Boxing's Best Jr. Welterweights of All Time
Legendary Jr. Welterweights
Julio Cesar Chavez
Legendary Junior Welterweights
1. Julio Cesar Chavez: He was Junior Welterweight World Champion from 1989-1994 and again from 1994-1996. He beat undefeated Hector Camacho and Meldrick Taylor and he knocked out Roger Mayweather for the Championship. He defended his Title 14 times over two reigns and his record was 89-0 until Frankie Randall beat him by close decision for the belt, which Chavez regained from him. Chavez was a viscous body puncher and his constant pressure always wore his opponents down.
2. Aaron Pryor: "The Hawk" ended his career with 39 wins, one loss and 35 knockouts and he fought his entire career in the Junior Welterweight Division. He beat the legendary Alexis Arguello twice by knockout in defense of his 140 pound Crown. He also knocked out the legendary Antonio Cervantes in 4 rounds to become Champion. He was Champ from 1980 until 1983 and again from 1984-1985. He was a non stop punching machine with nonstop stamina. Many historians actually rate Pryor as the best 140 pound champion ever.
3. Kostya Tszyu: Tszyu retired with a record of 31 wins, 2 losses and 25 crushing knockouts. He defended the 140 pound crown 13 times over the course of two reigns. Among others he beat Sharmba Mitchell (Twice), Jesse James Leija, Zab Judah and Miguel Angel Gonzales during his impressive run through the weight class. He was an economical place puncher who had finishing power in both of his fists. Tszyu was also an accomplished amateur champion and a true student of the game.
4. Barney Ross: Ross finished his career with 74 wins and only 4 losses with 22 knockouts on his ledger. He was Junior Welterweight Champion from 1933-1935 and he won The Ring Fighter of The Year Award twice in that time span. He fought Henry Armstrong, Jimmy McLarnin and Tony Canzoneri during his dominant run at the top. Had he fought longer in this weight division he would have taken Tszyu's place at number three with ease. He was not a power puncher but his combinations were accurate and his jab and footwork was hard to deal with.
5. Wilfred Benitez: At age 17, Benitez became the youngest champion in boxing history. His overall career record was 53 wins against 8 losses with 31 knockouts. He had reflexes and speed only equaled by Sugar Ray Leonard. He fought Antonio Cervantes, Carlos Palomino and Tommy Hearnes during his stellar career. Benitez could dance for 15 full rounds on his toes feinting and peppering his rivals with one-two's. One of his top wins came against Roberto Duran. A win he won easily and the scores were lopsided.
6. Antonio Cervantes: He held the title for a total of seven years over the course of two reigns as champion. His career fight total was: 91 wins, 12 losses, 3 draws, 44 brutal knockouts. He fought among others Greats such as: Esteban De Jesus, Wilfred Benitez, Saoul Mamby and Aaron Pryor while ruling this weight class. He was not really great in any area but he was very good in all aspects of the game.
7. Niccolino Locche: This career 140 pounder had 117 wins, 4 losses and only 14 knockouts. Although he was not a hard puncher, he was one of the more skilled fighter this weight class has ever seen. He held the crown for 4 years and made 4 defenses beating Carlos Hernandez, Adolph Pruitt, Domingo Barrera and Antonio Cervantes along the way.
8. Oscar De La Hoya: He beat the 96-1 Julio Cesar Chavez for the Junior Welterweight Championship. He successfully defended the title against., 41-0 Miguel Angel Gonzalez. He also beat, Chavez in a re-match and he also knocked out Chavez in a re-match. He knocked out Jesse James Leija in two rounds. De La Hoya usually had the height and reach advantage in this weight class and he used his masterful jab and devastating left hook to great effect.
9. Tony Canzoneri: Canzoneri had 141 wins against 24 losses. He held the 140lb crown two times. Among the great fighters he beat were, Benny Bass, Sammy Mandell, Kid Berg and Billy Petrolle. He had skills on offense and he could box from a distance or bang on the inside with the best of them. Canzoneri used subtle shifts and movements to elude heavy artillery coming his way.
10. Meldrick Taylor: He is one of the fastest Junior Welterweights in history and he finished with 38 wins, 8 losses and 20 knockouts. He was the Junior Welterweight Champion for two years and made 4 successful defenses of the title. He founght among others Buddy McGirt and Julio Cesar Chavez. Taylor used his reflexes and speed of hand and foot to control his bouts and in his prime Taylor was magical to watch.
* Please let me know who you believe the best jr. welterweight boxer of all time is by leaving comments in the capsule located at the bottom of this article.
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Who is the best Junior Welterweight of all time?
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Aaron Pryor highlights
Aaron Pryor Was Non Stop!
The Hawk never stopped coming forward and throwing punch. If you think a prime Manny Pacquiao was a whirlwind of punching you need to watch a youtube video of Pryor. Pryor never lost in his absolute prime and many think the great Sugar Ray Leonard ducked and dodged him.
Alexis Arguello was at his peak when Aaron Pryor ended his career for all intents and purposes in two bloody brawls that saw The Hawk win by knockout.
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