The 100 greatest boxers in history
It takes a brave person to select the 100 best boxers in history and to publish a book about them.
Tris Dixon, editor of the magazine Boxing News, and his team of experts have been bold enough to do so. The result will undoubtedly be many long and heated discussions among boxing enthusiasts.
The book, Boxing News 100 Greatest Boxers of All Time, is bound to cause much controversy.
Dixon explains that not every Hall-of-Fame fighter fits in among the top 100 and concedes that there are endless topics for debate.
“For example, how can you compare the mercurial Wilfred Benitez with the destructive Mike Tyson?” he asks. “Does Evander Holyfield go above Larry Holmes because of what he achieved as a cruiserweight?”
It is, nevertheless, a fascinating exercise. The book begins with John Henry Lewis, a former light-heavyweight champion who won the world title on Octber 31, 1935 when he beat Bob Olin on points over 15 rounds. Lewis is No 100, with former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston at 99.
By starting at No 100 and working towards No 1, Dixon takes a different route. But it does not change the fact that it is extremely difficult to compare boxers who were active in different eras, and who fought in different divisions.
There is just no formula that can be used to select the best over the years, as sports fans know.
Only a few knowledgeable fans would have heard of South Korean Jung-Koo Chang and Myung-Woo Yuh of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).
Chang won the WBC light-flyweight title in March 1983 and made 11 defences before retiring. He is rated at 97 in the book. Yuh, who won the WBA junior flyweight title in December 1985, is at 84.
Some students of the sport will find it surprising that former world middleweight champion Marcel Cerdan is only at 91, despite a record of 111 wins, four defeats and 65 knockout victories.
Many will also dispute Manny Pacquiao being listed as high as 42 and Evander Holyfield at a surprisingly high 27.
But not many can argue with Sugar Ray Robinson being chosen as the greatest fighter in boxing history.
There can also be little argument with Muhammad Ali at 2, Henry Armstrong at 3 and Joe Louis at 4.
The book offers a full description of each fighter on the list and excellent photographs. It is, indeed, an outstanding publication, published by Newsquest Special Media Ltd. It comes in paper-back format (A4) and has 161 pages.