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Monday, 4 November, 2002, 10:56 GMT
Barrera world's best pound-for-pound?
Marco Antonio Barrera cements his position as the world's top featherweight by easily outpointing Johnny Tapia in Las Vegas.
Is Barrera the world's best pound-for-pound fighter?
This debate is now closed. See below for a selection of your emails
Barrera followed impressive victories over Erik Morales and Naseem Hamed with a convincing points win at the MGM Grand.
After a bruising encounter, Tapia hailed Barrera as "king of the featherweights", and there are those who believe he is on a par with modern great Roy Jones Jr.
Undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins can also lay claim to the unofficial pound-for-pound title, as can WBC lightweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But who do you think is number one?
Why is it that Roy Jones is always discredited for not facing stiff enough competition? He has faced all the number one contenders, world champs and greats they have put in front of them, and cleaned up three weight divisions.
There is no one out there, nor has there ever been, someone who has utterly dominated and out-classed everyone he has fought. He is without a doubt the most talented fighter ever to grace the boxing world. Barrera is a great fighter, but RJ performs at a level yet to be achieved by anyone else.
Roy Jones Jnr is inherently the most talented boxer of the last 10 years, but he won't beat Ruiz - he's not big enough to compete at heavyweight.
Barrera is good, but I don't rate him as highly as Hopkins, Lewis, Tsyzu and Mosley, he doesn't dominate guys in the same way the aforementioned fighters do, until he does he'll just be a runner up.
The P4P rankings are based on skill, courage, and quality of opposition. Roy Jones Jr, while no doubt incredibly skilful, has consistently displayed a lack of fighting spirit in fights with dangerous opponents (eg Bernard Hopkins), and even marginally dangerous opponents (eg an obviously over-the-hill Mike McCallum).
Given the three criteria, Oscar de la Hoya probably deserves the title of best P4P fighter. His quality of opposition simply cannot be matched, and his skill and courage are top-notch.
This is, after all, a man who started off as a 130 lb. junior lightweight and has won titles in five different weight classes. The most exciting young fighters? Manny Pac and Ricky Hatton.
I have been very impressed by Marco Antonio Barrera's boxing skills, he is a dedicated, hardworking boxer and a very good tactician. Prince Naseem Hamed underestimated Barrera and he paid the ultimate price, the Mexican still has work to do if he is to be named the best, but I'm sure he can pull it off.
Barrera is a great fighter, but not in the same league as Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins. He's close, but the two men mentioned have never been knocked out like Barrera was by Junior Jones. Remember, many boxing followers thought Erik Morales deserved the decision over Barrera in their fight last June.
Barrera IS brilliant, but the best P4P is still Jones Jr. People give him stick for not making the 'right' fights, but the guy's beaten everybody out there worth beating.
Michelzewski ducks him and Hopkins and Calzaghe - as good as they are - know that fighting Jones would be for their retirement fund. The whole boxing world knows that when you fight Jones, you lose painfully. End of story.
Why has nobody mentioned Audley Harrison? His Olympic performances were outstanding and no professional has troubled him. Give him time and we will certainly be talking about him in such exalted company.
It's a tough call, you could chose between three or four fighters at the moment, but I am going to go for Lennox Lewis on his recent demolition of Tyson.
Barrera is a virtuoso by any sporting standards and is mouth-watering to watch in action. I certainly don't believe there is a better boxer in the world, although there is certainly a huge amount of quality out there at the moment.
I just wish I could watch them on TV. As they used to say on Points of View: please, please, please, BBC...let's see more of these top quality fights on TV. It's certainly a refreshing change from watching the Audley gravy train trundling agonising along!
Marco Antonio Barrera is best featherweight in the world. No one can stop him. He will go down in history as the best featherweight in the world.
I went to Las Vegas as a Naseem Hamed fan, and came back a Barrera fan. Barrera is a warrior, a true modern great. Most importantly, for me, he shows the desire to prove he is the best by beating the best - something neither Roy Jones nor his alias "RJ" can claim to have shown.
The only other one in his class is Oscar De la Hoya; Trinidad, Moseley, Quartey etc - he took them all on.
Naseem Hamed, when he was under Brendan Ingle was the best featherweight and one of the best pound-for-pounders, but he has gone downhill ever since.
I would say that Roy Jones is probably the best in the world at the moment. Although I am looking forward to his fight with Ruiz, I wish he would fight the best in his own weight class first: Calzage etc.
Barrera is the MAN! Have you ever seen anybody look as calm and relaxed as Marco. He will go down as one of the greats of his era. NAZ was put in with a world-class fighter in his prime - and got whooped, end of discussion. Look out for a Paulie Ayala upset in his clash with Morales.
Great fight and an equally great decision by the BBC in buying it! Thank you.
Since his back to back defeats at the hands of Junior Jones, Barrera has proved, with victories against the likes of Morales, Hamed and Tapia, that he is a truly world class operator, a future clash with the winner of Ayala v Morales is a mouth watering prospect.
Barrera is worthy of pound-for-pound consideration along with the likes of Hopkins, Del La Hoya, Mayweather, Tszyu, Lewis and Forrest but surely only Roy Jones Jnr can wear the crown. He has been unrivalled since he stepped into the ring as a professional, no one has come close and that includes the Hopkins and Toney's of this world.
Don't forget that James Toney would have made any pound-for-pound list when he and Jones fought. After Jones takes care of Ruiz and then hopefully Michalczewski anyone that thinks that he is not No 1, just hasn't been paying attention.
People love to hate Naseem, and with good reason. But I honestly believe that if Naseem fought Barrera again, but with the right attitude, he could beat him convincingly.
In the first fight Barrera didn't show anything particularly special, but because Hamed kept going for the big knock out punch, instead of actually boxing, it played into Barrera's hands.
Marco has been the most exciting fighter since the early 90's when I would see him live at the forum. His boxing skills are unmatched!
Marco is being compared to the Mexican greats like J.C. Chavez and Sal Sanchez. He's definitely one of the best to come out of Mexico.
Lennox Lewis, Marco Antonio Barrera and Ray Jones Jr are a class above everyone else and will be remembered as 'the' boxers of this era. Earl rightly points out what a fine boxer Joe Calzaghe is - but for whatever reasons he has yet to fight, let alone beat the kind of men the above have both fought and beaten.
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Joe Calzaghe. He is a talented boxer who has beaten anybody who has been put in front of him, and never ducked anybody. In fact he has gone out of his way to challenge both Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins.
Barrera was taken apart by Junior Jones in their first part and beaten on points in the rematch. For me the best pound for pound has to be Roy Jones followed by Calzaghe.
Barrera is not the best boxer in the business today, but one of the best. He is not as talented as Roy Jones, but who is? I think the best boxers today are Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins, Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, and Floyd Mayweather jnr.
I have my doubts about deciding who is the best pound-for-pound fighter, we have to recognise Barrera is the best featherweight out there, and no question in my eyes, he is a modern great! His display against Tapia was masterly - sums it up perfectly for me. He is a master!
What I dislike about someone like Roy Jones is his attitude - fantastic ability yes, but I think the way Barrera conducts himself is far more befitting for a true King of the ring.
Sugar Shane Mosley, he only has one bogey man and he will probably be fighting him for the third time to clarify that he is the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
Why is there no mention of Vernon Forrest? The man beat Shane Mosely twice this year! I'm sure if the sugar man hadn't lost he would be up there on your top listings.
But Barrera has faced the best his division has to offer and beaten them all. Without doubt one of the best. And you have to love the way the belts mean nothing to him.
He is in my opinion the best in a good featherweight division. He is able to adjust his style against his opponents and can fight toe to toe as he did in his first fight with Morales or just produce a masterclass in boxing as he did against the Prince.
I think at present he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. However, out of a variety of e-mails, there has been no mention of Kostya Tszyu, a fighter who holds three titles and who destroyed a great fighter in Zab Judor within two rounds. Doesn't he at least deserve a mention?
Barrera is a great fighter, but best pound-for-pound? That accolade goes to Roy Jones Jr. How many former champions has he beaten? He cannot help the lack of quality in the era he has boxed, he's the best of his generation!
De La Hoya isn't far off but must avenge the defeat to Sugar Shane to even be considered the best! Don't count out Kostya Tszyu, Mayweather, Lopez etc.
I think Barrera is the best featherweight in the world. But I think Paulie Ayala would give him a good fight and so would Manny Pacquiao. He is not one of the best-pound-for pound fighters. I would have him at about number seven. He does not compare with fighters like Roy Jones, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricardo Lopez.
Once again daft nationalism has got in the way of common sense. Of course Barrera is better than Prince Naseem - he slaughtered him - and yes, pound-for-pound he may be the world's best. Come on guys, let's have some objectivity.
Best Pound-for-pound. Well, have you forgotten the name Ricky Hatton!?
Barrera has shown that he can hit as hard and as fast as Prince Naseem, as intelligently as Erik Morales and can take a punch as good as Tapia. What other fighter actually combines ALL of the talents of his main rivals in his division?
Barrera is a quality man and along with Morales they are a class apart in the division. Naz was always living on borrowed time when he arrived in the big league and he has not shown the appetite of these guys to get back on top of the division since his defeat.
The greatest? Well it's got to be Marvin Hagler he dominated a division in the days when boxing was at its prime. The tragedy was him being robbed on points by Leonard.
If you judge by titles you've got to say Tommy Hearns was one of the best. Lennox cannot claim the mantle of the world's greatest because sadly Bowe and Tyson avoided him at the time when he would have cleaned up. It's a great debate though.
Barrera is one tough hombre who has not ducked a single person throughout his career. He should be remembered as a modern great. Morales is his equal, however, and I believe that he won the previous fight between the two.
Jones Jr is awesome, but as mentioned before he has ducked classy opponents. I agree with Ricardo (below) and think that Lennox Lewis is pound-for-pound the best fighter in the world. He has hammered everyone put in front of him and his only two defeats were lucky punches that he easily avenged in rematch fights. King Lennox I say.
Barrera might be the world's best featherweight champ but he's still not proven it to the legend Prince Naseem. He might have beaten him before but Naseem did not know much of him. This time Barerra wouldn't stand a chance!
Hopkins is the best pound-for-pound fighter. He has an exciting style he can box excellently as shown by his win over Trinidad. He can also brawl and come back from a KO as show in his second fight against Echols when he was thrown to the floor and his shoulder was dislocated.
The man has incredible boxing skills, guts and he knows how to talk a good fight too. The reason I won't agree Roy Jones Jr is the best pound-for-pound is due to the fact he keeps ducking decent fighters plus his style while technically excellent does not have the crowd pleasing style of Hopkins.
Jones makes opponents look average because that's exactly what his opponents are. I'll be surprised if he makes Ruiz look average though.
Barrera is an exceptional fighter, who will go down as a featherweight great. He has to be in the top three pound-for-pound rankings. However, I think Jones is No.1 at the moment. Whilst people discuss his lack of opponents and the fact he "ducks" so called challenges is somewhat laughable. Whenever he steps into the ring he humiliates fighters.
Clinton Woods, whilst no world class is a durable fighter, and Jones took him apart with "sickening ease"! Hopkins wouldn't last the distance against Jones and power wise isn't close. Ruiz is a useful challenge but I fear Jones may dance to victory. Surely this puts him at number 1.
Ricardo is talking rubbish about Lennox I'm afraid. Lewis has a lack of decent opponents and whilst he has done great things, facing a Tyson who was so far below his prime doesn't count as a scalp. People like Morales, Tim Austin, Hopkins, Mayweather Jnr all come above him
After watching Oscar De La Hoya beat Fernando Vargas a few months ago, I would have to say that he is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today.
Barrera is not the world's best pound-for-pound figter. I still believe Erik Morales is the king of featherweights. Let's see a re-match between these two to cement my view. As for the best fighter on the planet, Roy Jones is a highly skilled individual but has ducked out of fights with higher class opponents.
If he beats Ruiz, he will establish himself as an all-time great. I believe that currently the title should go to the noble Lennox Lewis. A great heavyweight who obliterated the self-styled baddest man on the planet. Big up Lewis.
Barrera is right up there with the best in the world but it cannot deflect from the fact that when I watch Roy Jones Jr I get transfixed by his boxing skills and how easily he defeats his oponents and makes them look average. Barrera is a great but does not quite have the natural brilliance of Roy Jones Jr.
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