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Top 17 Latino Boxers of All Time

The top 17 Latino boxers of all time!
Publish Date: 06/13/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
Source: Sports Illustrated

Ranking the top Latino boxers of all time is not an easy task, to say the least. I left off Cuban Boxers like Savon and Stevenson because they were never pro’s and Cuban boxers were developed to win Olympic Gold and not pro titles. I know that nobody will ever entirely agree with anyone’s list, so by all means, feel free to comment on your top ten. It would probably be different each time if I wrote this list ten times, except for my top 3. I am not excluding Canelo because he is still fighting; I excluded him because everybody on this list had a better career.

17) Ricardo Lopez

“Finito” Lopez had an undefeated professional debut at 18 and amassed a 52-0-1 record before retiring at 56 with no losses to his name.

I know I will catch a lot of flak for this ranking, but Lopez level of competition was terrible. He could have moved up a few pounds and proved himself against better competition, but he didn’t.

Video: The Mexican PERFECTION Of Ricardo Lopez

The Mexican PERFECTION Of Ricardo Lopez

16) Felix Trinidad

“Tito” is considered one of the greatest boxers ever from Puerto Rico. After starting professional boxing at 17, he soon became world champion in three different organizations: IBF, WBA, and WBC. Trinidad was one of the hardest-punching Middleweights of all time.

He earned one of his most memorable victories against Oscar de la Hoya in 1999 and finished his career with 42 victories (35 knockouts) against just three losses.

Video: Félix Trinidad - Man or Machine (Highlight Reel)

Félix Trinidad – Man or Machine (Highlight Reel)

15) Erik Morales

Erik became the first Mexican-born boxer ever to win four world championships across four different divisions.

Video: Erik Morales - Mexican Warrior

Erik Morales – Mexican Warrior

14) Juan Manuel Marquez

Marquez is one of five Mexican boxers to win world titles across three different weight classes (the others being Fernando Montiel, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Julio Cesar Chavez). Over his 19-year-long and successful career in the ring, he has amassed eight titles across organizations, with “The Ring” proclaiming him one of their top pound-for-pound boxers.

Video: Juan Manuel (Dinamita) Marquez career highlight

Juan Manuel (Dinamita) Marquez career highlight

13) Marco Antonio Barrera

Mexican boxer Marco Antonio Barrera made waves as a fighter, turning professional at 15. Since then, he claimed seven world championships across three different weight divisions, winning his inaugural super bantamweight belt from the World Boxing Organization against Puerto Rican Daniel Cobrita Jimenez  in 1995.

In 2001, he defeated British boxer Naseem Hamed for the featherweight crown in the International Boxing Organization; two years later, he earned the super featherweight championship from World Boxing Council after defeating Paulie Ayala. He earned 58 victories (44 knockouts) against nine defeats during his professional boxing career.

Video: Marco Antonio Barrera - Baby Faced Assassin

Marco Antonio Barrera – Baby Faced Assassin

12) Carlos Ortiz

Ortiz beat Kenny Lane to become the first Puerto Rican world boxing champion since Sixto Escobar more than 30 years before and only the second Puerto Rican world boxing champion ever. Not much fanfare followed because little significance was given to the Junior Welterweight title he claimed. Instead of moving up a division like most, Ortiz moved down to Lightweight to challenge Joe brown for the title. Ortiz claimed the lightweight title via a 15-round decision. He defended against Flash Elorde, winning by 14th round stoppage and then lost the title to Ismael Laguna before regaining it in a rematch. The only time Ortiz was stopped in his entire career was his last fight, a KO loss to Ken Buchanan.

Video: Carlos Ortiz - Lightweight Legend (R.I.P. 1936-2022)

Carlos Ortiz – Lightweight Legend (R.I.P. 1936-2022)

11) Carlos Zarate

WBA and WBC bantamweight champion in the late 70s, Zarate was known for his powerful punch. Only two other professional boxers (Ruben Olivares being the other) won twenty consecutive fights by knockout. Zarate was honored as being voted by The Associated Press as being their 20th-century Bantamweight of the Century and ranking 21 on their 100 Greatest Punchers List.

Video: Carlos Zárate - Career Tribute

Carlos Zárate – Career Tribute

10) Jose Napoles

Napoles is a Cuban-born Mexican boxer and a World Welterweight Champion. He is frequently ranked as one of the greatest fighters of all-time in that division and was a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. His record of the most wins in unified championship bouts in boxing history, shared with Muhammad Ali, was unbeaten for 40 years.

Video: Jose

Jose “Mantequilla” Napoles – Technical Excellence

 

9) Wilfredo Gomez

Gomez first achieved fame as an amateur world champion in Havana in 1974 at just 18 years old. Later he transitioned into professional boxing and won 32 straight fights via knockout on his professional debut, making history by becoming one of a select few fighters with 20 or more consecutive KO wins in a row. Gomez captured his super bantamweight world title awarded by Boxing World Council by knocking out South Korean Dong Kung Yum in Puerto Rico by knockout during round twelve in 1977; held his crown until 1983 after 17 bouts which all resulted in knockouts.

Of his many opponents, Juan Meza, Lupe Pintor, and Carlos Zarate standout among them as world champions who he defeated during his professional career. After retiring in 1989 with 44 wins (42 knockouts), 3 defeats and one draw as part of an outstanding professional run, he was honored to become part of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.

Video: Wilfredo

Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gómez – Knockouts

8) Julio Cesar Chavez

Chavez was at his best at lightweight and below. Padded record? Will you would be right on that account up until he won his first world title, then the competition got stronger beating the like of Roger Mayweather (two times), Jose Luis Ramirez, Edwin Rosario, Hector Camacho, and Meldrick Taylor

Video: The Legendary Speed And Power Of Julio Cesar Chavez

The Legendary Speed And Power Of Julio Cesar Chavez

7) Salvador Sanchez

Sanchez would win the last 24 fights of his career. This streak included winning the WBC featherweight title in 1980 over the Hall of Famer Danny Lopez and defending it nine times—defeating notable featherweights Ruben Castillo, Patrick Ford, Juan La Porte, Roberto Castanon, Pat Cowdell, and Hall of Famers Lopez (again), Wilfredo Gomez and Azumah Nelson in the process. He died at just 23 years of age and what could have been will always be talked about with Sanchez. Maybe a super fight against Arguello? A showdown with Chavez, there are so many possibilities here that it’s mind-numbing. Sanchez is considered by some the greatest Mexican fighter of all time.

Video: Salvador Sanchez - Career Tribute

Salvador Sanchez – Career Tribute

6) Ruben Olivares

Olivares was a vicious knockout puncher who ruled the Bantamweight division when it was stacked with great fighters. Olivares record stands at a sublime 89-13-3. But upon closer examination, you can see that 11 of those losses came not only at the tail end of his career but also above his optimum weight of 118 pounds. At 118, Olivares was virtually unbeatable. From the mid-60s to the mid-70s, Olivares ruled 118 with an iron fist.

Video: The Legendary Ruben Olivares

The Legendary Ruben Olivares

5) Kid Chocolate

Chocolate is the greatest fighter to ever come out of Cuba. Chocolate became Cuba’s first world boxing champion when he knocked out the defending world Junior Lightweight champion Benny Bass in seven rounds to take the world title. Chocolate went undefeated during his first 56 fights. He made eight defenses of his title, although he was unsuccessful in his bid to become the Lightweight champion. Chocolate became Cuba’s first world boxing champion when he knocked out the defending world Junior Lightweight champion Benny Bass in seven rounds to take the world title.

Video: The Excellence of Kid Chocolate

The Excellence of Kid Chocolate

 

4) Alexis Arguello

Without a doubt the greatest fighter the country of Nicaragua has ever produced, the Thin man was dominating in three separate weight classes and won three world titles in three different categories: featherweight (1974-1977), super featherweight (1978-1980), and lightweight (1981- 1983). He won 82 out of 90 fights, 65 of which finished with KO. He came up just short of 4 titles losing the fight of the year in 1982 to Aaron Pryor. Check out our guide to the top boxing betting strategies.

Video: Alexis Argüello - Devastating Punching Power

Alexis Argüello – Devastating Punching Power

3) Carlos Monzon

Monzon won the middleweight world championship in his 81st bout when he went to Rome to knock out the great Nino Benvenuti in 1970. He would defend that title an amazing 14 times over the next seven years, including wins over Benvenuti again, Bad Bennie Briscoe, Emile Griffith twice, Jose Napoles, and a couple of decision wins over the Colombian Rodrigo Valdez. Monzon, if not the greatest Middleweight of all time, has to be in the top 3.

Video: Carlos Monzón - Highlights & Knockouts

Carlos Monzón – Highlights & Knockouts

2) Eder Jofre

I was torn here because Jofre could easily beat out Duran; he was that good. Only one man ever beat him: the great Masahiko “Fighting” Harada in Japan. The first loss to Harada was a huge upset because most viewed Jofre as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world then. After those two gut-wrenching losses, Jofre retired. Of course, as most boxers do, Jofre would return to the ring three years later, moving up to featherweight, going an amazing 25-0 and winning the title over Jose Legra. I could go on, but I don’t need to because of Chris Smith’s Biography about Jofre, which I highly recommend to any boxing fan.

Video: Eder Jofre - Golden Bantam

Eder Jofre – Golden Bantam

1) Roberto Duran

Duran was one of the three greatest lightweight champions of all time. Still, he took it off the chart by moving up and beating a prime Sugar Ray Leonard at welterweight, then taking Marvelous Marvin Hagler the distance and finally upsetting the much bigger Iran Barkley to win a portion of the Middleweight title.

Duran is considered by many as a top ten pound-for-pound boxer of all time.

Video: 10 Roberto Duran Greatest Knockouts

10 Roberto Duran Greatest Knockouts

 

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