Join Date: Oct 2004
Re: P4P Top 10 Official Survey (Poll Closes October 20)
1. Bob Fitzsimmons - To be honest, if he isnt on a top 10 list, the list almost defies belief and it is clear the writer simply hasnt got around to researching him yet, imo. To list briefly, SOME of his achievements:
- At one point in time, he was the best lightweight in the world (as good a claim as any)
- At one pont in time, he was the undisputed World Welterweight (150) champion or at least as close as you can get to that title.
- He was the considered the best middleweight in the world for far longer than any other fighter has ever been considered the best middleweight in the world.
- He is the only light heavyweight, ever to win the undisputed World Heavyweight title.
- He was the best light heavyweight in the world for as long or longer than any other light heavyweight.
- For most of this time, he doubled as the best light heavyweight and heavyweight in the world.
- he fought over 300 fights with his only real stoppage losses coming well after his prime against heavyweights Jeffries and Lang.
- He has as many KO stoppages against top 3 heavyweight contenders as anyone else, and probably more one punch KOs and countouts than virtually any other fighters. Except he never weight more than a super middleweight.
- His other accomplishments are too numerous to list.
2. Harry Greb - Another absolute great record, but while he is definitely one to be mentioned in close to the same breath, his record doesnt compare. He wasnt the same brutal puncher and as a result, on his bad nights, many fighters did run him close or even gain newspaper results (sometimes controversially). Still, He scored wins over some of the best fighters in history, and as many point out, the sign of a champion, even when he lost his sight, he still performed great. I dont always rate him quite this high, but today i think he deserves position 2.
3. Sam Langford. - Like Fitzsimmons, Sam Started as a lightweight and moved on to a bonafide heavyweight. Strangely though, Sam doesnt have the same spectacular performances as a lightweight and certainly didnt carry on as successfully in the past prime period as Bob either. Still, as Sam gained experienced he became a truly great fighter and his performances at heavyweight and incredible power almost defied belief. A true pound for pound great.
4. Henry Armstrong - What a true pound for pound great. Triple Crown winner says it all. No one has replicated this (well probably except for Fitzsimmons) but this truly defines pound for pound great. Compared to other greats he burned bright and quick in a pound for pound sense, which is the only reason why i have dropped him from no 2.
5. Roberto Duran - Invincible at lightweight, beat a top 10 Welterweight in Sugar Ray Leonard, Competed with a top 10 and probably better middleweight in Hagler. As an old man he beat a good middleweight like Barkley, and he even competed reasonably as a cruiserweight even though he was old out of shape and totally passed it. He is a true pound for pound great, in my book.
6. Sugar Ray Robinson - He dominated his own class as well as anyone and then went up to middleweight. Although i think his middleweight dominance was overrated, it is very rare and special for a fighter to be so clearly the top fighter in two separate weight divisions.
7. Joey Maxim - This is the first time i have rated Joey top 10, and i came within an inch of rating him above Sugar Ray Robinson, but didnt because he didnt have the same dominance in any particular weight division. Still, His win list includes Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Paterson, Jersey Joe Walcott, Lee Oma, Curtis Hatchetman Sheppard, Ted Lowry, Gus Lesnevich, Jimmy Bivins, Pat Valentino and others. That is an extremely impressive list of names that not very many have. And despite fightting all of these greats, plus other greats like Archie Moore, Eddie Machen and Lloyd Marshall, and several while he was out of prime, only the hatchetman was able to stop him (and that was avenged).
8. Rocky Marciano - This will really cause some stirs, but i am sticking it to it. He is given a raw deal in this category by most people, but the Fact is he beat pound for pound greats Ezzard Charles, Joe Walcott, Joe Louis. And he was outweighed by all of them at one point! Louis was old. And Yes charles did a lot more at the lighter weight, but if you compare the size of Ezzard to the size of Rocky at their respective ages, Ezzard was probably naturally bigger! certainly in height and eventually in weight also. If Rocky hadnt started so late, who knows, he probably would have been a middleweight and light heavy in his teens and early 20s if in fighting shape also. Rocky made the most of very limited natural advantages and was a small heavyweight always outweighed and never ever having been beaten. I think he can make a top 10.
9. Gene Tunney - Often underated on these lists, but he did beat every fighter he faced. He beat a top 3 atg middleweight in Greb (in a series), a top 10 (higher on many lists) Heavyweight in Dempsey, and arguably a top 10 light heavyeight in Loughran. Yes he got them all at perfect times, but that was part of his skill, he was the smartest fighter of many, and he timed his challenges perfectly. Plus, he looked pretty great on film. I could have easlily put Charles here, and some may say should have, but I think Tunney's smarts lift him above.
10 Manny Pacquia. I have tried to pick guys with a legacy to stand apart from others. There are countless guys who have dominated one division spectacularly but to be a true pound for pound great you need to move through the divisions (at least the way i am doing todays list). Manny is clearly doing this, at a time when massive weight divisions and title belts do make it hard. In modern times, not many others have done what he is doing and i see that my list doesnt have many modern fighters or lighter weight fighters. I am not so certain that he will rate here at the end of his career, but i am giving him a little benefit of the doubt.