Pretty interesting article I came across about the best 25 boxers in the last 25 years. Just thought I'd share it with everybody else.
Boxing's 25 Best in the Last 25 Years
by Paul Magno
25) Riddick Bowe: 43-1 (33 KO), 1989-Present
Key Wins: Bert Cooper, Tony Tubbs, Bruce Seldon, Evander Holyfield (2-1), Andrew Golota (2)
Key Losses: Evander Holyfield
Bowe was perhaps the most physically gifted of his contemporary Heavyweights yet, aside from his series win over Holyfield, he has little to show for it. Solid wins litter his resume, but talent and respectable competition don’t cut it on any all-time list. Names like Lewis, Tyson, Moorer and Mercer were around…Bowe had the potential to beat them all.
24) Joe Calzaghe: 46-0 (33 KO), 1993-2009
Key Wins: Chris Eubank, Robin Reid, Byron Mitchell, Jeff Lacy, Mikkel Kessler, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr.
Key Losses: None
After a solid win over an older Chris Eubank to become WBO Super Middleweight Champ, Calzaghe went about setting a record of 21 straight title defenses against mostly 2nd and 3rd tier opposition. His saving graces were his total domination of Lacy and 2 respectable wins over Kessler and Hopkins.
23) Azumah Nelson: 39-6-2 (28 KO), 1979-2008 azumah20nelson
Key Wins: Wilfredo Gomez, Juan LaPorte, Jeff Fenech (1-1-1), Calvin Grove, Rafael Ruelas (2), Jesse James Leija (1-2-1)
Key Losses: Salvador Sanchez, Pernell Whitaker, Jesse James Leija, Jeff Fenech, Genaro Hernandez
The world first caught a glimpse of the very young Azumah when he went toe-to-toe with the great Salvador Sanchez…and the heart he displayed that day carried on throughout the rest of his career. “The Professor” was never the most physically gifted fighter, but he used his experience, superb conditioning and blue-collar work ethic to become one of the very best and the measuring stick for fighters in the Featherweight and Super Featherweight divisions for almost 15 years.
22) Mike McCallum: 49-5-1 (36 KO), 1981-1997
Key Wins: David Braxton, Julian Jackson, Milton McCrory, Donald Curry, Herol Graham, Steve Collins, Michael Watson, Sumbu Kalambay (1-1)
Key Losses: Sumbu Kalambay, James Toney (2), Fabrice Tiozzo, Roy Jones Jr.
Aside from having one of the coolest nicknames in the history of the sport, “The Bodysnatcher” was almost a blueprint for the perfect boxer. He was a “most feared man” before the term became popular and many of the sport’s best avoided him until the very end of his career. Still, McCallum was able to have a great deal of success on the European circuit and he accounted for himself well, even when he was past his prime. corrales2x
21) Diego Corrales: 40-5 (33 KO), 1996-2007
Key Wins: Roberto Garcia, Derrick Gainer, Angel Manfredy, Jose Luis Castillo (1-1), Joel Casamayor (1-2) Acelino Freitas
Key Losses: Floyd Mayweather Jr, Joel Casamayor, Jose Luis Castillo
People forget just how much “Chico” Corrales terrorized the Super Featherweight division. With 27 brutal KO’s in his first 33 fights, Corrales just may have been the heaviest-handed 130 pounder in the history of the sport. Plus, who could ever forget his classice performance against Castillo in what could arguably have been the greatest fight of the last 25 years? RIP Chico.
20) Juan Manuel Marquez: 50-4-1 (37 KO), 1993-Present
Key Wins: Agapito Sanchez, Manuel Medina, Derrick Gainer, Marco Antonio Barrera, Rocky Juarez, Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz)
Key Losses: Freddie Norwood, Chris John, Manny Pacquiao
Despite treading water in the early part of his career, Marquez has come on strong and has shown his excellence across 3 divisions. 2 of his key losses, against John and Pacquiao, have been of the controversial variety and the draw came in a fight with Pacquiao where he was dropped three times in the first. Marquez has the skill and drive to work his way up on this list and could very well find himself Top 5 or Top 10 by the time he retires.
19) Ricardo Lopez: 51-0-1 (38 KO), 1985-2001
Key Wins: Kermin Guardia, Alex Sanchez, Rosendo Alvarez (1-0-1), Will Grigsby, Ratanapol Sor Vorapin
Key Losses: None
The only negative about “Finito” Lopez was that there were no competitors in his weight class who were capable of giving him a quality tussle. With picture-perfect technique and the cold, calculating mind of an assasin, Lopez was as close to perfect as a human could be. There’s little doubt that if he were born 30-40 lbs. heavier, he would be at the very top of this list.
18) Miguel Cotto: 33-1 (27 KO), 2001-Present
Key Wins: Cesar Bazan, Carlos Maussa, Randall Bailey, DeMarcus Corley, Paulie Malignaggi, Carlos Quintana, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley
Key Losses: Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao
Miguel Cotto at 140 lbs was as dominant a champion as you’ll ever find and, at 147, he’s proven himself a fighter who will fight (and can beat) anyone in front of him. One of the best offensive fighters of this era, his lone defeat at the hands of Margarito can be called into question due to Margarito’s controversial use of plaster-laced handwraps. Loss to Margarito or not, Cotto has become the standard-bearer at 147.
17) Winky Wright: 51-5-1 (25 KO), 1990-Present winky
Key Wins: Andrew Council, Bronco McKart (3), Keith Mullings, Shane Mosley (2), Felix Trinidad, Ike Quartey, Jermain Taylor (Draw)
Key Losses: Julio Cesar Vazquez, Harry Simon, Fernando Vargas, Bernard Hopkins, Paul Williams
Wright may not always have been the most exciting fighter, but few could argue with his success or the skill-set demonstrated by his two wins over Mosley and his complete domination of Trinidad. Avoided by many of the top talents, Wright and his defense-minded southpaw trick book were forced into fighting whoever he could, whenever a fight could be made- even to the point of spending 5 prime years on the European circuit.
16) Jose Luis Castillo: 57-9-1 (49 KO), 1990-Present
Key Wins: Jorge Paez, Stevie Johnston (1-0-1), Cesar Bazan, Juan Lazcano, Joel Casamayor, Julio Diaz, Diego Corrales (1-1), Herman Ngoudjo
Key Losses: Floyd Mayweather (2), Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton
Possibly the most underrated boxer on this list, Castillo had the misfortune of emerging after training partner Julio Cesar Chavez and at the same time as guys like Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. Castillo didn’t capture too many headlines; He just set about becoming one of the all-time greats at Lightweight through a steady pace of quality wins and exciting performances.