Manny Pacquiao, unquestionably one of the best boxers of his generation, says his third meeting with Timothy Bradley Jr. on April 9 will be the final fight of his career. If that's the case, then it's time to assess Pacquiao's place in boxing history.
ESPN asked its panel of boxing experts to rank the top 25 pound-for-pound boxers of the past 25 years. The results will be unveiled over eight days on ESPN.com, Facebook (ESPN Boxing) and Twitter (@ESPNBoxing) and counted down from No. 25 to No. 1, which will be announced on the eve of Pacquiao-Bradley III. Fans can use the hashtag #P4Prank to join the discussion and follow along.
Is Pacquiao the No. 1 P4P boxer since 1991? Here is the fighter ranked at No. 4:
Coming Wednesday: No. 3
4. Roy Jones Jr.
Record: 63-9, 46 KOs | Years active: 1989-Present
Weight classes: Middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, cruiserweight, heavyweight
Top 3 signature wins: Bernard Hopkins, UD12, 1993; James Toney, UD12, 1994; John Ruiz, UD12, 2003
Stats & Info: Jones Jr. was named Fighter of the Decade for the 1990s by the Boxing Writers Association of America, amassing a record of 36-1 with 14 title fight wins.
ESPN's take: For about a decade, from 1994 to 2004, Jones, robbed badly of Olympic gold in 1988 by judges guilty of corruption, reigned as pound-for-pound king. He was a gifted fighter offensively and defensively with incomparable speed and reflexes, and a penchant for making the kind of dazzling moves few had ever seen before. He inspired a generation of fighters and not only dominated opponents, but rarely lost rounds or got hit cleanly. When he easily outboxed Hopkins to win his a middleweight title in 1993, he did it essentially one-handed. In 1994, he whitewashed Toney to claim a super middleweight title and continued fighting without remotely being challenged for years. He was so good he moved up to heavyweight and soundly beat Ruiz for a belt in 2003, becoming the second former middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title, since Bob Fitzsimmons did 106 years earlier. He also became only the second former light heavyweight champion, along with Michael Spinks, to do it. Although he has been in a long decline and is still fighting way past his prime, Jones was a one in a generation fighter who ranks among the best ever. -- Dan Rafael