by Paul Magno
For Part 1 of this feature, #18-#25, click here: https://thebluecorner.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/a-quarter-century-of-greatness-boxings-25-best-over-the-last-25-years-part-1/
17) Winky Wright: 51-5-1 (25 KO), 1990-Present
Key Wins: Andrew Council, Bronco McKart (3), Keith Mullings, Shane Mosley (2), Felix Trinidad, Ike Quartey, Jermain Taylor (Draw)
Key Losses: Julio Cesar Vazquez, Harry Simon, Fernando Vargas, Bernard Hopkins, Paul Williams
Wright may not always have been the most exciting fighter, but few could argue with his success or the skill-set demonstrated by his two wins over Mosley and his complete domination of Trinidad. Avoided by many of the top talents, Wright and his defense-minded southpaw trick book were forced into fighting whoever he could, whenever a fight could be made- even to the point of spending 5 prime years on the European circuit.
16) Jose Luis Castillo: 57-9-1 (49 KO), 1990-Present
Key Wins: Jorge Paez, Stevie Johnston (1-0-1), Cesar Bazan, Juan Lazcano, Joel Casamayor, Julio Diaz, Diego Corrales (1-1), Herman Ngoudjo
Key Losses: Floyd Mayweather (2), Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton
Possibly the most underrated boxer on this list, Castillo had the misfortune of emerging after training partner Julio Cesar Chavez and at the same time as guys like Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. Castillo didn’t capture too many headlines; He just set about becoming one of the all-time greats at Lightweight through a steady pace of quality wins and exciting performances.
15) Felix Trinidad: 42-3 (35 KO), 1990-2008
Key Wins: Maurice Blocker, Hector Camacho, Yori Boy Campas, Oba Carr, Freddie Pendleton, Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De la Hoya, David Reid, Fernando Vargas, William Joppy, Ricardo Mayorga
Key Losses: Bernard Hopkins, Winky Wright, Roy Jones Jr.
With two precision rockets for fists, “Tito” Trinidad established himself as one of the finest offensive fighters of his era. Like most punchers, he could be outboxed, but the fighters who could do so were few and far between from 147 lbs to 160. Trinidad will go down as one of this generation’s most brutal KO artists and one of its most talented offensive fighters.
14) Mike Tyson: 50-6 (44 Ko), 1985-2005
Key Wins: Trevor Berbick, James Smith, Tony Tucker, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, Frank Bruno (2), Donovan Ruddock (2), Bruce Seldon, Frans Botha
Key Losses: Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield (2), Lennox Lewis, Danny Williams, Kevin McBride
“Iron” Mike spent a total of about 6 prime years of his career in deep personal and managerial problems- including a nearly four year prison sentence. However, for about a 3 year period from 1986 to 1989, no fighter in any division at any time was as dominant as Tyson. Using his phenomenal physical gifts, combined with Cus D’amato’s peek-a-boo defense and a generous amount of pure rage, Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight champion in history and maybe the most feared as well.
13) Erik Morales: 48-6 (34 KO), 1993-2007
Key Wins: Daniel Zaragoza, Junior Jones, Wayne McCullough, Marco Antonio Barrera (1-2), Kevin Kelley, Guty Espadas Jr. (2), Paulie Ayala, Jesus Chavez, Manny Pacquiao (1-2)
Key Losses: Marco Antonio Barrera (2), Zahir Raheem, Manny Pacquiao (2), David Diaz
The pride of Tijuana, “El Terrible,” came from humble beginnings to earn himself a position among the all-time greats from 122 to 130 lbs. Morales fought like a brawler with the sensibilities of a boxer, mixing solid fundamentals with the heart of a warrior. This mix made him one of the all-around best of this era and a earned him a rightful place among the other Mexican Boxing legends.
12) Shane Mosley: 46-5 (39 KO), 1993- Present
Key Wins: Philip Holiday, John John Molina, Jesse James Leija, Oscar De la Hoya (2), Fernando Vargas (2), Luis Collazo, Ricardo Mayorga, Antonio Margarito
Key Losses: Vernon Forrest (2), Winky Wright (2), Miguel Cotto
Just when everybody thought he was on the decline following his loss to Miguel Cotto, “Sugar” Shane shocked the world by knocking out Ricardo Mayorga and then, more surprisingly, totally dominating and brutalizing 147 lb kingpin, Antonio Margarito to once again capture a piece of the Welterweight title. Considering his recent success, its very possible that Mosley could earn himself an even higher placement on this list by the time he retires.
11) Marco Antonio Barrera: 65-7 (43 KO), 1989-Present
Key Wins: Agapito Sanchez, Kennedy McKinney, Erik Morales (2-1), Naseem Hamed, Johnny Tapia, Paulie Ayala, Rocky Juarez (2)
Key Losses: Junior Jones (2), Erik Morales, Manny Pacquiao (2), Juan Manuel Marquez, Amir Khan
Imagine picture-perfect technique and flawless execution delivered by a fighter with the sensibilities of a street thug- That was Marco Antonio Barrera. “The Baby Faced Assasin” became an all-time great from 122 to 130 lbs. by displaying the technique of a real craftsman with the attitude of a cold-blooded assasin. Winning was his primary drive and he rolled over most everyone who tried to get in his way.
To Be Continued…
Part 3: The Top 10- Tuesday, April 21st