1. Sugar Ray Robinson
No contest. And not only the best middleweight of all time, but also the greatest fighter, pound-for-pound, the world has ever seen.
Sugar Ray was as close to ring perfection as it gets. The original Sugar Ray, a five-time world champ, was so good that he and Jake LaMotta – another boxer avoided like the plague by contenders – were forced to mark time by fighting each other. They met six times, with LaMotta winning one.
In a career spanning 1940 to 1965 and incorporating 200 fights (173 wins among them), Robinson beat LaMotta, Randy Turpin, Bobo Olson, Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio for the world title.
Robinson was the complete package and we will never see a fighter like him again. What’s more, he was even better at welterweight.
Muhammad Ali the greatest? Don’t make me laugh.