Jamie Glover Writing
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1. Best Pro Boxer – Sugar Ray Robinson
Born Walker Smith Jr, Sugar Ray Robinson’s boxing style was so sweet they gave him the name Sugar. This along with a mix up with another fighter named Ray Robinsons boxing amateur boxing license gave him his name. He amassed an impressive unbeaten amateur record of 85 wins and 69 knockouts before turning pro.
Undoubtedly hindered by the mafia and their grip on the sport, Sugar Ray won 40 straight fights, being called the uncrowned champion by fans. He then lost to long-time nemesis and future world champion Jake Lamotta. He went on to defeat Tommy Bell for the vacant World Welterweight title on the way to a 91 fight unbeaten streak. He would avenge Lamotta by taking his middleweight crown and was the first fighter to win the Middleweight title five times. This was in an era with only one title per weight making the competition more extreme. The P4P rankings were in fact invented to hypothetically see how Ray Robinson would fair in other weights. He was also named fighter of the decade (1950s) by Ring Magazine. The man seemingly had no weakness as a boxer. The slender fleet footed fighter had incredible power and accuracy in both hands. He could box inside and out, had a granite chin and the heart of a lion. His career record was 174 wins, 109 knockouts, 19 losses and six draws.
2. Best Wrestler – Aleksandr Karelin
887 wins and only 2 losses. What more can be said about the Russian born Alexander Karelin. Karelin was incredibly strong and was revered for his training regimen and work ethic. Dubbed “The Experiment” he would often intimidate his opponents with his formidable build and look. He invented the Karelin lift in which he would reverse body lift opponents and slam them to the ground. He won three Olympic gold medals, nine World Championship golds, 12 European golds and a silver Olympic medal. He also had one mma fight which he won by unanimous decision.
3. Best BJJ – Roger Gracie
The most accomplished member of the most famous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu family in history Roger Gracie. Roger is an aggressive practitioner with a submission percentage of over 80% (Jiu Jitsu Legacy). He has won 10x black belt gold medals at the world championships and 2x ADCC gold medals. Roger also has 5x silver medals in the world championships and a bronze in the ADCC. He also used his skills in BJJ to amass a mma record of eight wins and two losses.
4. Best Mixed Martial Artist – George St. Pierre
Canadian Crowd favourite George St. Pierre is the true definition of mixed martial arts. An unflinching learning attitude has allowed the fighter to develop a varied skill set. An educated boxing jab allows him to gage distance, set up moves and breakdown opponents. His karate background is also evident from his exceptional and unique low kicks. He is also known for his well-timed in out movement and accurate superman punches.
Despite having little wrestling background GSP has one of the most effective takedowns in UFC history. He is also a Gracie Barra black belt, expertise used to submit Michael Bisping for the middleweight title after four years out of the octagon. His career record is 26 wins, 8 knockouts, 6 submissions and 2 losses. He is a 3x UFC Welterweight champion and a UFC Middleweight champion.
5. Best Amateur Boxer – Vasyl Lomachenko
Ukrainian born Vasyl Lomachenko AKA, Hi-Tech, The Matrix, NoMaschenko is the most accomplished amateur boxer of all time. The fighter managed to achieve a near impossible record of 396 wins and only one solitary loss. His decorations as an amateur include 2006 World Junior Champion, 2007 World Championship Silver, World Champion 2009, 2011, Olympic Champion 2008, 2012. Due to the bigger pool of fighters and the continuous level of elite competition, amateur boxing is arguably a harder sport to succeed in, which makes these accomplishments even more incredible.
Lomachenko is known for his incredible footwork angles and ability to fight defensively in attack. His cat like reflexes has earned him his name “The Matrix” in the professional game. In a short career as a pro Hi-Tech has become a multi weight record breaking world champion and is regarded by many as the best current P4P pro fighter. He may even earn the status as the best ever pro fighter in the future.