Top 10 Greatest Welterweights Of All Time
I love the welterweight division, I think it may actually be my favourite division in boxing. The excitement of names such as Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr - the thought of them one day fighting is very exciting for boxing fans worldwide. You’ve also got names like Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Keith Thurman. The division has been stacked for years and today we’re taking an in-depth look at the greatest welterweights of all time.
10) Thomas Hearns (61-5-1)
Often referred to as one of the most devastating punchers in boxing history, the hitman won six titles over 5 weight classes beginning at welterweight and concluding at light heavyweight. Knocking out his first 17 opponents, Hearns was unbeaten and at one point, went 32-0 before losing to Sugar Ray Leonard but we’ll talk about him when we get to him.
9) Emile Griffith (92-24-2)
If I had to rank Griffith in a list of the greatest boxers of all time, he’d definitely be in the top 50. Griffith won the trilogy against Luis Rodriguez. Griffith wasn’t exclusive to welterweight as he found success in middleweight too.
8) Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2)
It’s amazing to think that Manny Pacquiao is now 40 years old and still one of boxing’s elites. Pacquiao has had a lengthy career spanning from the nineties. The eight division champion has been boxing in the welterweight division for a few years now and has proved himself time after time.
7) Barney Ross (72-4-3)
Boxing legend, Barney Ross was a Jewish boxer and fought in World War II. Ross was known for his great stamina and a fantastic boxing ability. His 15 round decision win against Jimmy McLarnin for the welterweight title is still historic to this day.
6) Jose Napoles (81-7)
At one point, Napoles was WBA & WBC welterweight Champion and retired with the record of 81-7. After finding great success at welterweight, Napoles founded more success at welterweight and was always linked to the WBC welterweight championship.
5) Kid Gavilan (108-30-5)
When Kid Galivan was champion, he was a fighting champion, he made history by being the first black man to fight a white man had a boxing fight in Miami - during the time of segregation. His career had highs and it had lows but will still go down as one of the greatest welterweights of all time.
4) Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0)
The undefeated Floyd Mayweather retired in 2018 with the undefeated record of 50-0 and despite the constant rumours of him coming back to fight against insert name here, he deserves retirement. Now 40 years old, Mayweather is considered by many as the best ever and while I don’t think he’s the best of all time, I can see the arguments behind it. Mayweather had a really successful career and has more than enough money to survive him for a couple of lifetimes. His defensive style and his unique stance more than earns him a spot on this list.
3) Sugar Ray Leonard (36-3-1)
In Sugar Ray Leonard’s career, he fought big names such as Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Floyd Mayweather Senior. Leonard held welterweight gold throughout his career. He was unified welterweight champion and many consider Sugar Ray Leonard as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
2) Henry Armstrong (151-21-9)
Many people claim Henry Armstrong is one of the greatest boxers of all time and I certainly agree. Armstrong had a fantastic career and defended his welterweight championship a record breaking eighteen times in his career and you can make a good argument he is the best welterweight of all time but I think he’s slightly overshadowed by our next entrant.
1) Sugar Ray Robinson (173-19-6)
Last week, I wrote a list about greatest middleweights of all time and toppling the list was Sugar Ray Robinson and he also tops this list. Sugar Ray is one of the greatest boxers of all time and the fact how he can be considered as not only one of the greatest middleweights of all time but one of the greatest welterweights too, is just a hint about just how good he was.