Muhammad Ali Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Muhammad Ali at No 4 and no mention of Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier, Roberto Duran or Rocky Marciano?

There is something seriously bizarre about the list of the ‘Top Ten’ best boxers of all time published by BoxRec.com earlier this week.

One can make a case for Floyd Mayweather Jr, who has been awarded the coveted No 1 position on the official BoxRec list, given his unbeaten record of 50 wins and 0 losses during a flawless 21-year career.

The Philippines boxing icon, Manny Pacquiao, is ranked at No 2, which is open to debate, but then there is no getting away from the fact that he is the only fighter to win titles in eight different divisions.

BoxRec, then delivers a bomb by slotting Argentine Carlos Monzon at No 3.

True, he was the undisputed world middleweight championship for a period of seven years, but that does not warrant the lofty classification. Tell me if I am wrong, but you had better have a solid case. Monzon’s placement made me stop and wonder what The Ring magazine, or the sport’s sanctioning bodies the WBC, WBA, IBF etc are thinking. To give credit where it’s due, Monzon was a great boxer, but so were Archie Moore, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran and Rocky Marciano, who are not even on the BoxRec list.

The one-and-only Muhammad Ali comes in at No 4, with Sugar Ray Robinson, Bernard Hopkins, Joe Louis, Archie Moore, Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez completing the top 10 .

BoxRec, which in some quarters is a well-regarded statistical website mainly due to its comprehensive database, clearly does not conform to the norm when factoring rankings. Its commitment is to provide updated records of professional boxers. So, it has its niche in the support and promotion of the sport of boxing. However, this list does little to justify their credibility.

Ali, who has been cruelly snubbed by BoxRec, would arguably top the list of the greatest sportsman ever! No kidding. He transcended his sport not just through his performances in the ring, but also for the impact, he had on an America reeling under cultural, social and political uncertainty during his time in the 1960s and 1970s. The ‘Thrilla in Manila’, where he defeated Joe Frazier in 1975, is regarded as the most famous boxing fight ever. Period.

However, BoxRec saves the day by naming Robinson, who fought an incredible 174 times and only lost 19 of them, multiple world champion Hopkins, Louis, the sensational ‘Brown Bomber’, Moore, who was the longest reigning world light heavyweight champion of all time, the ever popular De La Hoya and last but not least, Chavez on the list.