JUST recently, www.boxrec.com came out with its list of greatest of all time, which caused a bit of an uproar among boxing fans, with special mention to the old-timers. Floyd Mayweather Jr. came out on top followed by Manny Pacquiao with Carlos Monzon occupying the third spot. Muhammad Ali was at fourth place while the boxer most people consider to be the undisputed Goat, Sugar Ray Robinson, was at fifth place. The boxers were given points based on a criteria and were then ranked accordingly. What criteria was used?
CRITERIA. “The All Time Rating for a boxer is the sum of annual rank points of best defeated opponent at time of bout and the square root of his career top rating: 1) Best opponent rank points= 200/ (best opponent rank- 1) for annual rating (if rank is 1 use rank 1), 2) Best opponent P4P rank points= 200 / (best opponent P4P rank - 1) for annual rating (if rank is 1 use rank 1), 3) The ranks are interpolated in relation to the ratings of boxer ranked before him and the boxer behind him, 4) The best opponent rank points are limited to the lowest rank points of the opponent, he lost to in this year-pair by pair, 5) The value of 200 annual points is reduced, if the annual rating of No. 30 in the division is less than 76.3 for men, or less than 3.86 for women, 6) The value of 200 annual P4P points is reduced, if the annual rating of No. 50 P4P is less than 279 for men, or less than 12.2 for women.”
MY TAKE. While I respect the list and this is certainly a very strong one, the infirmities in the criteria are readily apparent. This is not to say, that I can come up with a better one. I am just pointing out the inherent difficulties in comparing fighters from different eras.
First, the list clearly gives premium to victories earned against top-ranked contenders and I can understand why Floyd and Manny can easily be Nos. 1 and 2 in this list. But the strength of this list can easily just as well be its weakness.
The rankings of these contenders are dependent on the alphabet bodies (WBC, WBA, IBO, etc..) This presupposes that these ranking are accurate when in fact they are not, especially in this era where there are more alphabet bodies than the tattoos on Andy Ruiz’s chest.
Thus, Mayweather Jr. fought and defeated more high-ranking contenders when in truth they could have been ranked much lower as rankings these days are about as reliable as PLDT’s WiFi connection.
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, there were very few boxing bodies (one or two) and champions seldom crossed over to fighting contenders from other ranked bodies. Ergo, you could potentially face only one or two high-ranked contenders in a year. Plus, with lesser alphabet bodies, the level of talent in the divisions were deeper as ranked.
The term “greatest” will always be subjective as it may refer to accomplishments, such as championship belts, or number of wins and so on and so forth.
Remember, too, that in the old days, fighters fought more frequently and they fought more rounds per fight. Plus, they did not have the means to scout their opponents, as videotapes were not that easy to procure and nutrition and sports medicine were not so advanced then.
Again, there are so many factors that go into this list and this is why it is a difficult undertaking. But props to www.boxrec.com for coming up with such a ballsy list.
LAST ROUND. It’s on my kumpare, Assistant City Prosecutor Benjo Luther Macion, who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!