Arguably the greatest lightweight who ever lived, Leonard was a supremely gifted technician who packed potent force in his punches. Referred to as “The Ghetto Wizard”, he made his professional debut at just 15 years old.
2. ALEXIS ARGUELLO
A world title-winner at featherweight, super-featherweight and lightweight, the tall, rangy and explosive Arguello inspired a generation of fighters in his native Nicaragua, including current lower-weight great Roman Gonzalez.
3. JOSE NAPOLES
Nicknamed “Mantequilla” (“Butter”) on account of his smooth boxing style, the highly skilled Napoles twice ruled the roost in the welterweight division, where he defeated the likes of Curtis Cokes and Emile Griffith.
4. BENNY LYNCH
Widely regarded as the best boxer to come out of Scotland, Lynch was small in stature but a monster when it came to punching power. Fighting as a flyweight, he achieved universal recognition as champion.
5. NINO BENVENUTI
After capturing a gold medal at the Olympic Games, Italian idol Benvenuti went on to reign as a world titlist in two divisions. He conquered the super-welterweight category first, before twice doing so at middleweight.
6. BEAU JACK
With his swarming, pressure-fighting approach, Jack was a mainstay at Madison Square Garden, where he regularly thrilled those in attendance. He enjoyed two stints as a lightweight leader on the world scene.
7. CARMEN BASILIO
Do not be fooled by his unthreatening ring moniker, as Basilio, known as “The Upstate Onion Farmer”, was one of the toughest fighters to grace the squared circle. His world title wins at welterweight (twice) and middleweight attest to this.
8. JAMES J. JEFFRIES
An exceptional athlete, Jeffries went from working as a boilermaker to winning the heavyweight championship of the world. Six years after retiring unbeaten, he returned in a futile attempt to unseat Jack Johnson.
9. FIGHTING HARADA
One of the all-time greats of Japanese boxing, Harada became a world flyweight king at the tender age of 19. Following on from this, he moved up to bantamweight and reached the top of the mountain there too.
10. ARTURO GATTI
Remembered as an all-action, crowd-pleasing warrior, Gatti was the epitome of blood and thunder. He was a world champ at super-featherweight and super-lightweight, and he engaged in numerous electrifying scraps.