View Full Version : #10 Greatest fighters by decade By Ring Magazine


Southpaw16BF
05-13-2009, 03:54 PM
1910s: Sam Langford -- Small man beat the best big men of his day. Runner up: Jimmy Wilde.
1920s: Benny Leonard -- Some still say he’s the greatest lightweight ever. Runner up: Harry Greb.
1930s: Henry Armstrong -- Held titles in three weight classes simultaneously. Runner up: Tony Canzoneri.
1940s: Ray Robinson – Untouchable as a welterweight. Runner up: Willie Pep
1950s: Ray Robinson – Also one of the greatest middleweights ever. Runner up: Archie Moore.
1960s: Muhammad Ali – The Greatest really was the greatest at this time. Runner up: Carlos Ortiz.
1970s: Roberto Duran – Virtually untouchable as a lightweight. Runner up: Carlos Monzon.
1980s: Ray Leonard: His victories over Duran, Hearns and Hagler were epic. Runner up: Julio Cesar Chavez.
1990s: Roy Jones Jr. – At his best, he inspired awe. Runner up: Pernell Whitaker.
2000s: Manny Pacquiao – Sorry Floyd but you need to fight the best to be the best. Runner up: Floyd Mayweather.

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at ******editor@yahoo.com

Doug Fischer contributed to this report

http://www.******.com/blog/657/10_greatest_fighters_by_decade/

MarkScott
05-13-2009, 06:10 PM
Great list. I've also seen lists where Jack Johnson or Stanley Ketchel was best of 1910's and Joe Gans was best of 1900's.

http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Gans-Biography-American-Champion/dp/0786439947/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242252391&sr=1-1

Southpaw16BF
05-13-2009, 06:35 PM
Great list. I've also seen lists where Jack Johnson or Stanley Ketchel was best of 1910's and Joe Gans was best of 1900's.

http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Gans-Biography-American-Champion/dp/0786439947/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242252391&sr=1-1

Yeah, everyone will have there own views and thoughts as to who were the fighters of the decade. Alot of people think Harry Greb was the fighter of the 20's and Carlos Monzon was the fighter of the 70's. And as you said alot of people think Johnson or Ketchel were the fighters of the 1910's etc.

LondonRingRules
05-13-2009, 07:35 PM
Great list. I've also seen lists where Jack Johnson or Stanley Ketchel was best of 1910's and Joe Gans was best of 1900's.

** Goes to show you how invalid some of those lists are.

Johnson did nothing of note from 1910 - 1920 save beat the long retired Jeff. The only other heavy of note that he fought beat him, Willard, and his few other title defenses were against utterly forgettable journeymen types. Langford cleaned out as many contenders in 3 divisions as dared fight him.

At least the Ring is a consensus type list. However, Joe Frazier's record in the 60s is superior to Ali. Both fought about the same number of years, but Joe's pre-title comp of Doug Jones, Chuvalo, Machen, Bonavena and the easy way he dismissed all but Oscar is vastly superior to that of Ali.

I'd say Joe's title comp was more prime, dangerous, and at least as good if not better overall that that of Ali's title comp which is padded out with what looks in retrospect either a past it Liston or a Liston throwing his fights and a very sick Patterson.

Joe beat a prime, undefeated highly regarded superheavy Mathis trained by legendary D'amato for his title. Ramos and Zyglewicz were on par with Cooper and London, but the Bonavena rematch and Quarry were prime quality talents and the Quarry fight was fight of the year. It wouldn't be fair to fudge since Ali was stripped his last two years, but if we did include 70, Joe unifies against Ellis and dismisses Bob Foster before Ali ever did and much easier. The only prime fighter of quality near Oscar and Quarry is Terrell and Chuvalo I guess.

Leonard in the 80s always causes me to wonder about those who make these lists. His win over Hearns was epic, but not his wins over Duran and Hagler. He only fought 11x that decade. The guy who electrified the decade was Tyson who stormed boxing in a manner never seen before or since, yet he gets no mention.

Nobody would dispute Armstrong as the fighter of the 30s, but the runnerup, Canzoneri? Not only did Barney Ross beat him twice for titles, but Barney was the first simultaneous 3 division champ, not Armstrong, holding the lightweight, jrwelt, and welt and finished with a stellar record of 74-4-3 with nary a single KO loss.

Go figure these voters because I never can.

GJC
05-13-2009, 09:28 PM
Ketchel would have to be ranked in the best of the 00's really considering he only lasted a few months into the 10's?
No huge issues with the rest of the list apart from 1980s, not my list but opinion is classic little precis of his career being in theopinion.
Just can't see Leonard as the top fighter of the 1980's my choice would be Hagler but I too wouldn't argue against Tyson on impact over Leonard or even Michael Spinks. Spinks dominated LH division and then moved up nad did what so many other great LH's had failed to do.
Leonard was highly skilled but not enough fights and flattered to deceive a little IMO, e.g. The Hagler fight.
Let the spears begin :)

j
05-13-2009, 10:16 PM
LRR is such a hater. man, dude does his best to slam johnson any chance he gets. no wonder he is considered village idiot by some.

sorry, but u arent helping yourself by constantly sounding off on the same topic. well, its not like u care. but, i would question why u even waste your time on us "idiots".

especially considering your esteemed career and pedigree.

j
05-13-2009, 10:19 PM
Ketchel would have to be ranked in the best of the 00's really considering he only lasted a few months into the 10's?
No huge issues with the rest of the list apart from 1980s, not my list but opinion is classic little precis of his career being in theopinion.
Just can't see Leonard as the top fighter of the 1980's my choice would be Hagler but I too wouldn't argue against Tyson on impact over Leonard or even Michael Spinks. Spinks dominated LH division and then moved up nad did what so many other great LH's had failed to do.
Leonard was highly skilled but not enough fights and flattered to deceive a little IMO, e.g. The Hagler fight.
Let the spears begin :)

much of tysons impact is promoter manufactured. this is different that how, say pacquiao is recognized and has grown to be respected.

i cant disagree that, however manufactured and overhyped, that tyson did have huge impact. but to me, that does not coincide with greatest. anyways, i would rank tyson in the 1980's. in the top ten? hmm, i guess so.

them_apples
05-14-2009, 12:21 AM
** Goes to show you how invalid some of those lists are.

Johnson did nothing of note from 1910 - 1920 save beat the long retired Jeff. The only other heavy of note that he fought beat him, Willard, and his few other title defenses were against utterly forgettable journeymen types. Langford cleaned out as many contenders in 3 divisions as dared fight him.

At least the Ring is a consensus type list. However, Joe Frazier's record in the 60s is superior to Ali. Both fought about the same number of years, but Joe's pre-title comp of Doug Jones, Chuvalo, Machen, Bonavena and the easy way he dismissed all but Oscar is vastly superior to that of Ali.

I'd say Joe's title comp was more prime, dangerous, and at least as good if not better overall that that of Ali's title comp which is padded out with what looks in retrospect either a past it Liston or a Liston throwing his fights and a very sick Patterson.

Joe beat a prime, undefeated highly regarded superheavy Mathis trained by legendary D'amato for his title. Ramos and Zyglewicz were on par with Cooper and London, but the Bonavena rematch and Quarry were prime quality talents and the Quarry fight was fight of the year. It wouldn't be fair to fudge since Ali was stripped his last two years, but if we did include 70, Joe unifies against Ellis and dismisses Bob Foster before Ali ever did and much easier. The only prime fighter of quality near Oscar and Quarry is Terrell and Chuvalo I guess.

Leonard in the 80s always causes me to wonder about those who make these lists. His win over Hearns was epic, but not his wins over Duran and Hagler. He only fought 11x that decade. The guy who electrified the decade was Tyson who stormed boxing in a manner never seen before or since, yet he gets no mention.

Nobody would dispute Armstrong as the fighter of the 30s, but the runnerup, Canzoneri? Not only did Barney Ross beat him twice for titles, but Barney was the first simultaneous 3 division champ, not Armstrong, holding the lightweight, jrwelt, and welt and finished with a stellar record of 74-4-3 with nary a single KO loss.

Go figure these voters because I never can.

Yea for the 80's, even if his record isn't on the same level as Leonards, I think mike should get the nod. He WAS what boxing stood for in the 80's. He made boxing the best sport in the world back then.

I'm not too upset if Leonard does get chosen either though, but one of them should at least be the runner up.

I'm glad Pacquiao got this generations pick. He worked hard for it, much harder than others only because he doesn't have a big mouth, he talks with his fists. He's got an incredible resume, I've been watching the guy since he came to the states and he's been incredible ever since. He still get's flak from people who underestimate him each and every time for no apparent reason.

For me, it's not even close, his resume absolutely trumps Floyd Mayweather jr's and he should be considered amongst the ATG rankings when he retires. People will be shocked when he stops Floyd Mayweather in the late rounds..you heard it here first..

GJC
05-14-2009, 11:22 AM
much of tysons impact is promoter manufactured. this is different that how, say pacquiao is recognized and has grown to be respected.

i cant disagree that, however manufactured and overhyped, that tyson did have huge impact. but to me, that does not coincide with greatest. anyways, i would rank tyson in the 1980's. in the top ten? hmm, i guess so.
Agree re Tyson, my pick would be Hagler for the 80's. Would say I think Tyson has a better shot at fighter of the 80's than Leonard.

LondonRingRules
05-14-2009, 12:31 PM
LRR is such a hater. man, dude does his best to slam johnson any chance he gets. no wonder he is considered village idiot by some.

sorry, but u arent helping yourself by constantly sounding off on the same topic. well, its not like u care. but, i would question why u even waste your time on us "idiots".

especially considering your esteemed career and pedigree.

** Considering your Phoo-Phighter credentials, me thinks you're an LRR hater.

Makes your credentials look sickly when the village idiot shows you up as is what's fixin' to happen here.

JJ was 17-1-1 in 20 fights from the start to 1910 to the close of 1920. His title fights that decade started with the Jeff win and ended with the Willard loss with Flynn, Battle Johnson, and Moran in between. Only Willard would've been a ranked fighter and that was the only ranked fighter he fought that decade.

Sam was 93-27-18 in 145 fights, fighting at least 3 dozen fights against era HOFers and winning most of those fights even though he was well past his best by the 2nd half of the decade. Not to mention the dozens of other era ranked fighters he was beating. That's 20 more wins in 41 more fights than Johnson had in his entire career that Sammy trumped in just a single decade alone.

Any historian knows that regardless the level of support he has for Johnson, he was past his best in the 1910s.

Make a much stronger argument for him being the fighter of the 1900s, but then he runs head on in to Sam yet again, Prime Jeff, and many other incredibly talented fighters like Ketchel, Gans, and so on.

BennyST
05-15-2009, 09:48 AM
Nobody would dispute Armstrong as the fighter of the 30s, but the runnerup, Canzoneri? Not only did Barney Ross beat him twice for titles, but Barney was the first simultaneous 3 division champ, not Armstrong, holding the lightweight, jrwelt, and welt and finished with a stellar record of 74-4-3 with nary a single KO loss.

Go figure these voters because I never can.

You're dissing Canzoneri? Do you know who he is, who he fought and the accomplishments gathered over that period? I'm guessing not. I absolutely understand your point in saying that Ross is underrated because he most certainly is. For some odd reason he always seems to never be mentioned as the first to hold three titles in three divisions simultaneously.

YuNgMaYwEaThEr
05-15-2009, 10:45 AM
floyd has to fight the best to be the best?? yet the last two wins came from the same two people floyd won his last 2 fights....lol....pac had his battles with morales and JMM in the lightweights when floyd dominated those same divisionw ay before pac....i swear people are sucking Pacquiaos dick way to much

GJC
05-15-2009, 02:15 PM
You're dissing Canzoneri? Do you know who he is, who he fought and the accomplishments gathered over that period? I'm guessing not. I absolutely understand your point in saying that Ross is underrated because he most certainly is. For some odd reason he always seems to never be mentioned as the first to hold three titles in three divisions simultaneously.
Such an emotive subject picking one and possibly a runner up. 2 fighters per decade can't do anything but cause arguments. Add Louis to Canzoneri for the 30's how about Dempsey in the 20's and so on.

glidesmack
05-18-2009, 06:17 AM
wow I really like that list.