With #CaneloKhan about to unfold on Saturday night, the good people at The Top Men Boxing Radio podcast are up for a look back at past instances when fighters moved up in weight to challenge for world titles. While Khan’s challenge of the larger Mexican raised many eyebrows when it was first announced, the fact is such a bold move is nothing new. In decades past true legends of the ring such as The Barbados Demon or The Boston Terror thought nothing of taking on opponents who were significantly bigger and heavier, as long as there was money on the table.
The man considered by many to be the greatest boxer of all-time, Sugar Ray Robinson, gets plenty of talk time in this week’s episode as Patrick Connor and Aris Pina take close looks at both his moving up to challenge Jake LaMotta for the middleweight title in 1951, and then his failed attempt to wrest the light heavyweight crown from Joey Maxim the following year. Former super lightweight champion Meldrick Taylor’s challenge of Terry Norris back in 1992 comes up for discussion, as does Stanley Ketchel‘s legendary battle with heavyweight champion Jack Johnson.
This week’s episode then takes close looks at three truly great fighters whose names have to come up in any discussion of boxers who made moving up in weight look easy: Mickey Walker, Roberto Duran and Manny Pacquiao. Walker is of course one of the great “giant killers” in boxing history, a welterweight who eventually more than held his own against heavyweights. Duran, renowned as one of the greatest lightweights of all-time, went on to win championships at welterweight, super-welterweight and middleweight. And Pacquiao is the most prolific weight division champion in boxing history, having won world titles in an astonishing eight different weight classes. Check it out: