Since Bloody Elbow has been declared a "combat sports site" and not merely an MMA site (as per a reply by Anton Tabuena here: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2010/11/14/1814623/the-ufc-has-no-star-to-compare-with-manny-pacquiao#), I think it's important we educate those without the firm grasp of historical context in the sport of boxing; this is important because there's some lunacy floating about that this Manny Pacquiao fellow, a great boxer to be sure, is the best ever. EVER. As in the greatest pound-for-pound boxer ever. It is impossible (in my mind, at least) that a person could say such a thing and also have anything but a cursory familiarity with the name Sugar Ray Robinson. Certainly, no such person could possibly have seen Robinson's highlight reels, much less watched his fights against Hall-of-Famers Jake LaMotta, Carmen Basilio, Gene Fullmer, Carl 'Bobo' Olson, Henry Armstrong, Rocky Graziano and Kid Gavilan. Nor does it seem plausible to me that these people are aware that the pound-for-pound rankings were created by sportswriters because Robinson's unique talent required it. Joe Louis, also a greater fighter than Pacquaio, and probably the second best fighter of all-time called Robinson the greatest ever. So did Muhammed Ali. And Sugar Ray Leonard. And every sensible sportswriter until very recently when this young bunch of noobs with no historical context to make such determinations started trying to rank boxers.
So the question for all you youngsters and boxing noobs is this: who are the five (5) greatest boxers of all-time, and in what order and why -- what accomplishments put them there? Is fighting and defeating a much larger boxer a reason to put someone at number one? (No offense, LaMotta.) Maybe it's never really being knocked out. (Oh snap! Sorry, Manny.) More than 100 wins? More than 100 KOs? Whatever it is, you decide and then reply with your rankings. I'll stick with my number one: Sugar Ray Robinson. For you youngsters or boxing noobs, here's his Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Ray_Robinson.