eSports Boxing Club - The Definitive Roster Wish List Part Two

Continued from Part One...


Manny Pacquaio (62-7-2, 39 KOs)

Light flyweight - Light middleweight, 1995 - current

One of the most decorated boxers in the history of the sport, the Phillipines' Manny Pacquaio is the only fighter to earn world titles in eight different weight classes as well as the only boxer to win major world titles in four of the original eight weight divisions. He is also the first boxer to capture the lineal championship in five different weight classes, the first four-time welterweight world champion, and the only boxer to hold world titles in four different decades.


One of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers the sport has ever seen and arguably the greatest southpaw to ever compete, Pacquaio is known for his highly aggressive style, his impressive speed and footwork, and of course his powerful left hand.


After a successful amateur career, Pacquiao began his professional climb to the top in the Phillipines at just 16 years old, putting together a 22-1 record in his home country before scoring a knockout in Japan in 1998 and then capturing his first world title, the WBC flyweight crown, later that same year.


Unfortunately, after just a single title defense Pacquaio missed weight for his second and was stripped of his flyweight crown before being stopped by Medgoen Singsurat via a body shot.


Pacquaio moved up to super bantamweight and captured the international edition of the WBC belt in his next outing, retaining it five times before earning the IBF world title. After several defenses, Pacquaio moved up once again, this time defeating Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera for The Ring featherweight strap before fighting to a draw against Juan Manuel Marquez, another Mexican legend who was dropped three times in the opening round.


Pacquaio then moved up to super featherweight and lost a close decision to Erik Morales, but proceeded to capture the international WBC super featherweight belt and emphatically avenged his loss to Morales in his first defense (he later finished Morales a second time as well). He would earn proper world titles in this weight class as well by beating Juan Manuel Marquez in an extremely close rematch; he quickly picked up another world title by moving up to lightweight and defeating David Diaz, only to then move up to welterweight for a dream match-up with Oscar De La Hoya, who he dominated en route to an eighth round stoppage.


His next fights saw Pacquaio earn world titles at light welterweight and welterweight with knockout victories over Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto respectively; he defended his welterweight crown three times with wins over Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosley, and a second victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in yet another extremely close back-and-forth war, and he also picked up an additional title at super welterweight with a victory over Antonio Marguerito.


In 2012, Pacquaio's winning streak came to an end following a horrific decision loss to Timothy Bradley; while virtually the whole world knew Pacquaio had won the fight, his next loss saw no such controversy as he faced Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time and was shockingly knocked out cold in the sixth round.


With many believing the then-34 year old Pacquaio's time at the top was done, Manny instead worked his way to a Bradley rematch and once again clearly defeated Bradley (this time the judges saw it as well) to regain his welterweight title; in 2015, after years of build-up and hype and failed negotiations, the long awaited showdown with Floyd Mayweather finally took place, breaking every pay-per-view record in history in the process.


The fight ended up being much less exciting than anticipated and Mayweather won a safe decision on the scorecards, with Pacquaio fighting through a torn labrum and generally not looking like his normally hyper-aggressive self. After flirting with retirement, Pacquaio returned to his title collecting and earned back his WBO welterweight title (which Floyd had vacated in retirement) before losing another extremely ridiculous decision in Australia to Jeff Horn, in what many called a clear hometown decision and evidence of boxing being rigged (Pacquaio landed more than double the punches Horn did over the course of the bout).


Undeterred, Pacquaio would win another world title at welterweight with a victory over Lucas Matthysse and defended it once before capturing the WBA super welterweight title with a victory over Keith Thurman at 40 years of age; the Phillipian star (and Senator in his home country) hasn't fought since the COVID-19 hysteria began but is scheduled to return against Errol Spence Jr. in August for the WBC and IBF welterweight titles.


Willie Pep (229-11-1, 65 KOs)

Featherweight, 1940 - 1966

Nicknamed the "Will o' the Wisp", Willie Pep is regarded as the greatest featherweight of all time and was renowned for his incredible speed and elusiveness that frustrated his opponents to no end.


Pep fought in a ridiculous amount of fights even for a fighter of his era, winning his first 62 outings (53 of those came before he earned the world featherweight title) before suffering his first defeat, a decision loss to lightweight champion Sammy Angott in a non-title bout. Just ten days later, Pep was back in the ring and scoring another win, piling on plenty more to run up his record to an unbelievable 134-1-1.


In 1948, Pep was finally dethroned by Sandy Saddler via fourth round knockout, but two wins and four months later Pep won on the scorecards in a rematch to regain his NBA, NYSAC, and The Ring featherweight titles. Pep would rack up more wins until he met Saddler for a third time in 1950, being unable to continue after the seventh round thanks to a separated shoulder (he was up on all the judges' scorecards at the time).


He would again put together a winning streak before meeting Saddler for the fourth time; this time, the referee let the bout devolve into one of the most disgraceful championship fights in boxing history, with their fight involving all sorts of dirty tactics including eye gouging, wrestling, tripping and more until Pep quit before the ninth thanks to blood running into his eye.


Although he wouldn't fight for a world title again and slowed down a bit in the ring as he aged, Pep continued fighting at a ridiculous rate until he retired in 1959, only to return six years later to pick up nine more wins before losing a decision in 1966 and finally retiring for good.


The featherweight great stayed on the boxing scene long after he hung up the gloves however, going on to become a referee and inspector.


Aaron Pryor (39-1, 35 KOs)

Light welterweight, 1976 - 1990

One of the best light welterweight boxers of all time, Aaron Pryor began his professional journey in 1976 after having a rather successful amateur career which included a victory over future champion Thomas Hearns.


By 1980 he had put together a 24-0 record with 22 KOs and picked up the WBA and The Ring light welterweight titles with a fourth round finish of Antonio Cervantes. He would defend his titles eight times (all by knockout), though fights against Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran fell through in negotiations and from management issues; a fight with Leonard was eventually signed in 1982, with Leonard agreeing to face Pryor after defending his title in May of that year, however a detached retina suffered during training forced Leonard out of his title defense and into one of his many retirements.


Pryor did however get to face three-weight champion Alexis Arguello, with their first fight in 1982 later being recognized as the "Fight of the Decade". Both men traded heavy leather in a battle of skill and wills, with Pryor winning in the fourteenth round via knockout - it was however not without controversy.


Although Pryor was up on the scorecards after thirteen rounds of action, he was fading badly and Arguello was pouring on the pressure. In the corner before the start of the fourteenth round, Pryor's trainer and now infamous cheater Panama Lewis was caught on camera saying "Give me the other bottle, the one I mixed"; after ingesting the "water" provided by Lewis, Pryor became revitalized and stopped Arguello emphatically in the next round.


Before a rematch in 1983, Pryor's trainer Panama Lewis was banned from boxing after loading Luis Resto's gloves in a fight with Billy Collins Jr. which left the young prospect nearly blind and ended his career. Two weeks before fighting Arguello for the second time, Pryor brought in Emanuel Steward as his trainer instead and erased all doubt as to who the better boxer was, dominating Arguello en route to a tenth round finish that left any controversy from their first fight in the rear-view mirror.


Pryor retired in the ring but came back less than a year later, immediately being recognized by the newly formed IBF as their light welterweight champion; he defended the belt twice before his struggles with drug abuse kept him out of action and eventually led to his title being stripped for inactivity in 1985. After over two years away from the ring, Pryor came back, insisting he was clean, but returned a shell of his former self, being knocked out by journeyman Bobby Joe Young.


Pryor fought three more times over the next three years against club fighters as he struggled with the drug addiction that led to an arrest and two years of mandatory treatment for drug abuse; he also became nearly blind in one eye following a botched surgery to remove a cataract and fix a detached retina.


Luckily, Pryor was later able to get clean shortly after and he remained sober until his death in 2016 following a battle with heart disease.


Donovan "Razor" Ruddock (40-6-1, 30 KOs)

Heavyweight, 1982 - 2015

One of the rare breed of fighters famous for throwing a specific punch, Jamaican-born Canadian Donovan "Razor" Ruddock is best known for his "Smash punch" (sometimes referred to as a shovel hook now), a left hook/uppercut he liked to throw while leaping forward toward his opponents.


A left-handed fighter that fought in an orthodox stance, Ruddock's offense almost entirely came from the left side of his body, and even during finishing sequences he rarely threw a right hand, making him a rather unique puncher indeed. His unique style was nonetheless effective in the ring, even leading to a victory over future Olympic gold medalist and heavyweight legend Lennox Lewis in an Ontario junior boxing match.


His professional career didn't start off as well as he would have liked however - making his debut in 1982, Ruddock put together nine wins and a draw on the Canadian circuit before losing to journeyman David Jaco, his corner throwing in the towel after eight rounds when Donovan complained of breathing issues.


It was then discovered that Ruddock suffered from a rare respiratory illness and doctors told the young prospect that his fighting days were over; to their surprise, after ten months of rehabilitation Ruddock made a full recovery and returned to the ring in style, winning his next 16 fights and finishing all but one of his opponents.


With a showdown against Mike Tyson scheduled late in 1989, Ruddock's big opportunity fell apart after Tyson fell ill and instead opted for a tune-up fight with Buster Douglas soon after - unfortunately for Tyson, that tune-up fight didn't go as planned.


In 1991, after four more knockout victories, Ruddock finally got his chance against Iron Mike in a proper number one contendership bout; Ruddock was dropped in the third but battled back and turned it into a fight, but referee Richard Steele controversially stepped in to call off the bout via TKO in the seventh, much to Ruddock (and the fans') dismay, even causing fights to erupt in the crowd.


Their rematch was a classic heavyweight battle which surprisingly lasted all twelve rounds, with both men busted up badly; though he won the fight, Tyson suffered a perforated eardrum while Ruddock's jaw was broken (possibly as early as in the fourth round).


Razor went on to capture the IBC heavyweight title against Phil Jackson before being stopped by Lennox Lewis in a rematch from their days as amateurs; after taking two years off, he later faced Tommy Morrison for the vacant IBC title and had dropped Morrison early, but Morrison survived and, like in his first fight with Tyson, Ruddock was stopped controversially by the referee in the sixth round.


Ruddock would disappear from action for nearly three years before returning to face journeymen for the rest of his career, ultimately recapturing the Canadian heavyweight title before retiring in 2001.


He would return 14 years later following a series of bad investments and money problems, winning two fights before losing in his attempt at winning the Canadian heavyweight title for the third time. He retired for good at the age of 50 in 2015.


Sandy Saddler (145-16-2, 104 KOs)

Featherweight - Super featherweight, 1944 - 1956

Sandy Saddler was a heavy-hitting featherweight known for his punching power and remarkable chin, having been finished just one time in a career spanning 162 fights (and that finish came in just his second pro bout).


Saddler put together an impressive 85-6-2 record before earning a title shot against the great Willie Pep in 1948, where Saddler shocked the world by knocking down the defensive master four times before finishing him in the fourth round.


Pep avenged his loss with a decision victory less than a year later, but Saddler scored his revenge in 1950 to regain the featherweight crown after having picked up the NBA super featherweight title as well.


In their infamous fourth bout, which has been dubbed the "dirtiest fight in championship history", Saddler retained his title in a gruesome affair after Pep retired from the bout due to a cut over his eye.


Though he lost multiple decisions in non-title bouts, Saddler never lost another title fight and knocked out multiple future champions such as Joe Brown, Paddy DeMarco, Gabriel "Flash" Elorde and Jimmy Carter (no, not that Jimmy Carter).


Unfortunately his career was cut short when he suffered an eye injury in a car accident in 1956 and was forced to retire at the age of 30. He however successfully transitioned into the world of training and even helped coach a young George Foreman.


Max Schmeling (56-10-4, 40 KOs)

Light heavyweight - Heavyweight, 1924 - 1948

A German boxer whose career was highly politicized given his nationality during the time in which he competed, Max Schmeling was irregardless an excellent boxer and easily one of the best European heavyweights to ever compete in the sport.