The Racing Horse has always found the views of Jeff 'Bulldog' Burns on boxing knowledgeable, thoughtful and precise and certainly always interesting. Here he nominates his Top 10 Heavyweights of all time...
"A number of years ago before Ali had established himself as 'the greatest', there was considerable debate about who was the greatest heavyweight champion of all time. I recall that Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano were always strong contenders, Johnson being Nat Fleischer's favourite. Well I am going to start the ball rolling with my Top 10. The criteria I have adopted is who achieved most as champion in terms of their contribution to boxing, their title defences, taking into account the merit of their challengers, and their world wide fame and notoriety as heavyweight champion of the world." Jeff Burns.
TOP 10 HEAVYWEIGHTS:
1. MUHAMMAD ALI
2. EVANDER HOLYFIELD
3. LARRY HOLMES
4. LENNOX LEWIS
5. JACK JOHNSON
6. JOE LOUIS
7. MIKE TYSON
8. GEORGE FOREMAN
9. JOE FRAZIER
10. ROCKY MARCIANO
Jeff ‘Bulldog’ Burns reached the pinnacle of his ring career when he challenged his old adversary Mike McCluskie for the Welsh middle-weight title on a sold out Eddie Richards promotion at the Top Rank Suite in Swansea on 27 June 1973. Burns was ahead on points going into the eighth of a ten round contest. Super fit he went for the knockout against his tiring opponent only to walk onto a terrific left hook counter and although on his feet at the count of seven he was counted out by referee Joe Morgan. After the fight the referee visited the Swansea boxer’s changing room to offer some consolation informing him that he was ahead at the time of the stoppage!
Jeff has since became an author and wrote a fabulous book on boxers from Swansea from 1916 to 2010.
It is the work of a man who is proud of the achievements of Swansea’s boxing community and who wanted to publish a work dedicated to it. The contents contain a wealth of information for the enthusiast:
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