THE debate rages on about who would make up boxing’s Mount Rushmore – the top four fighters in the sport’s history.
Honorable mentions go to Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins and Henry Armstrong – titans of the ring who didn’t manage to make the cut.
SE’s US team have come up with
Here are eight boxers on the honorable mention list.
Manny Pacquiao: 62-7 record
Manny Pacquiao won 12 world championships in eight different weight – a first in boxing.
It is remarkable to see a man who began his career at 108 pounds to go on and compete at an elite level in an upper weight classes.
Pacman’s last fight came in 2019, in which Pacman defeated Keith Thurman.
Oscar De La Hoya: 39-6 record
The Golden Boy started boxing at the age of five and went on to become one of the most celebrated boxers in the world.
Oscar De La Hoya won 10 world championships in six different weight divisions and earned more money in his career than any fighter who came before him.
The Golden Boy displayed his considerable skill-set and power across his 39 wins, 30 by knockout.
After his retirement in 2009, De La Hoya focused on his business, Golden Boy Promotions, which has promoted some of the greatest fighters of all time, including Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Saul Canelo Alvarez.
De La Hoya announced his return to the ring in 2020, and revealed he has returned to training.
Bernard Hopkins: 55-8 record
Bernard Hopkins was a physical marvel, a true freak of nature with a skill-set and intelligence that would have allowed him to compete in any era of the sport.
Hopkins was the undisputed middleweight champion who made 20 successful defenses of his title, shattering the record previously held by Carlos Monzon.
In 2011, he became the oldest man to ever win a world title when at age 46 he defeated Jean Pascal for the WBC light heavyweight titile.
Two years later, Hopkins broke his own record by winning the IBF heavyweight title from Tavoris Cloud at the age of 48.
He again broke his own record in 2019, when he won the WBA Super title from Beibut Shumenov at the age of 49.
Julio Cesar Chavez: 107-6 record
When it comes to great Mexican fighters, there is none better than Julio Cesar Chavez.
El Gran Campeon Mexicano, or The Great Mexican Champion, began his career with an unparalleled 87 straight fights without a loss.
He was a warrior in the ring with a fierce and swarming style that few fighter have ever been able to replicate.
In a career filled with legendary moments, Chavez is probably best known for coming from behind on the scorecard to win a knockout victory over Meldrick Taylor with seconds remaining in the 12th round.
He also posted notable victories over Greg Haugen, the late Hector “Macho” Camacho and Edwin Rosario.
Floyd Mayweather Jr: 50-0 record
There may never be another fighter with the pure talent of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
His defensive skills were like art – leaving opponents unable to land a clean hit.
Nicknamed Money, he won 15 major world titles in five different weight divisions and has beaten an astonishing list of opponents.
They include such greats as Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Saul Canelo Alvarez, Shane Mosely, Juan Manuel Marquez and Ricky Hatton.
He is one of the very few boxers to end their career undefeated, going 50-0.
Mike Tyson: 50-6 record
Arguably the most feared man inside a boxing ring, Mike Tyson was a scary combination of speed and power.
His persona was enough to intimidate anyone and many fighters were defeated before ever stepping foot in the ring.
Nicknamed The Baddest Man on the Planet, Tyson was a force in the heavyweight division during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He became the youngest boxing heavyweight champion in history at just 20 years of age.
Tyson also became the first man to ever unify the WBC, IBG and WBA heavyweight titles, holding all three at the same time.
Henry Armstrong: 152-22 record
Henry Armstrong is one of the few fighters in history to simultaneously hold world championships in three different weight divisions.
This was an impressive feat during the 1930s, as there were only eight recognized divisions at the time.
Armstrong took on and defeated many of the notable fighters of the age.
He won the featherweight title from Petey Sarron in 1937, before quickly jumping up a weight to win the welterweight championship in 1938 after defeating Barney Ross.
Armstrong would go on to defend the welterweight title a record 18 times before dropping it to Fritzie Zivic in 1940.
During his welterweight reign he also captured the lightweight title, which made him a triple champion holding the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight titles simultaneously.
Joe Louis: 66-3 record
In 1937, Joe Louis was crowned the new lineal heavyweight champion – a title he would hold for 140 months.
Nicknamed The Brown Bomber, Louis’ reign as heavyweight champion was legendary, successfully defending the title a record 25 times.
Known as a power puncher, Louis is often ranked as top on various boxing greats lists, especially as he was the first African-American boxer to achieve mainstream stardom in the US – a country brimming with racism at the time.
Louis is known for a 1936 loss to Max Schmeling, considered the Fight of the Year, and for wins over James Braddock, Billy Conn, Jersey Joe Walcott and a first-round knockout of Schmeling to average his earlier defeat.
Top Four in Boxing Mount Rushmore
Roberto Duran: 103-16 record
Known as Las Manos de Piedra, or Hands of Stone, Roberto Duran was a trash-talking, aggressive brawler who fought and beat many of the best of his era.
He is considered by many to be the greatest lightweight fighter in history and held world titles across four different weight divisions.
The Panamanian dominated the sport of boxing in a career that spanned five decades with over 100 professional victories.
His career started in 1968 and in 1980, he became the first man to defeat the great Sugar Ray Leonard.
Duran’s most infamous moment came in his second fight with Leonard, where he uttered the words “no mas” (no more in English) to the referee in the eighth round.
At the time, Duran held an astonishing 72-1 record – but in the closing seconds of the eighth round he turned his back to Leonard and quit, which allowed Sugar Ray to regain the WBC welterweight title.
It was soon determined that Leonard led the bout by a small margin of 68-66, 68-66 and 67-66 on the judges scorecards at the time of the TKO.
Duran continued fighting until his retirement in 2001.
Sugar Ray Leonard: 36-3 record
Sugar Ray Leonard fought the best of his era and beat every single one of them.
His heyday during the 1980s was an era that boasted several high-profile Hall of Famers – yet he still won world championships in five divisions from welterweight to light heavyweight.
His first professional defeat came against Roberto Duran in 1980, where he lost by unanimous decision.
The two ran it back that same year, but this time around Leonard got the win over Duran by TKO – after the Panamanian slugger quit in the eighth round.
He fought and beat Wilfred Benitez, Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Duran, giving him one of the most impressive resumes in the sport.
Sugar Ray Robinson: 173-19 record
Sugar Ray Robinson is credited with the creation of the mythical pound-for-pound rankings that today occupy so much of the debate in the boxing world.
Robinson’s run was truly remarkable. During his amateur days he went unbeaten, winning all 85 of his fights.
Into his pro days, he went undefeated until he faced Jake LaMotta in his 41st pro fight. That’s a stretch of 126 straight victories without a defeat.
In 1946, Robinson won the welterweight title and held on to it until he jumped to middleweight and took the belt from LaMotta, avenging his earlier defeat.
Robinson spend two-and-a-half years in retirement after failing to capture the light heavyweight title from Joey Maxim in 1952.
When he returned to the ring, he once again capture the middleweight title, something he’d do five times in his illustrious career.
He fought and beat every boxing great during his era, including Carmen Basillo, Gene Fullmer, Randy Turpin, Carl Olson, Henry Armstrong, Rocky Graziano and Kid Gavilan.
Muhammad Ali: 56-5 record
Muhammad Ali is the best heavyweight boxer of all time.
Ali fought with a style and flamboyance that made you either love him or hate him, but no matter how you see it nobody could deny his place in boxing history or as a cultural icon.
Before he changed his name to Ali, he fought under his birth name Cassius Clay – and won his first heavyweight title at age 22 against Sonny Liston.
He later converted to Islam and became a became a target of the US government after refusing to serve in the Vietnam War.
As a result, Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title and did not fight for four years.
Among his most memorable matches are his trilogy of fights against Smokin’ Joe Frazier, losing the first but winning the next two.
He’s also famous for utilizing his famed “rope-a-dope” style to upset George Foreman in the Congo in 1974 to regain his titles.
The tactic caused Foreman to expend tremendous energy firing punches at Ali, which resulted in either a miss, deflection or block by Ali.
During an illustrious career, Ali also landed victories over Bob Foster, Ken Norton, Jimmy Ellis and Floyd Patterson.