The Welterweight Division is the most star-studded, evenly matched weight class, from top to bottom, in “The World’s Greatest Ever Boxer” promotion. Eight Americans, one Mexican and an Irishman who grew-up in Canada comprise the welterweight candidates list of “The World’s Greatest Ever Boxers,” which includes eight International Hall of Famers and the remaining two, Thomas Hearns and Oscar de la Hoya, are certainly headed there, too, when eligible..
On-line voting at www.GreatestEver.com allows boxing fans from around the world to select the greatest boxer in each of the original eight weight classes, highlighted by the all-time pound-for-pound “Greatest Ever.”
The eight categories represent the eight original weight-class divisions: Strawweights are included in the Flyweight category; Super Middleweight in the Light Heavyweight division. Many fighters fought and won titles at a number of different weights. As far as possible they have been nominated in the division that they made their biggest impact. Fighters have not been nominated on the basis of whether they would beat another fighter in that division, though this is, of course, a consideration. More importantly is their overall record, who they fought at the time, as well as the impact they made on the boxing world, and indeed the world around them. All nominees are listed in the voting section at www.GreatestEver.com.
The 10 Welterweight nominees, including the only two-divisional nominee in the promotion (Sugar Ray Robinson), listed in no particular order, follow with their brief profiles:
“Sugar” RAY ROBINSON – 175-19-6 2 NC (109 KOs)…IHOF…American…Pro Years: 1940-1965…85-0 (69 KOs) as an amateur…in the U.S. Army during WWII…world welterweight champion 1946-51, 128-1-2 (84 KOs) by 30 years old…5-time world middleweight champion…Notable Victories: Jake LaMotta (4), Carmen Casilio, Carl “Bobo” Olson, Henry Armstrong, Rocky Graziano, Kid Gavilan, Sammy Angott, Marty Servo, Fritzie Zivic, Izzy Jannazzo, Randy Turpin and Gene Fullmer.
BARNEY “The Pride of the Ghetto” ROSS – 72-4-3 2 ND (22 KOs) …IHOF…American…Pro Years: 1929-1938…U.S. Marine credited with killing 22 Japanese soldiers at Guadacanal…made more money than Babe Ruth and also had a candy bar named after him…later worked for Al Capone…first 3-weight class world champion…never stopped…Nitable Victories: Bat Battalino, Tony Canzoneri (2), Sammy Fuller, Jimmy McLarin (2) and Ceferino Garcia.
JIMMY “Baby Face” McLARIN – 74-4-3 2 ND (20 KOs)…IHOF…Irish…Pro Years: 1923-1935…moved to Vancouver when he was 3…2-time world champion…Sammy Mandell (2), Young Corbett III, Barney Ross, Tony Canzoneri and Lou Ambers.
MICKEY “The Toy Bulldog” WALKER – 93-19-14 1 NC 6 ND (60 KOs)…IHOF…American…Pro Years: 1919-1935…fought from welterweight up to heavyweight, including draw against heavyweight champ Jack Sharkey…Notable Victories: Jack Britton, Pete Latzo, Mike McTigue, Paul Berlenbach, and Maxie Rosenbloom.
OSCAR “Golden Boy” de la HOYA – 39-6 (30 KOs)…American…Pro Years: 1992-2008…1992 Olympic gold medalist…defeated 17 world champions…10-time world champion in 6 weight classes…1st American of Hispanic heritage to own a national boxing promotional firm (Golden Boy Promotions)…Notable Victories: Jorge Paez, John-John Molina, Rafael Ruelas, Gernaro Hernandez, Jesse James Leija, Julio Cesar Chavez (2), Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, Ike Quartey, Arturi Gatti, Fernando Vargas, Yori Boy Campas and Felix Sturm.
THOMAS “Hit Man” HEARNS – 60-5-1 (47 KOs)…American…Pro Years: 1977-2006…8-time world champion in 6 weight classes…1977 National Golden Gloves Tournament champion…Notable Victories: Pipino Cuevas, Wilfredo Beneitez, Roberto Duran and Virgil Hill.
AARON “The Hawk” PRYOR – 39-1 (35 KOs)…IHOF…American…Pro Years: 1976-1990…204-16 as an amateur including 1972 National AAU Championship gold medal performance…later became a minister…Notable Victories: Alexis Arguello (2), Alphonso Frazer, Julio Valdez, Antonio Cervantes and Gaetan Hart.
“Sugar” RAY LEONARD – 36-3-1 (24 KOs)…IHOF…American…Pro Years: 1972-1999…named after Ray Charles…1976 Olympic gold medalist…8-time world champion in 5 weigh classes…Notable Victories: Wilfred Benitez, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler.
JOSE ANGEL “Mantequilla” NAPOLES – 77-7 (54 KOs)…IHOF…American…Pro Years: 1958-1975…Nickname means Butter…national hero in Cuba and Mexico…114-1 amateur in Cuba…found asylum in Mexico after Fidel Castro banned pro boxing in Cuba…Notable Victories: Carlos Hernandez, Eddie Perkins, Adolph Pruitt, Curtis Coke and Emile Griffith.
EMILE GRIFFITH – 85-24-2 1 NC (23 KOs)…IHOF…US Virgin Islander…Pro Years: 1958-1977…discovered by accident while working in a hat factory on a hot day when he stripped to his waist and owner sent him to trainer Gil Clancy…Notable Victories: Benny Paret, Dick Tiger, Nino Benvenuti, Bennie Briscoe, Joey Archer (2), Don Fullmer and Denny Moyer.
GREATEST EVER WEEKEND OF EVENTS
Boxing fans attending the festivities will be able to celebrate, up close and personal, the achievements of the World’s Greater Ever Boxers. A three-day boxing spectacular is planned October 2-4 at the Paris Las Vegas, commencing that Friday with an official welcome reception and official weigh in for the following evening’s professional boxing show, presented by Sterling Promotions, and featuring Team USA versus Team Europe, capped by an exclusive after party. The event culminates Sunday with The Greater Ever black-tie awards dinner, featuring some of the greatest boxers ever, as well as world-class entertainment, and then an exclusive after party.
The Retired Boxers Foundation (RBF) is the official charity for The World’s Greatest Ever Boxer. RBF assists retired professional boxers in the transition from their days in the ring to dignified retirement, helping those suffering from alcohol and substance abuse problems, homelessness and effects of pugilistic dementia.
Four ticket packages are on sale for the Oct. 2-4 weekend’s events through agents at the following numbers: North America – The Sports Alliance (914.941.3366) Smart Ticket Solutions (847.917.8497); United Kingdom and Europe – Rock Solid Events (UK: 0845 0945 606, Outside UK: +44 845 0945 606); Australasia – Events Worldwide Travel Group (Australia: 1300 788 666, Outside Australia: +61 3 5989 7666)
The event-only packages are as follows (all prices USD): Super VIP ($2,500), Platinum ($1,900), VIP ($1,400) and Gold ($1,115). The Super VIP, Platinum and VIP packages have a number or premiums in addition to those detailed in the Gold (welcome function, weigh-in, Greatest Ever poker tournament, exclusive Paris Las Vegas gaming area, exclusive memorabilia, movie screenings, access to Greatest Ever dedicated gaming areas and VIP bar, media and legends signings, general seating for the fights and at the awards dinner). Regional agents can provide additional premiums for individual packages.