Floyd Mayweather and 10 Active Fighters Sure to Reach the Boxing Hall of Fame

Matthew HemphillCorrespondent IIJanuary 10, 2012

Floyd Mayweather and 10 Active Fighters Sure to Reach the Boxing Hall of Fame

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    There are plenty of boxers who take up the sport, but only a few that make it to the top level. Most either fail or fizzle out before they reach boxing's apex.

    For the few who make it to the top, they get the chance to prove that they are not only the best of their current generation, but of all time. If they do that, they can be enshrined in boxing's Hall of Fame.

    Every decade, different fighters emerge who will make it into boxing's elite and stay there.

    Since fighters loathe to retire, the fighters picked for this list are ones who are still winning fights on the highest level.

    Boxers like Evander Holyfield, who are still active but aren't competing on boxing's top level, are excluded.

    So here are 10 boxers who will make it into the Hall of Fame when they retire.

Bernard Hopkins

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    The man is a living legend and now that his last fight against Chad Dawson was declared a no contest, he is still a champion as well.

    He may not have a lot of time left in his career, but what there is fans should appreciate. He is one of the best to lace up gloves when it comes to defense and the oldest man in boxing to win a championship.

    He was at one point an unbreakable wall at middleweight, beating every single opponent who came against him. Even when he lost his titles to Jermain Taylor, some thought he had done enough to win.

    His fight with Joe Calzaghe was also a close affair, with audiences being split on who won the match.

    Almost every loss Hopkins has can be considered a close fight that he could have won.

    When a fighter reaches that distinction, he is an obvious choice for making it into the Hall.

Juan Manuel Marquez

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    His last fight with Pacquiao was their closest and he still didn't get the nod. Some fans think this is a travesty and the complaint isn't without merit. The fight was close and Marquez did a great job of shutting Pacquiao down.

    Even without the Pacquiao fights, he has had a great career that probably would have gotten him into the HOF. With those fights—even with them being losing efforts—he is a shoo-in for boxing greatness.

    The only shame is that his most of his ring time was hampered by bad management and a lack of marketing. If he had those two things sooner, who knows to what degree his career might have soared to.

Andre Ward

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    After winning the Super Six Boxing Classic, it's hard to see Ward not making it into the HOF.  

    Not only did he win the tournament, but he didn't lose a single fight in it. Even with half of the contestants pulling out before its eventual finish, it still made the winner the face of the super middleweight division.

    Ward just needs to win a few more fights and he would probably get into the HOF. He isn't even 30 and there is a good chance his next fight will be against top super middleweight Lucian Bute.

    If he wins that fight, he will already have stamped his ticket. Anything else will be a formality.

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam

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    He may just have the hardest name to spell in all of boxing.

    Wonjongkam is one of the best flyweights to lace up gloves. Even if he has been protected, fighting in his native Thailand for most of his career, he has still beaten some of the best opposition there is to face.

    He successfully defended his title 17 times throughout his career and now at 34 he regained his title by beating Edgar Sosa.

    In the smaller weight classes 34 is ancient, yet Wonjongkam has been able to keep going and excelling. When he does hang up the gloves, he will do so having reached boxing's pinnacle, which will net him a plaque and a place on the wall among boxing's greats.

Manny Pacquiao

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    This list couldn't be complete without Pacquiao. His competition recently has been lackluster, but other than Floyd Mayweather Jr. there just hasn't been another matchup that has excited boxing fans.

    Pacquiao has done enough to make it into the HOF several times over. Even if some think that his wins over Marquez are tainted, he has done more than enough to still make it in.

    Pacquiao is considered one of the best fighters in the world and when he retires he will not only make it into the HOF, but he'll be among the greatest that have ever been inducted.

Sergio Martinez

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    Martinez is on the fence, though it isn't his fault. Other than a few key fights which he can't seem to get, there is just no opposition out there for him.

    Unless he can get Felix Sturm or Miguel Cotto to face him, he just doesn't have a credible opponent that he can square up against. The middleweight division is just drained of talent and names for him to cut his teeth on.

    Luckily, he has beaten what opposition he has faced in such a dominant manner that he is likely to make it into the HOF without much questioning.

Wladimir Klitschko

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    Either Klitschko brother could make it into this list, but Wladimir has faced more opposition and had a more storied career.

    He may lack the aggression his brother has and put on boring fights, but you can't argue with results.

    The fact is, he wins fights.

    He wins them without question and by a wide margin.

    Fighters may be encouraged to be exciting, but at the end of the day it is winners who are given a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Jorge Arce

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    Arce is known to many Latino and hardcore fans as a small but explosive man who disregards technique for power. It should have shortened his career to the point where he is either retired or losing matches.

    Instead, he just won another title at bantamweight.

    He has never been the greatest fighter in the world, but he has beaten decent opposition usually by knockout. After 59 victories with a decent amount of them being for world titles, it makes a serious case for inclusion into the Hall.

    Whatever is left of his career will help his case even more and be fun to watch.

Anselmo Moreno

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    Just like Wonjongkam, Anselmo isn't well known in the boxing world.

    Just like Wonjongkam, he is also a superior boxer.

    Anselmo has only been beaten once in his career during the beginning and since then has gone on to win every fight, usually by outboxing his opponents.

    Some of these wins have been close split decisions, but at the end of the day he still has had his hands raised in victory.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    At some point he had to make it on this list.

    Regardless of how anyone feels about Floyd Mayweather Jr., he is one of the best boxers to ever step foot in the ring. He has never lost and has almost always beaten his opponents by wide margins.

    In one of his only close fights with Jose Luis Castillo, he struggled. He then gave Castillo a rematch and outboxed him.

    The only way he could expand his legacy now is if he fought Pacquiao. Even if the fight never happens, Mayweather will still go down as one of the best ever and in doing so all gain admittance to the HOF.