Pacquiao, Mayweather and 8 Other Fighters We Should Enjoy While We Can

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Pacquiao, Mayweather and 8 Other Fighters We Should Enjoy While We Can

Boxing has been getting a lot of negative press over the last number of years due to controversial fights, a lack of great fighters and any number of other reasons. It's also had its place as the world's premier combat sport threatened by the upstart that is Mixed Martial Arts.

I think boxing is pretty strong in a number of divisions right now, while admittedly weak in others. That's the problem when you have so many weight classes separated by such small weight differences.

I think if you look across the board, with the lone exception of cruiserweight, you'd be hard pressed to name a division that doesn't have at least one excellent fighter in it. Most have at least two.

Boxing has a great mix of young and old, which separates it from most other sports. From 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins to 21-year-old Saul Alvarez, boxing is a sport which shows that you're never too old or too young to be great. 

I do, however, feel that boxing is heading for a potentially tough few years as some of the greats of the modern day, a few of whom are indisputable all-time greats, are nearing the end of their careers.

While there are very good young fighters coming through the ranks, I'm not sure we'll see the quality of the fighters we are currently privileged to watch.

In this article I will set out 10 fighters who have been either truly great throughout their careers, are among the world's best right now, or both. All boxing fans, young and old, should enjoy watching these fighters because when they are gone, the sport will be worse off.

I've decided not to include three legends who are still battling away: Marco Antonio Barrera, Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jr. My reason for leaving them off is that it's not enjoyable watching these fighters anymore. It's painful. 

Barrera is most famous for his trilogy with Erik Morales and his warrior spirit. These days he's a shadow of his former self. Remember him this way. It works for me.

In his prime, Holyfield was arguably the greatest cruiserweight ever and a great heavyweight. This is a reminder of what he used to be. I prefer to remember him that way than to acknowledge how he is today.

Jones is one of the all-time greats and one of the most naturally gifted fighters there has ever been. Winning world titles at middleweight, super-middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight, he was one of the most dominant fighters in the world.

He remains to this day my favourite all-time fighter of those I've been fortunate enough to watch in their primes.

When Jones beat John Ruiz for the heavyweight title, he should have announced his retirement and walked away. Instead he's fought on for eight years and lost more fights than he's won. He's fighting again next month and although I don't want to watch, I know I will.

I'd prefer to watch this or this or this over and over again than watch him fight again at this point in his career. I hope he stops soon, I really do.

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