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Top 20 most underrated fighters of the last 30 years

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 10 May 2011, 11:34 am

A list of guys who were quality operators........Some champions at another time and some quality champions that never got the due they deserved....Some have been underrated more than others hence everything is relative...Here is a call out to these boys..

20. Tony Sibson
19. Tim Witherspoon
18. Jeff Chandler
17. Michael Carbajal
16. Vinny Pazienza
15. Virgil Hill
14. Antonio Esparragoza
13. Riddick Bowe
12. Terry Norris
11. Marlon Starling
10. Johnny Tapia
9. Sot chitalada
8. Edwin Rosario
7. Azumah Nelson
6. Eusebio Pedroza
5. James Toney
4. Ricardo Lopez
3. Hector Camacho
2. Khaoisai Galaxy
1. Mike Mccallum


Last edited by Hero on Tue 10 May 2011, 1:20 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : changed a placing)

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Post by HumanWindmill Tue 10 May 2011, 11:38 am

Great to see Tapia get a mention and, even more so, Tony Sibson, who is so often the ' forgotten man ' of British boxing. Darned good fighter on his day, and never did get his dues, in my opinion.

Top spot for McCallum is bang on, too.

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Post by Scottrf Tue 10 May 2011, 11:39 am

Thought you might mention Kalumbay? Maybe Calderon too, although he did get some recognition eventually.

Holmes underrated or underappreciated?

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 10 May 2011, 11:42 am

Kalambay is an interesting one Scotty...He's close and the Graham win was very impressive...

Probably being sconed off Nunn like he was just made him miss out..

But a worthy candidate and good call for sure..

Calderon worthy too but not sure anymore worthy..than what's there.

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Post by Scottrf Tue 10 May 2011, 11:45 am

Just throwing some names, hard to do a list of underrated without looking at list of where people place them.

Bowe I'm not sure, it was his fault to a large extent, and you shouldn't be being handed a boxing lesson from Golota before you are 30. Longevity is part of greatness and he had talent but didn't do enough with it.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 10 May 2011, 11:48 am

Bowe gets remembered for chucking his belt in a bin and for being a coward of sorts over here...

First guy to beat the unbeaten Holyfield and was a champion of repute.....

Like I said everything is relative..

as for the Golota fights....Not every star shines as long as the next.. Curry faded quickly too..

By the way he still beat Golota.

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Post by Scottrf Tue 10 May 2011, 11:53 am

Only because Golota threw it away, he was being outboxed and even outjabbed. I think he failed on the mentality aspect myself, which you know is as important as the physical side. Each to their own.

Why no Holmes? Is that because boxing fans appreciate him now?

Ike Quartey to an extent, not enough to make the list though probably.

Winky didn't get much recognition, guess because his division wasn't a popular one or he was fighting a few guys moving up.


Last edited by Scottrf on Tue 10 May 2011, 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 10 May 2011, 11:55 am

Holmes is widely regarded as a great heavy..The majority on the list are mere bookmarks in history..That's why..


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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 10 May 2011, 11:57 am

It's always a bit of a tricky task deciding who exactly is underrated in the proper sense of the word. McCallum is the obvious choice, but given that so many pick him, it's clear that more and more people are appreciating his record and talents, so is he really that underrated anymore? Tough exercise but this is a good list on the whole, Truss.

Would probably have edged Pedroza ahead of Toney, personally. Don't think 'Lights Out' really produced enough top performances when it really, really mattered to warrant being so high up the list. Pedroza is an excellent shout, though. Some real quality over his nineteen successful defences, and he gave new significance to the term 'world champion.' Defences in Puerto Rico, America, Japan, New Guinea, Korea, Venezuela, Italy, St. Vincent and England. Championship boxing hadn't even been seen in a couple of those places beforehand.

A couple of names notably missing, for me, would be the Filipino pair of Luisito Espinosa and Gerry Penalosa. Their records, in terms of statistics, do neither of them justice but they were cracking little fighters, and the two of them could really punch, too. What's really impressive is that they both returned a full ten years after their first world titles to claim a second one. They'd be at the lower end for me perhaps, but deserve to be there all the same.

Good list overall, though.
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Post by kevchadders Tue 10 May 2011, 12:10 pm

Scottrf wrote:Just throwing some names, hard to do a list of underrated without looking at list of where people place them.

Bowe I'm not sure, it was his fault to a large extent, and you shouldn't be being handed a boxing lesson from Golota before you are 30. Longevity is part of greatness and he had talent but didn't do enough with it.

Agree with this.

If anything, with Bowe he gets overrated due to his trilogy with Holyfield. Every other contest post Holy is met with "..well he wasn't in his prime then".
That man had a shorter prime than Tyson yet appears in a lot of people's top 20 heavy lists, even though he had a fair few faults.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 10 May 2011, 12:11 pm

You're entitled to your opinion.......we'll just disagree.

All opinions welcome.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 10 May 2011, 12:24 pm

Mike Weaver, Chiquita, Miguel Lora, orlando Canizales......all need mentioning..

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Post by Billy Shears Tue 10 May 2011, 2:05 pm

Perhaps 'Razor' Ruddock?

Good list, Terry Norris always springs to mind as a 'forgotten man'. Quite an interesting article in The Ring's May issue.

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Post by Michaels, Sean Tue 10 May 2011, 4:51 pm

Frank Bruno Truss?
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Post by manos de piedra Tue 10 May 2011, 5:04 pm

Fine line between underrated and unheralded for me. Not sure I would consider some of those names underrated, as opposed to unheralded.

A bit like the Holmes phenomenon. Probably not as appreciated as he might be but you seldom see him underrated by most knowledgeable boxing followers. McCallum might fall into this bracket aswell. Not as heralded as his talents allowed but I often see him rated as one of the best LMWs and he is generally held in high esteem.


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Post by Imperial Ghosty Tue 10 May 2011, 5:32 pm

He is rated criminally low by the ring magazine in my opinion though Manos, came in at 79 on their 80 fighters of the past years in 2002, should definitely be in the top 50 of that period if not higher. Holmes coincidentally is 27th which seems about right to me.

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Post by manos de piedra Tue 10 May 2011, 5:56 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:He is rated criminally low by the ring magazine in my opinion though Manos, came in at 79 on their 80 fighters of the past years in 2002, should definitely be in the top 50 of that period if not higher. Holmes coincidentally is 27th which seems about right to me.

Thats true alright I remember seeing that a while back and noting it but they seem to be something of the exception. I havent really thought about where he places in pound for pound terms, but most sources I read generally have him battling it out with Hearns for the top LMW spot. The Ring top 80 isnt that bad but there are definately a fair few eyebrow raisers in it I wouldnt neccessarily agree with alot of it. I would like to see them release a new one every decade or so to see if anything changes significantly.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Tue 10 May 2011, 6:01 pm

Always been perplexed by the cut off point which sees Villa included but Wilde ommitted. They've got the right names but not inecessarily in the right order, very stranged to see Jones as low as 44 considering he was at the peak of his popularity around that time. Maybe worthy of a thread on its own this.

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Post by manos de piedra Tue 10 May 2011, 6:14 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:Always been perplexed by the cut off point which sees Villa included but Wilde ommitted. They've got the right names but not inecessarily in the right order, very stranged to see Jones as low as 44 considering he was at the peak of his popularity around that time. Maybe worthy of a thread on its own this.

I dont know for sure but I believe Ring Magazine was founded about 1922 which may be why they have that as the cut off point. Perhaps part of the criteria for the list was dependant on magazine ratings which only became available in the early 20s. It does seem to exclude about ten fighters I would have thought to be easily top 80 though.


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Post by Imperial Ghosty Tue 10 May 2011, 6:15 pm

Made a new thread for it mate so we don't clog this one up

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Post by WelshDevilRob Wed 11 May 2011, 11:06 pm

Great list of fighters and probably many more that could be added. Not sure about Azumah Nelson he and Mike McCallum seem to get plenty of well deserved credit on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Post by Young_Towzer Thu 12 May 2011, 12:36 pm

I think Toney got more than enough credit, absolutely schooled by Roy Jones Jr when both were at their peaks, he was a good fighter, not in the Jones Jr/Hopkins league though, not close, also think McCallum got enough credit, quality fighter, but beat nobody of serious note imo, Starling certainly doesnt get the credit he deserves though, he destroyed Honeyghan, destroyed Breland, was always competetive and almost fought Chavez at one point, and would of won at WW in my view, that would of probably made him a bigger name.

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Post by zx1234 Thu 12 May 2011, 1:23 pm

Miguel cotto?

probably more overlooked than overrated

he had a good case to win ring magazine fighter of the year in 2005,2006 and 2007 but didn't pick up any, also i don't think he has ever been in the top 5 pound for pound end of year rankings when the likes of israel vasquez has and joe calzaghe twice

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Post by zx1234 Thu 12 May 2011, 1:24 pm

probably more overlooked than overrated*

*underrated

rookie mistake

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Post by Young_Towzer Thu 12 May 2011, 1:41 pm

Miguel cotto?

probably more overlooked than overrated

he had a good case to win ring magazine fighter of the year in 2005,2006 and 2007 but didn't pick up any, also i don't think he has ever been in the top 5 pound for pound end of year rankings when the likes of israel vasquez has and joe calzaghe twice
...............................
I'd say Cotto's UNDERRATED to be fair, he is a LWW, 2 time world welterweight champ, LM champ with some very good wins and is a very, very good operator who has NEVER ducked anybody.

TORRES - went on to win world title after losing to Cotto
MALIGNAGGI - went on to win world title after losing to Cotto
JUDAH - went on to win world title after losing to Cotto
MOSLEY - went on to win world title after losing to Cotto
QUINTANA - went on to win world title after losing to Cotto
LOVEMORE NDOU - went on to win world title after losing to Cotto

Cotto will win more world titles as well imo


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Post by swedish chef Thu 12 May 2011, 9:05 pm

south african brian mitchell is one who is very underated.

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Post by captain carrantuohil Fri 13 May 2011, 10:40 am

Some used to be underrated and have gradually received their due over time - men like McCallum, Tunney and Jofre, for example. Still think that Miguel Canto is appallingly underappreciated, not least, as I discovered when I visited Mexico, by his own compatriots. One could travel through the weights selecting men who don't shine as brightly as they might, but I never quite think that Tony Canzoneri gets as much credit as he might for his astonishing feats. Granted, they were all accomplished early in his life, and he was virtually done as a fighter by his mid-20s, but he was the original weight-hopper par excellence, and a wonderful little fighter.

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Post by Guest Fri 13 May 2011, 11:19 am

Kalambay is a great pick. Not sure about the place for Toney or Nelson,either.
Camacho, Pedroza, yes. And I would include Michael Nunn.

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Post by Olefaithful Fri 13 May 2011, 11:41 am

most of the current crop of world class fighters fighting out of America.

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Post by Bob Fri 13 May 2011, 11:52 am

Steven_89 wrote:I think Toney got more than enough credit, absolutely schooled by Roy Jones Jr when both were at their peaks, he was a good fighter, not in the Jones Jr/Hopkins league though, not close, also think McCallum got enough credit, quality fighter, but beat nobody of serious note imo, Starling certainly doesnt get the credit he deserves though, he destroyed Honeyghan, destroyed Breland, was always competetive and almost fought Chavez at one point, and would of won at WW in my view, that would of probably made him a bigger name.

Toney was a cut above Hopkins skill wise, and was nowhere near his peak when he lost to Roy.

McCallum beat nobody of note? McCrory wasn't bad, Curry? Kalambay? Graham? Watson? Collins? Jackson? Three weight world champ. Would have Hearns and Duran's scalps if they'd had the balls.

How can you defend Cotto's mediocre victories and state McCallum beat nobody of note?

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Post by Mochyn du Mon 22 Feb 2021, 7:29 pm

Wow a reply 10 years later! This must be a record.

I would not put Mike Mcallum on any such list, as to me I think he is widely appreciated and highly rated. Perhaps it's just my interpretation but after what a lackluster performance against Herol Graham but still winning plus the way he bossed Michael Watson after the latter out smarted Nigel Benn was very impressive stuff.

The name that comes to mind for me which is never ever mentioned is Fabrice Tiozzo. A 50 fight resume only losing twice to another name on this list (Virgil Hill) is pretty good number.s A two weight world champion, beat McAllum at LHW and retired Dariusz M, I think deserves a shout.


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Post by ONETWO2020 Mon 22 Feb 2021, 7:56 pm

The surgeon Frankie Randell

AND SORRY TO GO OFF TOPIC BUT IVE KUST SEEN HUMANWINDMILL IS COMMENTING ON HERE???

IVE BEEN AWAY FOR A LONG WHILE CAN SOMEBODY PROVIDE AN EXPLANATION IM SURE THERES A REASONABLE ANSWER

THX

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 23 Feb 2021, 7:22 pm

Well, I guess it's the most underrated fighters of the last 40 years now. Time really does fly. Anyway, not sure what I was thinking back in 2011 having Pedroza ahead of Toney!

Jeff Fenech is usually a name I offer up for this kind of discussion, particularly if you compare him to someone like Donaire. Now Donaire is one of my favourite fighters as it goes, and of course his longevity does piddle all over Fenech's, at least in terms of being competitive at a high level (been a while since he won a fight of real significance, but he was magnificent in defeat against Inoue). But in a shorter space of time Fenech did rack up a list of wins at the very least comparable to those of Donaire (that's without the larceny of the first Nelson fight), and has a couple of similarly dominant wins in fights which were expected to be trouble for him. Also one of the most exceptional inside fighters ever caught on film, with much more skill at close quarters than many seem to remember. At his best, it's hard to think of any other fighter who could attack for the full twelve (or fifteen earlier in his career) with the same ferocity, precision and conditioning as a prime Fenech could.

Was mentioned above, but Kalambay is always a good shout, too. Especially when you consider that McCallum was top of Truss' list - well, Kalambay beat him with plenty to spare in their first fight. Fantastic performance. Was only a slither away from beating him in their rematch, too. I've long been inclined to think that the Nunn loss was a bit of a freak occurrence - not that Kalambay lost, of course, because Nunn was terrific during that short period. But more how he lost. Usually such a great defensive fighter, with a decent chin, never stopped before or after that in his career, and Nunn wasn't a one-punch KO artist either. I just think he got caught cold and if they'd boxed another dozen times it wouldn't have unfolded like that again in any of them, albeit Kalambay would still have had his work cut out beating Nunn at that point.

It's all relative, but when I see what is regularly written about them I often think that the likes of Greg Haugen, Buddy McGirt, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Santos Laciar, Glen Johnson and Reggie Johnson are all underrated or underappreciated to varying degrees.

In the case of the two Johnsons in particular, bad luck with judges often did for them and made their records look less impressive than they should have been: Glen certainly beat Chad Dawson in their first fight in my opinion, should have also got the nod against Ottke and was also a shade unlucky to only share that three-fight series with Clinton Woods; while Reggie Johnson could easily have been something like 2-1-1 or even 3-1 against Toney, John David Jackson and Jorge Fernando Castro x 2 without anyone thinking it was undeserved. Instead, he somehow ended up 0-4 against them. Personally I thought the Toney result was just about fair, though I wouldn't have begrudged Reggie getting a draw. But he won the first Castro fight by a mile (horrendous carry-on by Castro's hometown fans and the officials), and I had him beating John David Jackson by a couple of rounds or so, too.

At least Glen got that bit of late career glory and a taste of the real big time with those surprise wins over Jones and Tarver in 2004 (and as I said earlier, should have been able to add Dawson to that list four years later, which really is impressive considering his age and how highly-rated Dawson was at that stage). No such luck for Reggie, unfortunately, who on the face of it could be viewed as a bit of a nearly man, despite those two world titles.
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