The “Pound-For-Pound” Puzzle

What exactly do we mean by the best fighters in the world, “pound-for-pound”? And how do we decide who gets to be on the list?

Back in the earliest days of pugilism, weight divisions as we know them today simply didn’t exist. By the early 20th century, boxing’s traditional eight weight classes began to crystalize, and later in the century these grew to the now seventeen recognized divisions we see today. For a fighter operating within the lower weight divisions though, no matter how far he excels himself beyond his peers, it is the heavyweight champion who nevertheless retains the title of ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’. He is the guy on the street who stands aside for no one; he is the bouncer where the buck stops; he is the true ‘King of the Jungle’. He is, after all, the only boxer who can claim the beating of “any man in the world” – in the literal rather than figurative sense.

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One Man’s Take On Boxing’s Top 10, Pound-for-Pound

- A hypothetical ranking of boxing’s elite, regardless of weight…

A hypothetical ranking of boxing’s elite, regardless of weight…

  1. Floyd Mayweather (Previous Position: 1)

Record: 47-0 (26 KOs)

Current Belts: WBC/WBA ‘Super’ World Welterweight (147lbs); WBC World LightMiddleweight (154lbs)

Surely, this is still the only position in the rankings not up for debate. There’s no doubt that at 38 years old Mayweather appears to have lost half a step, but until he surrenders that incredible undefeated record or else looks truly atrocious in the ring, he will remain in the top spot on pretty much any list you can find. With the Pacquiao fight FINALLY being set for May 2nd of this year, Mr. Money faces the man with a higher chance than anyone of finally knocking him off of his pound-for-pound perch. In doing so, he has also managed to silence some of the “Ducker” jibes levelled against him over the previous few years (at least temporarily). Realistically, then, there are only two people with even a faint hope of achieving the feat of dethroning Mayweather: it’s either Manny Pacquiao or Father Time.

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Carl Froch vs. George Groves Hours Away: Who Wins?

froch126Who wins Froch-Groves?

A few weeks ago, I would’ve confidently picked Carl Froch by early to mid rounds KO. Now, I’m not so sure – but I’m still leaning towards the Cobra.

Groves has done a fantastic job of getting under the champion’s skin; refusing to play the respectful ‘happy to get my opportunity against a great champion’ role and consistently confronting the WBA/IBF belt holder with a series of flaws – or ‘truths’, as Groves likes to call them – that he has found in the Cobra’s résumé.

Froch, for his part, has largely tried to play the cool champion who isn’t fazed by a disrespectful young upstart. He hasn’t carried the act well though, and at times has seemed irritated by Groves’ ability to calmly analyze his words and turn them cleverly against him. It’s fair to say that Groves has got the better of Froch in the pre-fight bickering that is so much a part of the psychological battle in a big fight.

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Boxing: Five Memorable “Psych Jobs”

leonard4637Boxing is an inherently psychological undertaking. It is an activity that exposes the contestants to far more than the simple prospect of defeat: the potential combination of public humiliation and genuine physical harm percolate in a fighter’s mind to a degree that few who have not lived the experience can reasonably quantify. Far from being a mere test of physical skills then, boxing is perhaps one of the purest tests of human will power. Some of the biggest contests in boxing history have therefore been won or lost through cunning, bravery and fortitude as much as they have speed, strength and stamina.

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Floyd Mayweather Jnr. Critics Keep Moving the Goal Posts to Greatness

MayweatherAlvarez_HoganphotosFor any boxer starting out his career, to become a champion is the ultimate goal. For those that succeed in becoming a champion, the next step is to become a great champion. Boxing enthusiasts are a hard bunch to please though, and the “great” label is a tough nut to crack. It is a label made even harder for fighters to attain by critics who choose to move the goal posts, even when a champion has excelled above and beyond his peers in those aspects typically used to define “greatness”. Floyd Mayweather is one such victim.

To see why, delve with me for a moment on a journey back in time. I want to take you first to the evening of October 3rd in the year 1998. Bill Clinton was the president of the United States, with the Monica Lewinsky scandal breaking just months earlier. ‘Gazza’ had recently been dropped from the England football team (my American friends will just have to trust me – it was a really big deal). A new teenage sensation called ‘Britney Spears’ was storming the charts with her first hit. And the ‘War on Terror’ was something you might find in a sci-fi movie. It was also the night a young ‘Pretty Boy’ named Floyd climbed into the ring to contest his first world title belt, stepping through the ropes to challenge the seasoned, world-class Mexican Genaro Hernandez for the WBC super featherweight title.

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