If you are a lover of boxing, you might wonder who among your favorite fighters is the best. Well, it is difficult to tell as boxers compete in different divisions. As you know, we have heavyweight fighters, featherweight fighters, middleweight, and even more.
Notwithstanding, great fighters are champions irrespective of the fighting division, that is why we have compiled a list of boxing heroes that are undoubtedly among the greatest.
5. Rocky Marciano
There is only one heavyweight champion who was never defeated throughout his career. That is Rocky Marciano. The American boxer started his professional career in 1948 at the age of 25 and fought till 19 55.
During his seven years career, he had a total of 49 fights and won all of them. Forty-three of those victories were by knock out. Marciano became the world heavyweight champion in 1952 when he beat the then champion, Jersey Walcott.
He held the title until his retirement in 1956. His last professional fight was his victory over Archie Moore in 1955. Rocky Marciano has the longest streak without a defeat by any heavyweight champion.
With 87.76%of his victory being by knockout, Marciano has the highest knockout percentage in the history of heavyweight boxing champions.
The Ring’s founder Nat Fleischer listed Rocky Marciano as the tenth greatest fighter of all time, while BoxRec ranked him fifth greatest of all time, the Ring Magazine itself ranked Marciano as the 6th greatest ever in 1998.
He won Ring’s Magazines fighter of the year three times. Also, three of his fights were named fight of the year in their respective years by the popular boxing magazine.
He won the Sugar Ray Robinson Award in 1952 and was voted the second most important American athlete in 1955. In 2006, ESPN voted Marciano’s victory against Walcot in 1952 as the greatest boxing knockout ever.
Marciano was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, as well as the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Marciano is undoubtedly among the greatest fighters the world of boxing had ever seen with all these attributes.
4. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Mayweather is a name that will still be fresh in the memories of many boxing fans. The American boxer fought in the categories of super featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, and light middleweight.
During his career, he won 15 major world titles and was never defeated in his professional career.
Before becoming a professional, Mayweather won 84 amateur fights and lost 8. He had also won the National Golden Gloves championship 3 times. Most importantly, he won a bronze medal in the featherweight category in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Then he was just 19.
After the Olympic games, Mayweather became a professional. Consequently, he started his professional career with a knockout victory over Robert Apodaca.
Also, he won the WBC super featherweight world championship in 1998 with a technical knockout victory over Genaro Hernandez. Furthermore, after defending the title for three years, winning all the eight title defense challenges, Mayweather moved to the lightweight category.
In fact, his first match in the lightweight category won him the WBC World Lightweight Champion. He defeated Jose Luis Castillo to win the title. When the fight was rematched in 2002, Mayweather also won, despite tearing his rotator cuff and having surgery two days before the match.
Then in 2004, Mayweather moved to the light welterweight category.
Floyd Mayweather’s first fight as a light welterweight was a victory against DeMarcus Corley, but he had to wait for three years before winning a world title in the category. After knocking out Arthur Gatti in the sixth round in 2005, Mayweather became the world light welterweight champion.
Then he immediately moved to the welterweight division and won Carlos Baldomir the following year to become the world welterweight champion. Again, he progressed to the light middleweight category.
After defeating Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather became the world light-middleweight champion.
Mayweather retired and came back from retirement several times but eventually had his final match in 2017 when he defeated McGregor. By then, he had fought 50 professional matches, of which he won all of them.
Floyd Mayweather won 15 major world titles and several awards. As a matter of fact, he won the International Boxing Award Fighter of the year in 1998, as well as in 2007.
In the same years, he also won The Ring Magazine Fighter of the year. In 2002, he won The World Boxing Hall of Fame Fighter of the Year. Also, he was the Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year for the year 2007.
In the same 2007, he was named ESPN fighter of the year as well as The New York Daily News fighter of the year, and the World Boxing council event of the year.
From 2005 to 2008, Mayweather was ranked number one pound for pound fighter by The Ring Magazine, and in 2010, he was ranked 31st in Forbes list of 100 top celebrities and 2nd in Forbes 50 Top Earning Athletes.
Floyd Mayweather’s name entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most bouts undefeated by a world champion boxer in a career, as well as for the highest career pay-per-view sales for a boxer. Undoubtedly, Mayweather is among the best fighters we had ever witnessed.
3. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson was just 20 years when he became the heavyweight champion. That was the youngest age any boxer won the title.
Before his fight with James Douglas in 1990, Tyson had fought 37 times and won all of them. The first 19 by knockout, and 12 out of this 19 in the first round.
In 1986, after beating Trevor Berbick, he became the youngest heavyweight champion. From the beginning of his career till the end, Tyson had amazon records that are not common among boxers, including his 91 seconds victory over Michael Spinks in 1987.
In his incredible career, Mike Tyson fought 58 times and won 50 out of them. He had no contest in two and lost six, one of which was by disqualification. Out of his 50 victories, he won 44 by knockout. That is an excellent record.
However, Tyson also had difficult times. In 1992, he was accused of rape of Miss Black Rhode Island, 18-year-old Desiree Washington. He was tried and convicted the same year. Tyson was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment, but the heavyweight champion only spent three years in prison before he was released on parole.
It appeared that it would mark the end of his career, but no, he bounced back and still won many fights after his comeback.
Among other controversial actions of Mike Tyson was his disqualification against Evander Holyfield in 1997. Tyson had earlier lost to Holyfield in the eleventh round in 1996 in his attempt to regain the WBA title, and scheduled a rematch.
During the rematch in the following year, the respected boxing champion controversially bit his opponent’s ear and was disqualified.
After losing to Lennox Lewis by knock out and also to Journeymen Danny Williams and Kevin McBride in the same manner, Tyson finally retired in 2006 at the age of 35.
During his career, Mike Tyson won many awards and honors, including BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Overseas Personality in 1989, Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year in 1986 and 1988, and Sugar Ray Robinson Award in 1987 and 1989. He was also accepted into WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.
Tyson earned $30 million for his fight and over $300 million in total during his career.
During his fighting days, Tyson earned himself many nicknames. At the beginning of his boxing career, he was known as Iron or Kid Dynamite, and towards the end of his career, he was called The Baddest Man on the Planet. Indeed, history can never forget this great man.
2. Muhammed Ali
No doubt, Muhammed Alli was one of the greatest boxers ever to live, no wonder he was nicknamed The Greatest. Alli, who was known as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr until he became a Muslim in 1961, was born in 1942 and died in 2016, his 74 years on earth was colorful and glorious.
Before starting his professional career, the American was already a star, having won the 1960 Olympic gold medal in the light heavyweight category. Then, he was just 18.
Alli started his professional career the same year he won the Olympic gold with a win over Tunney Hunsaker. In the next three years, he went on to win all his 19 challenges, winning 15 of them by knockouts.
One of his opponents was Archie Moore, his former trainer. Alli became the world heavyweight champion at the age of 22, after beating Sonny Liston.
Alli also had difficult times. His refusal to participate in the Vietnam war in 1966 led to his arrest, trial, and conviction. He was stripped of titles. However, he won his appeal against the judgment.
During his career, Muhammed Ali fought 61 times. He won 56 of them, 37 by knockouts, lost five career fights, and won the heavyweight title three times, and beat 21 heavyweight boxers to retain his title.
His fight with George Foreman had about one billion people watching it and is regarded as the most-watched live TV broadcast.
Alli had his last career fight in 1981 when he lost to Trevor Berbick. He retired at 39.
During and after his professional career, Muhammed Ali won many honors, including Sports Illustrated Sports’ man of the century, BBC Sports Personality of the Century, and Kentucky Athlete of the Century.
He was ESPN’s third greatest athlete of the 20th century. Muhammed Ali was admitted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
The greatest was among Time Magazine 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century. He was also the only fighter to win Ring Magazine Fighter of the year six times.
Without any doubt, this great man nicknamed the greatest is indeed the greatest boxer ever to live on our planet.
1. Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson wasn’t a heavyweight champion, but many people regarded him as the greatest boxer in history. He fought in the categories of lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight.
Born in 1921, Robinson started his professional career at the age of 19. Before turning professional, he had fought 85 times as an amateur. He won them all. Out of his 85 amateur victories, he won 69 by knockout and 40 in the first round.
Robinson’s first professional fight was in 1940 against Joe Echevarria, which he won in the second round. He went on to win his next 39 matches. Robinson also recorded 91 unbeaten runs between 1943 and 1951.
The American boxer won the Welterweight champion in 1946 when he defeated Tommy Bell. Robinson moved to middleweight in 1950, and in the same year, won the Pennsylvania state middleweight champion.
While defending the title, he fought against Jose Basora and defeated him within 50 seconds, a record that stood for 38 years.
Roy Robinson became the world middleweight champion in 1951 when he defeated LaMotta.
Robinson made his first attempt at light heavyweight when he challenged the world light heavyweight champion, Joey Maxim, but was knocked out at the 13th round. That was the only knock out he suffered in his illustrious career. After the match in 1952, he retired, only to come back three years later.
After returning from retirement, Robinson defeated Bobo Olson to win the world middleweight champion for the third time. He continued fighting for another ten years. After losing to Joe Archer in 1965, he finally retired permanently.
During his Sugar Ray Robinson fight 200 times, he won 173 times, lost 19 times, and drew six times. Two of his fights were declared no contest. Out of his 173 victories, 108 of them were knockouts.
Robinson was inducted to Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame, and he won many accolades for his performance. The Ring Magazine ranked him as number one pound for pound fighter of all time.
He also won many of the magazine’s fight of the year awards. In 1999, Associated Press named him the welterweight boxer of the century as well as the middleweight boxer and even overall fighter of the century.
ESPN rated him number one in his list of 50 Greatest Boxers of All Time. The International Boxing Research Organization has the same rating for him as they regarded him as the all-time best welterweight and best punch for punch fighter.
Boxing had witnessed many great fighters, all of them making their marks. As they all competed in different divisions, it may not be easy to choose who the best among them was. But irrespective of the division, great boxers have the same thing in common, they were winners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Who won the highest number of world boxing titles?
Answer: Manny Pacquiao has the world titles in the highest number of divisions. Beating Floyd Mayweather to the second position, Pacquiao won world titles in eight different divisions.
Question: Who is the richest boxer
Answer: Floyd Mayweather is believed to worth $505 million, making him the richest professional boxer of all time.