The Greatest HBO Fighter of All-Time Round 1: Lederman Region

By Kieran Mulvaney

Inside HBO Boxing is crowning the greatest boxer ever to compete on the network, as determined by you, the fans. Among the countless icons and Hall of Famers who’ve battled on the HBO airwaves, we’ve selected an elite field of 32 fighters for entry in a bracket-style tournament. All matchups are previewed in depth on the HBO Boxing Podcast, and you can vote for the winners on Twitter (@HBOboxing). Who is truly the greatest? That’s for you to decide.

See the other regions: Lampley | Merchant | Kellerman


Named after HBO Boxing’s long-standing, much-loved and award-winning “unofficial official” Harold Lederman, this region features a double dose of Sugars, three all-time-great middleweight champions and one of the best to reign one division higher, and two Latin legends whose ends came tragically soon. 

harold lederman region round 1


(1) Sugar Ray Leonard vs (8) Sugar Shane Mosley

Which sugar is the sweetest? The golden Olympian medalist, or his Golden State successor? Both these champions brought fast hands and fury as well as skill, so who has what it takes to move to the next round?

Sugar Ray Leonard
Welterweight/Junior Middleweight/Middleweight/Super Middleweight/Light Heavyweight Champion
36-3-1 (25 KOs)
Years Fought: 1977-1997

Best Wins:
TKO 8 Roberto Duran 11-25-1980
TKO 14 Thomas Hearns 9-16-1981
W 12 Marvin Hagler 4-6-1987

Sugar Shane Mosley
Lightweight/Welterweight/Junior Middleweight Champion
49-10-1 (41 KOs)
Years Fought: 1993-2016

Best Wins:
W 12 Phillip Holiday 8-2-1997
W 12 Oscar De La Hoya 6-17-2000
TKO  9 Antonio Margarito 1-24-2009

(4) Salvador Sanchez vs (5) Alexis Arguello

A meeting between these two phenomenal Latin fighters – one from Mexico, one from Nicaragua – was once briefly mooted, only to come to nothing. What a clash it might have been, and what a fantasy matchup it makes between two practitioners of power and skill.

Salvador Sanchez
Featherweight Champion
44-1-1 (32 KOs)
Years Fought: 1975-1982

Best Wins
TKO 13 Danny Lopez 2-2-1980
TKO 8 Wilfredo Gomez 8-21-1981
TKO 15 Azumah Nelson 7-21 1982

Alexis Arguello
Featherweight/SuperFeatherweight/Lightweight Champion
77-8 (62 KOs)
Years Fought: 1968-1995

Best Wins:
TKO 11 Rafael Limon 7-8-1979
W RTD 7 Bobby Chacon 11-16-1979
TKO 14 Ray Mancini 10-3-1981

(3) Bernard Hopkins vs (6) Andre Ward

Although these two men’s weights and careers overlapped, they never faced off in the real world. Who prevails in the fantasy world, as Philadelphia’s Hopkins comes up against Oakland’s Ward in a battle of cerebral, crafty champions?

Bernard Hopkins
Middleweight/Light Heavyweight Champion
55-8-2 (32 KOs)
Years Fought: 1988-2016

Best Wins:
TKO 12 Felix Trinidad 9-29-2001
W 12 Antonio Tarver 6-10-2006
W 12 Kelly Pavlik 10-18-2008

Andre Ward
Super Middleweight/Light Heavyweight Champion
32-0 (16 KOs)
Years Fought: 2004-2017

Best Wins:
W 12 Carl Froch 12-17-2011
TKO 10 Chad Dawson 9-8-2012
TKO 8 Sergey Kovalev 6-17-2017

(2) Marvin Hagler vs (7) Gennady Golovkin 

Two middleweight champions. Two lengthy and dominant reigns. Two men who eschew the glamor for hard-nosed, blue-collar (but blue riband) boxing at its best. Who moves on? The middleweight champion of the 1980s? Or the middleweight champion of the 2010s?

Marvin Hagler
Middleweight Champion
62-3-2 (52 KOs)
Years Fought: 1973-1987

Best Wins
TKO 3 Alan Minter 9-27-1980
KO 3 Thomas Hearns 4-15-1985
KO 11 John Mugabi 3-10-1986

Gennady Golovkin
Middleweight Champion
38-0-1 (34 KOs)
Years Fought: 2006-present

Best Wins
TKO 5 Grezgorz Proksa 9-1-2012
KO 3 Matthew Macklin 6-29-2013
TKO 3 Daniel Geale 7-26-2014