Originally Posted by DavidChao
Solid list, Manassa. I took particular notice, off topic if you'll beg my pardon, of Ali at 15. Perhaps I have not spent enough time in classic yet, but it frustrates me that many fans, perhaps casuals or quasi casuals, feel the incessant need to rank Ali P4P top 5; to those who give into his self-professed hype of being "The Greatest", I find myself not rustled in the least, as there is no room to take them seriously in the least. Off topic again, I was curious to see where Ray Leonard falls on your rankings.
Oh, and to be on topic, I am not well-schooled yet enough on Leonard to make an educated response.
Thank you. Looking at a list like that, someone could easily call me biased towards old, sub-heavyweight greats, but I find the simple fact to be that smaller, older fighters tended to box more often and therefore rack up deeper lists of opponents. Ali, while truly great, doesn't have the same phenomenal record as some of those above him*. Neither does Louis, Holmes or Lewis.
Ray Leonard relates to the same point. He didn't fight enough for my liking, even if he crammed in several big wins - Jimmy McLarnin did that too, but even more so; shit, he beat twelve Hall of Famers in a career as long as Hagler's. Leonard rates about twenty four or thereabouts, only because there are too many greats who fought much more than he did.
*A funny thing happens with more famous fighter's opponents, and in particular, Ali's. Some fighters who were good but otherwise unspectacular have their reputations inflated. Two of Ike Williams' opponents who seem perfect comparables - Willie Joyce and Freddie Dawson - were likely better than Ken Norton and Jerry Quarry but are largely forgotten. Ali rates above Williams for me, I'm just saying.