Welterweight Crush: Is This Best Welterweight Group of All Time?

A logjam of talent exists in the welterweight division today. It’s simply the most talent-rich division in all of boxing.

The most comparable welterweight division in recent times was probably in the late 90s and early 2000s, when Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Ike Quartey, James Page, Jose Luis Lopez, Sugar Shane Mosley, Pernell Whitaker, Vernon Forrest and several others roamed the 147-pound landscape.

Welterweights are the Taj Mahal of all weight divisions and are led by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. But there are so many others today that will be providing boxing fans a plethora of entertainment for 2015 and beyond.

Despite the richness of the welterweights, there are several barriers that exist, especially among boxing promoters who simply do not get along.

Al Haymon’s group includes the largest conglomeration of welterweights, ranging from Mayweather, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter to Josesito Lopez, Robert Guerrero and Roberto Garcia, among others. It’s a long list.

Top Rank has Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, Brandon Rios, Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez, among some others.

Golden Boy Promotions has Paul Malignaggi, Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz, and perhaps Mauricio Herrera if he chooses to move up a weight division.

Oscar De La Hoya, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, has gone on record many times saying that boxing should make the “best matches” for the fans. The Los Angeles-based company has already matched Herrera against Top Rank’s Jose Benavidez and has shown its willingness to put forth its best foot.

But what about Haymon’s welterweights?

Mayweather Factor

If Mayweather, who’s advised by Haymon, fights Pacquiao, who is promoted by Top Rank, that could open up more exciting match ups between all three major promotion companies. Right now Top Rank and Haymon are not getting along. That could change if Mayweather and Pacman sign a contract.

But even if they don’t sign, the welterweight division is about to explode upon the boxing public.

Beginning in March, welterweights take center stage in back-to-back weeks.

First, Thurman meets “The Ghost” Guerrero in a welterweight clash that has many excited about the new order of things on March 7, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. NBC will televise the welterweight clash.

“We’re training hard, everybody is stoked. We’re all looking forward to March 7, so let’s do this,” said Thurman.

Less than one week later on March 13, Josesito Lopez and Andre Berto clash at the Citizens Business Bank Arena at Ontario, California. Both Lopez and Berto have fought there before and the winner will determine who moves forward and who sinks below the top welterweight realm.

Lopez lives a mere 15 minutes away from the Citizens Business Bank arena and should have a large fan base. But Berto is no stranger to Southern California boxing rings and his speed and power will be plenty to handle for Riverside’s Lopez.

Also on the same card will be former champion Shawn Porter meeting Roberto Garcia in a fight that pits muscle versus muscle. It should be an interesting matchup and so far Haymon’s matchmakers are using the old 50s and 60s style of matching up by putting Mexican or Latino fighters versus African Americans. It was the same theorem used back in the hey-day of the Olympic Auditorium that proved monstrously successful.

Then there are so many other welterweight matchups just waiting to be unleashed. You have possibilities like Brook vs. Khan, Bradley vs. Rios, Marquez vs. Maidana, all waiting to be hatched on boxing fans.

It’s looking to be a good year, especially with so many television platforms available.

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COMMENTS

-Froggy :

It is definitely a very deep division ! Everybody has heard of the fabulous four, you all know who they are, but before I ever heard of them I read about the fabulous five, Duran, Benitez, Leonard, Hearns, and Pipino Cueves, spelled wrong I think ! I don't remember what the top 10 or 20 in the division was then to compare with the top 10 or 20 now, but I would have to say the division back then was the best welterweight division ever, plus the first 4 I named all fought each other, imagine that ! I think pipino only fought Hearns and Duran !


-Radam G :

The only crushing Money May seems to get the most holla about is beating the arses of his babies' mommas. I could not imagine Money May being at peace with one of them and jamming like Da Manny and Jinkee:
->http://m.YouTube.com/watch?v=LqzK-UKSY9Y. Holla!


-DaveB :

I thought this title was a joke. Hell no.


-Pazuzu :

The only crushing Money May seems to get the most holla about is beating the arses of his babies' mommas. I could not imagine Money May being at peace with one of them and jamming like Da Manny and Jinkee:
->http://m.YouTube.com/watch?v=LqzK-UKSY9Y. Holla!
Oh. Wow...where do you find this stuff, Radam? I bet you posted it, didn't you. ; )


-Radam G :

Oh. Wow...where do you find this stuff, Radam? I bet you posted it, didn't you. ; )
Hehehe! I'm in da loop of da poop. I've even been accused of being Da Manny, but I'm the one and only Radam G. You would lose your bet. Holla!


-The Commish :

It is definitely a very deep division ! Everybody has heard of the fabulous four, you all know who they are, but before I ever heard of them I read about the fabulous five, Duran, Benitez, Leonard, Hearns, and Pipino Cueves, spelled wrong I think ! I don't remember what the top 10 or 20 in the division was then to compare with the top 10 or 20 now, but I would have to say the division back then was the best welterweight division ever, plus the first 4 I named all fought each other, imagine that ! I think pipino only fought Hearns and Duran !
I don't remember what I had for dinner yesterday, but I remember the welterweight ratings from my years at The Ring 35 years ago. After Leonard took the title from Wilfred Benitez in Novenber 1979, the ratings, (from my aging memory), looked something like this: 1. Pipino Cuevas 2. Roberto Duran 3. Thomas Hearns 4. Wilfred Benitez 5. Pete Ranzany 6. Dave Green 7. Jorgen Hansen 8. Harold Weston 9. Randy Shields 10. Angel Espada Those bottom six would have been a tough fight for anybody in today's bottom six. -Randy G.


-stormcentre :

I recall James Page (and his wild left hooks), and also . . "gee what if I tried" Jose Luis Lopez. Solid contenders and possible champions. The late 90s and early 2000s were exciting times for welterweights - that's for sure. Of course I remember the other welterweight cats mentioned from those same times too, such as; Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Ike Quartey, Shane Mosley, Pernell Whitaker, Vernon Forrest and also some others like Roman Karmazin, Zab Judah (was arguably campaigning as a welterweight in roughly 2003), Obah Carr, Ricardo Mayorga, Wilfredo Rivera, Joshua Clottey, and Vince Phillips. Also (in relation to the welters Commish mentioned) . . . .I really loved both Cuevas and Benitez' fighting style. Obviously Duran and Hearns' weren't bad either. But, for me, I liked more the usual outcome of their fights - rather than being as entertained (as I was with both Cuevas and Benitez) with their fighting style and its facets.


-brownsugar :

Marlon Starlin and the early version of Donald Curry would have feasted on Brook, Bradley, Alexander, Malignacci, and Porter in my humble opinion....most of today's welter are blown up junior welters and lightweights any way. This is not a knock on those guys.. I just think Starling and Curry were better. I haven't even gotten to Leonard, Duran and Benitez yet.


-brownsugar :

More precise and aggressive punching and less grappling shoving and head butting than in modern times.


-The Commish :

I am just picturing the matchup of some of today's welterweights against the welterweight of 35 years ago: Floyd Mayweather v Roberto Duran (the one who faced Leonard in June 1980) Manny Pacquiao v Sugar Ray Leonard Amir Khan v Thomas Hearns Keith Thurman v Pipino Cuevas Kell Brook v Wilfred Benitez. As I see it, the score from the above matchups would be: 1980 Welters
5, Today's welters
0 -Randy G.


-Froggy :

I am just picturing the matchup of some of today's welterweights against the welterweight of 35 years ago: Floyd Mayweather v Roberto Duran (the one who faced Leonard in June 1980) Manny Pacquiao v Sugar Ray Leonard Amir Khan v Thomas Hearns Keith Thurman v Pipino Cuevas Kell Brook v Wilfred Benitez. As I see it, the score from the above matchups would be: 1980 Welters
5, Today's welters
0 -Randy G.
You will get no argument from me Randy G. , I would say one KO for sure and up to three other ones !


-The Commish :

You will get no argument from me Randy G. , I would say one KO for sure and up to three other ones !
You can do that with so many of the divisions. Historicasl Dream Matchups are always fun. But, since this thread is welterweights, we'll keep it right here. Certainly, a Floyd Mayweather v Sugar Ray Leonard matchup is an intriguing fight to think about. As I have a "Commissioner's Corner" coming on this matchup, I'll hold off talking about it here. -Randy G.


-stormcentre :

Marlon Starlin and the early version of Donald Curry would have feasted on Brook, Bradley, Alexander, Malignacci, and Porter in my humble opinion....most of today's welter are blown up junior welters and lightweights any way. This is not a knock on those guys.. I just think Starling and Curry were better. I haven't even gotten to Leonard, Duran and Benitez yet.
Throw Pryor and Arg?ello into their respective weight divisions today and apply the same logic = the same results. :cool:


-King Beef :

todays welter's are deep, but the crews from the 80's and 90's were proven beast squads.


-Radam G :

Marlon Starlin and the early version of Donald Curry would have feasted on Brook, Bradley, Alexander, Malignacci, and Porter in my humble opinion....most of today's welter are blown up junior welters and lightweights any way. This is not a knock on those guys.. I just think Starling and Curry were better. I haven't even gotten to Leonard, Duran and Benitez yet.
I gotta to agree with you. Holla!


-stormcentre :

You will get no argument from me Randy G. , I would say one KO for sure and up to three other ones !
Oh that's both hilarious and mean . . . . Hearns V Khan. What version of Mayweather against Duran though? The one that fought Jesus Chavez, weight aside, might have given him some issues.


-stormcentre :

You will get no argument from me Randy G. , I would say one KO for sure and up to three other ones !
Oh that's both hilarious and mean . . . . Hearns V Khan. What version of Mayweather against Duran though? The one that fought Jesus Chavez, weight aside, might have given him some issues.


-The Commish :

Oh that's both hilarious and mean . . . . Hearns V Khan. What version of Mayweather against Duran though? The one that fought Jesus Chavez, weight aside, might have given him some issues.
The best Mayweather you can find against the June 1980 version of Duran, the one who beat Sugar Ray Leonard. That's a Dream Match I'd love to see. -Randy G.


-stormcentre :

The best Mayweather you can find against the June 1980 version of Duran, the one who beat Sugar Ray Leonard. That's a Dream Match I'd love to see. -Randy G.
Yes, it's a pretty good match up. Not in the least as SRL showed Duran can easily be undone if you stick and move, and box him. And, Floyd has a far better defence than SRL (not saying he is better than SRL overall though), and is prone to fighting just as I above state if required. Not sure who I would back there if we got the best version of Mayweather, made him the same weight as Roberto, and threw him in with a prime Duran. One thing's for sure Duran wouldn't have it all his way. Good match up. I'd like to see a Duran V Chavez Sr. Both guys in their prime and at welterweight, or less.