Greatest Boxers of the Decade (2000-2009)
A countdown of the greatest performers in boxing in the last decade.
There are many debates about who is the greatest boxer of the decade, but this list is to determine the greatest body of work, also. The accomplishments of these boxers have made them into superstars in the sport.
But which of these accomplishments have made them No. 1?
Vitali Klitschko—The current WBC Champion took a four year hiatus in this decade but has defeated every challenger upon his return, and captured the Heavyweight in his return bout versus tough Samuel Peter.
"Dr. Iron Fists" also showed the great Lennox Lewis a few tricks until the fight was stopped due to a cut and was ruled a TKO win for Lewis. Vitali was leading on all scorecards after six rounds.
Notable Decade Wins: Corrie Sanders, Kirk Johnson, Cristobal Arreola, Kevin Johnson, Samuel Peter
Notable Decade Losses: Lennox Lewis, Chris Byrd
Joe Calzaghe—Retired with an undefeated record of 46-0, he battled in worldwide obscurity until his bashing of then-undefeated American super middleweight champ, Jeff Lacy. He held a version of the championship for over a decade.
Notable Decade Wins: Roy Jones Jr, Bernard Hopkins, Mikkel Kessler, Jeff Lacy, Sakio Bika
Notable Decade Losses: None
8~Oscar De La Hoya
Oscar De La Hoya—The Golden Boy lit up the ring as well as the box office, becoming one of the biggest names in boxing. He focused on the business aspect of boxing later in his career. He possesses six division championships.
Notable Decade Wins: Arturo Gatti, Fernando Vargas, Felix Sturm, Ricardo Mayorga
Notable Decade Losses: Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely (Twice), Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao
7~Roy Jones Jr.
Roy Jones Jr.—The Ring's Fighter of The Decade for the 1990's falls a little short this decade. He still possessed great wins, but age soon caught up with him, turning a stellar first half the decade into a losing debacle.
He became the first boxer who started at 154 lbs since Bob Fitzsimmons (1987) to capture the World Heavyweight Title.
Notable Decade Wins: Antonio Tarver, Julio Caesar Gonzales, John Ruiz, Clinton Woods, Felix Trinidad
Notable Decade Losses: Joe Calzaghe, Antonio Tarver (Twice), Glen Johnson,
Ronald "Winky" Wright—Former Undisputed Super Welterweight Champion fought his way into stardom with his peekaboo style defense, which enabled him to defeat some of the sports biggest names, handily.
He only lost when he moved up in weight and took a two year lay-off.
Notable Decade Wins: Shane Mosley (Twice), Felix Trinidad, Ike Quartey
Notable Decade Losses: Bernard Hopkins, Paul Williams
Erik Morales—Great Mexican Warrior was a multiple division champ and shared epic battles with both Barrera and Pacquiao. His career ended with his share of losses but he still delivered a great decade showing.
Notable Decade Wins: Marco Antonio Barrera, Paulie Ayala, Jesus Chavez, Manny Pacqiuao, Carlos Hernandez
Notable Decade Losses: Manny Pacquiao (Twice), Marco Antonio Barrera (Twice) Zahir Raheem
4~Marco Antonio Barrera
Marco Antonio Barrera—A Gladiator in the ring. Barrera captured multiple titles in this decade and defeated great names to solidify his ranking amongst the top fighters on the list—victorious in the trilogy with Erik Morales and becoming the first man to defeat him.
Notable Decade Wins: Erik Morales (Twice), Naseem Hamed, Paulie Ayala, Rocky Juarez (Twice), Johnny Tapia
Notable Decade Losses: Manny Pacquiao (Twice), Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez
Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins—Father Time definitely hasn't caught up to him. Bursting out of obscurity after his 12th round KO of then undefeated Felix Trinidad, Bernard became a household name.
After defending his 10-year reign at middleweight, Hopkins moved up two divisions to snatch away the title from Antonio Tarver. He continued to wow fans with decisive victories over younger opponents in their prime, all after Hopkins turned 40. He has one of the best fighting resumes in terms of big-name opponents of the decade.
Notable Decade Wins: Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Kelly Pavlik, Antonio Tarver, Ronald "Winky" Wright, Keith Holmes
Notable Decade Losses: Joe Calzaghe, Jermane Taylor (Twice)
2~Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.—This is where it gets tricky. Floyd is probably the most gifted fighter on the list, but this list is about the body of work, and Floyd has left some big name opponents out there on the table.
Besides that, he still boasts a record of 40 wins and zero losses. Five weight champion without a loss is unheard of.
Notable Decade Wins: Zab Judah, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Arturo Gatti, Jose Luis Castillo (Twice), Jesus Chavez, Diego Corrales, Carlos Hernandez
Manny Pacquiao—In a close fight for No. 1, Pacquiao gets the nod simply because he has came along very strong by fighting all the bigger-name opponents.
A Mayweather fight would solidify the question of who is better, but win or lose, it doesn't take away the body of work that Pacquiao put together this decade. A seven division champion he has become one of the most popular fighters today and also one of the best.
Notable Decade Wins: Miguel Angel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera (Twice) Erik Morales (Twice) Jorge Solis
Notable Decade Losses: Erik Morales