8. Jimmy McLarnin
(54-11-3, 20 KO)
Barney Ross and Jimmy McLarnin are tied together, so if Ross made the list, McLarnin couldn’t be too far behind him.
While he may have had the luck of the Irish, McLarnin didn’t need it in the ring. An excellent fighter with a “baby face” and a great punch, McLarnin would dance a jig and flip in the ring to celebrate his victories.
McLarnin had a great resume before entering the welterweight ranks, defeating the likes of Filipino legend Pancho Villa (in Villa’s last fight), Kid Kaplan, Fidel LaBarba, and Sammy Mandell–for which he garnered great acclaim.
On his way to a title shot at Welterweight, he defeated Billy Petrolle and “The Ghetto Wizard,” Benny Leonard. In his first Welterweight title bout, he knocked out fellow Hall of Famer, Young Corbett III, in the first round.
After winning the title in his first defense, he took on Ross which set off a trilogy that would define them both, the decade and possibly the era. Barney, of course, won the first battle. McLarnin regained the title in the second, then dropped the third to Ross in the rubber match.
McLarnin fought three times after his last fight with Ross. Before retiring, he faced Tony Canzoneri twice, splitting the pair, and decisioned Lou Ambers before calling it quits.