Look up any list of greatest fighters that ever lived, no doubt you will find a mixture of different fighters from different weight classes. On many occasions, numbers 2-10 on those lists may vary dramatically, but the No. 1 spot is rightly secured in most of them by none other than the welterweight Sugar Ray Robinson.
One can't say how a fighter from one weight class would have done at another division had he been bigger or weighed less. Those imaginations and comparisons are what lead us to the popular concept of the pound-for-pound rankings in which Sugar Ray Robinson also ranks No. 1 of all-time.
In this list we go away from the concept of pound-for-pound rankings and look back and give credit to the best fighters than each division ever produced.
1. Muhammad Ali
Won 56 (KO 37) + Lost 5 (KO 1)
In his era, Ali defeated almost every known and respected heavyweight of that time. Ali fought during the time when being Heavyweight champ really did mean something. Opposition was strong and you always fought the best.
Ali was dominant during the best time for Heavyweight boxing. So it's only natural for him to go down as the greatest of them all.
Aside from being fighter of the years multiple times, he was also in some of the most entertaining and competitive bouts in boxing history.
1. Evander Holyfield
Won 44 (KO 29) + Lost 10 (KO 2)
He may be mostly remembered for his heavyweight bouts against Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, but his best years, without a doubt, were as a cruiserweight.
During his time at the division he was pretty much the owner of it. Holyfield was dominant in every way and went undefeated in the division. From the get-go of his career, he claimed victories over strong opposition such as Tyrone Booze, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Henry Tillman, Rick Parkey and Ossie Ocasio.
Once he left the division, he left a legacy of basically being unbeatable at it.
1. Ezzard Charles
Won 93 (KO 52) + Lost 25 (KO 7)
Charles was what could easily be considered a masterful boxer. He was fast, moved great and had great footwork. Charles was also responsible for beautiful combinations which where usually very accurate.
In his prime, he was impressive in every way possible, not only looking good, but doing it against top opposition such as Archie Moore, Jimmy Bivins and Lloyd Marshall to name a few.
Charles would also perform well at the heavyweight division, winning the heavyweight title in 1948 and defending it a total of nine times.
1. Roy Jones Jr.
Won 54 (KO 40) + Lost 8 (KO 4)
During his prime, no one was as impressive or made it look as easy as Jones did. Jones was so dominant that at he held a record-breaking six belts at the same time. Those were the WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, NABF, WBF, and IBA. Need more be said?
In 2003, Jones looked even more impressive when he made boxing history by beating John Ruiz for the WBA heavyweight title, becoming the first middleweight to do so in over 100 years.
Add to that being named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 1990s, after achieving wins over legends such as James Toney and Bernard Hopkins.
1. Harry Greb
Won 298 + Lost 19
Part of what made Greb great was his toughness and aggressiveness. He fought an incredible 303 times and against everyone considered good at the time.
One thing was for sure, Greb loved to fight. So much so that in 1917 he fought a total of 37 times. Greb was well known for not caring about opponents' weight. As middleweight, he fought and beat light heavyweight champion Battling Levinsk. He also defeated light heavyweight champions Jack Dillon and Willie Meehan.
1. Thomas Hearns
Won 61 (KO 48) + Lost 5 (KO 4)
"The Hitman" won an impressive eight titles in six weight classes. Along the line he beat such names as Virgil Hill, Wilfred Benítez and Roberto Durán. Part of Hearns greatness was his willingness to fight the absolute best and to prove so, he fought a total of 21 world champions.
He was famous and usually avoided for his great KO punches, one of which can be seen in his fight against Durán. He would also go on to win "Fighter of the Year" in both 1980 and 1984.
1. Sugar Ray Robinson
Won 173 (KO 108) + Lost 19 (KO 1)
This one is the easiest of them all. The man ranks as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the history of boxing, so it's only right that he ranks as the best welterweight of all time. It was at this division that Robinson dominated the sport and made fans, media and the world fall in love with him.
He was impressively versatile, smooth and a super-gifted boxer. He had a quick jab alongside great knockout power. His effectiveness and dominance with both hands was incredibly overwhelming. Overall, Sugar Ray Robinson is the fighter that scientists would recreate if they could some day.
1. Julio Cesar Chavez
Won 107 (KO 86) + Lost 6 (KO 4)
The Mexican legend was a six-time world champion in three weight divisions. With the concept of pound-for-pound rankings, Chavez dominated the list for many years.
In a career that spanned over 25 years, Chavez ended with an impressive record of 107-6. The most impressive part of his record is that fact that he went a undefeated for the first 89 bouts of his career.
Chavez is, without a doubt, considered one of the truly great fighters of all time. Winning a total of six world titles in three weight divisions.
Along the line he beat many great champions such as Meldrick Taylor, Sammy Fuentes, Hector Camacho, Edwin Rosario, Tony Lopez, Frankie Randall and Roger Mayweather, to name a few.
1. Roberto Durán
Won 103 (KO 70) + Lost 16 (KO 4)
Hands of Stone is one of the greatest fighters to ever lace up a pair of gloves. During his great career he was simply the best lightweight champion the world has ever seen.
Durán easily ranks in the top-10 best fighters of all time on almost everyone's list. Without a doubt, his best years came at the lightweight division, of which he was king.
1. Alexis Arguello
Won 77 (KO 62) + Lost 8 (KO 4
"The Explosive Thing Man" was a beauty to watch. At 5'10", he had great height for his division, possessed great boxing abilities and although he as thin he packed one hell of a punch.
His punches were always efficient, his boxing IQ was extremely good, he had a great arsenal of combinations and if you made a mistake against him, he would make you pay.
During his reign at this division there was simply no one more dominant.
In 2009, after retiring and having a successful political career, Arguello unfortunately committed suicide.
1. Willie Pep
Won 229 (KO 65) + Lost 11 (KO 6)
Willie Pep, in my mind, is the most creative fighter that ever lived. In his prime, the man known as "Will o' the Wisp," possessed both an offensive and defensive ability combination that was a beauty to watch. His intelligence inside the ring can also rank as one of the best, if not best of all time.
Throughout his entire career Pep faced strong and top opposition on a consistent basis, sometimes even fighting twice a week. While doing so he managed to accumulate a super-impressive record of 229 -11.
1. Wilfredo Gomez
Won 44 (KO 42) + Lost 3 (KO 3)
Gomez had a perfect combination of skills and aggressiveness. He possessed great defensive abilities and was exceptionally wonderful. He was champion in three different weight classes, but his best was by far this one.
1. Eder Jofre
Won 72 (KO 50) + Lost 2 (KO 0)
Jofre was truly one of the greats. He packed one hell of a punch and landed them pretty it often. He was smart, had great skills and was good defensively.
Jofre could box fighters or get into a brawl, either way he was as bad as anyone. He also had an iron chin which made exchanges with him a nightmare.
1. Khaosai Galaxy
Won 47 (KO 41) + Lost 1 (KO 0)
Galaxy was a slick southpaw with great punching power and boxing abilities in every part of the game. In his career he defended his belt an impressive 19 times.
He was an impressive fighter who provided great entertainment for boxing fans for many years. he ranks amongst the best to ever do so. With his great boxing abilities and determination he was only defeated once in his long career.
1. Chang Jung-Koo
Won 38 (KO 17) + Lost 4 (KO 1)
"The Korean Hawk" was a beast inside of the ring and he was relentless when it came to brawling. He had a great combination of foot speed along very accurate punching, which made him the great champion he was.
During his career he defended his title a total of 16 times and is ranked amongst the best fighters of all time on many lists.
"Finito" was never the same level of popularity as countryman Julio Cesar Chavez who is also on this list, for the simple reason that he fought at the Minimumweight division of 103 pounds. This is a division that not many are aware of. Regardless, it was impossible to ignore the skills, knockout power, ring intelligence and undefeated record that Lopez had during a truly great 16-year career
Most people will remember Lopez for his dedication to the sport of boxing, his discipline in the ring, the quality and beauty of his skills, the many title defenses he had and the great combination of punching power and technical excellence he had in the ring