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10 of the greatest southpaws in boxing

Marvin Hagler
Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports
To celebrate Vasyl Lomachenko’s arrival in the UK for an all-southpaw clash against Luke Campbell, here are 10 other great lefties in boxing

1. Marvin Hagler
After losing to Bobby Watts and Willie Monroe in 1976, Hagler went on to become the world middleweight champion in 1980 and make 12 defences of the crown. Arguably the best middleweight of all time, Hagler defeated Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, John Mugabi and Vito Antuofermo after winning the belt against Alan Minter.

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Marvin Hagler meets Tommy Hearns Will Hart/HBO

2. Pernell Whitaker
Whitaker, a defensive wizard who tragically passed away in July, became IBF world lightweight champion in 1989, grabbed Jose Luis Ramirez’s WBC belt that same year, and eventually won the WBA version as well. In 1993, he moved to welterweight to lift the WBC belt before adding the WBA super-welterweight title in ’95.

3. Manny Pacquiao
Quite incredibly, Pacquiao began his career as a 106-pound light-flyweight before moving through the divisions and winning world titles all the way up to super-welterweight. Along the way he has beaten Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley. 

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Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports

4. Tiger Flowers
Middleweight Flowers didn’t just rack up 118 wins in less than a decade. He did so at a time when both Mickey Walker and Harry Greb were around and in their primes. Flowers gave Greb two tough battles, winning both via decision, and his loss to Walker was widely viewed as a robbery.

5. Joe Calzaghe
In addition to retiring undefeated with a record of 46-0, Calzaghe also made a staggering 21 defences of his WBO super-middleweight title and unified the division with wins against Jeff Lacy and Mikkel Kessler. Then, at light-heavyweight, he outscored the great Bernard Hopkins.

6. Vicente Saldivar
Perhaps the finest featherweight of the sixties, Saldivar bested world-class opponents like Sugar Ramos, Jose Legra and Howard Winstone (three times), and reigned as nine-stone champion from 1964 to 1970.

7. Gabriel Elorde
Another great Filipino lefty, ‘Flash’ Elorde beat Harold Gomes in 1960 to win the world featherweight title and then did the same to Joey Lopes a year later to become a champion at super-featherweight. Also on his 118-fight record are the scalps of Sandy Saddler and Ismael Laguna.

8. Young Corbett III
Even though his real name was Raffaele Giordano and he was born in Potenza, Italy, Corbett fought his entire 155-fight career in the US, won world titles as a welterweight and middleweight, and held wins over Billy Conn, Gus Lesnevich and Mickey Walker.

9. Hector Camacho
Fleet-footed and flashy, Camacho defeated the great Rafael Limon in 1983 to become WBC super-featherweight champion, then two years later beat Jose Luis Ramirez, another legend, to win the lightweight crown. He would go on to become a WBO champion at super-lightweight and mixed with some of the best of his era. 

10. Khaosai Galaxy
Hard-hitting Galaxy scored 43 knockouts in 49 wins while dominating the super-flyweight division from 1984 to 1991. He lost only once, a nondescript 10-rounder in just his seventh pro fight.

2 Comments

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  • “Hagler ARGUABLY the best middleweight of all time” – Sugar Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon, Harry Greb and possibly Roy Jones Jr would argue that they were better than the modest marvellous one.

  • Hagler was actually right handed and could box southpaw or orthodox but became an excellent switch-hitter.
    Terrence Crawford is also a right handed southpaw who can also switch-hit without any effort or any apparent weakness in either stance. Maybe Crawford will make that top 10 one day.

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