Pacquiao vs. Mosley: The 10 Best Welterweights of All Time

First LastCorrespondent IMay 4, 2011

Pacquiao vs. Mosley: The 10 Best Welterweights of All Time

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    Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO) and Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KO) will be fighting for more than a title on Saturday. They will be fighting for a legacy following in the footsteps of these 10 great welterweights.

    They have already achieved greatness in this era, but how far can they carry their success into the past to achieve what the best have already done before them?

    What will it take to go down as an all-time great? That's what they are fighting for, and that's why everyone should tune into the showdown this weekend.

No. 10 Jack Britton (213-52-43)

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    "Boxing Marvel" Jack Britton was a three-time welterweight champion and fought some of the best of his era, including Ted "Kid" Lewis a total of 20 times. He went 9-6-5 against the all-time great welterweight, and it helped give him the distinction of having the most title bouts in one career at 37.

    He also defeated the likes of Benny Leonard, Charley White and Matty Baldwin.

    With only 30 knockouts in over 200 wins, Britton had one of the hardest jobs of any boxer in staying slick, fast and avoiding his opponents' shots over the distance of six to 12 rounds.

    To add to his legendary status, he was only knocked out once in over 300 bouts!

No. 9 Jimmy McLarnin (62-11-3)

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    Jimmy McLarnin was one of the most famous Irish-Canadian athletes and one of their very best boxers.

    He had a host of nicknames, including some very offensive ones, but it was his fighting ability inside the ring that defined his reputation.

    Over the course of his 13-year career, he became a two-time welterweight champion and defeated Tony Canzoneri, Barney Ross, Benny Leonard and Young Corbett III.

    He retired while still in his prime after beating Lou Ambers in 1936.

No. 8 Kid Gavilian (108-30-5)

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    "The Cuban Hawk" Kid Gavilian obtained an incredible 108 wins and holds a unique distinction of never being finished despite having 30 losses.

    Fighting up to and over 10 times a year, he had faced some of the very best of his generation, including Ike Williams, Sugar Ray Robinson and Tommy Bell.

    He won the world welterweight title when he defeated Johnny Bratton in 1951. He would go on to defend the title against Billy Graham, Gil Turner and Bobby Dykes.

    Seventeen of his losses came in the last four years of his 14-year career before retiring in 1958.

No. 7 Emile Griffith (85-24-2)

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    Emile Griffith fought many of the best middleweights of his era, including Carlos Monzon and Nino Benvenuti, but he also had fought many of the best welterweights as well. He was a three-division boxer over his 19-year career.

    He won his first welterweight title in 1961 when he defeated Gaspar Ortega. He fought in welterweight championship bouts against Benny Paret, Jorge Fernandez, Luis Manuel Rodriguez, Manuel Gonzalez, Brian Curvis and Jose Stable.

No. 6 Sugar Ray Leonard (36-3-1)

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    Sugar Ray Leonard, like Pacquiao, was declared a "Fighter of the Decade."

    The 1980s were filled with some of the most amazing talent, especially in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. Leonard defeated the very best of the era, including Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, Wilfred Benitez and Marvin Hagler.

    With arguably the fastest hands the division ever seen, Leonard would use his speed and footwork to destroy opponents and frustrate them over the distance.

    Besides his close decision loss to Duran, Leonard only lost twice at the tail end of his career when he was 34 and 40.

No. 5 Ted "Kid" Lewis (170-30-13)

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    English boxer Ted "Kid" Lewis is regarded by many as one of the best fighters to come out of England. He fought everywhere from flyweight to welterweight to light heavyweight!

    His amazing action and come-forward style led him to fighting in some of the very best fights, including his 20-fight series with rival Jack Britton. His left-hand power and deceptive fighting style were than enough keep his opponents on the end of his punches before changing his style to a combination puncher.

    He won the welterweight title from Britton in 1914, only one year after winning the featherweight title from Alec Lambert.

    He would lose the title to Britton in 1916, but won it back soon after.

    Lewis would eventually leave the division and move up to light heavyweight to challenge for the title but lost to champion Georges Carpentier.

No. 4 Jose Napoles (79-7)

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    Cuban-Mexican boxer Jose Napoles is arguably the very best welterweight to ever compete in boxing.

    His 20-fight win streak led him to meeting Curtis Cokes in 1969. He knocked him out in the 13th round to become the world welterweight champion. The two had a rematch in Napoles first defense. He knocked Cokes out in the ninth round this time.

    He would successfully defend the title twice more against Emile Griffith and Ernie Lopez.

    Napoles also made a move to middleweight to challenge all-time great MW Carlos Monzon but lost after quitting after the seventh round.

No. 3 Barney Ross (72-4-3)

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    Barney Ross is one of the most decorated and one of the most admired Jewish boxers in the history of boxing.

    His career spanned over three weight divisions and earned him a record of 72-4-3 over a nine-year career that ended when he lost to Henry Armstrong in 1938. He won titles at lightweight, junior-welterweight and welterweight.

    Before that, he had beaten Tony Canzoneri for the welterweight title and also defeated all-time greats Jimmy McLarnin and Ceferino Garcia.

No. 2 Henry Armstrong (149-21-10)

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    "Homicide Hank" Henry Armstrong has the record for most defenses of the welterweight title and is one of the few boxers to hold three lineal titles at the same time.

    In his 13-year career, he fought 180 times and boxed well over 10 times per year during the end of his career while in his prime.

    He won the welterweight championship when he defeated Barney Ross in 1938 but lost it after eight defenses to Lou Ambers. He quickly won it back from Al Manfredo and defended it 11 times before losing it again to Fritzie Zivic.

No. 1 Sugar Ray Robinson (173-19-6)

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    Sugar Ray Robinson is regarded as the greatest boxer of all time. His national appeal inside and outside of the ring defined a generation of boxers that continues to influence everyone who has a desire to step into the ring.

    After obtaining a 85-0 amateur record, Robinson turned professional in 1940 where he obtained a 128-1-1 record in the first 11 years in his career.

    He would go on to compile a 173-19-6 record with one loss coming by TKO due to heat prostration.

    A short list of some of the greatest fighters he has fought and beaten include Jake Lamotta, Carmen Basilio, Gene Fullmer, Henry Armstrong, Rocky Graziano and Kid Gavilian.

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