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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Mexican Boxers of All Time: Who is the Greatest of them All?

Top 10 Mexican Boxers of All Time: Who is the Greatest of them All?

Ranking the top 9 Mexican Boxers of all time!
Publish Date: 03/07/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Current boxers are not eligible for this list, so Canelo must wait until his career finishes to rank him properly. Mexican boxers are known for there toughness and warrior mentality, but this top ten includes some outstanding ring technicians, not just brawlers. This list was hard to make, and ranking one through ten was almost impossible.


The criteria are simple: who fought the best competition and was the most dominant for an extended period? Ricardo Lopez was dominant, but it was tough to rank him because of the lack of competition in his weight class. A guy like Salvador Sanchez died at the age of 24, but his career was stacked with tough competition, especially in the last three years of his life.

10) Ricardo Lopez

“El Finito” would no doubt rank higher had he faced more formidable competition. With 21 successful title defenses, 51 wins, 38 knockouts and no defeats under his belt, his achievements as an amazingly skilled ring technician speak for themselves.

The issue with Lopez was the level of competition in his division and the fact that he could have had a couple of super fights had he moved up a few pounds. Lopez is one of the best Boxers to retire with an unbeaten record.

Video: Ricardo López - Defense Highlights

Ricardo López – Defense Highlights

9) Eric Morales

Morales was the first Mexican to win titles in 4 separate weight classes. He defeated 15 world champions, including Marco Antonio Barrera, Junior Jones, Daniel Zaragoza, Paulie Ayala, and Kevin Kelley. Morales also owns a victory over Manny Pacquiao.

Morales, Barrera, and Marquez were all warriors, and they all made each other better, and they never shied away from the top competition.

8) Marco Antonio Barerra

He beat Morales in two out of three fights, maybe most famous for dominating and shutting up Prince Naseem. He also beat Kennedy McKinney, Naseem Hamed, Paulie Ayala, Erik Morales, Kevin Kelley, and Johnny Tapia.

Barrera was a great fighter and he fought a very talented level of competition and more often than not he found a way to win.

Video: Marco Antonio Barrera Knockouts

Marco Antonio Barrera Knockouts

7) Juan Manuel Marquez

Marquez does not get the credit he deserves. He was a great fighter and legend. He knocked out Manny Pacquiao, and the argument can be made that Marquez beat Pacquiao in 3 of their 4 fights. Marquez also won over Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Diaz, and Joel Cassamayor.

He lost at 147 to Floyd Mayweather, but it was fought twelve pounds higher than he had ever fought before without a tuneup fight; Marquez was a great fighter, and Floyd knew that, so no tuneup fight was allowed by Floyd.

Video: Juan Manuel Marquez Career Highlights

Juan Manuel Marquez Career Highlights

6) Miguel Canto

Canto is revered as one of the greatest flyweight champions in boxing history. After seizing his title from Shoji Oguma in 1975 and making fourteen successful title defences – beating Betulio Gonzalez, Lupe Madera Martin Vargas and Antonio Avelar, among others – Canto only scored fifteen stoppages across 61 career wins he secured as an exceptional defensive fighter.

If we were judging this list solely on ring generalship he would rank much higher.

Video: Miguel Canto - Amazing Speed & Elusiveness

Miguel Canto – Amazing Speed & Elusiveness

5) Vicente Saldivar

Saldivar only had 40 pro fights but the quality of boxers he beat was amazing. Japan’s Mitsunori Seki (two times), Ghana’s Floyd Robertson, United Kingdom’s Howard Winstone (three times) were all supremely talented fighters. Saldivar captured the title by upsetting Ismael Laguna and also beat Sugar Ramos.

Not bad in 40 fights. He retired as a champion and while gone, two excellent featherweights, Cuba’s Jose Legra and Australia’s Johnny Famechon would set themselves apart as the two best fighters at 126 pounds. Saldivar returned from retirement and beat them both.

Video: Vicente Saldivar - Tribute

Vicente Saldivar – Tribute

4) Ruben Olivares

Olivares is one of the greatest bantamweights in history, and his left hook is legendary. All but one of his losses were in his last 25 fights; in his first 60 or so fights, he was unbeatable.

Too many people look at his win-loss record, but as I said, in his prime, he was a force to be reckoned with, and a case could be made for Olivares to rank even higher than this. Check out our best Latino Boxers of all time! a lot of the men on this list are on it.

Video: Ruben 'El Puas' Olivares, Knockouts.

Ruben ‘El Puas’ Olivares, Knockouts.

3) Carlos Zarate

Zarate was a tremendous puncher. In 1977, he had one of the greatest victories of any Mexican Boxer when he knocked out Alfonso Zamora. Zarate suffered his first loss to a prime Wilfredo Gomez. Zarate was the only boxer with more than 20 straight knockouts at two different points in his career.

Zarate was a destructive puncher and was dangerous even in his older years. He is underrated by many outside of Mexico.

Video: Carlos Zárate - Career Tribute

Carlos Zárate – Career Tribute

2) Julio Cesar Chavez

Chavez had wins over Edwin Rosario, Tony Lopez, Greg Haugen, Roger Mayweather, and Meldrick Taylor. Sure, his early record is questionable, but what is not questionable is what happened after 1984, when Chavez was dominant.

Chavez was a relentless boxer who gave it everything he had in every fight he ever participated in, and while he’s effectiveness dropped off after the 140lb weight class, he is an all-time great fighter. His fight against Meldrick Taylor was the best fight of the 1990s!

Video: Julio Cesar Chavez Career Highlights

Julio Cesar Chavez Career Highlights

1) Salvador Sanchez

Sanchez’s career was cut short by a car crash, but his career was full. He beat Hall of Famers Azumah Nelson, Danny Lopez, and Wilfredo Gomez. He was a brilliant technician and could do it all. It’s impossible not to wonder what else he would have achieved if he hadn’t died so young. He is, without question, the greatest Mexican fighter of all time.

Sanchez did more in a few years than most did in his entire career, and he was at his best against the top competition. He sometimes had a tendency to fight down to lesser talented fighters, but he always did enough to win the fight.



Honorable Mentions

Rodolfo “Baby” Casanova

“Baby” never achieved world title status. Still, more than held his own in one of boxing’s most competitive eras, amassing 81 wins over such notable names as Kid Azteca, Baby Arizmendi, Juan Zurita and Freddie Miller – his fight with Sixto Escobar in 1934 is considered to have kicked off Mexico vs Puerto Rico rivalries.

Alberto “Baby” Arizmendi

With wins against Henry Armstrong and closely fought bouts against Tony Canzoneri, Chalky Wright, Lou Ambers, Sammy Angott and Freddie Miller among his opponent list, no one can doubt that this featherweight world champion exemplified true Mexican Style boxing.

Raúl “Ratón” Macías

He is revered as the pioneering Mexican legend. Within 10 years of being a professional boxing idol, Tepito made 41-2 and 25 knockout victories to become champion of the National Boxing Association (the precursor of today’s WBA). However, his loss to Alphonse Halimi devastated many boxing fans; he was still young when retiring but never far from the Mexican fight fans.

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