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. 5:
Coming Tuesday: No. 4
5. Julio Cesar Chavez
Record: 107-6-2, 86 KOs | Years active: 1980-2005
Weight classes: Junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight
Top 3 signature wins: Edwin Rosario, TKO11, 1987; Roger Mayweather, TKO10, 1989; Meldrick Taylor, TKO12, 1990
Stats & Info: From 1989-1993, Chavez made 12 defenses of his WBC junior welterweight title, the most in that division's history.
ESPN's take: The last years of his career may have been tarnished by losses to some inferior fighters, but in his prime, Chavez was a fearsome and merciless body puncher, an uncanny slipper of punches and the antithesis of what used to be known, in admiration, as a "Mexican fighter." Never a face-first brawler, Chavez had a built-in radar for avoiding punches and getting inside on an opponent to deliver his deadly left hook to the liver. At his best, Chavez was a joy to watch, although sometimes the subtlety of his style was lost on fans who came only to see knockouts. His relentlessness forced Mayweather to give up his title on his stool, his magnetism drew 135,000 fans to Estadio Azteca to watch him fight an overmatched Greg Haugen and his tenacity allowed him to outlast Meldrick Taylor in a fight he was just seconds away from losing. Chavez stepped into the void left behind after Mike Tyson got knocked out by Buster Douglas, and later, went to jail, to become the premier attraction in boxing from 1990 to 1994, bridging the gap until the rise of Oscar de la Hoya, his two-time conqueror. Chavez is undoubtedly the greatest fighter in the history of Mexico, a country that has produced dozens of excellent world champions. -- Wally Matthews