The 10 greatest welterweights of all time

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

1. Sugar Ray Robinson

No-brainer, really. Robinson was the best welterweight the world has seen, the best middleweight the world has seen and the best boxer the world has seen.

The superlatives about the Sugar Man were written in our spotlight on the middleweights, but Sugar Ray was at his mercurial best at welter. In that weight division he was simply untouchable – a perfect fighting machine.

Robinson, the man who put the sugar in the sweet science, moved up to middleweight for one reason – cash.

He wanted the bigger purses commanded by the bigger men.

Just look at his record as a welterweight – a staggering 110 wins, one loss and two draws.

He won the welter title by outpointing a fine fighter in Tommy Bell in 1946 and defended against Chuck Taylor, Bernard Docusen, Kid Gavilan and Charley Fusari.

A 1947 championship clash with Jimmy Doyle ended in tragedy, the young contender succumbing in the eighth and dying from injuries sustained.

Robinson, pure pugilistic perfection, had already fought arch-rival Jack LaMotta five times before being crowned welter king.

Sugar Ray Robinson

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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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