Emanuel Augustus, born Emanuel Ya’kov Burton, is the most underrated Champion I know. I learned of Augustus while looking at boxing highlights on Youtube. I came across a video highlighting memorable cocky moments in boxing. It included the only time Mike Tyson ever got cocky in the ring, and a mention of Emanuel, who the narrator claimed was Mayweather’s toughest competitor, and that was seconded by Mayweather himself.
The match was recent enough that I should have remembered it, and I didn’t remember the guy, so I ended up checking out the full match. Despite Floyd Mayweather dominating him by points in every single round, I saw the heart of a champion, the heart of a fighter, and the heart of a man who refused to fall or even let the fact that he was severely behind on points get him down.
Furthermore, he put tremendous pressure on Mayweather throughout the entire fight. He bloodied Mayweather’s nose, and his ability to walk through punches allowed him to score counter punches on Mayweather that rarely another opponent would ever have delivered.
His nature as a champion boxer goes even further, and it’s actually a sad tale in the fact that I’m labeling him as underrated. This man faced tons of high level competition, and his record does not reflect the matches that were taken from him.
He was labeled a journeyman by the boxing federation, a man who was tough enough to test up and coming boxers. But he was more than a journeyman. He could have won some of those matches had the judges been more fair.
Sadly, Augustus was shot in an alleged random accident in 2014, and he suffered instability that prevents him from boxing. But I write about him now because he deserves a nod for being one of the best light welterweights I’ve seen, the most difficult opponent Floyd Mayweather ever faced, and the most underrated champion I know.