Barney Ross could do it all.
For nine years, Ross was a cyclone. He passed through and left his catastrophic mark on three separate weight classes and defeated every stylistic challenge set before him. He outboxed the boxers and outpunched the punchers to an unbelievable record of 74-4-3 (only losing twice in his prime), and, of course, he was never knocked out.
And he was never in more danger of being knocked out than he was in the very last fight of his career.
On May 31, 1938, Ross defended his welterweight title against Henry Armstrong, who absolutely dismantled him. Ross had to beg the referee not to stop the fight. As Ross had done his entire career, he relied on his unbreakable heart to get him to the end. His will to collect such a beating without going down would be remembered forever.
But that’s not all he is immortalized for.
He was also a part of the greatest three-way rivalry in boxing history: the Holy Trinity of Jimmy McLarnin, Tony Canzoneri and Barney Ross.
These three titans controlled the boxing landscape of the 1930s. And the best of them was Ross. Rarely do we see one fighter exhibit such superiority over two great rivals like this, but he defeated McLarnin and Canzoneri two times apiece.
Outside of those four huge wins, Ross’ résumé is stacked. In his nine-year career, he managed to defeat a slew of notable opponents such as Goldie Hess, Jackie Davis (two times), Jackie Burke, Sammy Fuller, Frankie Klick (two times), Johnny Farr (two times), Pete Nebo, Izzy Jannazo, Chuck Woods (two times), Bobby Pacho (two times), Ray Miller, Joe Ghnouly, Tommy Grogan, Baby Joe Gans, future middleweight champion Ceferino Garcia (three times) and Hall of Famers Battling Battalino and Billy Petrolle (two times).
All of this whilst never weighing more than 143 pounds.