Boxing


All Time Pound-for-Pound Boxing Survey

by Geoffrey Ciani - This is the ninth and final survey in a series I have been conducting since 2009. In the first survey, we peered into the opinions of long-time boxing fans to make a definitive list of the top ten heavyweights of all time. Although this is a very subjective topic that is skewed by personal bias, differences of opinion, and the absence of a universally agreed upon criteria to judge past fighters, we can still establish some degree of consensus. While contemplating my own list of top heavyweight pugilists, I decided gathering the input of others might help display a more accurate portrayal of what a 'true' top 10 list should look like. Since then I have had similar surveys involving the light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight divisions.

In this survey, which included many of the same individuals from the previous eight, I polled 56 long-time boxing fans (myself included). My question was simple. I had each person in the survey provide me with a chronological list of who he or she considered to be the ten best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing history.

Ties were not allowed, just a straight-forward list from one to ten. I then used a weighted scoring system to assign points to fighters based on where they appeared on each individual's list. First place votes received 25 points. Second place votes were worth 15 points, third place votes were worth 12, and fourth and fifth place votes were worth 10 and 8 points respectively. After that, the point differential was constant, with sixth place votes getting 5 points, seventh place votes getting 4, eighth getting 3, ninth place 2, and tenth place 1.

Survey Results

After all of the lists were tabulated with the aforementioned scoring system a total of forty-one different boxers received mention. Here is a list of the results. (First place votes are indicated in parenthesis).

1. 1102 Sugar Ray Robinson (34)
2. 677 Harry Greb (7)
3. 617 Henry Armstrong (2)
4. 542 Sam Langford (8)
5. 265 Ezzard Charles
6. 236 Roberto Duran
7. 231 Muhammad Ali (1)
8. 179 Bob Fitzsimmons (2)
9. 152 Willie Pep
10. 138 Benny Leonard (1)
(Also receiving votes)
11. 118 Sugar Ray Leonard
12. 65 Joe Louis
13. 64 [tie] Pernell Whitaker
13. 64 [tie] Archie Moore
15. 46 Joe Gans (1)
16. 40 Roy Jones Jr.
17. 30 Mickey Walker
18. 22 Charles Burley
19. 20 Tommy Hearns
20. 19 Barney Ross
21. 18 Packey McFarland
22. 17 Floyd Mayweather Jr.
23. 13 [tie] Marvin Hagler
23. 13 [tie] Sandy Saddler
25. 12 Salvador Sanchez
26. 10 Barbados Joe Walcott
27. 7 Jimmy Wilde
28. 5 [tie] Rocky Marciano
28. 5 [tie] Eder Jofre
28. 5 [tie] Gene Tunney
28. 5 [tie] Manny Pacquiao
32. 4 [tie] Julio Cesar Chavez
32. 4 [tie] Carlos Monzon
32. 4 [tie] Kid Gavilan
32. 4 [tie] Jimmy Bivens
36. 2 Terry McGovern
37. 1 [tie] Tony Canzoneri
37. 1 [tie] Alexis Arguello
37. 1 [tie] Ike Williams
37. 1 [tie] Jack Johnson
37. 1 [tie] Evander Holyfield

Here is the distribution of votes.
TOTAL LISTS MADE - NAME - (1st-2nd-3rd-4-5-6-7-8-9-10)

55 Sugar Ray Robinson (34 9 7 2 0 1 2 0 0 0)
47 Harry Greb (7 19 11 6 2 1 1 0 0 0)
51 Henry Armstrong (2 14 16 12 4 1 2 0 0 0)
43 Sam Langford (8 4 8 13 4 3 1 1 1 0)
43 Ezzard Charles (0 0 0 7 14 10 4 3 3 2)
46 Roberto Duran (0 0 2 1 11 10 6 10 4 2)
36 Muhammad Ali (1 5 2 1 4 4 4 3 8 4)
24 Bob Fitzsimmons (2 1 1 3 2 7 4 0 1 3)
36 Willie Pep (0 0 2 3 2 3 6 9 5 6)
35 Benny Leonard (1 0 1 0 2 3 4 9 12 3)
19 Sugar Ray Leonard (0 2 3 0 3 1 2 2 3 3)
20 Joe Louis (0 0 0 1 1 1 4 5 3 5)
16 Archie Moore (0 0 1 0 0 5 3 2 4 1)
10 Pernell Whitaker (0 1 0 4 0 0 0 2 0 3)
6 Joe Gans (1 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 1 0)
8 Roy Jones Jr. (0 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 1 2)
7 Mickey Walker (0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 3)
9 Charles Burley (0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 2 3)
5 Tommy Hearns (0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 2)
6 Barney Ross (0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 2)
2 Packey McFarland (0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0)
3 Floyd Mayweather Jr. (0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0)
2 Sandy Saddler (0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0)
3 Marvin Hagler (0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0)
2 Salvador Sanchez (0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0)
4 Barbados Joe Walcott (0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2)
2 Jimmy Wilde (0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0)
1 Rocky Marciano (0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0)
2 Gene Tunney (0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1)
2 Manny Pacquiao (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0)
3 Eder Jofre (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2)
1 Carlos Monzon (0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0)
1 Jimmy Bivens (0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0)
3 Julio Cesar Chavez (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2)
1 Kid Gavilan (0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0)
1 Terry McGovern (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0)
1 Tony Canzoneri (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1)
1 Jack Johnson (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1)
1 Evander Holyfield (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1)
1 Alexis Arguello (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1)
1 Ike Williams (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1)

Sugar Ray Robinson – Undisputed Pound-for-Pound King

Sugar Ray Robinson is the name that usually jumps to mind for most observers when discussing the best pound-for-pound boxers of all time, and not without good reason. Even the term “pound-for-pound” is one that is usually attributed to Sugar Ray. Robinson’s magnificent list of accomplishments in his long and illustrious career speaks for itself. The real question becomes:

Will Ray Robinson be the number pound-for-pound fighter of all time, for all time?

The answer is likely an astounding yes! The main reason is because the game is simply different today. It is impossible to compare the fighters of today with Ray Robinson. The biggest stars in boxing today, like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Junior, usually do not fight more than twice a year. Robinson had 75 fights before landing his first title shot. His record was 73-1-1 at the time when he defeated Tommy Bell by unanimous decision. He reigned as welterweight champion from 1946-1951, and between the years 1951-1960 he was a five-time middleweight champion. He finished his career with a record of 173-19-6 with 108 wins coming by way of knockout. By comparison, Pacquiao and Mayweather do not have 100 fights combined.

The survey results here reaffirm the fact that Robinson’s legacy has withstood the test of time. He was the undisputed pound-for-pound king of an era long gone, and the way the business aspect of the sport has evolved it will be impossible for anyone to surpass this unique distinction of excellence. Beyond that Robinson also had a tremendous blend of skills, technique, versatility, and determination that helped set him apart from the rest.

My Personal Top 10 List

1. Sugar Ray Robinson
2. Henry Armstrong
3. Harry Greb
4. Ezzard Charles
5. Sam Langford
6. Archie Moore
7. Roberto Duran
8. Benny Leonard
9. Sugar Ray Leonard
10. Willie Pep

More Raw Data

1. Sugar Ray Robinson
Total Lists: 55 (98.2%)
First Place: 34 (60.7%)
Top Three: 50 (89.3%)
Top Five: 53 (94.6%)
Average Points: 19.7
* Ranked #1 on the All Time Welterweight Survey
* Ranked #4 on the All Time Middleweight Survey


2. Harry Greb
Total Lists: 47 (83.9%)
First Place: 7 (12.5%)
Top Three: 37 (66.1%)
Top Five: 45 (80.4%)
Average Points: 12.1
* Ranked #2 on the All Time Middleweight Survey
* Ranked #7 on the All Time Light Heavyweight Survey


3. Henry Armstrong
Total Lists: 51 (91.1%)
First Place: 2 (3.6%)
Top Three: 32 (57.4%)
Top Five: 48 (85.7%)
Average Points: 11.0
* Ranked #2 on the All Time Featherweight Survey
* Ranked #5 on the All Time Lightweight Survey
* Ranked #3 on the All Time Welterweight Survey


4. Sam Langford
Total Lists: 43 (76.8%)
First Place: 8 (14.3%)
Top Three: 20 (35.7%)
Top Five: 37 (66.1%)
Average Points: 9.7
* Ranked #4 on All Time Light Heavyweight Survey

5. Ezzard Charles
Total Lists: 43 (76.8%)
First Place: 0 (0%)
Top Three: 0 (0%)
Top Five: 21 (37.5%)
Average Points: 4.7
* Ranked #1 on All Time Light Heavyweight Survey

6. Roberto Duran
Total Lists: 46 (82.1%)
First Place: 0 (0%)
Top Three: 2 (3.6%)
Top Five: 14 (25%)
Average Points: 4.2
* Ranked #1 on All Time Lightweight Survey

7. Muhammad Ali
Total Lists: 36 (64.3%)
First Place: 1 (1.8%)
Top Three: 8 (14.3%)
Top Five: 13 (23.2%)
Average Points: 4.1
* Ranked #1 on All Time Heavyweight Survey

8. Bob Fitzsimmons
Total Lists: 24 (42.9%)
First Place: 2 (3.6%)
Top Three: 4 (7.1%)
Top Five: 9 (16.1%)
Average Points: 3.2
* Ranked #6 on All Time Middleweight Survey
* Ranked #10 on All Time Light Heavyweight Survey


9. Willie Pep
Total Lists: 36 (64.3%)
First Place: 0 (0%)
Top Three: 2 (3.6%)
Top Five: 7 (12.5%)
Average Points: 2.7
* Ranked #1 on All Time Featherweight Survey

10. Benny Leonard
Total Lists: 33 (58.9%)
First Place: 0 (0%)
Top Three: 2 (3.6%)
Top Five: 2 (3.6%)
Average Points: 2.2
* Ranked #2 on All Time Lightweight Survey

Top 10 Results from All Nine Surveys

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION RESULTS:
1. 1675 Muhammad Ali (52)
2. 1375 Joe Louis (23)
3. 638 Rocky Marciano (1)
4. 580 Larry Holmes
5. 488 Lennox Lewis (1)
6. 462 Jack Johnson (1)
7. 318 (tie) George Foreman
7. 318 (tie) Jack Dempsey (2)
9. 233 Mike Tyson
10. 221 Joe Frazier

Heavyweights Receiving Votes: 22
Number of Voting Participants: 80


LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION RESULTS:
1. 971 Ezzard Charles (30)
2. 652 Archie Moore (4)
3. 557 Gene Tunney (8 )
4. 452 Sam Langford (4)
5. 328 Michael Spinks (1)
6. 288 Bob Foster
7. 181 Harry Greb
8. 148 Billy Conn
9. 140 Tommy Loughran
10. 81 Bob Fitzsimmons

Light Heavyweights Receiving Votes: 26
Number of Voting Participants: 47


MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION RESULTS:
1. 736 Carlos Monzon (13)
2. 718 Harry Greb (15)
3. 606 Marvin Hagler (8 )
4. 513 Sugar Ray Robinson (5)
5. 214 Bernard Hopkins
6. 155 Bob Fitzsimmons (2)
7. 140 Charles Burley
8. 121 Stanley Ketchel
9. 120 Mickey Walker
10. 116 Dick Tiger

Middleweights Receiving Votes: 36
Number of Voting Participants: 45


WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION RESULTS:
1. 1049 Sugar Ray Robinson (41)
2. 524 Sugar Ray Leonard
3. 322 Henry Armstrong
4. 301 Jose Napoles
5. 275 Kid Gavilan
6. 207 Emile Griffith
7. 174 Tommy Hearns
8. 129 Luis Rodriguez
9. 111 Barbados Joe Walcott
10. 87 Mickey Walker

Welterweights Receiving Votes: 35
Number of Voting Participants: 43


LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION RESULTS:
1. 605 Roberto Duran (15)
2. 593 Benny Leonard (14)
3. 348 Joe Gans (2)
4. 243 Pernell Whitaker
5. 230 Henry Armstrong
6. 217 Ike Williams
7. 168 Carlos Ortiz
8. 87 Tony Canzoneri
9. 51 Barney Ross
10. 47 Jack McAulife (1)

Lightweights Receiving Votes: 27
Number of Voting Participants: 32


FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION RESULTS:
1. 547 Willie Pep (13)
2. 442 Henry Armstrong (6)
3. 399 Sandy Saddler(4)
4. 314 Salvador Sanchez (5)
5. 129 Abe Attell (1)
6. 115 Jim Driscoll
7. 109 Alexis Arguello
8. 88 Vincente Saldivar
9. 67 Manny Pacquiao (1)
10. 61 George Dixon

Featherweights Receiving Votes: 28
Number of Voting Participants: 30


BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION RESULTS:
1. 470 Eder Jofre (14)
2. 301 Ruben Olivares (4)
3. 256 Manuel Ortiz (1)
4. 186 Panama Al Brown (2)
5. 183 Terry McGovern (1)
6. 165 Carlos Zarate
7. 135 George Dixon (1)
8. 77 Fighting Harada
9. 64 Pete Herman
10. 15 Bud Taylor

Bantamweights Receiving Votes: 26
Number of Voting Participants: 23


FLYWEIGHT DIVISION RESULTS:
1. 357 Jimmy Wilde (12)
2. 244 Miguel Canto (4)
3. 151 Pascual Perez
4. 125 Pancho Villa
5. 113 Benny Lynch
6. 97 Fidel LaBarba
7. 51 Frankie Genaro
8. 45 Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
9. 43 Midget Wolgast
10. 25 Newsboy Brown

Flyweights Receiving Votes: 24
Number of Voting Participants: 16


P4P RESULTS:
1. 1102 Sugar Ray Robinson (34)
2. 677 Harry Greb (7)
3. 617 Henry Armstrong (2)
4. 542 Sam Langford (8)
5. 265 Ezzard Charles
6. 236 Roberto Duran
7. 231 Muhammad Ali (1)
8. 179 Bob Fitzsimmons (2)
9. 152 Willie Pep
10. 138 Benny Leonard (1)

Fighters Receiving Votes: 41
Number of Voting Participants: 56


Past Article Links

In case you missed any of the previous surveys:

HEAVYWEIGHT SURVEY-CLICK HERE

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT SURVEY-CLICK HERE

MIDDLEWEIGHT SURVEY-CLICK HERE

WELTERWEIGHT SURVEY-CLICK HERE

LIGHTWEIGHT SURVEY-CLICK HERE

FEATHERWEIGHT SURVEY-CLICK HERE

BANTAMWEIGHT SURVEY-CLICK HERE

FLYWEIGHT SURVEY-CLICK HERE

***

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Article posted on 01.11.2011



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