Top-5 pound-for-pound boxers of all time

Originally Published: April 27, 2009
By Michael Woods | ESPN The Magazine

The term "pound-for-pound" was first coined by Ring magazine editor Nat Fleischer in the early 1950s as a way of comparing and contrasting fighters in different weight divisions. These days, with the plethora of weight classes, sanctioning bodies and titles, the phrase is used simply to describe a fighters raw talent and ability.

Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for