|Boxing's Best of the Century|
Who knows what it is about the end of every year that compels people to issue a seemingly endless array of lists ranking nearly everything imaginable. Regardless of the topic, there are countless best of, worst of and top tens to be found in every newspaper, magazine and website. With this not only being the end of the year, but also the end of a decade AND a millennium, the volume of lists is even more overwhelming than usual.
One such list, which will undoubtedly stir much debate among boxing enthusiasts, is the recently released listing of the best fighters of the 20th century as chosen by a five-member panel for the Associated Press. Presented below are the AP results for fighter of the century, as well as the top fighters in each weight class. Recognizing that there are even more opinions than there are lists, each category also includes a poll so that you can have your own say as to who was the best overall and at each and every weight.
Fighter of Century
1. Sugar Ray Robinson - welterweight and five-time middleweight champion
2. Muhammad Ali - first three-time heavyweight champion
3. Henry Armstrong - only fighter to hold three titles (featherweight, lightweight and welterweight) simultaneously
4. Joe Louis - defended the heavyweight championship a record 25 times
5. Willie Pep - featherweight champion who was a brilliant boxer
6. Jack Dempsey - heavyweight champion who participated in several legendary fights
7. Roberto Duran - dominant lightweight of 1970's, who also won titles in three other weight classes
8. Benny Leonard - master boxer who was lightweight champion
9. Billy Conn - light heavyweight champion who made historic challenge against Joe Louis
10. Harry Greb - middleweight champion and only man ever to beat Gene Tunney
Note: Career denotes years of first and last fights; years active is number of years with at least one fight.