Boxing has eight different weight classes. The heavyweight division has always been the most watched and that can’t really be argued. With boxers like George Foreman, Mike Tyson, and now Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, there have always been the biggest hitters in the heavier divisions. People like seeing boxers with cannons for arms going at each other, waiting to see who can land the biggest punch.
The entertainment of the heavyweight division is hard to match. However, the lightweight division has had its moments in the spotlight too, with some world-class boxers coming out of the division. Lightweight matches are often more technical and the boxers have to use skill and strategy to come out victorious. Let’s look at the best lightweight boxers below.
1. Tony Canzoneri
Tony Canzoneri was a pioneer in the lightweight division as he entered the sport of boxing when he was still extremely young. He fought all the way back in the 1920s and was so good when he entered the sport that he was almost immediately branded as the best lightweight boxer in the world.
The traits that many boxing fans attribute to Canzoneri are speed of punch and dodge, versatility in the ring that made him almost impossible to beat for any opponent, and surprisingly heavy-handed for such a small fighter.
The biggest testament to his talent and his iconic character is the fact that over 100 years later, boxing fans are still raving about him, wishing another fighter could replicate his unbelievable career. Had he played basketball, he would have been top of the NBA picks online today.
2. Roberto Duran
Many hardcore boxing fanatics consider Duran to be one of the best boxers of all time, never mind one of the best lightweights. He had a stellar career where he caused upsets in the ring from the moment he got started.
Duran fought for around 10 years, where he absolutely dominated the lightweight division knocking out loved champions like Ken Buchannan and Estaban De Jesus. Duran was a vicious fighter that made him look almost impossible to beat when he got into his zone inside the ring.
After dominating the lightweight division Duran went on to win titles in the welterweight, super welterweight, and middleweight divisions, showcasing his drive and versatility.
3. Floyd Mayweather
Now, this pick might be a bit controversial for those boxing purists out there, but it is important when deciding on the greatest-ever boxers, not to be blinded by nostalgia. Floyd Mayweather is an absolute phenomenon in the sport of boxing and has some of the fastest hands that have ever been seen in the sport.
Every time Floyd steps into the ring he puts on an absolute defensive masterclass, making it nearly impossible for this opponent to get any hits in. While he may not have the most power of any of the names on this list, it is clear that Floyd Mayweather is one of the most technically gifted boxers of all time.