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Top 10 by Decade – Part IX: Lightweights

Ranking fighters across different eras is always a rather tricky business, but it can also be a lot of fun, and hopefully that has been and will continue to be the case with this ongoing rankings experiment where we attempt to rank the best boxers from each weight class across different decades. Today’s division of emphasis is the lightweight division.

In Part 1 of the new “Top 10 by Decade” series, we first explored the heavyweight division with a new scoring experiment designed to try and objectively identify the Top 10 heavyweights from each decade. Then we examined the cruiserweights, the light heavyweights, the super middleweight, the junior middleweights, the welterweights, the junior welterweights, and today we continue our journey south. Here in Part 9, our attention is this time directed towards the lightweight division.


For the lightweight division, Ring Magazine began doing divisional rankings way back in 1924, so for our purposes in this episode of the ranking experiment, we are going to begin with the first complete decade with a full data set, which is the 1930s. Note that in a future installment we will explore the partial data set we have for the 1920s, but we’re going to skip that in our analysis of the original 8 weight classes for the time being.

The lightweight division has a long rich history, and it has seen a lot of all time great talents compete therein. Some of the more highly regarded boxers to have officially competed in the lightweight division include Roberto Duran, Carlos Ortiz, Tony Canzoneri, Pernell Whitaker, Shane Mosley, Joe Brown, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Floyd Mayweather Jr just to name a few.

The main idea here in these ranking experiments is to try and eliminate personal bias and individual preferences, while also excluding all head-to-head considerations, both real and hypothetical. It is more a measurement of tracking the boxers who were perceived as having the most prolonged success in a given weight class over the course of a specific decade. This edition of Rummy’s Corner is the ninth episode in a series of “Top 10 by Decade” videos that will be released over the course of the coming weeks. Please watch and enjoy this, the ninth installment in this new series of videos – the lightweight division!