The 10 greatest welterweights of all time

Floyd Mayweather
Mark J Rebilas/USA Today Sports
Tony Connolly, with his weekly column, this week asks Birmingham Mail boxing journalistic legend Mike Lockley to name the 10 greatest welterweights of all time

AS with the middleweights, the welters provide a unique blend of speed and ferocity and enough pop in their punches to provide those highlight reel knockouts we all love watching on YouTube.

Sitting pretty between the modern classes of super-welterweight and super-lightweight, these fighters weigh between 140lbs (10 stone) and 147lbs (10 stone 7lbs).

Henry Armstrong holds the record for the most consecutive title defenses in this division, with 19 defenses of the lineal title in, incredibly, less than three years as champion.

Exciting Puerto Rican banger Felix Trinidad successfully defended his crown at the weight a record 15 times in just over six and a half years at the top. But does this achievement prove worthy of a spot on the list?

How about Pernell Whitaker? The slick southpaw was a defensive genius and the division’s best during the mid-nineties. Roberto Duran dethroned Sugar Ray Leonard with a sensational performance in 1980. Does he feature?

Mickey Walker, Jimmy McLarnin, Kid Gavilan, Tommy Hearns, Don Curry, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto… none of these make our illustrious 10. Read on to see who does…

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  • So Mike Lockley thinks that Manny and Mayweather should be in the top 10 but that the likes of Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran and Wilfred Benitez shouldn’t be – ridiculous!

    He also lists fighters that he could only have seen the merest fraction of their careers on film, if any at all – for these he’s essentially regurgitating older boxing writer’s and historian’s opinions rather than really his own.
    However he’s not the only one – there are many fans today who accept SRR to be the best boxer of all-time without seeing even one of his fights, many others do the same after seeing less than 20% of his 199 pro fights.


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