Picking the five best Mexican boxers was really an easy task because the five I have personally chosen are so close in greatness at the peak of their careers, that I could virtually switch the order around in any way and that would satisfy any boxing fan.
My order is simply based on what I have seen, my research, interviews with the people that have lived in their eras, and my expertise on how they would of done against each other had they fought at the peak of their careers.
The level of their competition also plays a huge factor, but not necessarily their ring record, and I can say that I have been so blessed to have had the opportunity in my lifetime see all five of these great champions in their respective careers.
#1) RUBEN OLIVARES, Total Bouts: 104 (88-13-3 / 78 by KO)
former World Bantamweight Champion: 1969-1970, 1971-1972
former WBA Featherweight Champion: 1974
former WBC Featherweight Champion: 1975
Ruben was simply the best Mexican-born body puncher that I have ever seen in the ring, with a tremendous left hook to liver and a right cross to his opponents chin which was devastating.
When Ruben won the World Bantamweight title in 1969 against Lionel Rose by knockout in five rounds, his ring record was an impressive 51-0-1 with 49 KO’s, and at one point early in his career he had a knockout streak of 21 in a row.
From April 1970 to April 1971, and in between other fights in that 12 month period, Ruben had a trilogy with Chucho Castillo, wining two of the three fights against his fellow Mexican countryman.
After the Castillo fights, Ruben started having trouble making weight at the bantamweight limit, and, before moving up into the featherweight class, he lost two fights against another great countryman, Rafael Herrera.
Although Ruben fought later in his career at featherweight, and won two versions of those titles at 126 pounds, his true greatness was at bantamweight at 118 pounds. They came no colorful, nor more dynamic than Ruben Olivares, who I consider at his prime the greatest Mexican-born boxer I have seen.
Ruben fought all the other top notable fighters of his era, such as Efren Torres, Jesus Pimentel, Godfrey Stevens, Bobby Chacon, Art Hafey, Alexis Arguello, David Kotey, Danny Lopez, Jose Luis Ramirez, and Eusebio Pedroza.
Ruben Olivares retired in 1981, but five years later, 1986 at the age of 39, he made a comeback and fought in two dismal fights before he officially retired from the ring in 1988. Continue reading