For all the talk of boxing's apparent demise, the past few years have actually offered the world countless fighting men whose supreme heart and skill would have made them contenders in any era.
The names of Pacquaio, Hopkins and Lewis will rightly be noted among the game's all-time great and good, as will a whole host of their contemporaries from the past 20 years.
While nostalgic fans will always remember those sensational pugilists who practised their art in boxing's golden ages early in the last century, it doesn't mean you can simply dismiss the latest generation of outstanding boxers.
They're certainly bigger than they were in the good old days. Fitter too, and probably stronger given the vast advancements in sports science and physical conditioning that are now commonplace in all modern athletic endeavours.
Of course, what today's fighters lack is the seasoning, the pure in-ring savvy that boxers of yesteryear had in spades.
Nowadays, boxers very rarely exceed 50 fights in their career—in the 20s, 30s and 40s, you'd have to fight 50 times just to get a shot at the title.
It would certainly be a compelling spectacle to watch the athletic superstars of today go up against the insanely-tough fighters of years gone by.
Fortunately, boxing fans have a unique ability to speculate, an ability that is unmatched by any other sporting faithful.
This list serves up 15 absolute barn-stormers that would captivate audiences of any era, with the outcome of all these bouts incredibly difficult to predict given the exceptional quality of all the fighters involved.
I have, of course, tried to come to a logical and sensible conclusion should these hypothetical fights ever become a reality by consulting streams of video, statistics and opinions to decipher the particular strengths and weaknesses of all the outstanding fighters whose names are mentioned on the following pages.
Throughout the process, though, the overriding feeling was the sheer excitement I felt as a boxing fan just thinking about the prospect of such titanic battles. There is no greater thrill for our kind than speculating on the outcome of a genuine 50/50 fight, and all these clashes I'm hoping will inspire debate among fellow boxing nuts who are similarly fascinated by the mere thought of all these show-stopping spectaculars.
Forget Mayweather v Pacquiao. For a real superfight, look no further.
Born - January 17, 1974
Height - 5'6"
Reach - 70"
Record - 67(44) - 7(1) (to date)
World Titles - WBO Super Bantamweight (1995-1996, 1998-2000, 2000-2001), WBC Featherweight(2002), WBC Super-Featherweight (2004-2007), IBF Super-Featherweight (2005-2006)
Bio - One of Mexico's greatest-ever fighters and a modern boxing icon, three-weight world champion Barrera has given new meaning to the word tough during a career that has seen him get the better of many all-out wars.
As a featherweight, it was only Manny Pacquiao that got the better of him and only because the Pac-Man came across Barrera when his body had probably outgrown the division.
Prior to that, he'd taken the prize scalps of Naseem Hamed, Johnny Tapia and old rival Erik Morales to confirm his place as the world's outstanding featherweight.
Born - September 19, 1922
Height - 5'5"
Reach - 68"
Record - 229(65) - 11(6) - 1
World Titles - Featherweight (1942-1948, 1949-1950)
Bio - A regular in the top 10 of pound-for-pound lists, Willie Pep was a true master of his craft, and probably the best featherweight to ever walk the Earth.
He was blessed with superhuman speed and grace, as fleet-footed as a gazelle and with a highly-unorthodox crouching form of defence that made him virtually impossible to hit.
While his rivalry with Sandy Saddler eventually descended into farce, with the pair's final two fights more suited to WWE, the extraordinary performance from Pep in the duo's second bout was as close to boxing perfection as you'll ever see.
While Barrera developed his boxing skill as his career went on, the Mexican was at his natural best in his role as hunter, walking down fighters and dragging them into the trenches.
He was tough, of course, and if he could force the relatively light-fisted Pep into a tear-up, then there would only be one winner.
But Pep would be far too cute for such a tactic. He was the master of ring craft, a slick operator with the defensive genius of Floyd Mayweather, but with the movement of Manny Pacquiao—rumor has it Pep once won a round of boxing without even throwing a punch.
This one therefore is pretty straight-forward. As good as Barrera is, I see Pep dancing away from the bigger man and stinging him all night long, eventually taking the fight by a wide unanimous decision.
Pep by unanimous decision
Born - September 1, 1976
Height - 5'8"
Reach - 72"
Record - 51(35) - 7(2) (to date)
World Titles - WBC Super-Bantamweight (1997-2000), WBO Super-Bantamweight (2000), WBC Featherweight (2001-2002, 2002-2003), WBC Super-Featherweight (2004), IBF Super-Featherweight (2004)
Bio - The incomparable "El Terrible" is rightly regarded as one of the greatest talents in modern boxing, continuing to be a world-class contender at the age of 34.
He fought sensational fights with his contemporaries Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao, and remains the last man to beat the Filipino sensation having beaten him as a super-featherweight in March 2005.
Morales is the definition of Mexican toughness—strong, aggressive and downright nasty, with a right hand that is particularly lethal for any unfortunate foe.
Born - February 22, 1883
Height - 5'4"
Reach - 66"
Record - 112(39) - 16(5) - 23
World Titles - Featherweight (1903-1912)
Bio - One of the wisest heads to ever enter the prize ring, Abe Attell possessed knowledge of every trick in the boxing book.
The "Little Hebrew" defeated fellow featherweight champions George Dixon and Johnny Kilbane during his prime, and defended his title an awesome 18 times.
Well-respected boxing historian Charley Rose regards Attell as the best featherweight in history, while Ring magazine founder Nat Fleischer had him at No. 3.
A much more intriguing featherweight contest than the one that went before it, this bout would be another case of Mexican machismo up against supreme skill.
While there is no footage of Attell to consult, it is reported that he struggled against bigger opponents, and had he been a modern-day fighter, he would have probably found himself fighting as a bantamweight.
Yet Attell was one slippery customer, and reigned as featherweight champion for nine years—in Barrera's first reign as champion, he couldn't even manage nine months.
Still, though, in this particular contest, I'm backing the modern-day man to come good. I think Barrera's superior fitness and size would eventually wear Attell down, allowing the Mexican to take the victory by a late stoppage.
Barrera by 11th-round knockout
Born - August 23, 1973
Height - 5'7"
Reach - 67"
Record - 53(39) - 5(0) - 1 (to date)
World Titles - IBF Featherweight (2003-2005), WBA Featherweight (2003-2005), WBO Featherweight (2006-2007), WBC Super-Featherweight (2006-2007), WBA Lightwight (2009-Present), WBO Lightweight (2009-Present)
Bio - Another Mexican titan of the modern era, Marquez is now rightly recognized as one the best lightweights of all time.
He has taken the prize scalps of Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis in recent years, while many still believe he got the better of Manny Pacquaio in both the pair's previous fights.
He is not your stereotypical angry Mexican boxer, though—Marquez is a master counter-puncher who puts his combinations together with great thought and finesse, unlike some of his more gung-ho countrymen.
Born - April 17, 1896
Height - 5'5"
Reach - 69"
Record - 183(70) - 23(5) - 8
World Titles - Lightweight (1917-1925)
Bio - One of the game's great thinkers, Leonard was a man fascinated by the science of fighting, using his brain more than his brawn when it came to boxing.
While he lost three of his first 13 bouts by knockout, Leonard would then have more than 200 bouts before he next tasted defeat from the canvas.
Yet the often overlooked fact with Leonard is that he could bang as well as box—to knockout 70 opponents in Leonard's era was no easy task.
This would undoubtedly be a real treat for those who appreciate boxing's technical mastery, with two technicians from different eras going toe-to-toe.
Marquez has the added element of Mexican toughness, though, seen primarily when he came back from that demoralizing first round against Manny Pacquiao to dominate the Pac-Man and arguably win the fight.
I feel that Leonard is a cut above, though. His silky skills were complimented with an unnerving punch accuracy, which added real attacking threat to one of the game's great defensive geniuses.
While I see Marquez putting on a brave show, Leonard would be simply too good for him and could even stop the contest in the middle rounds.
Leonard by sixth-round technical knockout
Born - July 12, 1962
Height - 5'7"
Reach - 67"
Record - 107(86) - 6(4) - 2
World Titles - WBC Super-Featherweight (1984-1987), WBA Lightweight (1987-1989), WBC Lightweight (1988-1989), WBC Light-Welterweight (1989-1994, 1994-1996), IBF Light-Welterweight (1990-1991)
Bio - A six-time world champion across three of boxing's toughest divisions, Chavez was a boxing phenomenon during the late 80s and early 90s.
Blessed with a granite chin and a relentless heart, Chavez embodied the very essence of the Mexican fighter, and possessed a ferocious body attack that claimed him many of his stoppage victories.
His win over Meldrick Taylor in 1990 was truly one for the ages, as was his excellent draw with Pernell Whitaker, a bout which gave both fighters tremendous credit.
Born - July 16, 1951
Height - 5'7"
Reach - 66"
Record - 103(70) - 16(4)
World Titles - WBA Lightweight (1972-1979), WBC Lightweight (1978-1979), WBC Welterweight (1980), WBA Light-Middleweight (1983-1984), WBC Middleweight (1989-1990)
Bio - Arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter of the last 30 years, Roberto Duran was, when fit, the perfect combat machine.
He had it all—speed, power, defense, solid chin and a raging style that drew in the crowds to watch this violent wrecking ball spread terror through the lightweight division.
He was the lightweight equivalent of Mike Tyson, basically, while his legacy is added to even further by his efforts against the other members of boxing's famed "Four Kings" fraternity.
Just pause for a second and imagine what a spectacle this fight would be.
Two pressure merchants, neither of who know how to take a backward step or engage in anything more than a sophisticated brawl—this would be Hagler v. Hearns x 1000.
Yet in such a bloodbath, there could only be one winner. Duran is essentially everything that Chavez is, but better. Stronger, quicker, angrier and probably more skillful.
While it lasted, it'd be awe-inspiring. Certainly not one for the faint hearted, I predict a savage opening few rounds before Chavez crumbles to his knees late in the fourth.
Duran by fourth-round knockout
De La Hoya
Born - April 2, 1973
Height - 5'10"
Reach - 73"
Record - 39(30) - 6(2)
World Titles - WBO Super-Featherweight (1994), WBO Lightweight (1994-1996), IBF Lightweight (1995-1996), WBC Light-Welterweight (1996-1997), WBC Welterweight (1997-1999, 2000), WBC Light-Middleweight (2001-2003, 2006-2007), WBA Light-Middleweight (2002-2003), WBO Middleweight (2004)
Bio - The "Golden Boy" is certainly deserving of such a moniker, having lifted eight world titles and generated nearly $700 million throughout his career.
De La Hoya earned his money and glory, though. He adopted a refreshing "take-on-all-comers" attitude that saw him share the ring with the modern era's greatest fighters, with the sheer volume of outstanding names on his record needing to be seen to be believed.
The lightning-fast Latino was a boxing revelation, a modern-day renaissance man who reigned as a world champion for 13 years—a truly remarkable record.
Born - April 3, 1883
Height - 5'6"
Reach - 72"
Record - 207(129) - 48(9) - 55
World Titles - None
Bio - A 300-fight veteran who competed in every division from lightweight to heavyweight, the bull-like Langford is unquestionably the best boxer to never win a world title.
He was a man who beat great lightweight champion Joe Gans as well as all-time heavyweight great Harry Wills—he even gave the legendary Jack Johnson a scare despite weighing some 30 pounds less.
While he was a defensive master, blessed with an almost unnatural ability to block punches, Langford was also heavy-handed—Ring magazine named him the the second greatest puncher of all time in 2003.
This bout would certainly be a unique clash of styles, with De La Hoya's raw hand-speed up against Langford's power and defense.
While De La Hoya has the height advantage, Langford had freakishly long arms for a man of his size, and I don't see the Golden Boy being able to stay away from Langford for the full duration of a fight.
Langford was simply a class above De La Hoya, a true all-time great who deservedly features on the top 10 of most pound-for-pound lists.
I see De La Hoya staying out of trouble for the first half of the fight, but eventually tiring and getting tagged by one of Langford's hammering left hands. When that happens, not many people get back up.
Langford by eighth-round knockout
Born - January 2, 1964
Height - 5'6"
Reach - 69"
Record - 40(17) - 4(1) - 1
World Titles - IBF Lightweight (1989-1992), WBC Lightweight (1989-1992), WBA Lightweight (1990-1992), IBF Light-Welterweight (1992-1993), WBC Welterweight (1993-1997), WBA Light-Middleweight (1995)
Bio - One of the purest and most technically-skilled fighters of the modern generation, Whitaker was a throwback to the days of fighters such as Benny Leonard who appreciated the finer details of fighting.
The four-weight world champion was defensively perfect, capable of avoiding punishment from the biggest and best of hitters.
While he certainly wasn't the biggest puncher to ever step between the ropes, Whitaker didn't need to be. In terms of pure amateur style, Whitaker was arguably the best there has ever been.
Born - May 17, 1956
Height - 5'10"
Reach - 74"
Record - 36(25) - 3(1) - 1
World Titles - WBC Welterweight (1979-1980, 1980-1982), WBA Welterweight (1981-1982), WBA Light-Middleweight (1981), WBC Middleweight (1987), WBC Super-Middleweight (1988-1990), WBC Light-Heavyweight (1988-1989)
Bio - Taking up the mantle of "Sugar" Ray is no easy task, but Ray Leonard proved himself more than capable of following in Ray Robinson's footsteps after crafting one of the best careers in boxing of the past 50 years.
He beat legends such as Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler, earning himself world titles in an incredible five different weight classes.
Leonard was a supreme attacking fighter, good at overwhelming opponents with rapid combinations. He was also bigger than many people thought, and possessed a fighting heart that belied his naturally jovial personality.
A clash of two blinding speedsters, anyone watching this clash would have to be careful not to blink—with these two, you could miss 20 punches in a split-second.
The styles should gel, with Leonard sure to be the aggressor and Whitaker trying to counter-punch.
While Whitaker could avoid Leonard's best work, I don't think the "Little Pea" would have enough firepower to keep Leonard off him for a full 12 rounds, with the bigger man certain to bank rounds based on aggression alone.
After a tight but entertaining opening, I'd expect Leonard to impose himself on Whitaker in the second half of the fight and eventually win the bout by unanimous decision.
Leonard by unanimous decision
Born - February 24, 1977
Height - 5'8"
Reach - 72"
Record - 41(25) - 0 (to date)
World Titles - WBC Super-Featherweight (1998-2002), WBC Lightweight (2002-2004), WBC Light-Welterweight (2005), IBF Welterweight (2006), WBC Welterweight (2006-2008), WBC Light-Middleweight (2007)
Bio - You need look no further than the pages of this site for all you need to know "Money" Mayweather, the most controversial figure in modern boxing.
He is a man who has dominated the sport for the past six years, contesting the top spot in the pound-for-pound rankings with Manny Pacquiao, and all the while dismantling anyone and everyone that got in his way.
While he hasn't yet fought the career-defining fight that would cement his legacy, Mayweather's prodigious defensive skills alone are enough for him to rank among the all-time greats.
Born - December 12, 1912
Height - 5'5"
Reach - 67"
Record - 150(101) - 21(2) - 10
World Titles - Featherweight (1937-1938), Lightweight (1938-1939), Welterweight (1938-1940)
Bio - A regular in the top five of any pound-for-pound lists, the only man to ever hold world titles in three weight divisions at the same time as well as beating 16 world champions in a distinguished 181-fight career, Armstrong was nothing short of a phenomenon.
He didn't achieve this just by ducking and diving, though. Armstrong was a supreme offensive fighter, an incessant whirlwind who rightly earned the nickname of "Homicide Hank".
Armstrong could have even won a fourth world title as a middleweight, only for then-champion Ceferino Garcia to hold onto his title via a questionable draw. At a time where there were only eight weight classes and one title in each, Armstrong could have held half of the world's championship belts.
A clash between these two would truly be one for the ages. A manic, 100-punch-a-road firecracker against a technical maestro blessed with cat-like reflexes and an impenetrable defense.
Armstrong certainly has the style to wrench Mayweather from his comfort zone. Armstrong would batter Mayweather's arms, ribs, head, chest—anything he could lay his gloves on in order to draw Mayweather into a scrap.
But for me, Armstrong—like Manny Pacquiao—lacks the sheer size to genuinely overwhelm such a skilled operator as Floyd Mayweather.
Blessed with superior height and reach, I can see Mayweather weathering an early storm before going on to produce yet another masterclass, nullifying Armstrong's rampant attacks and eventually claiming a difficult win by decision.
Mayweather by majority decision
Born - December 17, 1978
Height - 5'6"
Reach - 67"
Record - 53(38) - 3(2) - 2
World Titles - WBC Flyweight (1998-1999), IBF Super-Bantamweight (2001-2003), Ring Featherweight (2003-2005), WBC Super-Featherweight (2008), WBC Lightweight (2008-2009), Ring Light-Welterweight (2009), WBO Welterweight (2009-Present), WBC Light-Middleweight (2010-2011)
Bio - The outstanding boxer of his generation, Pacquiao has transcended the sport of boxing to establish himself as a bona fide global superstar, becoming synonymous worldwide with pure fighting perfection.
The only fighter to have ever won world titles in eight different weight classes, the "Pac-Man" has delighted fans and pundits alike with a scintillating style that has endeared him to the world's boxing fraternity.
He has now been a world champion for an unprecedented 13 years and shows no signs of slowing down, with his long-awaited showdown with Floyd Mayweather looming large in the distance.
Born - May 3, 1921
Height - 5'11"
Reach - 72"
Record - 173(108) - 19(1) - 6
World Titles - Welterweight (1946-1951), Middleweight (1951, 1951-1952, 1955-1957, 1958-1960)
Bio - A true legend of the game, "Sugar" Ray Robinson is now held in an almost mythical esteem by the boxing community.
The world has never seen such a fighter. There were no weaknesses in the armor—defensively sound, incredible hand and foot speed as well as an ability to throw punches with devastating power and accuracy.
He was an unbeaten amateur, and at one stage of his professional career had a record of 128-1-2. If you consider that he had 85 amateur fights, winning them all, it means that Robinson won 213 of his first 216 competitive fights.
For any boxing fan, or fan of sports in general, this clash would be an absolute must-see occasion.
Two seemingly flawless fighters, at their prime weight, going toe-to-toe to prove who's tougher. It is surely the purest form of any sporting contest.
While Pacquiao is exceptional, Robinson is simply something else, a level above even the brilliant Pac-Man.
While Pacquiao would cause problems for Robinson with his movement and angles, I see "Sugar" Ray picking his punches well, out-manoevring the Filipino sensation to nullify his attacking bursts and claim the fight with a masterful performance.
Robinson by unanimous decision
Born - January 15, 1965
Height - 6'1"
Reach - 75"
Record - 52(32) - 5(0) - 2 (to date)
World Titles - IBF Middleweight (1995-2005), WBC Middleweight (2001-2005), WBA Middleweight (2001-2005), The Ring Middleweight (2002-2005), WBO Middleweight (2004-2005), The Ring Light-Heavyweight (2006-2008, 2011-Present), WBC Light-Heavyweight (2011-Present)
Bio - One of modern boxing's most colorful characters, current light-heavyweight king Bernard Hopkins remains one the best fighters in the world today at the ripe old age of 46.
Yet, it is as a middleweight where Hopkins was truly great. At the turn of the century, even at the age of 35, Hopkins' intelligent style had turned him into a seemingly unbeatable fighter, with wins over the notoriously tough Glen Johnson, Felix Trinidad and Oscar de la Hoya, confirming the "Executioner's" supreme skills.
His style meant he was always certain to get better with age. In terms of pure cunning, there is no better fighter in the world.
Born - June 6, 1894
Height - 5'8"
Reach - 71"
Record - 261(48) - 20(2) - 17
World Titles: Middleweight (1923-1926)
Bio - An all-time great of the middleweight division, the short and stocky Greb was a typical fighting thoroughbred from the early days of codified prize-fighting.
Renowned for a ferocious and persistent style that sometimes showed a disdain for the rulebook, Greb regularly took on bigger and stronger fighters, and ended up knocking them out—it'd take a very brave man to withstand flurry after flurry from the notoriously stubborn "Pittsburgh Windmill".
He was the only man to ever officially beat the great Gene Tunney, despite weighing in about 12 pounds lighter, and esteemed historian Herb Goldman thought Greb was the best middleweight he ever saw.
The modern technician against the rugged old warhorse, the outcome of this bout would depend entirely on what era you made the pair of them fight in.
In the ring of 1923, where rough tactics were a necessity, Greb would undoubtedly have the edge—the Pittsburgh man could teach even Timothy Bradley a thing or two about using your head as a weapon.
Yet, in today's much stricter surroundings, you imagine that Hopkins would be far too cute for a savage beast like Greb.
Hopkins could pick the aggressor apart and, so long as the referee cut out the nasty stuff, record an impressive win by decision. There is no way that Hopkins would stop him, though.
Hopkins by unanimous decision
Born - February 21, 1975
Height - 5'10"
Reach - 75"
Record - 47(26) - 2(1) - 2 (to date)
World Titles - WBC Light-Middleweight (2009-2010), WBC Middleweight (2010-2011), WBO Middleweight (2010), Ring Middleweight (2010-Present)
Bio - "Maravilla" has emerged from the wilderness in recent years to establish himself as one of the world's outstanding fighters, reigning undisputedly over the middleweight division despite not actually holding an official world title.
A relatively late bloomer, the 36-year-old really burst to super-stardom with an awesome knockout victory over Paul Williams last year, crushing the much-fancied Williams in the second round with a left hook that shook the "Punisher" to his bones.
He gave unbeaten prospect Sergiy Dzinziruk a through hiding earlier this year to confirm his status as one of the planet's premier pugilistic talents, and threatens to get even better as he enters the autumn of his career.
Born - May 23, 1954
Height - 5'9"
Reach - 75"
Record - 62(52) - 3 - 2
World Titles - WBA Middleweight (1980-1987), WBC Middleweight (1980-1987), IBF Middleweight (1983-1987)
Bio - A real throwback kind of fighter, the heroically tough Hagler would have been able to handle himself in the bare-knuckle days, with his fighting career being typified by an iron will that simply refused to give in.
Hagler wasn't particularly flashy, hard-hitting or silky smooth. He was simply tough as hell, and had this uncanny ability to grind people into submission.
Thomas Hearns found this out to his downfall, with the "Hitman" and Hagler contesting one of boxing's greatest-ever fights which Hagler eventually won with nothing more than sheer determination.
Both exponents of two very different styles of boxing, the outcome of a bout between this pair would depend on whether Martinez could maintain his resistance for 12 rounds.
The Argentinean could certainly outbox Hagler. "Sugar" Ray Leonard did such a thing in 1987, running away from Hagler for a full 12 rounds, and stealing a decision with some eye-catching flurries.
But I just don't think Martinez could fight to such a game plan. The Latino way is based around machismo, and Martinez's loss to Antonio Margarito earlier in his career showed the fallacies that await him should he try and display this fighting heart against a natural brawler.
While Martinez is a better fighter now, Hagler is also a much better fighter than Margarito. I see "Mavarilla" boxing smoothly initially before getting drawn into a tear up. When that happens, there's only one winner.
Hagler by eighth-round technical knockout
Born - January 16, 1969
Height - 5'11"
Reach - 74"
Record - 54(40) - 8(4) (to date)
World Titles - IBF Middleweight (1993-1994), IBF Super-Middleweight (1994-1996), WBC Light-Heavyweight (1997, 1997-2003, 2003-2004), WBA Light-Heavyweight (1998-2004), IBF Light-Heavyweight (1999-2003), Ring Light-Heavyweight (2001-2004), WBA Heavyweight (2003-2004)
Bio - Quite possibly the most naturally-talented fighter of the past 20 years, Roy Jones Jr. has had a career that escapes definition.
Only the second man in history to win both the middleweight and heavyweight titles, Jones also unified the light-heavyweight division during a six-year rampage which actually ended up with Jones holding seven versions of the light-heavyweight world title.
While his career has been in decline in recent years it's worth noting that, combined with his amateur record, Jones at one stage had a boxing record of 169-14.
Born - December 13, 1916
Height - 5'11"
Reach - 75"
Record - 185(131) - 23(7) - 10
World Titles - Light-Heavyweight (1952-1962)
Bio - The man with more knockouts than any other fighter in history, Archie Moore was a bona fide monster of boxing during one of its toughest eras.
His wars with Harold Johnson and Joey Maxim were legendary, while he also went up to heavyweight, and mixed it with both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali.
Moore's defining characteristic was his sheer size. He seemed to pack unheralded levels of muscle into his 175-pound frame, making every fighter he went up against appear desperately small.
A truly intriguing matchup given both men's incredible talents, this one is among one of the hardest matchups on the list to call.
You have the frightening speed and athleticism of Jones, up against the sheer size and power of Moore—it would be a fascinating spectacle and one that is nearly impossible to predict.
If Jones could avoid the monster's big shots—which isn't out of the question—then he certainly has the ability to outbox Moore and simply bamboozle him with pure, unfathomable speed.
However, I think that Moore would eventually win the day. He was from an era where mental toughness reached levels that are unimaginable to today's generation, so I think he'd keep plugging away, take Jones' best work and eventually score a late and dramatic come-from-behind knockout.
Moore by 12th-round knockout
Born - October 19, 1962
Height - 6'2"
Reach - 78"
Record - 44(29) - 10(2) - 2 (to date)
World Titles - WBA Cruiserweight (1986-1988), IBF Cruiserweight (1987-1988), WBC Cruiserweight (1988), IBF Heavyweight (1990-1992, 1993-1994, 1997-1999), WBA Heavyweight (1990-1992, 1993-1994, 1996-1999, 2000-2001), WBC Heavyweight (1990-1992)
Bio - One of the toughest men in modern boxing, Holyfield defied logic to compete in a heavyweight landscape dominated by giants.
Despite his accomplishments as a heavyweight, it's easy to forget that Holyfield is probably the best fighter to ever compete in the cruiserweight division since its inception around 30 years ago.
He was the first man to ever unify the division's titles, and beat another legendary cruiserweight in Carlos De Leon before he moved on to conquer the likes of Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe.
Born - June 24, 1895
Height - 6'1"
Reach - 77"
Record - 65(50) - 6(1) - 11
World Titles - Heavyweight (1919-1926)
Bio - One of the fight game's greatest-ever heavyweight champions, the "Manassa Mauler" was a truly revolutionary fighter who changed the course of boxing.
He transformed it from a slow-paced chess match of science and technique to all-out warfare, bringing his sensational and aggressive brand of boxing into the mainstream and thrilling a generation.
Yet Dempsey was by no means a giant. He was only a shade over six feet and rarely weighed in at anymore than 190 pounds. In today's terms, Dempsey was no more than a small cruiserweight.
The notoriously granite-chinned Holyfield would certainly have his work cut out against Dempsey's savage style of fighting, with the "Manassa Mauler" sure to set a pace that could potentially overwhelm even the fittest of foe.
He was the ultimate attacking fighter, blessed with more technique than many give him credit for—his footwork in particular was well ahead of his time.
But Holyfield is a very, very hard man to shift. No fighter ever even hurt him as a cruiserweight, never mind beat him, and he even had the edge over 5'10" smallish heavyweight Mike Tyson, a fighter whose style was very similar to that of Dempsey.
I see a real war between these two incredible fighting men, with neither giving an inch, before Holyfield eventually comes good and stops the brawling Dempsey late on. No doubt, though, that Dempsey would go down swinging.
Holyfield by 11th-round knockout
Born - September 2, 1965
Height - 6'5"
Reach - 84"
Record - 41(32) - 2(2) - 1
World Titles - WBC Heavyweight (1992-1994, 1997-2001, 2001-2004), WBA Heavyweight (1999-2000), IBF Heavyweight (1999-2001, 2001-2002)
Bio - One of the all-time great heavyweights, Lewis was the king of a heavyweight era that contained illustrious names such as Tyson, Holyfield and Tua.
It's a shame that the giant Brit wasn't truly appreciated when he was was an active fighter, with people never warming to his safety-first attitude despite the impressive names on his boxing resume.
Tommy Morrison, Ray Mercer, Shannon Briggs, Vitali Klitschko, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson were all on the receiving end of beatings from Lewis, whose raw size and power mean he'd stand a great chance of dishing out similar treatment to any heavyweight that ever stepped in the boxing ring.
Born - January 10, 1949
Height - 6'3"
Reach - 82"
Record - 76(68) - 5(1)
World Titles - WBC Heavyweight (1973-1974), WBA Heavyweight (1973-1974, 1994-1995), IBF Heavyweight (1994-1995)
Bio - One of the most destructive demolition men to ever set foot in the boxing ring, Foreman's reputation as a fearsome puncher will remain throughout the future of prize-fighting.
While people will know him for his loss to Muhammad Ali in the epic "Rumble in the Jungle", Foreman's victories in the ring tell you all you need to know about how anarchic the big man could be.
There were crushing defeats of all-time greats Ken Norton and Joe Frazier, and his world-title-winning comeback at age 46 showed tremendous resilience from a man who remains one of the most recognizable faces in boxing.
A real clash of the titans, these two man-mountains would send rumblings to the center of the earth if they were to ever go toe-to-toe.
The prime 1970s Foreman prided himself on physical intimidation, but he could do no such thing with the gargantuan Lewis, who would go into the ring two inches taller and 25 pounds heavier.
Yet, Foreman still packs truly awesome power, and Lewis has been sent to the floor by much less fearsome punchers than a prime George Foreman. If one of Foreman's shots catches Lewis on the chin, then it's goodnight Lennox.
However, the Lennox Lewis of around 2000—who earned such crushing victories over David Tua, Evander Holyfield and Michael Grant—displayed a maturity and appreciation of his physical gifts that gave him an almost untouchable aura, like he couldn't be harmed despite the obvious pitfalls of his profession.
If this Lennox Lewis fought George Foreman, I see the Brit using his jab to slowly break Foreman down, and eventually record an excellent decision victory.
Lewis by unanimous decision
Born - June 30, 1966
Height - 5'10"
Reach - 71"
Record - 50(44) - 6(5)
World Titles - WBC Heavyweight (1986-1990, 1996), WBA Heavyweight (1987-1990, 1996), IBF Heavyweight (1987-1990)
Bio - One of the most iconic sports figures of the modern era, Mike Tyson has become a by-word for aggressive and dominating boxing since his reign of terror over the heavyweight division some 20 years ago.
The youngest heavyweight champion in history, Tyson was one of the most destructive and ruthless fighters of all time, destroying good fighters who were usually taller and heavier, but simply paralyzed by fear.
While his problems out of the ring have been well documented, there is no doubt that a peak Tyson was virtually unstoppable.
Born - May 13, 1914
Height - 6'2"
Reach - 76"
Record - 66(52) - 3(2)
World Titles - Heavyweight (1937-1949)
Bio - One of heavyweight boxing's greatest-ever champions, the "Brown Bomber" held the world heavyweight title for an unprecedented 12 years during the fight game's toughest era.
He racked up 25 defences in that time, defeating 10 world champions along the way, and remains the longest-serving world champion in boxing history over 60 years after he relinquished his title.
Louis' greatest asset was his power. While you could dance around him and outbox him (to a certain degree), Louis' unrivalled power in both hands usually meant one thing—if he caught you, it was game over.
Two punchers who could shake mountains with hooks from either hand, a clash between these two titanic hitters would be an absolute train wreck.
The obvious flaw for Louis is his footwork. He was notoriously flat on his feet and a bit of shuffler, and would probably have found it difficult to keep track of a prime Tyson's continual weaving and bobbing.
But Tyson's mental fragility would, for me, be the defining factor in this fight. How would he fare against someone who could punch just as hard as him, who wouldn't be intimidated by him and would keep smacking Tyson in spite of the barrage of blows coming his way? My guess is "Iron" Mike would wilt, just as he did against Evander Holyfield in the mid 90s.
This, coupled with Louis' superior height and reach, leads me to think that after a savage contest, Louis would eventually take Tyson out in the middle rounds before collapsing in the ring himself after a bout that left both men physically and mentally broken.
Louis by sixth-round knockout
Born - May 25, 1976
Height - 6'6"
Reach - 81"
Record - 56(49) - 3(3) (to date)
World Titles - WBO Heavyweight (2000-2003, 2008-Present), IBF Heavyweight (2006-Present), WBA Heavyweight (2011-Present)
Bio - The dominant heavyweight of his generation, Klitschko is one of the finest athletic specimens to ever call himself the heavyweight champion of the world.
Standing 6'6" and weighing in around 240 pounds, he combines this vast size with superb footwork and fitness, and is blessed with one of the best jabs that boxing has ever seen.
Despite his notoriously weak chin, Klitschko has now evolved a style that totally eradicates this weakness, boxing in textbook fashion for a taller fighter and often cruising to victories via comfortable decision.
Born - January 17, 1942
Height - 6'3"
Reach - 80"
Record - 56(37) - 5(1)
World Titles - WBA Heavyweight (1964, 1967, 1974-1978, 1978-1979), WBC Heavyweight (1964-1970, 1974-1978)
Bio - The leading sporting figure of the 21st Century, Muhammad Ali's life is impossible to squeeze into just three short paragraphs—even a two-hour feature film struggled to fit 10 years of it in.
As a boxer, he was sensational. A ballet dancer who could bomb, he changed the face of heavyweight boxing forever, showing that you could triumph over bullying brawlers like Sonny Liston using sublime elegance and boxing skill.
His epic wins over Joe Frazier and George Foreman will also live forever in boxing folklore, as will many other chapters from the extraordinary life of one of the world's most extraordinary personalities. Safe to say, nobody will ever forget the self-proclaimed "Greatest".
There is no doubt that Ali would face one of his toughest-ever challenges in taking on the monstrous Klitschko.
Simple fighting science dictates that a good big man beats a good little man, and Wladimir Klitschko is certainly a good boxing giant. His style is near-perfect for a man of his size, with opponents always struggling to navigate the long arms that keep his fragile chin well away from danger.
But Ali is no ordinary fighter. He is a man blessed with unwavering character and self-belief, plus possesses the best footwork ever seen on a heavyweight fighter. It is this sterling speed of foot that provides the key to beating a Klitschko—while his jab alone won't him in range, Ali would be able to dance inside, land and move away again before Klitschko had time to think.
So I see Ali producing a masterful display of movement, nipping in and out of range, and chopping the giant Ukrainian down, eventually stopping him in the middle-to-late rounds.
Ali by eighth-round knockout