The best way to a long career in boxing is through the honing of a stellar set of skills. A technically proficient fighter can be competitive at the elite level long after his physical abilities have begun to diminish. For that reason, serious professionals spend years perfecting the art of prizefighting.
Here's a look at boxing's five best technical masters:
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The five division world champ is a defensive master as well as, perhaps, the sport's best counter puncher. True fans of prizefighting understand and appreciate just how much skill is involved in Mayweather's ring work. For those who really want to enjoy something special, put the silly "Money" personal aside and observe one of the few fighters in the game today who truly understand ring generalship.
Two Olympic gold medals and more than four hundred bouts on the tough Cuban amateur circuit have honed "El Chacal" into one of the best all-around talents in the sport. The southpaw from Santiago de Cuba can box, punch, and play defense and he has proven his skill in his short ten-fight professional career by already nabbing the WBA junior featherweight title.
How smart and well-schooled is Hopkins? Well, at 47 years of age and more than a decade removed from his physical prime "The Executioner" can still beat most of the top light heavyweights in the world. Hopkins knows all the tricks of the trade and is a master of footwork. One would have to go back a long way to even find a punch landing flush on his face.
For fans of smooth boxers and supreme balance, the southpaw WBA bantamweight world titlist from Panama is the fighter to watch. A world champ since 2008 with ten defenses, American fans are just discovering this untapped talent.
Juan Manuel Marquez
An expert of the classic Mexican style and trained by the legendary Nacho Beristain, Marquez mixes in American ideas regarding footwork and counter-punching with a tough-as-nails battle ethic. At 38 years of age, "Dinamita" is in the final stages of a career spanning almost twenty years, but his mastery of solid boxing fundamentals keeps him a top five fighter on most pound-for-pound lists.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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