Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ten Active All Time Greats

Michael Rosenthal of Ring Magazine has his list of Boxing's Top Ten Active All Time Greats. His list (in alphabetical order):

1. Evander Holyfield
2. Bernard Hopkins
3. Roy Jones Jr.
4. Vitali Klitschko
5. Juan Manuel Marquez
6. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
7. Erik Morales
8. Shane Mosley
9. Manny Pacquiao
10. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam

This list is not much different than most including my own. Looking at it, I am lucky to say I have seen all but one (Wonjongkam) fight more than once live on teevee. It is a list one can easily agree with; however I am uncertain about the Klitschko legacy. Aside from his battle with Lennox Lewis, which he was more than competitive in, his resume is thin. It is a shame because I have always felt, as with Lewis, that Vitali and his brother Wladimir have suffered from a poor pool of quality opposition. The heavyweights they have fought have all been easily handled (not counting Wlad's weak showings against Brewer and Sanders) because the challengers either lacked the necessary skill set, were too green or were out-sized dramatically. Not to fault either Klitschko, but it is hard to assess how they stack up against current Hall of Famers. It is said you are supposed to only look at the fighter in the context of his era, but great? I just can't say that is a word I attribute to Vitali Klitschko.

As for the rest of the list, can't argue with any of it. Floyd and Roy are two of the fastest and most precise boxers I have ever seen as well as my past faves to watch. Evander's heart is Hall of Fame worthy by itself. Juan Manuel and Morales are two of the best little guys there was. Hopkins is the epitome of Philadelphia boxing. Mosley as a lightweight was probably better than Floyd or Manny and despite the Balco hiccup Sugar has earned my respect every step up. Manny is the Pac Monster, the Pac-Man and the pride of the Philippines. I have watched him since early on in his career, he is already a sure lock for the Hall and an all time great. The only person who might be missing from the list and maybe he isn't quite "active" at the moment is Marco Antonio Barrera. If you have Erik Morales, you have to put in his rival, they defined each others careers.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message.

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