters.

Article posted on 20.09.2006

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