Manny Pacquiao and 10 of Boxing's Greatest Gentlemen

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Manny Pacquiao and 10 of Boxing's Greatest Gentlemen
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In boxing, there are good guys and bad guys. Not in a personal sense, but in the roles people seem to gravitate toward in their public personas.

The man who arguably inspired and electrified more people than any other fighter, the great Muhammad Ali, was not exactly the most sporting gentleman when it came to his pre-fight and in-ring antics. It's not an indictment of Ali the person.

It's just an acknowledgement of the character he created to promote his fights and rattle his opponents. Thus you shouldn't expect to find the greatest smack talker of all time on this list.

This is about the fighters who never seem to take things personally, guys who do or did their job without the theatrics and bombast outside of the ring as some of their peers. Classy is one word you could use, but that's absolutely not to suggest that some of the people I haven't included, Ali first and foremost, aren't that way in real life. It's simply that their boxing "personas" were not.

Humility is a big part of my criteria, at least my perception of how "humble" someone may or may not be. Unfortunately that eliminates a lot of my favorite fighters, and a lot of the best fighters of all time, whose unwavering confidence in themselves often seemed like ego-maniacal arrogance: Duran, Mayweather, Ali, Tyson, among others. Even the great Sugar Ray Robinson was known to have an astronomically high view of himself (and rightly so!).

The list is divided into five old-time legends and five active fighters. Let's kick things off with the old boys.

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