Bernard Hopkins stopped by the Breakfast Club to speak on his 28 year boxing career & more.
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Top 20 Boxers of the Mid 90s to Now
With the biggest mega fight of the century right around the corner we decided to take a look at what could be considered the end of an era. Most of the superstars from the 90s and early 2000s are either gone or on their last run. With that being we decided to take a look at the top 20 boxers from the mid 90s up until now.
20. Joe Calzaghe – Not really a fan of his slap boxing style. I think he is vastly overrated but he does have victories over Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr, & Jeff Lacy. On top of that he finished his career undefeated. Based off of that I have to put him at the 20 spot.
19. Erik Morales – Erik Morrales kind of falls into that same category as Barrera. Honestly, if Morales had retired after the first Pac-Man fight he would of been rated a lot higher, but after that bout he lost to Manny twice, as well as a few miscellaneous losses on his record. While he was a fiery competitor he barely makes the list at number 19.
18. Marco Antonio Barrera – If you look at Barrera’s career I’d have to say he’s had a pretty good run. He’s been in some battles with Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Paciaquo, and he’s picked up a few belts on the way. Barrera might of not been the best, but he surely got in the ring with the best and always put on a great fight. Like Morrales he has a pretty good resume, but he’s going to have to be on the bottom end of this top 20 list.
17. Vitali Klitschko – without any other dominant heavyweight other than his brother you can’t really say he fought a whole lot of great fighters. The one guy who does have a lot of credibility that Vitali has faced was Lennox Lewis who he lost to in Lennox’s last fight. Vitali also was taken down by Chris Byrd sometime in his career. Even with that both he and his brother have dominated the heavyweight division ever since Lewis stepped down as champion. With that being said you still have to give credit for the fact that he has have been dominating for over a decade now.
16. Wladimir Klitschko – In reality I could just put “See Vitali”, but I’d like to go into detail a little bit more. Both Wladimir and his brother Vitali really didn’t have any stiff competition for a long time. Even with that Wladimir stayed consisted and actually improved over time. With losses to guys like Lamon Brewster and Corrie Sanders that did hurt Wladimir’s ranking, but he did go back and avenge his loss against Brewster in convincing fashion. People tend to forget that he’s been champion for a long long time now.
15. Oscar De La Hoya – Unlike a lot of people I think Oscar is vastly overrated. Don’t get me wrong he was a great fighter, but I couldn’t put him in the top 10. He beat Julio Cesar Chavez when he was past his prime. He beat Pernell Whitaker when he was up in age. Same goes for Hector Camacho. He lost to Mosley, Trinidad, Hopkins, Mayweather, and Pacquiao. While I do give him credit for beating Quartey, Gatti, and Vargas, I don’t believe those guys were truly the elite boxers of their era. This is the reason why Oscar’s rated so low.
14. “Winky” Wright – Early in his career Winky Wright got some real bad breaks. He went all across the globe to get a fight and because of that he had to fight on guys home turf where often times they would get the decision. Winky has fought some odd guys including a guy name “Young Dick Wolf”. Once Winky took down Mosley it seems like he started to get the breaks he was due for. He’s defeated Mosley twice, Ike Quartey, and Felix Trinidad. If it wasn’t for Winky having long lay-offs between fights his resume would be a lot more attractive.
13. James Toney – Lights Out! While a lot of people know James Toney as that dude who’s always rambling and talked himself into a UFC fight he shouldn’t of taken James was once a dominant boxer. He’s went from Middleweight to Heavyweight and was able to adapt to the size differences. One of the best counter punches this era. HE’s won on every level he’s fought at that alone gets him the number 13 ranking.
12. Sergio Martinez – He damn near has a perfect record avenging one of his losses against Paul Williams while his other loss was to Antonio Margarito who has the reputation of being a cheater. He’s a true fighting champion. He’s fought guys all across the globe and for the most part showed out. The fact that he wants to be a showman and still be able to come out with the victory says a lot. He’s a crowd-pleaser. If guys didn’t duck him so much in his prime he probably would of had a bigger resume.
11. Andre Ward – I don’t know if it’s premature to put Andre Ward on this list this high or not, but he’s dominated the competition since he’s been in the game. He ran through the Super Six tournament without a loss. He’s taken on Chad Dawson and dominated him in convincing fashion. Ward is a pretty sound fighter who I don’t believe will be taking any Ls anytime soon.
10. Felix Trinidad – Tito has beaten some of the greats including Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho, & Oscar De La Hoya (even though I hold that Whitaker victory the same as Oscar’s victory over Whitaker). Throughout his career he proved that not only can he win, but he can also get the KO. When it comes to boxing and drawing you either have to have a great personality, the support of a country, or simply knocking guys out on the regular. Tito carried all these characteristics throughout his career.
9. Shane Mosley – With a record of 47-8 Shane’s gotta be on our top 20 list. Shane’s fought some of the best fighters in this generation. He exposed and dominated Antonio Margarito. He beat Oscar De La Hoya in his prime. He took down Vargas twice. He’s fought some of the best including Mayweather, Pacquiao, Cotto, Winky Wright, & Canelo.
8. Miguel Cotto – He’s been in the ring with damn near every relevant weatherweight in the last 10 years. He’s fought everyone from Mayweather to Pacquiao. While he has a few losses on his record he’s proven to be competitive in almost all his fights, shown a great heart, and has plenty of victories over many reputable opponents.
7. Evander Holyfield – Evander’s simply a warrior. He’s fought some of the best. He came up as a crusierweight to later become the world heavyweight champion. He’s taken on Tyson, fought Lewis twice where the first bout was a draw, he’s beaten Michael Moorer, and he’s beaten Riddick Bowe. Holyfield has always shown great heart in the ring. While his run in the 2000s wasn’t that great he’s still good enough to make the top 10.
6. Juan Manuel Marquez – A true Mexican Legend. Marquez has taken on some of the best talent in boxing. Depending on who you ask he’s got 3 victories over Pacquiao, he’s taken on a lot of opponents over the year and for the most part he’s come out victorious. He’s taken on Tim Bradley next month, if he can beat Bradley that’ll possibly push Marquez the rankings, but if he loses that would probably put Bradley on the top 20 list.
5. Manny Pacquiao – A lot of people probably won’t agree with this, but Manny’s gotta be somewhere near the top 5. He’s taken on legends. He’s beaten Marquez multiple times, Morales, Barrera, Cotto, De La Hoya, Mosley, Margarito, Ricky Hatton, etc. and he’s beaten a lot of them into a pulp. Now I don’t necessarily agree with the terms in which he’s beaten some guys at catchweights, but if you agree to the terms you better be ready to fight.
4. Roy Jones Jr – A lot of people forget that Roy was a dominant force in boxing for a long time. With victories over James Toney, Bernard Hopkins, and Antonio Tarver he’s taken on and beaten some of the bigger names in boxing. His dominance, style, speed, and flash can’t be duplicated. Roy probably could of easily been top 3 if he would of retired after the first Tarver fight. Oh, and did we mention that he also has a world HEAVYWEIGHT title victory as well?
3. Lennox Lewis – You could easily say that Lennox is one of the most underrated boxers of all time. If you look at his record he only has 2 losses and he came back and avenged those losses in convincing manner. He’s pretty much beaten every relevant heavyweight boxer when he was fighting. Holyfield, Tyson, Klitschko, etc.
2. Bernard Hopkins – The ageless wonder. Benard’s resume is astonishing. He’s beaten De La Hoya, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, Jean Pascal, Tavoris Cloud, Antonio Tarver, and Felix Trinidad. Pretty big names, especially seeing how he fought all those guys after 2000 when many thought he would be past his prime. Over the last few years he’s shown that age is just a number (at least for him). A lot of people probably won’t agree with Hopkins being over Jones, but Hopkins overall resume is a lot more impressive in my opinion.
1. Floyd Mayweather – In my opinion he’s the greatest boxer in the last 15 years. He’s taken on a variety of competitors and has come out victorious in all of his bouts. Before he fought De La Hoya he had victories over very solid competition in Castillo, Gatti, Judah, and Corrales. After that he’s beaten some of the biggest names in boxing including De La Hoya, Hatton, Mosley, Cotto, Marquez, as well as upcoming fighters who were deemed to be the next big thing in Ortiz & Guerrero. His next fight vs Alvarez will truly determine if he’s the greatest in the last 15-20 years.