Originally Posted by AnthonyW
I wouldn't say you have to be able to throw great combinations on the inside to be classed as a great inside boxer. An example, Rios, would you consider him a great inside boxer? No doubt he has very good offense on the inside, finds power and leverage with short punches, but can he unlock a good defense? Nope, doesn't seem that way. I'd class Abril as a very good defensive boxer on the inside, whereas I'd class Rios a very good offensive inside boxer, against certain styles.
When it comes to Mayweather, he is a great defensive inside boxer, great at making it awkward and hard to land cleanly on. Whereas his offense from that position is very good simply based on the openings he creates and leaves himself to land. His output isn't out of this world on the inside, but his output overall has dropped over the years. His uppercut/straight right to the stomach/sternum is one of the best shots in boxing, it's hard to see from outside the ring, never mind in it.
Bouts where he has been impressive. Recently Cotto. A few years back, Hatton. Very impressive against Hatton.
No, I would not say Rios is a great offensive inside fighter. He's more of a brawler with decent to good inside skills. I think his method is to throw and throw and throw some more until the other guy falls down. He has no game plan outside of what I have mentioned. At least I don't see him setting traps to create other openings.
Fighters who I think are great/superior inside fighters?
Jose Luis Castillo
Bernard Hopkins - when he wants to
Barrera - when he wants to
Terry Norris - maybe would classify him as good to very good
Meldrick Taylor - although he lacked world class power