The 11 Greatest Boxers of All Time

Boxing is a thrilling sport, and for some, it is even beyond a game; it is a part of life. Among all the sports, boxing is what I personally find the most entertaining.

As an amateur boxer, I believe that it’s the legends who made this sport popular across the globe. Muhammad Ali and Tyson are my idols. I would watch them endlessly during my early days to learn the iconic moves of the game. 

They are the root cause of my craze towards boxing. There are several boxers in the history of this game who were exceptional in their art.

Here, I will share the 11 best boxers of all time that you must know about. However, this list doesn’t include the legendary Muhammad Ali. Why? Because he is a class apart from others.

Rocky Marciano 

The world regards him as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers. Rocky is arguably most remembered for having managed to retire unbeaten, a feat achieved only by a handful of fighters.

Few people know when to call it quits, and boxing is notorious for forcing them to do it first, but Marciano did it. Even though he hasn’t competed against the caliber of opponents that many of the others on this list have, he has a record that makes him the top contender of this list as the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.

Rocky, fondly called “The Brockton Blockbuster”, has a 85.7% knockout-to-win ratio in international heavyweight title fights.

Joe Louis

Louis is among the most famous professional American boxers who played from 1934 to 1951. Boxing lovers also call him as the “Brown Bomber”.

Joe became the first individual of African-American heritage to earn the stature of a national hero in the United States and across the world.

He also has a winning record of 66 matches, with only three losses and 52 knockout victories. Not only that, he also served as a focal point for anti-Nazi opposition throughout World War II.

Joe Frazier

The left hook of “Smokin” Joe has gone down in history, although it is his many fights with Muhammad Ali that he is most remembered for.

In 1971, he became the first-ever heavyweight boxer to defeat Muhammad Ali; however, he lost to Ali twice in 1974 and 1975.

His other two defeats were at the hands of George Foreman. Regardless, Joe remains a vital figure in the annals of heavyweight boxing history.

It was difficult for him to maintain a friendship with Muhammad Ali. After first becoming friends with Ali, things deteriorated quickly between the two. Their equation went southwards with Ali notoriously referring to him as “Uncle Tom”.

Their fights had enormous cultural significance. But, in his very late life, he told the press that he no longer held a grudge towards Ali, who was in attendance at Frazier’s burial.

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Manny Pacquaio

Pacquaio, awarded Fighter of the Decade for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers of America, is the only boxer in history to conquer world titles in eight different weight classes, beginning with the WBC flyweight championship.

He has now won twelve major world titles. And, he has the distinction of becoming the first boxer to earn the lineal championship in 5 different weight divisions.

His nation, the Philippines, loves to him perform and comes to a complete halt to watch him in action. While progressing from flyweight to welterweight glory, he picked up victories over superstars such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales, and Shane Mosley.

He has been in possession of the WBA (Super) welterweight championship for some time now.

Sugar Ray Leonard

Ray Charles Leonard is better known by his ring name “Sugar” Ray Leonard. He was a member of the so-called “Fabulous Four,” who competed against each other during the 1980s.

The other foursome members were Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, and Thomas Hearns. The boxing world largely regards Leonard as one of the best fighters of all time.

His professional career spanned two decades and included world titles in five weight classes, the lineal championship in three weight divisions, and the undisputed welterweight belt, among other accomplishments.

Furthermore, he was the first boxer in history to win more than $100 million in rewards. He became the “Boxer of the Decade”, in the 1980s.

Roy Jones Jr

The former professional boxer, Roy Jones Jr, participated in boxing from 1989 to 2018. He won numerous world championships in 4 weight classes: middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, & heavyweight. Jones Jr was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey.

He is the first and only boxer in the history of the game to begin his pro career at light-middleweight. However, he went on to win a heavyweight championship after a successful transition to heavyweight.

Many of the sport’s greats, including Muhammad Ali, believe him to be the best boxer of all time. When it came to boxing in his time, Roy Jones Jr. was, without a doubt, the most gifted and unpredictable fighter.

For most of his career, Jones was renowned for his exceptional hand speed, agility, and quickness of movement, as well as his reflexes. He is, without question, the most entertaining athlete in the history of the sporting world.

Also Read: Top Lesser Known Boxing Techniques You Must Learn

Mike Tyson

Iron Mike would be number one on any list among the most feared heavyweight fighters of all time if such a list were to be created. He was intimidating both in and out of the ring.

Tyson was a man from a terribly damaged upbringing who attempted to escape it as best he could via boxing. Renowned as the most deadly guy in the world for a cause, he fought with a vengeance.

His savage and gruesome knockouts of Michael Spinks, as well as his disqualification versus Evander Holyfield, wherein he bit off a portion of his right ear, only helped enhance his already stellar professional image.

After serving three years in jail, he returned to the ring in 1995 and won back the WBA and WBC belts the following year. He joined a limited group of heavyweight fighters that included Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield, and George Foreman in regaining their crowns.

While he was formerly seen as a dangerous animal in the ring, he now presents a rehabilitated image, maybe demonstrating that hard effort can help you overcome your faults.

His influence on modern society, on the other hand, cannot be overstated. He is, together with Muhammad Ali and Jack Johnson, arguably the most crucial heavyweight boxer of all time. 

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is an American professional boxing promoter and former professional fighter who was born in New York City on August 26, 1978. He fought between 1996 and 2015, and then he made a one-fight comeback in 2017. 

Among the most offensive boxers on this list, Floyd Mayweather is definitely ranked higher, without a doubt. He is the first person in history to become a billionaire due to his professional boxing career.

The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named Mayweather “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2010s. He is also a two-time recipient of The Ring magazine’s Fighter of the Year award (1998 and 2007).

His other accomplishments include becoming the three-time winner of the BWAA Fighter of the Year award (in 2007, 2013, and 2015). Also, he is a six-time winner of the Best Fighter ESPY Award (in 2007, 2010, 2012, and 2014) for his work in the sport of Mixed Martial arts.

In 2016, ESPN ranked Mayweather as the greatest boxer in the last 25 years, pound for pound, according to their rankings. Based on pound-for-pound performance, BoxRec ranks him as the greatest boxer of all time as of May 2021.

Mayweather has been unbeaten during his professional career. He has faced 50 opponents and has defeated each of them. The gruesome boxer was selected to be a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s class in 2017.

Sugar Ray Robinson

Sugar Ray Robinson, widely regarded by Muhammad Ali as “the king, the master, and my idol,” was indeed the source of motivation for the “pound for pound” ranking. Back then, the term was used to describe a boxer for whom the skill in the ring places him ahead of every other fighter in the world, regardless of weight division.

Sugar Ray Robinson was born in the United States and raised in the United Kingdom. He was the welterweight champion for five straight years (1946 to 1951) and the middleweight champion five times (1951 to 1960).

“Someone once suggested there’s a similarity between Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson,” Sugar Ray Leonard, another boxing star, was quoted as saying. “Believe me when I say that there is no similarity. He was the finest,” Sugar Ray Robinson said.

Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis was a professional boxer who rose to prominence throughout the 1990s. He dominated the sport from 1989 until 2003. Three-time heavyweight world champion, two-time lineal champion, and the last heavyweight to hold an uncontested title, he is the most celebrated fighter in the sport’s history.

Lewis is, without question, among the most legendary fighters in the history of boxing. That he has defeated some of the biggest names in boxing, like Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Vitali Klitschko, demonstrates his worth.

He played 44 matches in his professional career, and won all but three of them. Lennox has such domination in the arena that he has claimed thirty-two of his fights via knockouts.

Lewis overcame Mike Tyson, who was one of the most recognizable names in boxing, in 2002. The battle was hailed as “one of the most widely awaited contests in boxing history” by the media.

Saúl Álvarez

Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán, popularly known as “Canelo” Alvarez, is a Mexican boxer who has won four world championships in his career. BoxRec has Alvarez listed as the world’s top active boxer, pound for pound, as of February 2020.

After winning the junior middleweight world title in 2012, Alvarez faced a stiff challenge from veteran Shane Mosley, who proved to be a formidable opponent. Alvarez defeated Mosley by unanimous decision in their fight, which brought him to the list of great boxers.

Conclusion

There are also other boxers worth mentioning for their extraordinary career, but I have these legends for now. Stay tuned with me to know more about the best boxers and subscribe for interesting boxing updates in the future. 

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