Which Top Boxer gets the Least Respect?
Boxing is filled with guys who get way more credit, recognition and attention than they deserve. For example, check out boxing’s biggest disappointment of the year, David Haye. However, the sport also is loaded with under the radar would-be stars who simply don’t get noticed.
Maybe they fight in a division that isn’t popular or doesn’t receive much exposure in the United States, or maybe they continue to toil away in their home country, far from the eyes of U.S.-based fans. For one reason or another though, they don’t get the respect they deserve. Here’s the least respected boxer of the year.
2011’s Least Respected Boxer: Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
Among boxing fans who at least know who Wonjongkam is, the most common running theme of discussion is his busy schedule filled with complete joke opponents. However, what’s missed is that mixed in between all of those stay-busy sparring sessions against guys making their professional debuts (hey, if you could get paid to do that, wouldn’t you?) are legitimate title defenses and big wins.
In 2011, Wonjongkam made two defenses of his WBC flyweight title, including most recently one over respected Edgar Sosa. In 2010, he beat then undefeated Japanese star Koki Kameda, and in 2009, he defeated Julio Cesar Miranda.
While about 50 of his 85+ fights can be thrown straight in the garbage, there’s a ton of quality work on his resume, and a career 22-1-1 record in title fights. Wojongkam has risen to number 10 on our pound for pound list.
—> Don’t forget to check out the rest of our 2011 boxing awards for dozens of different year-end awards and honors!
- Marco Huck: Huck “won” the 2010 least respected award from ProBoxing-Fans.com. In 2011, he made three more title defenses and rose to the top of the cruiserweight division thanks to Steve Cunningham’s controversial loss against Yoan Pablo Hernandez. The opposition he faced wasn’t great in the year, however, he maintained a busy schedule and has lost only once in his career, to Cunningham. Since that setback four years ago on December 29, 2007, he’s fought 15 times and made a total of eight title defenses, including most notably, wins over Denis Lebedev, Matt Godfrey and Ola Afolabi. He’s now considering a move up to heavyweight and a potential match against Alexander Povetkin.
- Toshiaki Nishioka: Nishioka finally enjoyed a moment in the spotlight in October, when he defeated Rafael Marquez by unanimous decision. He’s number 14 on our pound for pound rankings, and he’s also our top super bantamweight. Since winning his WBC 122 lb title in January 2009, he has made six title defenses, including a stoppage win over Jhonny Gonzalez, and a win over respected U.K. fighter Rendall Munroe, in addition to the Marquez win.