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Top 10 Greatest Lightweight Boxers of All Time | From the Ring to the Top

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One of the most demanding and exciting sports out there; boxing truly proves to be a battleground for the competitors out there. Categorized into various divisions based on weight, boxing comprises classes such as flyweight, bantamweight, heavyweight, lightweight et cetera. Amongst all these, the lightweight division (135 pounds) is often regarded as an arena of high competition. Furthermore, along with the likes of heavyweight and middleweight titles, the lightweight belt is one of the most prestigious and regarded titles out there. Now let us take a look at some of the best lightweight boxers out there to have laced up a pair of gloves.

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Top 10 Greatest Lightweight Boxers of All Time

S.No Name of the Boxer
1 Roberto Duran
2 Benny Leonard
3 Pernell Whitaker
4 Joe Gans
5 Carlos Ortiz
6 Ike Williams
7 Henry Armstrong
8 Tony Canzoneri
9 Freddie Welsh
10 Lou Ambers

Lou Ambers | Top lightweight boxers

Top 10 Greatest Lightweight Boxers of all Time | KreedOn
Image Source- Wikipedia

Though not a regular or prominent feature in most of the top ten lists, Lou Ambers was indeed one of the better lightweight boxers out there. Some of the names in his victim’s list include a good number of hall of famers, such as Pedro Montanez, Henry Armstrong, Baby Arizmendi, etc. One of the tactics that he often employed was of point deductions from his opponents. Nicknamed the ‘Hurkimer Hurricane’, he was a tough boxer to deal with.

Freddie Welsh | Best lightweight boxers

Top 10 Greatest Lightweight Boxers of all Time | KreedOn
Image Source- Wikipedia

At number nine is Freddie Welsh. Establishing himself as a standout lightweight boxer with significant success in the circuit, he began making a name for himself early on in his career. Some of his more notable feats include wins over Hall of Famer Abe Attell, a draw with 49-0 Packey McFarland, a victory over Jim Driscoll et cetera. A sight to behold, he has well earned his place in the list of the greatest lightweight boxers.


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Tony Canzoneri | Lightweight boxing champion

Image Source- Boxing News

Next up, we have Tony Canzoneri at number eight. He had previously tried out at the bantamweight class, and also at the featherweight division where he achieved success as he became the champion there. However, he had to try numerous times to secure success in the 135 lbs division. Some of his more notable wins include those against Jackie Berg, Billy Petrolle, Frankie Klick et cetera. His name will indeed go down as one of the greatest lightweight boxers ever.

Henry Armstrong | Best lightweight boxer

Top 10 Greatest Lightweight Boxers of all Time | KreedOn
Image Source- Fight Game Media

At his peak, Henry Armstrong was considered almost invincible, someone who could never be defeated. Often termed the multi-dimension king and even spread his greatness over 3 classes.

Nicknamed ‘Homicide Hank’, he took down numerous good fighters, such as the likes of Tony Chavez, Mike Belloise, Frankie Klick, Benny Bass, Baby Arizmendi, and Lew Feldman. Though his reign as the 135 lbs champion was brief, it was dominating, nonetheless.


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Ike Williams | Lightweight boxing weight

Image Source- Boxing News

At number six, we have Ike Williams. A big and tough guy, Ike was like a primal force of nature who could take out opponents with his sheer force and speed. Though he did endure numerous defeats throughout his career, the reason he features in this list was because of his temperament and the fight that he showed; a true lightweight boxer, a true champion.

Carlos Ortiz | Top 10 lightweight boxers

Image Source- UNANIMO Deportes

At number five is Carlos Ortiz. Well-regarded as one of the most gifted boxers and the greatest champion of his time, Carlos was a notable lightweight boxing champion. Few possessed the physical temperament and prowess that he did. When you have defeated boxers such as Lou Filippo, Joey Lopes, Dave Charnley, Kenny Lane, and Len Matthews, it is evident enough that you do indeed possess something special. Furthermore, his bouts with Sugar Ramos are the stuff of the legends. Given his resume, it is believed by many that he should feature higher on this list. 


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Joe Gans | Lightweight boxing champion

Top 10 Greatest Lightweight Boxers of all Time | KreedOn
Image Source- The Fight City

Featuring at number four is Joe Gans. Nicknamed the Old Master, he is often regarded as a boxing prodigy who was way ahead of his time. Though he initially had to struggle a bit, and after finding his footing, he went on to dominate. After knocking out Frank Erne, he won his first lightweight title. The first 7 challengers that he faced were always knocked out and never got to hear the final bell, such was his might.

Pernell Whitaker | Top lightweight boxers

 
Image Source- US Weekly

Pernell Whitaker features at the number three position in this list. Often regarded as the best ever 135 lbs lightweight champion ever. One of the few who almost went through without ever having to face a loss, sans the Jose Luis Ramirez debacle. He holds the longest unified lightweight championship reign in boxing history at six title defenses.


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Benny Leonard | Top Lightweight boxer

Image Source- The Fight City

“The Ghetto Wizard” may have been one of the greatest strategists and lightweight boxers to have ever laced up. His reign began after the knockout of Freddie Welsh, followed by victories over the likes of Johnny Kilbane, Jack Britton et cetera. He made the entire division his own and made a great impact, nonetheless.

Roberto Duran | Best lightweight boxer

Top 10 Greatest Lightweight Boxers of all Time | KreedOn
Image Source- Boxing News

Topping the list is none other than Roberto Duran. Undoubtedly the most brutal and dominating lightweight boxer ever, his strength often overshadows his other features such as his speed and perseverance. He probably would’ve been the best close-range boxer of all time. Roberto won the title with a 13th-round stoppage of 43-1 future Hall of Famer Ken Buchanan. He is regarded as the greatest lightweight boxer in history.


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Who is the best Lightweight boxer of all time?

Roberto Duran is undoubtedly the most brutal and dominating lightweight boxer ever. Roberto won the title with a 13th-round stoppage of 43-1 future Hall of Famer Ken Buchanan.

Who is the best boxer in history?

Muhammad Ali is regarded as the greatest boxer in history. Ali won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics and also become the first boxer to win the heavyweight title three times.

Who are the top current lightweight boxers?

The current top lightweight boxers are DEVIN HANEY, GEORGE KAMBOSOS JR., VASILIY LOMACHENKO, GERVONTA DAVIS, RYAN GARCIA, etc.

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