Recently, a poll came out on a site called Give Me Sport and it touched off a wave of debate among boxing fans.
The goal was to rank the top 30 welterweights of all time. The site tasked the fan-driven site “Ranker” to come up with the rankings and the results were somewhat baffling to hardcore boxing aficionados.
Aside from the debatable actual rankings, there was also the credibility-shattering listing of Roy Jones Jr. at no. 22. Jones never competed at welterweight and is most famous for his work at middleweight to light heavyweight. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez also got a no. 29 ranking in the deep, glamorous 147 lb. division despite having accomplished very little in the weight class.
There’s just a lot wrong with these rankings.
Floyd Mayweather, however, was particularly in disagreement over his lowball no. 10 ranking, well below no. 1 Sugar Ray Robinson, no. 2 Sugar Ray Leonard, and, especially no. 3 Manny Pacquiao.
“It was crazy, someone sent me something about ‘The Best Welterweights’,” Mayweather told FightHype.
“They had Sugar Ray Leonard No 1 [sic]. Like I said before, he was the guy that paved the way for myself…But how can you have a guy ranked No 1 when his first loss was to a lightweight, Roberto Duran?
“And then they also talked about me facing [Juan Manuel] Marquez, which was at catchweight of 144lbs…But this same guy, Marquez, knocked out their No 3 ranked welterweight – because they had Pacquiao No 3. He got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez…They were trying to say that basically he [Marquez] was too small for me. But he wasn’t too small for Pacquiao.
“It’s crazy how all these ratings go nowadays. Of course, fighters are always gonna say, ‘I would’ve done this, I should be ranked here.’ But a lot of these so-called boxing experts, it’s just crazy how these guys are experts…If you’re an expert, you’ve gotta really do your homework before you speak on certain things about boxing.”
To be fair to the website that posted the rankings, these were fan rankings. Obviously, there’s no way to fairly determine how much these fans actually know about anything boxing-related. It sure seems as though the few reasonably knowledgeable voters were cancelled out by those who pretty much know nothing.
The only thing this list shows is that Mayweather is not all that popular among the fans who participated. And, well, we already knew that.
These same folks have also recently released rankings of the top 50 heavyweights of all time. One can only imagine the unholy online battles to be spawned by that particular list.
It should be all good, though. All debate, all discussion is good for the profile of the sport. Whatever keeps fans buzzing and boxing in the spotlight is good for boxing.