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Best Boxers of the 1990s

Updated on May 1, 2017

Legendary Prizefighters

Pernell Whitaker whips Julio Cesar Chavez in bogus draw in San Antonio, Texas.
Pernell Whitaker whips Julio Cesar Chavez in bogus draw in San Antonio, Texas. | Source
In a battle of two fighters past their prime, Roy Jones, Jr. beat Felix Trinidad by twelve round decision.
In a battle of two fighters past their prime, Roy Jones, Jr. beat Felix Trinidad by twelve round decision. | Source
Evander Holyfield beat Mike Tyson twice with the first win making Holyfield a three time heavyweight champion.
Evander Holyfield beat Mike Tyson twice with the first win making Holyfield a three time heavyweight champion. | Source

Who is The Best?

Who is the best boxer from the 1990's?

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Greats of The Game

Sugar Shane Mosley, seen here knocking out Ricardo Mayorga, won championships in three weight divisions.
Sugar Shane Mosley, seen here knocking out Ricardo Mayorga, won championships in three weight divisions. | Source
Ricardo Lopez went to war with Rosendo Alvarez twice, earning a draw and a close, decision win
Ricardo Lopez went to war with Rosendo Alvarez twice, earning a draw and a close, decision win | Source

Which Division?


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Top Ten Boxers From The 90s


This list does not in anyway imply that these are the best boxers ever. This list of boxers is based purely on their accomplishments during the 90's.

1. Pernell Whitaker: Sweet Pea was a slick southpaw with a great jab, body attack and one of the best defenses in boxing history. Although a light hitter, Whitaker was still dominant because of his boxing skills and defense and he fought all the best boxers of his era. Whitaker won a Gold Medal in the 1984 Olympics, Lightweight title, Jr. Welterweight, Welterweight and Jr. Middleweight Championships during his outstanding career. His best win was a draw with Julio Cesar Chavez. Chavez was 89-0 but, lost lopsidedly in the minds of everyone except the three blind judges. Whitaker has dominant wins over Roger Mayweather, Greg Haugen, Buddy McGirt (twice), Jose Luis Ramirez, Azumah Nelson and Wilfredo Rivera. Whitaker finished with a record of 40-4-1 with 17 knockouts.

2. Roy Jones, Jr.: Sadly, Jones continues to box but forget that it's the prime Jones were talking about. One of the best pure athletes in boxing history. Speed, power and amazing reflexes allowed him to win bouts with his hands down and sometimes without even using his jab. Jones, Jr. won a silver medal in the 1988 Olympics, the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight (3 times), and the heavyweight title during his distinguished career in the squared circle. The best victories of his career came against James Toney (44-0 at the time), Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver, John Ruiz, Virgil Hill, Eric Harding and Mike McCallum. Jones record is 56-8 with 40 knockouts.

3. Evander Holyfield: The Real Deal was a superb boxer with a granite chin and a huge heart. His jab was hard and accurate and he had an excellent left hook and uppercut. Also, Holyfield worked the body well and he had great stamina. Holyfield won a Bronze Medal in the 1984 Olympics, Cruiserweight championship, and the Heavyweight crown four times during his illustrious career. Among his biggest wins were victories over Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Mike Tyson (twice), Riddick Bowe, George Foreman, Ray Mercer, Larry Holmes and Michael Moorer. Evander Holyfield's resume reads 44-10-2 with 29 knockouts to his credit.

4. James Toney: Lights Out is a defensive genius and a counter punching master. Toney was hard to hit in his prime especially with more than one shot at a time. He was similar to a larger Floyd Mayweather, Jr. as he employed the shoulder roll defense. Toney was slow on foot but, his hand speed and reflexes were astonishing on his best day. Toney won the Middleweight, Super Middleweight and Cruiserweight world titles. His best wins came against Mike McCallum, Michael Nunn, Iran Barkley, Vasilly Jirov, Evander Holyfield and Prince Charles Williams. Toney's record stands at 76-9-3 with 46 knockouts.

5. Julio Cesar Chavez: Chavez was a vicious body puncher with an aggressive style. He had a steel chin and was very rarely hurt or wobbled. His trade mark punch was his left hook which he used to great affect on the head and body. He used smart pressure to put his opponents backs to the ropes. Chavez won titles in the Jr. Lightweight, Lightweight, and Jr. Welterweight divisions. He was 89-0-1 before suffering his first pro loss. The best wins of his ring career came against: Hector Camacho, Meldrick Taylor (twice), Jose Luis Ramirez, Roger Mayweather, Edwin Rosario and Greg Haugen. Chavez's final ring tally reads: 107-6-2 with 86 knockouts.

6. Felix Trinidad: Tito was a boxer-puncher with a fearsome left hook and a pole of a left jab. His footwork was average and his chin wasn't great but his heart was huge and his stamina seemed to increase as his bouts wore on. Trinidad won titles in the welterweight, Jr. Middleweight and Middleweight divisions. Trinidad defended his 147 pound crown 15 times and he held it for over six years, which is a record. The top victories Trinidad achieved came against: Maurice Blocker, Pernell Whitaker, Fernando Vargas, Ricardo Mayorga, Yori Boy Campas, Oscar De La Hoya and Hector Camacho. His final ring resume reads 42-3 with 35 knockouts.

7. Oscar De La Hoya: The Golden Boy was a great boxer with power in both hands especially his left. He had fast hands, punched well in combination and his footwork was superb. Also, his left jab was very powerful and accurate when he used it. De La Hoya won a Gold Medal in the 1992 Olympics as well as titles in six weight divisions as a professional. He won belts in the Jr. Lightweight, Lightweight, Jr. Welterweight, Welterweight, Jr. Middleweight and Middleweight weight divisions. The most significant wins for De La Hoya occurred against: Julio Cesar Chavez (twice), Pernell Whitaker, Arturo Gatti, Fernando Vargas, Ike Quartey and Genaro Hernandez. Oscar De La Hoya left the sport with a record of 39-6 with 30 knockouts.

8. Bernard Hopkins: The Executioner has solid skills especially on defense. Great jab, great footwork and old school tactics make B-Hop something to behold. Hopkins holds the record for the most Middleweight title defenses in boxing history with 20 and he is also a three time Heavyweight Champion of the World. Hopkins is the oldest champion in history at the age of 48. Bernard Hopkins top wins came against: Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Tarver, Kelly Pavlic, Glen Johnson, John David Jackson and Jean Pascal. Hopkins record as of 2013 stands at 54-6-2 with 32 knockouts.

9. Ricardo Lopez: El Finito was a pure boxer with a tight defense. His jab, strait right, footwork and balance were impeccable as was his timing and combination punching. He won the Minimumweight championship and defended it 21 times which is a boxing record. Lopez also won the Jr. Flyweight title and defended it twice before retiring undefeated. Ricardo Lopez's top victories in the squared circle have come against Rosendo Alvarez (avenging an earlier draw), Ala Villamor, Andy Tabanas, Kermin Guardia, Kyung Yung-Lee and Manny Melchor. Lopez retired with a record of 51-0-1 with 38 knockouts.

10. Shane Mosley: Sugar Shane was a very fast handed boxer-puncher with quick reflexes. He has an iron chin and knockout power in both hands (At least as a Lightweight). A sublime combination puncher with excellent timing, Mosley won Championships in the Lightweight, Welterweight and Jr. Middleweight divisions. As a Lightweight Champion, he defended his title eight times and won all 8 bouts by knockout before hopping two weight classes where he moved to welterweight to beat Oscar De La Hoya. Mosley's best wins came against De La Hoya (twice), Antonio Margarito, Jesse James Leija, John John Molina, Fernando Vargas (twice), and Philip Holiday. Shane Mosley called it a day with a record of 47-9-1 with 39 knockouts.

Evander Holyfield's Best Victories

Riddick Bowe
Mike Tyson
George Foreman
Dwight Muhammad Qawi
Larry Holmes
Buster Douglas
 
Ray Mercer
 
Seven of The Real Deal's top wins.

Golden Boy vs. Pretty Boy

Oscar De La Hoya lost a very close 12 round decision to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Oscar De La Hoya lost a very close 12 round decision to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. | Source

The Executioner!!

Bernard Hopkins, seen pounding on Howard Eastman, defended the middleweight championship a record 20 times.
Bernard Hopkins, seen pounding on Howard Eastman, defended the middleweight championship a record 20 times. | Source

Best Boxing Bouts From The 90's

Riddick Bowe W12 Evander Holyfield (1992) Bowe and Holyfield went to war. The tenth round was round of the year and the bout was fight of the year. Bowe won the heavyweight title.

Nigel Benn K.O. 10 Gerald McClellan (1995) Benn was down in rounds one and eight but came back to win in the tenth in a tragic match which left McClellan seriously hurt. Benn took McClellan's Super Middleweight title.

Julio Cesar Chavez K.O. 12 Meldrick Taylor (1990) Chavez was behind on all cards going into the final round when he scored the dramatic win with only seconds to go.

Marco Antonio Barrera K.O. 12 Kennedy McKinney (1996) Barrera punched McKinney at the press conference. It was give and take until Barrera took over scoring several knock downs in the late rounds to win the bout via knockout.

Naseem Hamed K.O. 4 Kevin Kelley (1997) The Prince and Kelley trade knock downs before Hamed's natural power abruptly ends matters.





James Toney: Defensive Master

Pernell Whitaker: Can't Be Touched

Birthplace of Roy Jones, Jr. (Pensacola, Florida)

Roy Jones, Jr. Career Highlights

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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