Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Eye of Timaeus, Apr 16, 2020.
Roy Jones Jr
Emile Griffith, #38
Ricardo Lopez, unranked
Khaosai Galaxy, unranked
Evander Holyfield, #51
Roy Jones Jr, #65
Pernell Whitaker, #73
I just sounds wrong to say Finito the greatest 105 ever and Khaosai imo the greatest 115 ever are not in the 100.
Why? Neither beat anyone special. Their reigns are basically just mid level contenders whilst not fighting the bigger challenges.
And Galaxy isn't the best or greatest ever at 115, I amalgamate my rankings below Fly, and López isn't #1 there, either.
Who is your number 1 at 115? Tapia?
105 is largely insignificant and very new so it’s not like being the GOAT holds that much credentials. I do love Finito though and if we are talking “best” then I’d be high up on the list as he was superb. His longevity, consistency, dominance and obvious skill level do help his cause though and beating Alvarez at a weight disadvantage and Sorjuturong via easy KO show that he wasn’t exactly incapable of beating good dudes. I’d imagine I have him top 100 but towards the back end.
Holyfield, Jones, Griffith, Whitaker, I think I’d have them all within the 30-40 range maybe even Whitaker in the top 30. Whitaker and Jones are the only two there that looked unbeatable but Jones has an * because it’s obvious he was juiced.
Galaxy I don’t have in the top 100 or in consideration for it even though he was excellent. I think Gilberto Roman was better than him and had better scalps in the same weight class around the same time.
Román, Moon, Jiro and Tapia should all outrank Khaosai imo.
Can't give precise positions, as once you get past a certain number there are dozens of fighters who, depending on your criteria, could all deserve a place in the next few slots. But for these six I think it's easy enough to put them in three different brackets.
Roy and Pea have a bit of daylight between them and the rest of the chasing pack here. Genuine pound for pound number ones in their peak years, head to head monsters at their best weights (which are all very competitive, high-class divisions), have scores of dominant performances and wins against the best on offer at the time wherever they were fighting. Whitaker has, at times, been as high as #9 or #10 on my lists, but even now I think I'd definitely have him in my top fifteen, and Jones would be there, too.
Griffith and Holyfield are the next bracket. All-time greats, I'm happy to call them that without any second thoughts. Just not as great as the two above. Without overthinking it and plucking a number off the top of my head, I don't know, maybe top fifty or so for these guys? But I think a more interesting question is who would rank higher between them. Griffith a lock for top ten at Welter. Holyfield a possible top ten Heavyweight, but competed in a pretty strong era for the division, was often a smaller guy giving away weight, height etc., and of course the consensus best at Cruiser. Be interesting to see how people rate these two directly against each other.
Lopez and Galaxy another level below, albeit I'd rate Lopez higher of the two. I know a lot of Lopez fans will want my head for this, but I'm not as impressed by him as most others. The best way I can express it is comparing him to someone like Calzaghe, who I don't rate as an all-time great. Lopez has the bigger fanbase, attracted more attention than Calzaghe did for most of his career anytime before c. 2006 and was a brilliant little fighter, very easy on the eye. But strip all that away, and I'm not convinced his actual record, accomplishments and list of victims are any better than Calzaghe's, really. He also gets let off pretty easy for not going up to 108 lb until it had become a barren wasteland. When the likes of Yuh, Gonzalez and Carbajal were there, Lopez was nowhere to be seen. The latter two were very financially viable (pulling in purses of over a million dollars for their trilogy, I believe - unheard of money for fighters at 108 lb) and were fighting on Showtime along with Lopez for a good while, so no real excuses there.
That's not to mention guys like Too Sharp Johnson and Arbachakov at Flyweight during these years. Fair enough, that would have been a two-division jump (albeit still only 7 lb) and is more forgivable than not facing Yuh, Carbajal, Gonzalez etc., but for me if you're competing in divisions which have a smaller, more diluted talent pool to begin with due to demographics and which are separated by just 3 or 4 lb, you've really got to go that extra mile in seeking out the very best consistently in and around those divisions if you want undisputed all-time great status. Lopez just didn't do that, for me.
What he does have going for him is his all-round talent (for argument's sake again, let's compare that to Calzaghe) and a complete game. He also tended to beat his best opponents and challenges in a pretty dominant style: the Alvarez rematch was close-ish and very competitive, but no doubt that Lopez won it; Sorjaturong was blown away inside two; Petelo barely touched him before being felled; Alex Sanchez was decked a couple of times and put away in pretty straightforward fashion etc. On the other hand, Calzaghe tended to go the distance with his better opponents, only just crept past Hopkins, struggled with Reid, had to get up from a knockdown against Mitchell etc.
But if Calzaghe isn't an all-time great (and I'm resolute that he isn't), then Lopez has no business sailing into that category as easily as he does. I don't necessarily disagree with people who say he is one, but if he is it can't be by all that much. Excellent fighter and a fine record, but there are question marks over it which get too easily brushed over.
I unquestionably consider Calzaghe the greater fighter of the two. Finito easier on the eye and probably more impressive in that sense due to his technique and his power but Calzaghe was dominant for the most part too (I didn’t consider the Hopkins fight that close or the Reid fight for that matter).
Finito’s provlem was that he was totally neglected by Don King. I think if Lopez was with Top Rank we’d have seen more elite matches for him and also he’d have fought more. For King to have him fighting basically once a year near the end was awful. King often did that were he just put all his eggs into one guy at a time.
Holyfield, Jones and Whitaker are all in my top 20 if not top 10, and I don't know enough about the other guys to say with any confidence.