*** FLASHBACK – This article originally appeared on dmboxing.com on March 2, 2013
By David Martinez / Boxing Historian / dmboxing.com
I have been asked many times “who is the greatest boxer of all time in any weight division at the height of his career” and that answer is the easiest for me to come up with – Sugar Ray Robinson. I could go on and on about his career but I will go on record to say that at his pinnacle years he was clearly the best. I was fortunate to meet him at a local amateur boxing show in 1986 where I was a referee for the kids. It was truly a highlight that stands out in my over fifty years of being associated with the sport of boxing.
The photos I am including here, along with an excellent highlight video, are Sugar Ray with his wife Millie and my daughter Laura who was just 9 years old at the time. To shake his hand, get his photos and an autograph that evening will forever live in my mind. I am also including the Sugar Ray Robinson postage stamp which was introduced in April 2006. The only other boxer placed on a U.S. stamp is Joe Louis.
Sugar Ray Robinson is ranked the greatest boxer of all time by sportswriters, fellow boxers, trainers and historians. The phase “pound for pound” was invented by boxing experts just for him, when they compared fighters regardless of any weight. I use a famous quote from him when coaching kids at a local boxing gym which is “Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble”. That is simply the best quote I can think of that sums it up in boxing. Sugar Ray Robinson was born on May 3, 1921 and passed away on April 12, 1989. As an amateur he posted an outstanding ring record of 85-0 with 69 of those wins by knockout, and 40 being in the first round. He turned pro in 1940 at the age of 19 and by 1951 had a professional ring record of 128 – 1- 2 (1 no contest) with 84 by knockout. He held the welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, and won the middleweight title in 1951. He retired in 1952, only to comeback two and a half years later to re-capture the middleweight title in 1955. He was the first boxer to win a divisional world title five times and this was at a time when only one champion in each division was recognized.
Continue reading Greatest Boxer “Pound for Pound” EVER
By David Martinez / dmboxing.com
I want to take you back about 35 years. It was a time that, for me, was the highlight of all I have done in boxing over the past 55 years.
It was the early 1980’s and I was already a seasoned boxing beat writer for my local newspaper and I was also to become a part of the La Casa De La Raza Boxing Youth Program in my hometown of Santa Barbara, California.
Every day I would go to the gym to work with the kids in the program under the guidance of proprietor and trainer Art Carbajal. Art was as serious about boxing as I was, so we were a perfect match.
He brought together a team of people (Frankie Rivas, Ed Langlo, Roberto Contreras, David Edelman and Steve Carbajal, just to name a few) who were willing to help and support the kids in our program. By keeping these kids in our gym, we were keeping them off the streets.
Continue reading La Casa De La Raza Boxing – Santa Barbara, CA
By David Martinez / Boxing Historian / dmboxing.com
I have been asked by many who I consider the greatest boxers of all time. I have my top, dynamite-dozen (12), greatest “pound for pound” listed alphabetically in my bio in the menu section of this website since its inception in July 2007, but not in order by ranking.
In this article, I rank these great fighters at the absolute prime/height/peak/pinnacle of their careers. I am not concerned with who-beat-who, and there is no bias shown for favorite fighters. For example, my two personal favorites are Marvin Hagler and Alexis Arguello; they were great but didn’t make the list.
The fighters that I have listed can be switched around to suit your ranking, but I truly believe that these twenty-five are in that first tier. The second tier of twenty-five includes, just to name a few, Hagler, Arguello, Sugar Ray Leonard, Aaron Pryor, Julio Cesar Chavez, Ruben Olivares, Carlos Zarate, George Dixon, Abe Attell, Jose Napoles, Terry McGovern, Bob Foster, Sandy Saddler, Fighting Harada, Flash Elorde and Tommy Ryan.
Continue reading The 25 Greatest Boxers of All Time
This popular panel game show ran on CBS-TV from 1950 to 1967. This is Sugar Ray Robinson – the show was shot on July 1, 1956 – almost 57 years ago. Sugar Ray is considered the greatest boxer of all time in any weight class by experts in boxing. The phrase “pound for pound” was invented just for him when they compare any boxer of any era. I am sharing a photo that he autographed for me at a local amateur boxing show in my home town of Santa Barbara, California in 1986. This photo was taken in New York on September 23, 1958; he is with Hogan “Kid” Bassey (left) displaying their world championship belts. Click below on link to view: What’s My Line episode.
By David Martinez / Boxing Historian I have been asked many times “who is the greatest boxer of all time in any weight division at the height of his career” and that answer is the easiest for me to come up with – Sugar Ray Robinson. I could go on and on about his career but I will go on record to say that at his pinnacle years he was clearly the best. I was fortunate to meet him at a local amateur boxing show in 1986 where I was a referee for the kids. It was truly a highlight that stands out in my over fifty years of being associated with the sport of boxing. The photos I am including here, along with an excellent highlight video, are Sugar Ray with my daughter Laura who was just 9 years old at the time, as well as Ray with his wife Millie. To shake his hand, get his photo and an autograph that evening will forever live in my mind. I am also including the Sugar Ray Robinson postage stamp which was introduced in April 2006. The only other boxer placed on a U.S. stamp is Joe Louis. Continue reading Greatest Boxer “Pound for Pound”… Ever
Here is my list of the 15 best punchers in the heavyweight division from the start of the Marquis of Queensberry era, (i.e.) 1892 to the present. A formula that I am using to help illustrate this for each boxer is to show their percentage of knockouts which is calculated by the number of wins they had with the number of knockouts in those wins. This formula isn’t intended to determine the order in which I have placed them; the order also includes my opinion of them as punchers.
I am not concerned about “who beat who”, how many times they were knocked out themselves or the results if they would have fought each other. Their physical size or if they were a world champion has no bearing – this is strictly based on strength of punching power with the opponents they fought. Why isn’t Muhammad Ali on this list? Personally, I would take Ali to beat any of these punchers on my list – but mostly by decision wins and not by knockouts. When I write rankings of boxers in any capacity I always get disagreements and feedback, so please know that I respect your opinions, and hope you will respect mine.
#1) Joe Louis (66 wins / 52 by KO = 78.7 %) Heavyweight champion 1940-1949. Defended title a record 25 times. He was a smooth, deadly puncher with tremendous power in either hand. His combinations had perfect accuracy with overwhelming power.
#2) George Foreman (76 wins / 69 by KO = 90.7 %) Two time heavyweight champion 1973-1974 and 1994-1997. He is recognized as one of the hardest hitters ever in boxing in any weight division. He is forth on my list in the percentage category of knockouts.
#3) Sonny Liston (50 wins / 39 by KO – 78.0 %) Heavyweight champion 1962-1964. The most intimidating heavyweight ever, his left jab alone was so powerful that it knocked opponents out – the jab – and his left hook was nothing less than devastating.
#4) Rocky Marciano (49 wins / 43 by KO = 87.7 %) Heavyweight champion 1952-1956. He retired undefeated. Had limited skills and had a weight disadvantage, but his tremendous will to win overshadowed that with bigger opponents; his fights averaged a remarkable fewer than 5 rounds per bout. Was responsible for the greatest knockout in heavyweight history in his 1952 title win over Jersey Joe Walcott in round 13 despite being behind on all scorecards.
Continue reading Best Punchers ~ The Heavyweights
By David Martinez / Boxing Historian
One of the most asked questions that is asked of me is – who do I think is the greatest boxer of all time?
That is very easy for me to answer, in my opinion – it is – Sugar Ray Robinson.
At the peak of his career he was the best ever, and although we have had many greats in boxing – he was the greatest.
Continue reading The Greatest Ever!