Canelo Alvarez is already a four-weight world champion ahead of his fight against Dmitry Bivol in Las Vegas – but where does boxing’s pound-for-pound No. 1 rank against the all-time?
This is not a top 10 boxer of all time, as a fighter can prove his greatness by dominating a division (see: Marvelous Marvin Hagler). It’s a countdown to multi-weight wonders who have moved up – and sometimes even down – the divisions to win world titles in an array of weight classes. From Mike Tyson’s hero to the fighter who went from middleweight to heavyweight champion.
10. Roberto Duran
The snarling and fierce Panamanian – an ‘Iron Mike’ idol – had already proven himself to be arguably the best lightweight ever before jumping two weight divisions to upset Sugar Ray Leonard at 147lbs. That supreme pressure-fighting display was the pinnacle of ‘Hands of Stone’ career, but while he infamously lost the rematch to Leonard, Duran still had enough to later win alphabetical titles in two more. weight categories: 160 lbs and 168 lbs. Pretty special for a boxer whose prime was at 135 lbs.
9. Canelo Alvarez
Remarkable to think that Canelo started his professional career at welterweight (147lbs) considering how the Mexican icon transformed into a stocky and hard-hitting champion from 168lbs to 175lbs. Won titles in four weight classes, but gets extra credit for being a lineal champion in two of them: middleweight (after his close and thrilling victory over Gennady Golovkin) and super middleweight (where he unified the belts). If he can repeat that trick at 175 pounds and/or claim a cruiserweight belt, Canelo will climb even higher.
8. Oscar De La Hoya
Right above the man he promoted (for now), the “Golden Boy” is a six-weight world champion, a 5-foot-10 boxer-puncher who had the frame to win world titles from junior lightweight (130 lbs) through middleweight (160 lbs). Drops some points for the fact that he wasn’t quite “the man” in many of those divisions – i.e. middleweight, where he notched a WBO belt from Felix Sturm before losing to the true champion Bernard Hopkins. But still impressive overall.
Most read in boxing
‘He got a brutal punch’ – Canelo reveals what boxing power he wishes he had
‘Respect’ – Jake Paul responds to Canelo’s positive comments and criticizes Eddie Hearn
HE IS BACK
KSI officially announces date for next boxing fight two weeks after Jake Paul fight
‘I like it’ – Canelo and Oleksandr Usyk are both open to a crazy clash at heavyweight
In pursuit of greatness
Canelo’s six-fight master plan to make him the greatest of all time, including Usyk
Mike Tyson has another angry fan interaction when a woman tries to pick her nose
7. Sugar Ray Leonard
Naturally, Sugar Ray – as adept outside the ring as he was inside – bent the rules to get his way. Leonard somehow arranged for him to win world titles in two divisions in one fight, when he knocked out Danny Lalonde for a lightweight belt and a newly minted world super middleweight title. This despite Leonard weighing 165 pounds on the night. Still, he was a great all-time welterweight and fought Hagler to win his middleweight championship. So five-division champion Leonard is riding high.
Leonard beat Hearns in the ring when they first met in their torrid showdown in 1981, but “The Hitman” actually had the most notable run throughout his career through the divisions. The lanky 6-foot-1 puncher from Kronk Gym had the frame to go from welterweight champion to heavyweight explosion at the end of his career. Boxing’s first five-time world champion may have seen his record since surpassed, but only a select few fighters can pack 50 pounds and still box at an elite level.
5. Amanda Serrano
The Puerto Rican lost a disputed decision to Katie Taylor in the April War at Madison Square Garden, but her place as women’s boxing’s greatest multi-weight champion is assured. Has won nine world titles in seven different weight classes, is still a unified featherweight champion when many think she should probably be the undisputed world lightweight champion right now as well. Only a lack of depth in certain weight classes in women’s boxing — for now — keeps her from even higher on this list.
4. Henry Armstrong
“Homicide Hank” was “only” a three-weight world champion in the 1930s and 1940s. But there were only eight weight classes at the time, with none of the junior or super-alphabet belts at all. to take off. The all-action American was a featherweight, lightweight and welterweight world champion who earned a draw in his bid to win the middleweight crown, which would have made the world’s first four-weight champion. Armstrong boxing. Easily one of the greatest fighters of the last century.
Despite all of his incredible feats, Mr. 50-0 has never unified all titles in the alphabet into a single division. But he was a lineal champion in four weight classes and won 15 major titles in five divisions. Mayweather’s first 130-pound world title saw him defeat a good champion in Genaro Hernandez. The ‘Pretty Boy’ was linked to Naseem Hamed and super featherweight fights at the time, but a decade later was winning world titles at 147lbs and 154lbs. A journey for the shy and withdrawn Floyd.
2. Roy Jones Jr.
In a list of five/six weight champions, Jones has won titles in just four weight classes. But he also made history. RJJ beat Bernard Hopkins to win his first world title at 160lbs, sank James Toney at 168lbs, unified at 175lbs, then in 2003 bypassed heavyweight and picked heavyweight title John Ruiz. It made Jones the first boxer since Bob Fitzsimmons in the 1800s to win world titles at middleweight and heavyweight and, while Ruiz wasn’t exactly the strongest champion, it was an amazing feat. for a fighter who peaked at super middleweight.
1. Manny Pacquiao
Just no dispute. The quirky Filipino was winning world titles at flyweight (112lbs) early in his career, became a star at featherweight (130lbs) when he dethroned Marco Antonio Barrera and at the height of his stardom he blitzed spectacularly welterweight (147 lbs), even briefly becoming a light middleweight champion (154 lbs). By the time Pacquiao finally retired last year, he had won world titles in eight jaw-dropping weight divisions. No other male boxer has even seven. A unique one.