Retired boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (50-0, 27KOs) recently posted on social media about Boxrec.com’s greatest all time pound-for-pound (P4P) rankings. To say this list is controversial would be the understatement of the century! This might be the worst P4P ranking I’ve ever seen. For those of you unfamiliar with all time greatest P4P boxing rankings, Sugar Ray Robinson is typically ranked #1, followed by Muhammad Ali or vice versa Then it’s an absolute free for all thereafter. There are about 30-40 boxers that can rank in the Top 25 of all time and these names are interchangeable, depending on personal opinion and what criteria is used. Some of the names on Boxrec’s list that are in the top 15 shouldn’t even be in the top 25!
Boxrec has never been known for its rankings, but this list might throw any ounce of credibility they had left out of the window. Lets break down their Top 10:
1.Floyd Mayweather Jr.
- Multiple titles in five weight divisions
- Undefeated record 50-0
- One of the best defensive and accurate boxers of all time
Now most people who don’t watch boxing would look at this on paper and be like “he has a good argument for best all time”. He’s great but not the greatest. My personal opinion is that he’s 17th all time, but I’d be okay with seeing him anywhere from 15-20 – (a lot of hardcore fans I know think I have him a bit high). His accomplishments cannot be ignored. Him not fighting the best of his era when they were at their best, whether it was his fault or not, cannot be ignored and it is why he doesn’t make the top 10 in my opinion. Remember this is all subjective.
2. Manny Pacquiao
- Only active boxer on the list, 40 years old and still going strong.
- Only eight division world title holder ever.
- Has a long list a great opponents.
Like Mayweather, Pacquiao is great. Most of the guys on this list are. Is he greater than Ali or Ray Robinson? Simply put, no. He’s one of my favorite fighters of all time, but I find it hard to place him over many fighters in boxing history. I’d currently rank him somewhere 20-25. If he were to beat Errol Spence Jr (if they fight) – that would surely shoot him up the rankings, possibly even into the top 10. Having him ranked 2nd though? Over all the old boxing legends? No way.
3. Carlos Monzon
- One of the greatest middleweights ever to lace up the gloves.
- Held the undisputed middleweight crown for seven years.
This one really is a head scratcher. Maybe he barely cracks the top 25. For me, middleweight legend Marvin Hagler just cracks the top 25 and I place his career above Carlos’.
4. Muhammad Ali
- Greatest Heavyweight boxer of all time
- The most iconic boxing figure in boxing history, for his cultural, political, and social impact. It was not just his impact in boxing, but his impact on the world. This man stood up for what he believed in and always let people know what he thought of them.
- Fought and beat the best of his era, when the Heavyweight division was absolutely stacked with legends. Wins over Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, George Chuvalo, and George Foreman.
Do I even have to go into detail? I have him ranked number 2 on my all time list, just behind Sugar Ray Robinson – who, for the record Ali himself ranked #1 all time. I would have no quarrel with those who favor him over Robinson though.
5. Sugar Ray Robinson
- Legend has it that the pound for pound rankings were created because of this man due to his ability to cross weight classes and still look great.
- Arguably the great p4p boxer of all time, the most complete boxer of all time.
- Official record: 174-19-6 109KOs, Beat greats Jake LaMotta, Rocky Graziano, Gene Fullmer, Henry Armstrong, Kid Gavilán, and Carmen Basilio
Can’t say enough about Sugar Ray Robinson. He was the complete package. He was flamboyant, had the speed, power, footwork, ring IQ, the accuracy, the tactics. He had it all! He beat the best of the best in his era and there were many legends around that time.
6. Bernard Hopkins
- Held multiple world titles at middleweight and light heaveweight. Was undisputed at middleweight for a little under one year.
- Had a long career lasting 28 years, and became the oldest boxer to win a title at the age of 49.
- Very slick boxer, known for his counter punching.
Great boxer, but top 10? No way! It’s debatable if he’s even in the top 25. I rank another great from the same era, Roy Jones Jr between 20-25. He beat Hopkins when they were both in their prime at middleweight. Hopkins did most of his impressive work later on in his career at light heavyweight. His middleweight resume isn’t bad, but it’s not eye opening. It’s definitely not enough to put him in top 10. One could argue for 20-25 MAYBE! Again, it’s subjective, but there are many boxers I would put ahead of him in the top 25.
7. Joe Louis
- The best heavyweight ever behind Ali.
- An American icon, considered by many the first black American hero by defeating Max Schmeling, who at the time was considered a Nazi symbol. He was the first black athlete ever to be considered a nationwide hero.
- He was the heavyweight champion 1937-1949, defending his title, a whopping 25 times.
I personally have Joe Louis 4th on my all time list, for all of the reasons above and then some. What he was able to accomplish inside and outside of the ring, at a time where racism against African Americans ran rampant in America, and the world for that matter. It truly makes his achievements that much more amazing.
8. Archie Moore
- Longest reigning light heavyweight champion of all time. (1952-1962)
- Had a great chin, and great defense as well. Known for his “crossed guard” defense.
- Holds record for the most knockouts of all time with 145.
I don’t personally have him in my top 10, but I don’t have a problem with someone putting him there.
9. Oscar De La Hoya
- He won titles in six divisions.
- 1992 olympic gold medalist.
- Beat legends Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker on the back end of their careers.
This right here is worse than #3. Oscar is a Hall of Famer. He was great and had a great style. His wins over aging fighters early on in his career paved the way for him to be a superstar in boxing. He lost major fights against Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley (2x), and Felix Trinidad. I won’t knock him for losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao who sent him into retirement because it was at the tail end of his career. I don’t know how he made it into Boxrec’s Top 10, then again I don’t understand this list at all, so for them this makes sense. Oscar is now one of the most successful promoters in boxing.
10. Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
- 25 year boxing career, held titles in three divisions.
- Started off his career 87-0, before finishing 107-6-2 86KOs.
- Known for his entertaining, come forward “Mexican Style” way of fighting. Tough as nails and relentless.
Boxrec got a little carried away here. I have a heavy bias towards Chavez. He was an extremely entertaining boxer to watch, and fought fearless like a true warrior. You could rank him anywhere from 18-25, maybe even outside the 25, depending on your preferences. Top 10 is a little high, but it’s not crazy like some of these other names.
My Top 10 All-Time P4P List:
- Sugar Ray Robinson
- Muhammad Ali
- Henry Armstrong
- Joe Louis
- Benny Leonard
- Roberto Duran
- Sugar Ray Leonard
- Harry Greb
- Joe Gans
- Gene Tunney
I constantly debate my own top 10 with myself. I’m always learning new things about certain fighters that makes me even more impressed with their body of work, their style, etc. My top 5 is pretty much set in stone. The rest I do debate the order. As you can tell, I do have a bias towards older eras of boxing. I feel that boxing was more grueling during those times – boxers fought 15 round fights, bare bones training, fought through injuries, and some fighters fought 10-15+ times per year. Of course they weren’t fighting superstars back-to-back-to-back but that’s a lot of fights in a year no matter who you are. They didn’t have the same technology and knowledge as boxers do now to recover faster, and train more effectively, etc.
Feel free to leave comments on this article with your Top 10 P4P boxers of all time! We love the diversity of opinion.