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  • 02/02/2012, 05:19PM ET

FFTI II: Category E - Circe Who are the three greatest southpaw boxers of all time?

Assassin: Simile Next year (69-116-27) vs Mr. Jolly (38-13-8)
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Good luck Mr. Jollyman.

And sorry, Rocky Balboa cannot be used in this Throwdown. Rules are rules.

I'm not a big boxing fan, or a boxing fan in general but let's see what I can do here.

Not in any order

Marvin Hagler

Although he started as an orthodox fighter, he switched to southpaw very early in his career. With a 62-3-2 record you can see he left his mark as a boxer. He beat Tommy Hearns, John Mugabi, Vito Antuofermo and many more claiming several middle weight belts. He took Sugar Ray 12 rounds and eventually lost, but it was the 1987 fight of the year.

Pernell Whitaker
Finished his career at 40-4-1. A defensive, technical, counter puncher is how many described him and his strategy clearly worked. Won and defended several belts. He had two 15 or more win streaks in his career.

I was tempted to keep the Pac-man outta here, but I couldn't.

Manny Pacquiao

10 world titles in 8 different weight classes. He's changed the sport for the better. He's the star everyone knows. His feud with Mayweather only brings attention to the sport.

Mtc


I will take Joe Calzaghe over Manny.

Joe retired undefeated (46-0) in 08', with 32 KOs, and undoubtedly the greatest Super MW ever. He defended his title(s) 21 times, good enough for 3rd best in boxing history. He was the IBF, WBO, WBA, WBC, Ring, & British SMW champ.

After vanquishing every contender the SMW had to offer over 10 yrs, Joe felt he needed some "names" on his resume and climbed to Light HW, becoming the Ring LHW champ after defeating Bernard Hopkins, followed with a defense over Roy Jones Jr.

Initially the Hopkins victory had detractors, because Hopkins was (43), but the win was far more impressive when Hopkins destroyed the then 26yr old MW champ, Kelly Pavlik, only a half year later.

History supports Joe greatly.

While Marciano's undefeated record went longer in time, Joe was past his peak when beating his "named" foes. Rocky was in his prime.

The idea of "lesser" foes has been labeled with other greats like Larry Holmes or Ricardo Lopez, but is often realized as more of a product of class domination. Not to mention that SMW isn't one of the famed classes and lacks fan appeal to build up recognition.

Plus Joe never lost. Period. Ever.


Calzaghe had a impressive resume, indeed.

Manny Pacquiao is currently sitting at 54-3-2 with 38 wins coming by way of knockout. He has many imoressive victories that I wont list. It'd take up to much room.

What makes Manny so great in my opinion is that he has fought in 8 different weight classes and has proven himself in all of them 8 different weights. He sits at a monstrous 5 ft 6 inches and has a reach of 67 inches. So size is an obvious disadvantage for him in most of his fights. He has to rely on his quickness and speed.

Calzaghe retired undefeated, but didn't move around weight classes as often as my pick, Manny Pacquiao. Not only is Manny dominating the boxing game he isn't afraid to box bigger opponents. The man is fearless when it comes to boxing.

Calzaghe was content with dominating Super middleweight with his title defenses. why wouldn't he move up or even down?

Manny dominates and is still dominating the boxing game.


While Manny's success in moving through the ranks is great, it's not a justified comparable in this TD. Moving up in class is a common element among lighter fighters, but not the same option for a heavier fighter like Joe. There are only 3 classes above Joe and the difference between the heavier classes is far more challenging then the lower.

Comparing the 2 is a contrast in style. Explosive versus technician. Joe's pure boxing ability was superior to Manny's style. The best way to support this was Joe's ability to adapt and change in a fight's progression. In the 4 times that Joe found himself on the mat, he was able to persevere. Joe had the rare ability to attack right away with incredible recuperative abilities. Meanwhile, Manny has often showed signs of losing focus and has rarely shown an ability to adjust. This explains why he's actually been defeated.

The amount of dedication it takes to continue to be hunted for over a decade and leave unscathed can't be ignored. The champ has everything to lose, every time he defends. With a success, they extend their greatness, while diminishing the hype of the contender.

With so few southpaws, perfection can't be ignored.


Manny moves around weights, because he can. He still succeeds at bigger weights even with his small frame. He uses speed, quickness, and toughness to win his fights. He is the best at his game right now and isn't even done yet. He still has fights in him. He can still add some large names to his resume.

Joe was a technician and Manny is a more exciting fighter. Manny has fought in more bouts and has won more belts than Joe and Manny is still fighting. Joe undefeated mark means less to me if he doesn't have the belts to back it up.

Joe had a target in his back because he was a undefeated champion. Manny has a target on his back because he is a champion too. No boxer will fight harder just because he is undefeated champion. They just want to beat the champion. Be the champ. Manny is also being hunted just as much, if not more then your boy Joe was.

More belts in more weight classes > less belts in less weight classes and an undefeated record.

Good td Jolly man


If we're to hold the sheer number of weight class moves to such high esteem, should we already come to grips that any list of greatest fighters ever will be overwhelmingly filled with mid-weight and lighter fighters?

Are we to expect the 4 heaviest weight classes to drop weight in search of a better legacy, which would defy most of the reasons for moving in class to begin with?

Manny moved up through weight classes as much for the chance to pull in bigger money in bouts as he did to chase championships. While that's admirable in the sport, there is a lot to say about rarely defending your reign. Manny has basically half the title defenses that Joe has.

If Manny has a target on his back, he certainly doesn't stick around very often to allow anybody to take the shot.

I'm not delusional to think that the champ fights harder than the contender, or vice versa. But I absolutely think the pressure is more to the champ in a title fight. The fact that Joe never lost while in that situation must be respected.

The only arguments against an undefeated record like Joe's, in it's base form, is only speculation. Numbers don't lie. Joe defended 21 times and never lost. At all. Ever

February 2, 2012  05:19 PM ET

4 changes please

February 2, 2012  05:24 PM ET

Wasn't Rocky a southpaw? He must have been great, there's a statue to him in Philly.

February 2, 2012  05:29 PM ET

Where is Rocky on this list? You're losing credibility by the sentence, Assman.

February 2, 2012  05:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Where is Rocky on this list? You're losing credibility by the sentence, Assman.

I better forfeit.

February 2, 2012  06:47 PM ET

The good thing about going lefty is you can feel like you're getting a little strange from your girl's clumsy, slightly retarded sister.

February 3, 2012  01:59 AM ET

****,

Good luck to you my friend.

Here's to what should be a fun and wonderful Boxing TD!

Comment #7 has been removed
February 3, 2012  08:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

****,Good luck to you my friend. Here's to what should be a fun and wonderful Boxing TD!

Amen, my brother!

February 3, 2012  09:59 AM ET

No Gerry Cooney?

February 3, 2012  11:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

No Gerry Cooney?

There are so many to choose from.

February 3, 2012  03:41 PM ET

Bump.

February 4, 2012  09:39 PM ET

I'll get to this after the UFC fights.

February 5, 2012  03:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I'm a bit surprised that right replaced Manny rather than Sweet Pea.

Whitaker was pretty awesome. Along with an Olympic gold medal, his resume is great. Never KO'd, and three of his final four losses came at the end of his career, where many still think he got shafted in the De La Hoya fight.

February 5, 2012  03:18 AM ET

Never really liked Calzaghe, but I like the arguments by the Jollyman. Good TD.

February 5, 2012  10:41 AM ET

****,

Coming from a huge boxing fan, it was a lot of fun to argue a TD about the "sweet science" for a change. I felt the TD went well and thanks for being a part of it.

I wish you the best of luck in the voting and the future.

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February 5, 2012  12:44 PM ET

Regardless of the reasons why, Calzaghe didn't fight anyone of note for most of his career. While you can argue that Manny moves in weigh classes for bigger paydays, those paydays are generally the result of better competition.

 
Comment #20 has been removed

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