At a key boxing demonstrate in the mid-1990s, I sat with a group of my veteran peers, boxing writers who had lined the sport at that place for many years, and listened to them communicate about the previous days.

Many of them had traveled the globe retaining an eye on the sport, going not only to New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles to go over the day’s largest fights but also to Manila, Munich, Kinshasa and Kuala Lumpur.

They have been stuffed with stories of the greatness of the activity in days long gone by, how the boxers have been much better, the fascination was greater, the promotions have been greater and the personalities larger sized.

I thought of that working day and of how scornful a lot of of all those excellent writers I had idolized were of the boxers of the existing time when I was wanting at the boxers who will be inducted Sunday into the Global Boxing Hall of Fame.

Floyd Mayweather. Andre Ward. Wladimir Klitschko. Bernard Hopkins. Roy Jones Jr. Sugar Shane Mosley. James Toney. Laila Ali. Lucia Rijker. Christy Martin. Miguel Cotto. Juan Manuel Marquez and far more.

These fighters ended up the goods of the time that all those veteran journalists I spoke to so quickly dismissed and seemed down their noses at. It was way far better right before, they stated, a chorus that’s oh way too common with today’s boxing followers.

The fighters getting inducted Sunday are not simply the greatest of a woeful period but are deservedly currently being recognized as between the elite of the elite. A lot of believe that that Mayweather, for instance, is the ideal pound-for-pound fighter of all time.

He’s not, in my feeling that’s unquestionably Sugar Ray Robinson. But the simple fact that “Money May” is even in the discussion says a great deal about his greatness.

If you could pit Mayweather at his absolute best from Thomas Hearns at his complete best, it would have been a nightmare matchup for Mayweather. But as you go through mythical matchups, what you speedily realize is that only the definitely elite of the elite could have crushed Mayweather.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 04:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates his unanimous-decision victory over Robert Guerrero in their WBC welterweight title bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 4, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates his unanimous-choice victory around Robert Guerrero in their WBC welterweight title bout at the MGM Grand Back garden Arena on May well 4, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Image by Al Bello/Getty Pictures)

Yeah, I’d consider a lightweight Roberto Duran over Mayweather any day of the 7 days. But Duran could be undisciplined, unfocused and, as he confirmed in obtaining beaten by the unheralded Kirkland Laing in 1982, really inconsistent. Mayweather was none of that. He often was on best of his game, absolutely concentrated. He was usually in great affliction. He did not have the nuts lows that so several other legends have. There is a good deal to say for that.

Ward went 115-5 as an amateur, culminating it with a gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He turned professional and ran the desk, heading 32- with planet titles at super middleweight and mild heavyweight.

He was a vibrant, imagining man’s boxer who was really athletic and harder than most gave him credit score for being.

Could he have taken care of Ezzard Charles and/or Archie Moore, the two most effective gentle heavyweights in my belief who ever lived? Very well, it would have been challenging, and he’d have been a large underdog in each. But Ward’s protection and ring IQ would have designed him a harder out than he’s presented credit for by most.

Jones may possibly have been the finest athlete in boxing. He was extremely rapid and went all the way up to heavyweight as a qualified. But his finest times were as a mild heavyweight, where by he confounded opponents with his speed, quickness and footwork.

A combat concerning a key Jones and a key Moore, or a key Bob Foster, would have been boxing at its maximum degree.

It’s challenging to wrap one’s head about all the disdain that Klitschko received in his career. It is typically due to the fact he lost a few fights he was intensely favored to acquire, versus Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster.

Those are component of his long lasting file, to be positive, just as the 64-5 general report with 53 KOs is. He also won 19 consecutive heavyweight title bouts, which include 18 consecutive prosperous defenses. That is the third-longest streak in heavyweight history, at the rear of Joe Louis (25) and Larry Holmes (19).

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 17:  Andre Ward celebrates after winning his light heavyweight championship bout against Sergey Kovalev at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 17, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ward retained his WBA/IBF/WBO titles with a TKO in the eighth round.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Andre Ward celebrates soon after successful his light-weight heavyweight championship bout from Sergey Kovalev at the Mandalay Bay Functions Middle on June 17, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Picture by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Each of these boxers staying inducted Sunday has a comparable tale. The position is that they should be celebrated for their greatness and should be identified as between a smaller handful of the very best boxers who ever lived.

They are not going in because their era was lousy and the opposition was substandard. They are going in because they are obviously, and devoid of doubt, amongst the very best boxers who ever graced a ring.

Which is also meant as a idea of the cap to today’s fantastic boxers, these types of as Oleksandr Usyk, Terence Crawford, Naoya Inoue, Canelo Alvarez and Errol Spence.

Just like Mayweather, Ward, Klitschko and the rest becoming inducted Sunday, these elite fighters of now will stand the examination of time.

Some of the fashionable boxers won’t make it into a certain division’s Top rated 3, Best 5 or Prime 10 best fighters for the reason that the competitiveness is so fierce and there are so several selections to decide on between.

Other individuals, nevertheless, no question will. Fighters can’t reasonably be judged until their professions are comprehensive and you can glance at the breadth and depth of their work, but the idea that present day boxers are out of their depth towards these from the past is just a fallacy.