Defense in any sport is often overlooked, but in combat sports is is a necessity.
In Boxing defensive fighters are often criticized, but they also often find success. Their tactical approach to fights makes them difficult to hit and some of the best Boxers in the world have fallen victim to the strategies of defensive Boxers.
Evolve MMA put together a list of the five best defensive Boxers. Here are two of their five. Make sure to read the entire list at Evolve MMA.
1) Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker
Talk about defensive wizardry. There is a reason why, when discussing boxing’s greatest defensive tacticians, Pernell Whitaker’s name often comes first on the list. “Sweet Pea” was gifted with the god-endowed talent of incredible defensive awareness. He could see punches coming from a mile away, and adjust ever so slightly to evade them.
In an age when all-action stars and blood and guts warriors ran rampant, Whitaker provided a breath of fresh air for fans who wanted to see a more technical display of fighting.
His most famous fight perhaps came against Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez. It was a one-sided affair with a controversial ending. After Whitaker dominated Chavez for the entirety of the bout, judges infamously saw the fight as a draw, causing Sports Illustrated to run a front page headline which simply read: “ROBBED”.
Whitaker was so unique in his defensive mastery that judges didn’t even know how to score his movement properly.
2) Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.
Recognized as arguably the greatest defensive fighter of all time, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. has epitomized boxing perfection. Not only is he next to impossible to hit, but his lightning fast combinations and zippy counters almost always hit the mark.
At 49-0, Mayweather has remained unbeaten in his 20-year boxing career. He has been a world champion for 16 of those years and has rarely been challenged in the ring.
A few opponents have hit him with some good shots — Jose Luis Castillo, Marcos Maidana, and Shane Mosley, to name a few — but none of them could amount to more than one big punch, and none of them could put him away.
To this day, Mayweather continues to stifle opponents in the ring. He is going for his 50th victory this August against UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor in what is said to be the biggest bout in combat sports history.
You can read the entire list here.