In the featherweight division, there have been an incredible number of boxers who have an aura of legends surrounding them. Let's go through the names of the greatest exponents in the history of the division with our special ranking of the best featherweights ever.
10. Chris John
The Indonesian was gifted with first-rate technique but was little loved by the general public due to his conservative and unspectacular style. Due to the protection he received in his prime, when whoever managed him kept him safe from the big names in the category, his superb streak of 18 titled defenses is not enough to guarantee him a more prestigious place in the ranking.
Many consider the famous victory over Juan Manuel Marquez to be contentious; however, we believe it was well-deserved.
9. Battling Battalino
His ranking in our top ten is harmed by the ambiguous dynamics that have marked his career. The many defeats that Battalino suffered between a titled defense and the other aroused suspicion in an era when the world of betting and the underworld were tightening their tentacles on elite boxing, only to come back to the beast of always when it came to defending the world belt. His victories over Kid Chocolate and an up-and-coming Freddie Miller are noteworthy.
8. Ernesto Marcel
It's a pity that this genuine ring champion's journey between the 16 ropes was cut short by an early retirement at only 26 years old, at the height of his glory and following a magnificent victory over the legendary Alexis Arguello.
The Panamanian, who had trouble with Roberto Duran in his youth, had the technical and physical ability to become one of the greatest of all time, but he still deserves a spot in the top ten!
7. Eusebio Pedroza
His boxing may have been "dirty" and uninspiring, and his record may be devoid of high-sounding names, but 19 world defenses, many of which were against opponents from other countries, represent an impressive resume.
The Panamanian compeed in the featherweight category for more than seven years, securing a place in the annals. Extremely strong in hand-to-hand combat and extremely concrete in his essential but profitable boxing.
6. Juan Manuel Marquez
In the course of his long and illustrious career, the colossal "Dynamite" has never been afraid of anyone. He has always looked for great opponents to give life to great matches, winning a lot and losing a little but always putting on a great show, from the early lightweights to the welterweights of recent years. The monstrous KO inflicted on his long-time rival Manny Pacquiao in the fourth and final chapter of their unforgettable saga.
5. Freddie Miller
Those who follow boxing closely and have studied its history know that becoming world champion and maintaining the coveted title for a long time was far more difficult when the title was singular and not divided into four acronyms of equivalent prestige.
That's why Freddie Miller's career, with his 12 world titles and a phantasmagoric record of over 200 victories, is more impressive than anything modern boxers can achieve.
4. Vicente Saldivar
The southpaw from Mexico City, armed with sharp and violent blows, burst onto the world scene at a young age, creating a small masterpiece even before defeating the talented Ismael Laguna to become world champion.
He never lost a battle during his first world reign, and his ability to reclaim the throne after a two-year hiatus drew even more admiration. Among his most illustrious victories, the withdrawal imposed on Cuban Sugar Ramos after twelve rounds stands out.
3. Salvador Sanchez
Only the Mexican jewel's tragic fate prevented him from climbing even higher among the best featherweights of all time. "Chava" had time to build a kingdom of nine world defenses and knock out such sacred monsters of boxing history as Wilfredo Gomez and Azumah Nelson before being killed in a car accident when he was only 23 years old.
A screaming challenge with Alexis Arguello, who is extremely strong, appeared to be on the horizon, but we will never know how it turned out.
2. Sandy Saddler
Someone might even give the terrible American thug first place because of the favorable balance with the other featherweight emperor Willie Pep.
The Boston boxer was endowed with frightening physical strength and petrifying power, so much so that he put together more than 100 KOs as a professional, always poised on the thin border that divides the so-called "profession" from the improprieties punishable by regulation.
1. Willie Pep
Despite the fact that he was ultimately defeated in the saga with his eternal rival Saddler, with whom he won once and lost three times, Pep deserves to be at the very top of the rankings, having reached those infamous meetings in the final stages of a long and unrepeatable career.
The man who was registered as Guglielmo Papaleo at the registry office had the best defense in boxing history, and he was so strong that he even recovered from a terrifying plane crash, returning to win and convince.