Nowadays when you ask the question "Who is the greatest boxer of this era?," you only really get two answers... Floyd 'Money' Mayweather and Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao'. For so long these have been the boxers that have been dominating most of the media coverage, debates and most importantly the money in the sport. What I want to know is.. Who would take the top spot if these two guys were around?
Now, this isn't just about who would become pound-for-pound No.1, its also about who would be considered the greatest. And in my opinion to be the greatest you have to be more than just technically skilled. You have to have something special about you. The ability to impact people, change their lives and most importantly let the world know who you are and make people want to watch you fight.
As always when I ask a question like this I want to know what the boxing public think or in Twitter terms the '#BoxingHeads'. So I posted the debate on Twitter and just expected replies regarding mostly the same couple of fighters. But it didn't turn out like that. There was at least twenty to twenty five different boxers mentioned and only a few were mentioned more than once.
Another thing that shocked me was that even up and coming prospects were getting mentioned. Boxers such as Adrien Broner, Kell Brook and even Chris Eubank Jr who has had no more that six fights. Now why I don't agree that these fighters should be considered great already, I took the thought into consideration and realised that these fighters are destined for greatness they're just not there yet.
Of course there were the obvious ones such as Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward and Juan Manuel Marquez (surprisingly nobody actually said the Klitschko's), and yes, these fighters are all great.. But who is the greatest? There was no clear verdict which made me realise one thing:
There is no real cemented definition for great. Greatness means something different to every single person in the world. Everyone has there own perception on who is great, especially in boxing. A sport where everything is debatable.
If I had to chose one fighter from this era to call 'the greatest' it would without a doubt be Floyd Mayweather. But seeing as he is excluded from this argument there is only really one other man out there... Juan Manuel Marquez.
Even at his current age (39-years old) he is still up there as a serious pound-for-pound contender and I think he is the only other fighter out there that you can put in the same bracket as Floyd and Manny.
The one thing I love about the Mexican is that he never fails to provide excitement and entertainment which is why the fans love him so much. I don't think there is anyone out there that can say they're not a fan of Marquez. He's not the stereotypical Mexican that you see powering through taking shots on the chin, he out-boxes and most of the time out-classes his opponents with ease. The guy has been in so many wars over the years but hasn't slowed down at all, he still fights like a fresh mid-twenties boxing technician.
Yep that's it really.. I consider Juan Manuel Marquez as the greatest of fighter of this era (except for Mayweather & Pacquiao). I'm sure there's a lot of you out there that disagree but that's what boxing's all about... OPINIONS! And I suppose every boxer that steps between those ropes are great in their own way.
By Jack Price @PriceyJ97.