#P4PBOXING’S SIMON MARKLAND PRESENTS HIS TOP 10 LATINO FIGHTERS OF ALL TIME

By Simon Markland [Twitter: @sala151183]

10. Wilfred Benitez won 53 (KO 31) lost 8 (KO 4) drawn 1

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If Duran, Leonard, Hagler and Hearns are the four kings, then in Benitez we have a fifth king.

Wilfred Benitez is kind of the forgotten fighter of the era of so many greats, a true boxing fan knows just how great this man was.

Wilfred Benítez was from Puerto Rico and became the youngest world champion in the sport’s history at the age of 17; highly skilled with a great defence Benitez has had some incredible wins against Duran, Palomino and took Thomas Hearns to a close majority decision loss, he was also stopped by Ray Leonard in the last round of a fifteen round fight but would give Ray Leonard a close fight until that moment.

Benitez is without doubt one of the finest boxers to ever come out of Puerto Rico.

 

9.Marco Antonio Barrera won 67 (KO 44) + lost 7 (KO 1)

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If this was a Mexican list this man would be high on every writer’s top ten.

Nickname the “Baby-Faced Assassin”, his look should not fool you as this man was a warrior and as hard as they come.

Barrera would claim wins over Erik Morales, Naseem Hamed, Johnny Tapia and Kevin Kelly.

His first fight against Morales is an all time classic fight and one of my personal favourites.

Barrera had a record of 43-0 until his first defeat.

 

8.Miguel Cotto won 39 (KO 32) + lost 4 (KO 2)

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Miguel Cotto is not only a great but also a fans favourite.

Cotto was a hard hitting body punching specialist; at light welterweight Miguel was undefeated with his final fight at 140lbs coming against Paulie Malignaggi before stepping up to welterweight where he would have some great victories and some famous losses; notably wins against Mosley and Judah were impressive.

Although Miguel Cotto in recent years is no longer in his prime he would still have his most famous win at middleweight against Sergio Martinez knocking the great Argentine down three times in the first round, Cotto would look as good as ever against Martinez and has looked to roll back the years with new trainer Freddie Roach.

Miguel Cotto for me was always a pleasure inside and out the ring.

 

7.Oscar De La Hoya won 39 (KO 30) + lost 6 (KO 2)

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The Golden Boy with the perfect smile, the man and the fighter changed the face of boxing he made it even more popular than it already was.

It’s wasn’t just his charm and great looks we took to it was also his incredible boxing ability, I felt like we were on this incredible ride, an experience that we hadn’t felt before.

Oscar De la Hoya would be beat by the very best in Pacquiao, Mayweather, Mosley and Hopkins but he would claim great wins against greats in Chavez, Whitaker and Ike Quartey.

De La Hoya has defeated 17 world champions and has won ten world titles in six different weight classes. He has also generated more money than any other boxer in the history of the sport, an estimate about roughly over $700 million in pay-per-view income.

I knew when De la Hoya was fighting it was always a huge occasion.

 

6.Juan Manuel Marquez won 56 (KO 40) lost 7 drawn 1

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Number six on my list is Dinamita, this man could well be the best counter puncher in this present era of the sport.

Marquez almost has it all: power, skill and strength, this smart Mexican hard hitting counter-puncher has been on top of his game for some years now and I’ve enjoyed the ride, it’s the later years of Dinamita’s career that I’m most fond of, especially his one punch knock out win over the great mlManny Pacquiao and his four fight series with the Filipino superstar.

Marquez has great wins over Pacquiao, Barrera and Juan Diaz

I could always count on Marquez to be in a Great War when he needed to or watch him give a fighter a boxing lesson – which ever it was it was always a pleasure.

 

5.Alexis Arguello  won 77 (KO 62) lost 8 (KO 4)

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I have to start with his losses to Aaron Pryor. He was stopped twice by Pryor but let me tell you his first fight is on my top ten list of greatest fights of all time and his second fight with Pryor was also a classic!

The greatest fighter from Nicaragua El Flaco Explosivo “The Explosive Thin Man” a great great puncher,  some famous wins against Ruben Olivares, Alfredo Escalera, Bobby Chacon, Jim Watt and Ray Mancini, make this man number five on my list.

If you hit this man hard expect to be hit harder back, listen this man never lost a world title inside the ring and this is why we will all remember how great Alexis Arguello was.

 

4.Salvador Sanchez  won 44 (KO 32) lost 1 drawn 1

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This boxing phenomenon was sadly gone too soon, he sadly passed at the very young age of 23, this super fighter could of well gone on to be the greatest featherweight of all time!

Sanchez only suffered one defeat in his career via a split decision against Antonio Becerra, Sanchez was too inexperienced at this level but gained experience in defeat.

His fight against Wilfredo Gomez was a stunner, maybe Gomez was too strong and powerful for Sanchez or so we thought, Sanchez would destroy Gomez in eight rounds and that would tell us how incredible Salvador Sanchez truly was.

Sanchez beat Ruben Castillo, Azumah Nelson and Danny Lopez twice, with his victory against Gomez too that list of top opposition is as great as any and to think this kid was only 23 years young.

Sadly we would never see the best of Salvador Sanchez but him at a 23 was as great as many.

 

3.Julio Cesar Chavez won 107 (KO 86) lost 6 (KO 4) drawn 2

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Number one Mexican to ever grace the ring.

Julio Cesar Chavez won six world titles in three different weight classes, he also holds plenty of records, the most successful defenses of world titles, most title fight victories, most title fights and held the longest undefeated streak with a record of 89-0-1, this is why we love the man.

Chavez could possibly be the best fighter of the 90’s, power in both hands and relentless to the body, he had all boxing fans hooked.

It was 1990 and he was up against Meldrick Taylor, Chavez would be behind on the cards going in to the twelve round, Chavez came out and went to war he knocked Taylor out in the twelve round and this would be the fight of the year!

Chavez would claim great wins against Taylor, Camacho, Haugen and a draw to Pernell Whitaker, his fight against Greg Haugen would hold the record of the highest attendance, 132,000 people would witness the Chavez victory.

Julio Cesar Chavez was one hell of a fighter.

 

2. Carlos Monzon won 87 (KO 58) lost 3 (KO 0) drawn 9

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Carlos Monzon makes second on my list, he simply was that great and would be great in any era.

His nickname would be “Escopeta” (Shotgun) and would hail from Argentina, hold the middleweight crown for seven years, Monzon would avenge all his losses and would make 14 defences of his middleweight crown.

He was a great puncher, he could box and used his brain, Monzon was a complete fighter.

Monzon would beat some greats in Napoles, Griffith, Briscoe and Benvenuti and his first fight against Benvenuti would be 1970 fight of the year.

 

Carlos Monzon could well be in most peoples greatest fighters list and in my top five middleweights list of all time.

Super fighter with a super exciting style.

 

1.Roberto Duran won 103 (KO 70) lost 16 (KO 4)

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Number one on my list “Manos de Piedra” Hands of Stone Roberto Duran, just saying that name gives me goosebumps.

To explain in words just what this fighter was all about is hard to do, he was a mans man, a real hard man of sport, he could do it all he was something very special.

Duran would fight through five decades of the sport and would finally retire in 2002 he would give us some of the greatest memory’s inside the ring, this super boxing brawler suffered only one defeat in 73 fights Duran would avenge that one defeat by stopping Esteban De jesus  twice.

Duran is regarded as the number one lightweight in the whole history of the sport and in most peoples top ten greatest fighters of all time.

Roberto Duran would have some amazing victories, Ken Buchanan for the WBA lightweight stopping him in the 13th round, his two wins against Esteban De Jesus were impressive then fighters like Ray Lampkin, Edwin Viruet and Carlos Palomino would also be victims before the great brawl in Montreal against the American’s great hope and Olympic gold medalist Sugar Ray Leonard who was a phenomenal fighter, Duran would beat Leonard in a classic via decision that fight had it all.

Duran would taste defeat against Leonard in the infamous no mas rematch in which he would quit but this wouldn’t define such a great fighter, he would go on and win titles at four different weight classes overall.

Roberto Duran wasn’t done yet he would go up in weight and beat tough great champions in Davey Moore and the very dangerous Iran Barkley in a fight of the year.

Duran would challenge Marvin Hagler who in Hagler was one of the greatest middleweights of all time, Duran would come up short over a fifteen round fight, not only did Duran give the great Hagler hell, going in to the thirteenth round Duran was ahead on the score cards, this was not a prime Duran but still great great as he always was.

There will never be another Roberto Duran, no one can get close to what he was inside the ring he was a true legend.