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"Pound for pound" rankings were developed by boxing writers during the era of Sugar Ray Robinson (pictured) to rank the world's greatest fighters irrespective of their weight division.

The nature of these rankings is subjective and raises an interesting question: How do you compensate for differences in size, power and historical time periods when evaluating boxers?

One common approach is to simply assume all boxers were the same size and evaluate them based on that criteria. However, I think that approach undervalues heavier fighters.

For one, it doesn't adjust for the natural variations that come with larger body size—it's impossible to assume that a 5'6" boxer would be physically identical if he were a foot taller. Secondly, there are physical restraints: Even if a heavyweight's and flyweight's fists are moving at the same velocity, the longer arm length of the heavyweight makes the punch look slower and less "snappy."

Alternatively, this list evaluates fighters based on two major factors:

1. Their skill and accomplishments relative to others in their division(s).
2. Their ability to win in multiple weight classes, if applicable.

In developing this list, I examined films and clips of over 250 fights, historical boxing records, anecdotal accounts and other "greatest ever" lists, including those compiled by Ring magazine, ESPN and Bert Sugar. No list can settle the great debate, but this one is the result of hundreds of hours of research and evaluation and is a good starting point.

Without further ado, the 100 Greatest Pound for Pound Boxers of All Time.

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LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 13: Shane Mosley throws a left-hand punch to the body of Oscar De La Hoya on September 13, 2003 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mosley defeated De La Hoya by unanimous decision. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Al Bello/Getty Images

Divisions: Lightweight (136) to Light Middleweight (154)

Record (W-L-D): 46-6-1

Years Active: 1993-Present

Shown here in his second of two wins over Oscar De La Hoya, "Sugar" Shane Mosley is a six-time titlist across three weight divisions. Aside from the big wins over De La Hoya, he also holds wins over Fernando Vargas (twice), Luis Collazo and Antonio Margarito.

A fixture on the top pound for pound lists for nearly a decade, Mosley struggled with rangy, slick fighters (he lost twice to Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest) and is also expected to lose in his fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2011.

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Locche on right Locche on right

Division: Light Welterweight (142)

Record: 117-4-14

Years Active: 1958-1976

A notoriously weak-fisted Argentinean fighter (his 14 draws equal the number of KOs he had in his career).

Locche (pictured, on right) held the WBA and lineal light welterweight titles from 1968 to 1972.

He possessed lightning-quick reflexes, often fighting with his hands at his side, much like his modern countryman Sergio Martinez.

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Division: Flyweight (112)

Record: 61-9-4

Years Active: 1969-1982

Canto broke the mold of hard-hitting Mexican pressure fighters with his defensive, technical boxing skill and low knockout percentage (only 15 of his 61 wins were by KO).

Canto had a 14-1-1 record in title fights, winning 13 of these by 15-round decision. 

No fighter ever won more 15-round world title fights by decision, and now that title fights are 12 rounds, Canto's record will probably never be broken.

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Division: Lightweight (135)

Record: 74-42-5

Years Active: 1935-1950

A Texan known as the "Sweetwater Swatter," Lew Jenkins had tremendous natural talent and punching power, but his personal shortcomings caused him many problems in his career.

He began fighting at carnivals and in the Army and eventually became lightweight champion of the world. He defended his title against many top fighters but drank excessively, stayed up late and crashed several motorcycles and cars.

A neck injury from a motorcycle crash greatly affected his career, and from then on he lost a lot more fights than he won. He was ranked No. 99 on Bert Sugar's list of the 100 greatest boxers and 62nd on Ring Magazine's "Greatest Punchers" list.

He fought in WWII as well and won a Silver Star for his service.

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19 FEB 1994: CHALLENGER HUMBERTO GONZALEZ THROWS A PUNCH AT CHAMPION MICHAEL CARBAJAL DURNG THEIR BOUT FOR THE IBF AND WBC LIGHT-FLY-WEIGHT TITLES. WAS CUT BY A CARBAJAL HEAD-BUTT IN THE THIRD ROUND. Mandatory Credit: Holly Stein/ALLSPORT Holly Stein/Getty Images

Division: Light Flyweight (108)

Record: 43-3-0

Years Active: 1984-1995

Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez was one of the most exciting fighters ever in the lighter weight divisions. A 5'1" Mexican boxer, he defended his title 15 times.

Gonzalez may be most famous to boxing fans for two of his matches that won Ring Magazine's Fight of the Year—against Michael Carbajal (whom he later defeated twice) in 1993 and Saman Sorjaturong in 1995. He fought admirably but lost both by seventh round knockout and retired after the Sorjaturong bout.

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Division: Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 56-10-4

Years Active: 1924-1948

Schmeling is most famous among American fight fans as the vaunted "enemy" from Nazi Germany who was felled by Joe Louis during the heightened social struggles in World War II.

Unfortunately, this is not an accurate depiction of Schmeling, who was later found out to have risked his own life to help save the lives of two Jewish children during Hitler's regime.

There's a reason Louis' win over Schmeling was so momentous—Schmeling was perhaps the most feared heavyweight of his time. He was ranked 55th on Ring Magazine's greatest punchers list.

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18 Jan 1997: Michael Carbajal looks on during a bout against Mauricio Pastrana at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pastrana won the fight with a decision in the twelfth round. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Division: Light Flyweight (108)

Record: 49-4-0

Years Active: 1989-1999

Nicknamed "Little Hands of Stone" after his boxing hero, Roberto Duran, Michael Carbajal was a four-time world champion and the first big-time fighter under 112 pounds.

A Mexican-American, he is probably most famous for two fights—a seventh round knockout win over Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez in 1993's Fight of the Year and a shocking win over undefeated Mexican prospect Jorge Arce in his final fight in 1999.

Carbajal was recently inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

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Division: Lightweight (135)

Record: 75-19-3

Years Active: 1938-1950

A lightweight from Philadelphia, Bob Montgomery was at or near the top of the division for many years during one of boxing's golden ages. 

He went undefeated in his first 23 fights and had a solid record in a packed schedule against many top fighters. He was never able to beat Sammy Angott in their three bouts but defeated such legends as Maxie Shapiro, Lew Jenkins and Beau Jack.

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Divisions: Light Heavyweight (175), Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 55-8-1

Years Active: 1952-1972

"The Gentleman of Boxing," Floyd Patterson helped pave the way for many high-profile black heavyweights who followed him. 

In an era with only one heavyweight title, Patterson won nine of his 10 title bouts, including two of three in his famous trilogy with swingin' Swede Ingemar Johansson. 

In 1962, he lost the title to Sonny Liston and would never regain it, but he still went on to win most of his matches. He retired at age 37 in 1972 after a loss to Muhammad Ali.

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NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: Joe Calzaghe (R) punches Roy Jones Jr (L) during their Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Championship bout at Madison Square Garden November 8, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Al Bello/Getty Images

Division: Super Middleweight (168), Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 46-0

Years Active: 1993-2008

Nicknamed "The Italian Dragon" and hailing from Wales, Joe Calzaghe presents a significant conundrum for boxing historians.

On one hand, he was an undefeated champion who made 22 title defenses and beat such legends as Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr. and Chris Eubank.

On the other hand, those guys were all aging and declining when he beat them, and he was a notoriously protected fighter, only fighting significant opposition in his last six fights. He only fought outside of Europe twice—in his final two bouts.

Overall, though, he also beat solid contenders Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika and Jeff Lacy and clearly deserves a place among the all-time greats.

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Las Vegas - June 22: Erik Morales tries to counterattack against Marco Antonio Barrera during their World Featherweight Championship fight on June 22, 2002 at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Divisions: Super Bantamweight (122) to Light Welterweight (140)

Record: 51-6

Years Active: 1993-Present

It's hard to believe, after all he has accomplished, that Erik Morales is only 34 years old. Beginning in the late 1990s after the retirement of Julio Cesar Chavez, Morales and countryman Marco Antonio Barrera became the two flag-bearers of Mexican boxing.

Morales was a three-division world champion who has also won minor titles in two other divisions and is a prototypical Mexican fighter—a gritty, hard-hitting, well-trained warrior.

Though he was on the losing end of two famous trilogies—against Barrera and Manny Pacquiao—he is also the only one of his countrymen to ever beat Pacquiao. Sports Illustrated ranked him 49th on their list of the greatest fighters ever.

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1 Dec 1995: Boxer Azumah Nelson celebrates after his fifth round TKO against Gabriel Ruelas in Palm Springs, California. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello/ALLSPORT Al Bello/Getty Images

Divisions: Featherweight (126), Super Featherweight (130)

Record: 39-6-2

Years Active: 1979-1998

"The Professor" won the WBC Featherweight title in 1984 by knocking out Wilfredo Gomez and defended it successfully for four years. He vacated the title by fighting for the WBC's Super Featherweight title, which he won and held for another six years.

Perhaps the most impressive in a surprisingly long lineage of successful Ghanaian boxers, Nelson's 10-year reign as WBC champion, including multiple wins over Jeff Fenech and Gabe Ruelas, earns him a spot among the sport's all-time greats.

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LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 06: Marco Antonio Barrera (L) hits Manny Pacquiao during the 11th round of their 12-round super featherweight bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center October 6, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao won by unanimous decision. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Division: Super Bantamweight (122) to Lightweight (135)

Record: 66-7-0

Years Active: 1989-Present

"The Babyfaced Assassin" is one of several active Mexican fighters who have earned "legendary" status (joining the previously listed Erik Morales as well as , who barely missed the list).

A beautifully skilled ring technician, he is a seven-time champion across four weight divisions. Notable victories include wins over Erik Morales, Johnny Tapia, Naseem Hamed, Agapito Sanchez and Rocky Juarez.

Only losing to Junior Jones (twice) and Morales during his prime, Barrera has lost to top-tier fighters (Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and Amir Khan) in recent years.

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NEW YORK - OCTOBER 2: Felix 'Tito' Trinidad Jr. (red shorts) fights with Ricardo Mayorga (black shorts) during a bout for the WBA North American and North American Boxing Council middleweight titles at Madison Square Garden on October 2, 2004 in New York Al Bello/Getty Images

Divisions: Welterweight (147) to Middleweight (160)

Record: 42-3-0

Years Active: 1990-2005

Puerto Rico has had many dominant fighters in the sport's history, but few had accomplishments greater than those of Trinidad. Beginning as a welterweight, he held the IBF title in that division for six years before moving up to light middleweight and then middleweight, winning a title in each division.

In his career, "Tito" held big-time wins over countryman Hector "Macho" Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, William Joppy and Ricardo Mayorga. His only losses were to Bernard Hopkins, Winky Wright and an ill-fated comeback attempt against Roy Jones, Jr. in 2008.

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Division: Middleweight (160)

Record: 46-5-10

Years Active: 1883-1895

A 5'8" middleweight born in Ireland but fighting out of the U.S., "Nonpareil" Dempsey was perhaps the greatest boxer of the 19th century.

Not to be confused with the more famous heavyweight who was named after him, "Nonpareil" earned his nickname for being virtually unbeatable. His first two losses only came because Dempsey failed to score a knockout in four-round fights based on that stipulation, so in modern boxing, he would have probably won two or three of his five losses.

In a bygone era of boxing, Dempsey competed in two "fights to the finish"—losing by 32nd-round TKO and then coming back six months later to win a 28th-round KO. He died of tuberculosis at age 33 while still an active boxer.

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Division: Lightweight (135)

Record: 116-47-13

Years Active: 1941-1970

"Old Bones" Brown was a skilled lightweight who amassed 116 wins throughout an extraordinary 29-year career that began at age 15 and ended when Brown was 44.

He was more of a classic boxer than a knockout puncher, winning less than half of his victories by KO, but had good power and had an amazing six-year reign as undisputed lightweight champion, making 11 successful defenses before finally losing his title at age 36 in 1962.

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Division: Welterweight (147) to Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 86-7-10

Years Active: 1891-1916

The life and antics of Charles "Kid" McCoy (born Norman Selby in Moscow, Indiana) are the stuff of legend. He was universally considered an excellent technical boxer but also resorted to some unusual clowning that would be considered ridiculous today.

He is believed to have invented the ruse of mentioning the opponent's untied shoelaces so that he could land a blow while the opponent was looking down.

Before winning the welterweight title, he rubbed powder on his face and told Tommy Ryan he was sick, lulling the great champion into a false sense of complacency.

His corner once threw handfuls of tacks into the ring against a barefoot opponent who weighed 90 pounds more and used this as a distraction to knock down the fighter.

Outside of the ring, he , became an actor near the turn of the century and, in a fit of alcoholism, murdered one of his wives. He committed suicide in 1940 and left behind a bizarre, colorful and ultimately tragic legacy.

He is also believed to be the person responsible for the phrase "The Real McCoy."

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4 Mar 1994: Mike McCallum and Randall Yonker in action during a bout in Las Vegas, Nevada. McCallum won the fight with a TKO in the fifth round. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport Al Bello/Getty Images

Divisions: Light Middleweight (154) to Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 49-5-1

Years Active: 1981-1997

Known as "The Body Snatcher" for his fierce body punching, McCallum won world titles in three divisions—light middleweight, middleweight and light heavyweight.

The 1984 fight in which he won the light middleweight title in only his 22nd fight is significant for several reasons. It was the first time a Jamaican won a world championship, and it was also the first fight in which two female judges scored a world title fight.

McCallum beat numerous past and future champions such as Donald Curry, Milton McCrory and Michael Watson. His losses came later in his career, including losses to James Toney and Roy Jones Jr. at the end of his career.

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Promotional photo of Michael Spinks Promotional photo of Michael Spinks

Divisions: Light Heavyweight (175), Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 31-1-0

Years Active: 1977-1988

With his 14-1 record in world title fights, it is somewhat unfortunate that Michael Spinks is most famous among casual fans for the first round KO loss to Mike Tyson that led to Spinks' retirement.

Spinks was a slim, 6'2" puncher with a legendary right hand known as the "Spinks Jinx." He held world titles for several years in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. He skipped cruiserweight altogether—going from 174.5 lbs. to 199.75 lbs. in a three-month span before winning two consecutive title fights over legendary Larry Holmes.

He is the most accomplished of the famous Spinks family. His brother is former heavyweight champ Leon Spinks - who once beat Ali, and won a world title in only his eighth fight (a record) - and he's the uncle of Cory Spinks, a present-day fighter and two-division champion in his own right.

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Division: Super Flyweight (115)

Record: 49-1-0

Years Active: 1980-1991

The greatest of all the excellent Thai boxers in the smaller weight divisions, Khaosai Galaxy was a knockout puncher widely regarded as one of the greatest champions of all time.

His only loss came early in his career. Once he became champion, he won 19 consecutive title fights during a seven-year span before retiring with 43 KOs in 49 wins.

He was listed at No. 19 on Ring Magazine's "Greatest Punchers" list and was also an accomplished Muay-Thai kickboxer and musician.

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Division: Bantamweight (118), Featherweight (126)

Record: 64-29-51

Years Active: 1886-1906

Universally ranked as the greatest or second-greatest bantamweight of all time, George "Little Chocolate" Dixon holds many historical distinctions in boxing.

Quick-handed with moves described as "cat-like," Dixon became the first black world champion in the history of boxing, as well as being the first Canadian boxer to hold a world title.

Only a few fights after becoming recognized as the bantamweight world champion (there were no official title belts at the time), he moved up to featherweight and officially defended his featherweight title dozens of times.

Some mystery surrounds Dixon's career, but it has been reported that he won 78 fights and lost 26. However, Boxrec lists his record as 64-29 with 51 draws.

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Divisions: Middleweight (160), Light Heavyweight (175), Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 68-8-4

Years Active: 1885-1914

Nicknamed "The Freckled Wonder," "Cornishman" and most famously "Ruby," Bob Fitzsimmons was one of the finest pure punchers, landing a spot at No. 8 on Ring Magazine's "Greatest Punchers" list.

He holds many distinctions, including being recognized as the first person to ever win world titles in three weight divisions and being the lightest heavyweight champion (he was 167 pounds when he officially won the world heavyweight title). He also defeated the legendary Jack "Nonpareil" Dempsey.

Born in the UK, raised in New Zealand and retiring in the U.S., Fitzsimmons' weight-scaling accomplishments are on par with Manny Pacquiao's. When Fitzsimmons fought, there were only eight weight classes, unlike today's 17 official divisions.

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Division: Middleweight (160)

Record: 67-18-2

Years Active: 1934-1948

An American middleweight from Gary, Indiana, Tony Zale was nicknamed "Man of Steel" for his tough chin and resilient attitude. A classic "tough guy" boxer, he was also known for his strong body punching.

A two-time world middleweight champion, he is best remembered for twice beating Rocky Graziano in their famous trilogy.

Zale was originally cast to play himself in Somebody Up There Likes Me, in which Paul Newman played Rocky Graziano. During one of their sparring scenes, Zale got rough with Newman and knocked him out and was subsequently replaced.

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9 Nov 1996: Ricardo Lopez celebrates after a bout against Morgan Nduma at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lopez won the fight with a TKO in the sixth round. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport Al Bello/Getty Images

Divisions: Minimumweight (105), Light Flyweight (108), Flyweight (112)

Record: 51-0-1

Years Active: 1985-2001

A 5'5" Mexican boxer, Lopez was one of the most dominant boxers ever in the smallest weight divisions. One of the only champions to ever retire undefeated, he held the WBC minimumweight title for most of the 1990s.

Originally a powerful KO puncher, he became slightly more tactical over the years but always won. Finito's career saw him hold five titles between 1990 and his retirement. Given the pound for pound nature of this list, a reasonable argument can be made for placing the Mexican higher on this list.

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Divisions: Lightweight (135), Light Welterweight (140)

Record: 61-7-1

Years Active: 1955-1972

A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and one of the greatest Puerto Rican boxers ever, Ortiz held three titles, including two as a lightweight and one at light welterweight.

His record of 61 wins and seven losses isn't extraordinary, but the quality of his opponents was. He had multiple wins over Battling Torres, Flash Elorde and Sugar Ramos, and he fought Nicolino Locche to a hard-fought draw.

He retired in 1972 but remains popular with his countrymen and boxing fans in general.

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Division: Bantamweight (118)

Record: 98-29-3

Years Active: 1938-1955

A Mexican-American born in El Centro, California, Ortiz was one of the greatest fighters of the 1940s.

After a stellar amateur career, he moved up the ranks and became the undisputed world bantamweight titleholder for eight years between 1942 and 1950, even while fighting against such luminaries as Willie Pep.

Ortiz served in the U.S. Army and died in 1970 from cirrhosis of the liver. He had 23 total title fights.

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Division: Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 50-4-0

Years Active: 1953-1970

One of the most feared and mysterious figures in boxing history, Sonny Liston was born in Arkansas, but his true birthdate was never known.

He endured constant beatings as a child and grew up to become heavyweight champion of the world between 1962 and 1964 after knocking out Floyd Patterson (No. 92 on this list) in the first round in consecutive fights.

His later career is more famous, but still shrouded in mystery. He was heavily favored over a young Cassius Clay, who "shook up the world" by beating Liston, and then was defeated by Clay on a "phantom punch" in the rematch in less than two minutes.

The image of Ali standing over a knocked-out Liston is perhaps the most famous in all of sports.

People suspected the fight might have been fixed because of Liston's underworld contacts, and he never regained his previous acclaim. He died in 1970, while still an active boxer, in mysterious circumstances.

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Divisions: Bantamweight (118) to Super Featherweight (130)

Record: 66-4-0

Years Active: 1970-79, 1986-88

Neck-and-neck with Wilfredo Gomez for the title of greatest knockout puncher in the sub-lightweight divisions, Zarate was one of the greatest KO punchers of all time in any weight class. Ring ranked him No. 21 among the greatest punchers of all time.

Born and raised in Mexico, Zarate fought in four divisions but only won a title in the bantamweight division, defending it 10 times.

Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Zarate is the only boxer in history to have two streaks of 20 or more consecutive knockout wins. 63 of his 66 victories came by knockout.

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Divisions: Light Welterweight (140) to Light Middleweight (154)

Record: 53-8-1

Years Active: 1973-1990

Probably the most beloved and respected Puerto Rican boxing champion of all time. He was aggressive on offense but had tremendous defensive abilities.

In 1976, at age 17, he became the youngest world champion in history. He went on to win titles in two more divisions, becoming the youngest three-division champion ever at just 22.

Benitez defeated some of the top fighters of his day, including Roberto Duran. His most famous fight was a loss to Sugar Ray Leonard for the WBC welterweight title.

Unfortunately, the story for Benitez hasn't ended as well as it began. Just 51, he suffers from an incurable, degenerative neurological condition and has forgotten most of his career.

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Division: Super Bantamweight (122), Featherweight (126)

Record: 44-3-1

Years Active: 1974-1989

Another Puerto Rican legend, Wilfredo Gomez was a two-division world champion. He is considered, along with Carlos Zarate of Mexico, as one of the two greatest knockout punchers in the sub-lightweight divisions.

Both fighters had an identical KO win percentage (Gomez won 42 of 44 by KO, Zarate 63 of 66), and Zarate held more titles.

So why is Gomez ranked higher?

Well, for one, he had the longest consecutive KO streak (32) of any champion, and he also knocked out Zarate in the fifth round of their only head-to-head matchup.

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Division: Welterweight (147)

Record: 96-25-25

Years Active: 1890-1911

Not to be confused with the more famous "Jersey" Joe Walcott, who named himself after this fighter, "Barbados" Joe Walcott may not be the greatest pound-for-pound fighter ever but could be the greatest inch-for-inch fighter. He stood just 5'1.5" tall but was a rugged, popular fighter.

His high loss numbers are the result of his accidentally shooting himself in the hand during a New Year's celebration, which caused him to lose more fights than he won for the remainder of his career.

His most significant fight was a draw with Sam Langford, one of the most feared fighters in the history of the sport. After his career, Walcott squandered a fortune and ended up working a series of odd jobs until his death in 1935.

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Division: Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 56-8-1

Years Active: 1961-1978

Bob Foster was a fast and powerful light heavyweight whom many consider the greatest light heavyweight ever. He agreed, once quipping, "I was cocky, but damn, I was good."

He was a three-time light heavyweight champion but isn't ranked higher on this list because of his lack of success in other weight divisions—most of his losses came during his frequent forays into the heavyweight division.

To be fair, most of his losses at heavyweight came in title fights against such boxers as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Zora Folley and Ernie Terrell.

On the other hand, he had a big-time win against Dick Tiger, and he handled all of the light heavyweight competition he faced. That's why Ring Magazine and Bert Sugar rank him among the all-time top 80, and he was No. 17 on Ring's "Greatest Punchers" list.

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Division: Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 11-4-3

Years Active: 1886-1903

The legendary "Gentleman Jim" Corbett had the fewest wins of any boxer on this list because he had such a low activity rate. However, seven of his bouts were against all-time boxing greats, and he was also one of the first heavyweight champions to fight African-American fighters.

His win over the great John L. Sullivan earned him the undisputed heavyweight championship, and he defended it only twice over the next five years before losing a tough-fought battle to Bob Fitzsimmons (79th) on a debilitating body shot.

He lost three of his next four fights against all-time greats but defeated Charles "Kid" McCoy (84th) by fifth-round KO.

"Gentleman Jim" fought in a different era of boxing and had matches that went 61, 27, 23 and 21 rounds with five-ounce gloves, so his skill and contributions to the sport are far more substantial than his record suggests.

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Division: Flyweight (112) to Featherweight (126)

Record: 55-7-0

Years Active: 1960-1970

An all-time great Japanese fighter, Masahiko "Fighting" Harada was a three-time champion in the flyweight and bantamweight divisions, including two titles he held for three straight years.

Generally, he fought Japanese fighters who are relatively unknown in the U.S., but he also held two major victories over Eder Jofre, who appears later on this list.

Harada now serves as the president of the Japanese boxing commission. Wilfredo Gomez (71st) said Harada was his idol as a child.

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Division: Flyweight (112)

Record: 92-9-4

Years Active: 1919-1925

Francisco Guilledo—better known as "Pancho Villa"—was a Filipino boxer who won 92 fights in just six years before his sudden death following a tooth extraction at age 23. His career remains one of the great .

What we do know about him is that he won consistently against quality opposition, including the great Jimmy Wilde (later on this list). His only other fight against an all-time great was his final bout with Jimmy McLarnin, which he lost due to complications from a dental infection that later ended up costing him his life.

Nonetheless, Villa was the first Pinoy (Filipino) boxing champion and is regarded as a great cultural hero taken too soon.

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LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 22: Boxer/commentator Lennox Lewis looks on during the fight between Ricky Hatton of England and Paulie Malignaggi during their light-welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena November 22, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images

Division: Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 41-2-1

Years Active: 1989-2003

A tall, powerful heavyweight with uncommon boxing skill for someone his size, Lewis was sometimes lost amid the great hype of his contemporaries Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, but he carved out an exceptional legacy among the sport's greatest heavyweights ever.

He never lost a fight that he didn't avenge later, and his list of felled opponents reads like a who's who of heavyweights over the last 20 years. He defeated Ray Mercer, Oliver McCall, Tommy Morrison, Andrew Golota, Evander Holyfield, David Tua, Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko.

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Division: Featherweight (126)

Record: 125-18-21

Years Active: 1900-1917

Known as "The Little Hebrew," Abe Attell gained tremendous acclaim around the turn of the century for his record six-year reign as World Featherweight champion.

He held the featherweight title from 1906 to 1912, defending it successfully 18 times, a record which stood for over 70 years. During this span, Attell beat legends Battling Nelson and Johnny Kilbane (who narrowly missed this list).

He also holds another distinction, as he and brother Monte Attell were the first brothers to hold boxing titles simultaneously.

Bat Masterson said Attell was the best pound-for-pound fighter he'd ever seen other than Wyatt Earp. This may have been a tongue-in-cheek reference to Attell's friendship with gangster Arnold Rothstein and his suspected involvement in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.

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Divisions: Featherweight (126) to Lightweight (135)

Record: 194-68-42

Years Active: 1910-1932

A 5'4" lightweight who was renowned for his footwork and excellent chin, Johnny Dundee is one of the winningest boxers of all time. When "newspaper decisions" are included, he also lost almost 70 fights, but he was only knocked out twice.

Dundee fought some of the greatest fighters of all time—including nine fights against the great Benny Leonard, who appears near the top of this list. Dundee went 2-6-1 against Leonard.

Both Bert Sugar and Nat Fleischer were big fans of Dundee's, with Sugar ranking him 32nd all-time and Fleischer including him in his top five featherweights of all time rankings.

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Division: Bantamweight (118)

Record: 135-20-12

Years Active: 1922-1942

"Panama" Al Brown was a bantamweight who became the first Hispanic world champion. He fought for 20 years but recorded most of his losses later in his career. 

Born in Panama, he later moved to France, where he struck up a love affair with Jean Cocteau, making him one of the few known homosexual boxers.

No video is available of his bouts, but written descriptions say that he was a very quick technical fighter, and he won more of his fights by decision than knockout. He held multiple decisive wins over Kid Fortune and Battling Nelson.

After boxing, Brown tried his hand at cabaret theater, and he died of tuberculosis at age 48 in New York City.

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20 Oct 2000: Mike Tyson moves into a corner during the fight against Andrew Golota at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn, Michigan. Tyson defeated Golota in the third round by technical knockout.Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport Al Bello/Getty Images

Division: Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 50-6-0

Years Active: 1985-2005

"The Baddest Man on the Planet." A rags-to-riches (and back to rags) story.

Tyson was rescued from the juvenile prison system and became one of the most feared heavyweights ever.

The early numbers speak for themselves: 25 KOs in 27 straight victories and a title. Eleven consecutive title defenses by KO or wide unanimous decision. Huge early KOs of Michael Spinks (82nd), Frank Bruno, Larry Holmes, Pinklon Thomas and Trevor Berbick.

But then the legend of Tyson began to unravel. The famous upset loss to Buster Douglas, the prison sentence, the losses to Holyfield and Lewis and the famous "ear" incident. Tyson himself said his career ended in 1990, in his mind.

So what we have is an astoundingly talented and exciting fighter who was never able to harness his personal demons and thus possesses a fractured, if accomplished, legacy. Tyson could have been one of the best ever, but poor choices and circumstances led him to simply being a great, but not all-time great, fighter.

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Division: Lightweight (135)

Record: 88-24-5

Years Active: 1938-1955

Hard-hitting and relentless, Beau Jack was one of the most popular fighters of the wartime era. He headlined fights at Madison Square Garden 21 times, a record that still stands today.

He was a two-time world champion and Ring Magazine's 1944 Fighter of the Year. 

Never completely invincible, but always formidable, he held major wins over Lew Jenkins (97th) and Henry Armstrong, who appears near the top of this list.

He fought often and routinely defeated the greatest fighters of his day. Most of his losses came in the later part of his career.

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Fair use image from en.wikipedia.org Fair use image from en.wikipedia.org

Division: Light Welterweight (140)

Record: 39-1-0

Years Active: 1976-1990

"The Hawk" reigned as the world Light Welterweight champion for the first half of the 1980s and was the victor in a legendary two-bout series with Alexis Arguello. Their first matchup, which Pryor won by 14th round TKO, was named the 1980s Fight of the Decade by Ring Magazine.

Only 5'6", which was small even for his era and weight division, Pryor had some of the finest boxing skills ever and could have easily gone undefeated in his career if it weren't for a lone loss to journeyman Bobby Joe Young in Pryor's second comeback.

Despite struggling with drug problems soon after his first retirement, Pryor has reformed himself and is now an ordained Baptist minister and a motivational speaker for teams like the New York Jets.

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Division: Middleweight (160)

Record: 136-15-8

Years Active: 1918-1927

Nicknamed "The Georgia Deacon," Tiger Flowers was a devout practitioner of Christianity and the sweet science. The first African-American middleweight champion ever, he is best remembered for winning the title from Harry Greb in 1926 and then beating Greb again six months later.

Unfortunately, he and Greb were linked by more than just those bouts—both would die of complications from a similar eye surgery within a year of each other. 

However, Flowers, who passed away at age 32 in November 1927, fought at a tremendously active pace—he had 19 bouts, including two draws with legendary Maxie Rosenbloom, during those first 11 months of 1927.

Sometimes called "The Left-Handed Harry Greb," Flowers was one of the all-time greats and unfortunately passed away too soon.

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Division: Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 124-32-13

Years Active: 1919-1937

Handsome, skilled and a good man, Tommy Loughran was not only Ring Magazine's Fighter of the Year in 1929 and 1931 but was also one of the finest light heavyweight champions of all time. 

He was one of the first boxers to make use of good footwork, strong defensive techniques and skilled counterpunching. He was ahead of his time in this regard.

He held major wins at both light heavyweight and heavyweight over men such as Jack Sharkey, Max Baer, Jim Braddock (the "Cinderella Man"), Mickey Walker, George Carpentier and Harry Greb, several of whom are well-ranked on this list.

Some questioned his jaw, and he certainly had fragile hands, but Tommy Loughran was one of the best, and it wouldn't be unjustifiable to place him much higher on this list.

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Divisions: Welterweight (147), Middleweight (160)

Record: 83-12-2

Years Active: 1936-1950

Perhaps the most avoided fighter in boxing's history, Charley Burley was frequently described as "too good for his own good" and was dodged by so many fighters that he never once had a world title bout in either of his two divisions.

Famous fighters believed to have ducked Burley include all-time greats Billy Conn, Marcel Cerdan, Jake LaMotta and Sugar Ray Robinson.

When he did fight, though, he won. He defeated Archie Moore and Fritzie Zivic and dropped a series of close 10-round decisions to Ezzard Charles.

Legendary trainer Eddie Futch said Burley was "the finest all-around fighter I ever saw," and a former sparring companion made a favorable comparison between Burley and Roy Jones, Jr. He holds a spot in all major boxing halls of fame.

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Divisions: Welterweight (147), Middleweight (160)

Record: 56-16-7

Years Active: 1948-1961

A straightforward fighter with a peculiar nickname, "The Upstate Onion Farmer" carved out a spot in history by taking on anyone and everyone during his legendary 13-year career.

Most famous for his middleweight title win over a certain pound for pound legend named Sugar Ray Robinson, Basilio also boasts wins over Lew Jenkins, Johnny Saxton, Ike Williams and Billy Graham. He also had a close decision loss to Kid Gavilan.

For his efforts, the 5'6" fighter was awarded with world titles in two weight classes, Ring Magazine's 1957 Fighter of the Year award, the Hickok belt for being an outstanding sportsman and a spot in every major boxing hall of fame.

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Division: Welterweight (147)

Record: 108-30-5

Years Active: 1943-1958

A kid in nickname and age only, the Cuban fighter was actually 5'11", very tall for a welterweight.

The welterweight champion had a smooth, sweet, pressure-based style reminiscent of a more skilled version of Paul "The Punisher" Williams.

He held wins over Ike Williams and Carmen Basilio (55th on this list) and lost narrowly to Sugar Ray Robinson. Soon after his retirement, he was inducted into the original boxing Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in recognition of his great contributions to the sport.

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LAS VEGAS - MAY 06: Oscar De La Hoya celebrates after defeating Ricardo Mayorga during the WBC super welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 6, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oscar De La Hoya defeated Ricardo Mayorga by technical knockout Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Divisions: Super Featherweight (130) to Middleweight (160)

Record: 39-6

Years Active: 1992-2008

The most financially successful boxer in history was also one of the best. De La Hoya's six divisional world titles make him the only person who has even come close to matching Manny Pacquiao's record of winning world titles in eight weight divisions.

We remember him as much for his losses (Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley twice, Bernard Hopkins, Manny Pacquiao and , Jr.) as his wins (Julio Cesar Chavez twice, Pernell Whitaker, Arturo Gatti, Fernando Vargas and Felix Sturm are among them).

However, this underscores one of the most underappreciated aspects of Oscar De La Hoya: He always took on the top guys in his weight divisions, which is one of the big reasons he was so popular.

Mexican-American, handsome, well-spoken and clean-cut, he exemplified what it meant to be "The Golden Boy." He may not have been the greatest fighter in history, but he was probably the greatest marketer in the history of the sport, and we were lucky to watch him fight all these years.

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Divisions: Middleweight (160) to Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 60-19-3

Years Active: 1952-1970

A four-time middleweight champion, Dick Tiger is one of the more underappreciated boxers from the 1960s.

A Nigerian native who emigrated to England and then the United States, Tiger was one of the most prolific fighters ever at Madison Square Garden. Aside from the four times he won the middleweight or light heavyweight title, Tiger is most famous for his two wins over Gene Fullmer and his unanimous decision victory over Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter.

During the down years of boxing in the early 1960's, Tiger won Ring Magazine's "Fighter of the Year" twice—in 1962 and 1965.

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Division: Flyweight (112)

Record: 84-7-1

Years Active: 1952-1964

A former Olympic gold medalist, Pascual Perez became the first Argentinian world champion, holding the world flyweight title for six years between 1954 and 1960.

A feared knockout puncher, he held a streak of 18 straight knockout victories just before his championship reign began.

Much like Sergio Martinez, Perez was never very famous in Argentina and often had to fight internationally. This, combined with his small weight division, probably hampered his international renown, but he was ranked 36 on Ring Magazine's "80 Greatest Fighters of the Past 80 Years" in 2002, and boxing historian Bert Sugar ranked Perez as the 34th greatest fighter of all time.

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Divisions: Bantamweight (118), Featherweight (126)

Record: 44-1-1

Years Active: 1975-1982

Salvador Sanchez is another of the great "" in boxing history. Many writers believe he would have been the greatest featherweight ever, but he passed away in a fatal car crash at the young age of 23.

Nonetheless, his accomplishments before reaching 23 are enough to land him a spot on the list. He defended his featherweight title 10 consecutive times and defeated Wilfredo Gomez (71st) and Azumah Nelson (89th) during this span.

In 1981, the year before his death, he also won (along with Sugar Ray Leonard) a share of Ring Magazine's Fighter of the Year award, at the young age of 22. There is no knowing what Sanchez would have accomplished in his career, but we know one thing—it would have been even greater than what he had already accomplished.

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Divisions: Lightweight (135)

Record: 128-24-4

Years Active: 1940-1955

Ring Magazine's 1948 Fighter of the Year, Ike Williams held the NBA Lightweight title between 1945 and 1951.

He did lose some significant fights and admitted to having thrown one, but he held major wins over some of the finest fighters of all time, including Kid Gavilan (54th), Beau Jack (60th) twice, Sammy Angott and Bob Montgomery.

Unfortunately, some promotional problems affected him during his career. Williams was blackballed by the boxing promoters association for trying to promote himself, and then he signed with a promoter who robbed him of his purses.

Nonetheless, this boxer with a strong right hand was ranked on Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers list and is remembered fondly by fans and historians alike.

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Division: Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 64-12-1

Years Active: 1934-1948

"The Pittsburgh Kid" Billy Conn was a three-time light heavyweight champion who won Ring Magazine's 1940 Fighter of the Year award. He possessed impressive boxing ability and outclassed every top light heavyweight of his time, including Fritzie Zivic, Fred Apostoli, Solly Krieger and Young Corbett III.

After becoming champion, he defended it against many top fighters, including Mario Bettina, Gus Lesnevich and Al McCoy.

He soon came extremely close to being the lightest man ever to win the heavyweight championship when he clearly outpointed Joe Louis for 12 rounds before foolishly going for a 13th-round knockout and getting knocked out himself. Conn, who was at his peak, lamented that decision for the rest of his life. He fought Louis two more times, but his skills were noticeably declining.

But Conn kept up his fighting form and appeared in movies later. In 1990, at age 73, he knocked out a robber in a Pittsburgh convenience store, leading to the robber's arrest. ESPN ranks Conn 31st best of all time, and Bert Sugar had him at 35th.

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Division: Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 69-6-0

Years Active: 1973-2002

"The Easton Assassin" Larry Holmes was an underappreciated American heavyweight who went undefeated in his first 48 bouts against some of the finest boxing talents of his time. In a remarkable career that spanned 29 years, he took on most of the great heavyweights of the last 40 years.

Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, Earnie Shavers, Carl "The Truth" Williams—these are just some of the notable names who Holmes beat in his first 48 fights. Later on, he would lose extremely close decisions to Michael Spinks, Evander Holyfield, Oliver McCall and Brian Nielsen.

On many of these occasions, he was within one to four points on all scorecards. He was only knocked out once—by Mike Tyson in 1988.

Ring's 1980 Fighter of the Year, he held some version of the heavyweight championship from the late '70s through the mid 1980s but still doesn't get the respect his impressive career deserves.

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LAS VEGAS - APRIL 15: Bernard Hopkins of the USA meets the media before his open workout at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on April 15, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images) John Gichigi/Getty Images

Divisions: Middleweight (160) to Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 51-5-2

Years Active: 1988-Present

Sure, "The Executioner" has his detractors, but it's hard not to have mad respect for a guy who has managed to stay at the top of the sport for so long.

He held the middleweight title for 10 years, defending it a record 20 times, and is the only fighter to retain all four major governing body belts and the Ring title in the same fight—he did it twice.

His accomplishments even since his 41st birthday—wins over Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Roy Jones Jr. and a draw with Ring's light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal—would be a pretty darn good career for most boxers, but it's just icing on the cake after B-Hop's extraordinary career.

It wouldn't be hard to argue that he should be ranked in the top 25 on this list. His recent bout with Jean Pascal proved he still has some fight left in him. To quote Justin Tate, "."

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1985-1986: Alexis Arguello looks on during a bout. Mandatory Credit: Allsport /Allsport Getty Images/Getty Images

Divisions: Featherweight (126) to Welterweight (147)

Record: 82-8-0

Years Active: 1968-1986

A straight-up, hard-hitting Nicaraguan, over 75 percent of his wins came by KO. A boxer and politician nicknamed "El Flaco Explosivo" ("The Explosive Thin Man"), he had a very impressive reign at the top of the sport and fell just short of becoming the first person ever to hold world titles in four weight classes.

His most famous fight was undoubtedly a 14th-round TKO loss in an epic battle with a younger Aaron Pryor (59th), which is enshrouded in controversy due to a potentially spiked water bottle used by known cheater Panama Lewis, who was Pryor's trainer.

However, it was his wins that were more impressive. Among them were victories over Bobby Chacon, Alfredo Escalera, Jim Watt and Ray Mancini.

After retirement, Arguello became a successful politician in Nicaragua, but the story didn't end happily—allegedly disillusioned with his party, he committed suicide in 2009.

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3 Jun 1991: Thomas Hearns (left) lands a punch to the face of his opponent Virgil Hill. Mandatory Credit: Holly Stein /Allsport Holly Stein/Getty Images

Divisions: Welterweight (147) to Cruiserweight (200)

Record: 61-5-1

Years Active: 1977-2000

Hearns is ranked 44th on this list, but his influence on the sport was far greater. He was an alarmingly tall (6'1"), broad-shouldered welterweight with extremely long arms and fast hand speed and didn't fight like a tall guy.

He is the namesake for the "Hitman stance" (right arm at chin level, but with the left arm dangling low) and is the source of two of the three best .

Powerful, quick, awkward and aggressive, he was a treat to watch. One of the greatest weight climbers in history, he won major titles in five divisions, six if you count the NABF middleweight title.

Unfortunately for Hearns, his three most famous fights happen to be the only three losses he suffered in his prime—to Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Iran Barkley. Two of those won fight of the year, and one was perhaps the biggest upset of the '80s.

However, his wins were impressive too—over Roberto Duran, Wilfred Benitez and a draw with Leonard—and in all, he fought 21 past, present or future champions. That, combined with his two Ring Fighter of the Year awards, lands him in the discussion of the all-time greats.

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Divisions: Flyweight (112) to Light Heavyweight (175)

Record: 193-28-13 (Sources vary)

Years Active: 1909-1929

Beginning as a youth in England fighting for mere pittances, he began as an evasive, jab-based fighter but reportedly became more of a swarming, combination fighter once he came to the United States. At just 5'8", he was considered small for most of the larger weight divisions but managed to win a large percentage of his fights, even as he moved up to light heavyweight.

Precious little video of "Kid" Lewis exists, but this video clearly shows his defensive prowess and crisp, clean punching.

His only world title was in the welterweight division, but he won European and British titles in several divisions and could be considered one of the first multi-division champions in boxing history.

Bert Sugar ranked him No. 33 of all time, ahead of many famous names such as Sugar Ray Leonard.

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Divisions: Featherweight (126) to Lightweight (135)

Record: 135-10-6

Years Active: 1927-1938

One of the most popular and flashy fighters in the early 1930s, "Kid Chocolate" was a Cuban who emigrated to the United States in the late 1920s and became the first Cuban world champion when he knocked out Benny Bass for the world junior lightweight title.

Though records are scarce and spurious, he reportedly began his career with 21 consecutive knockouts and went undefeated in his first 56 fights. He finally lost against future world champ Jackie (Kid) Berg but won the title from Bass a year later.

Chocolate wouldn't continue his dominance, and it was revealed that the frequent partier was suffering from syphilis. Nonetheless, he still went on to win almost 90 percent of his remaining matches and earned a spot at No. 40 on Bert Sugar's authoritative work on the 100 Greatest Boxers ever and 47th on Ring Magazine's list of the top 80 of the last 80 years.

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18 Nov 1995: Pernell Whitaker and Jake Rodriguez are ready for action during the bout. Whitaker won the fight with a knockout in the sixth round. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport Al Bello/Getty Images

Divisions: Lightweight (135) to Welterweight (147)

Record: 40-4-1

Years Active: 1984-1997

A clearly faded Whitaker lost his last three bouts, and his only other loss was a narrow split decision in Pernell's 16th fight, to 100-win Mexican world titlist Jose Luis Ramirez.

Between losses, Whitaker embarked on an astounding 26-fight unbeaten streak, winning seven world titles in three weight divisions and winning 20 title fights against such foes as Ramirez, Azumah Nelson, Jorge Paez and twice against James "Buddy" McGirt.

He also ended Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez's 87-fight winning streak, winning one scorecard and tying on two en route to a majority decision draw.

Renowned for his quick, solid counterpunching and excellent defensive abilities, "Sweet Pea" earned many honors in his career. He was a 1984 Olympic Gold medalist, 1989's Ring Fighter of the Year and a first-ballot hall of famer in 2006.

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Divisions: Junior Middleweight (154) to Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 54-7-0

Years Active: 1989-Present

A classic case of a great fighter who held on too long. Ring''s Fighter of the Decade for the 1990s, Roy Jones Jr. set numerous records and was the undisputed pound for pound king around the turn of the century.

He began his career with essentially 50 straight wins (he had a controversial disqualification for a suspected late punch against Montell Griffin that did nothing to affect his perceived supremacy) and set a record by holding seven belts at the same time.

After beating John Ruiz, he became the first person in over 100 years to have won both the middleweight and heavyweight championship. But a few fights later, it all began to unravel, and he has gone 5-6 since his last major win against Antonio Tarver.

So what to make of Roy Jones? He was clearly one of the most physically gifted boxers ever. He developed a hands-down, unconventional style that could only work for someone with his hand speed and strong chin. Once that speed started to fade, Jones' shortcomings were exposed.

Nonetheless, he has had a tremendous, record-setting career and has given us some of the finest moments in boxing, like of Glen Kelly.

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19 Jul 1996: Former boxer Joe Frazier looks on at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Mandatory Credit: Markus Boesch /Allsport Markus Boesch/Getty Images

Division: Heavyweight (200+)

Record: 32-4-1

Years Active: 1965-1976

Great champions always need a primary rival, and for Muhammad Ali, that rival was Smokin' Joe Frazier.

A former Olympic heavyweight gold medalist, Frazier was the perfect foil to Ali's style. If Ali floated like a butterfly, Frazier plodded like an ox. If Ali was a flashy Cadillac, Frazier was a locomotive, with a somewhat counterintuitive rhythm but who kept moving forward with his head down with an "I think I can" style.

Frazier never had Ali's good fortune. Son of a South Carolina sharecropper, he had a far less privileged upbringing than Clay. While Clay returned home to a hero's welcome after his 1960 gold medal, Frazier was hardly noticed four years later. Frazier had to go pro quickly, and the only people interested in him were a group of white businessmen.

This would hurt Frazier for the rest of his career. Ali became the powerful voice of black separatism, and the more culturally "black" Frazier was somehow tagged as the establishment candidate. When they finally fought in "The Fight of the Century" (which Frazier won), Ali had become the voice of "the people." Then Ali hurled racist insults at Frazier before the "Thrilla in Manila," which surprisingly didn't enable Frazier to grab the mantle of the powerful winds of change in our country.

Frazier, who boasted wins over Ali, Bob Foster, Jimmy Ellis and George Chuvalo and only lost to two people (Ali and George Foreman), was an excellent boxer with a powerful left hook and a granite chin. However, the fickle finger of history prevented him from being accepted as the American legend that he is.





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