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Boxing is a combat sport. It is one of the highest paying sports too. In boxing, two people engage in a contest of strength, reflexes, speed, endurance, and will power by throwing heavy punches with gloved hands against each other. Amateur boxing is included in both Olympic and Commonwealth games. Boxing has become a common fixture in most of the major international sports in the world. Boxing is one of the most ancient sports in the world. The game is very much popular around the world. Thus boxers have become the dream players to every boxing loving people. Any ranking of the best boxers of all time in the history is subjective. It may be prone to underrating, overrating and disagreements of all sorts.
Rating the greatest boxers is a daunting task like picking the best athlete in any kind of sport. It is absolutely a measure of a fighter at his peak and how the boxer is compared to and fared against the other great boxers in his era.
However, no matter how you slice the list, no two people will ever have the same list. That’s the beauty of boxing I should say.
Top 10 Greatest Boxers of All Time
Sporty ghost is going to give you a brief review on Top 10 Greatest boxers of all time. Some of them enlightened their names as the famous boxers in the ring, some of them became legend in the history book.
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Let’s take a look on all these best boxers of all time and feel free to leave a comment about the top 10 greatest boxers of all time in sports history.
10. Willie Pep
He is one of the finest boxers and had a boxing era from 1940-1966. Willie Pep has a record of total 229 wins out of which 65 are knockouts. In his long career, he only lost 11 matches. Willie was the first featherweight World Champion and has been one of the famous boxers in his time. He is better known for his fitness and speed and is considered to be one of the best boxers of the 20th century.
Willie Pep’s name was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He is the No. 10 in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.
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9. Henry Armstrong
Henry Armstrong was a member of the exclusive group of fighters that have won the boxing championships in three and more different divisions. He is the only boxer to hold three boxing championships at the same time, holding the welterweight, lightweight and featherweight world titles for a short time in 1938. Henry Armstrong defended his welterweight title for a record 19 times.
He reigned the boxing world from 1931-1945, winning 150 times out of which 100 were knockouts. He lost 21 matches in his boxing career. Although he started his career on the losing end, he gradually got on the winning streaks. The Ring magazine ranked Armstrong as the second best boxers of the last 80 years. Also Bert Sugar ranked him the second greatest boxer of all time in boxing history. We have selected him for No. 9 spot in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.
8. Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano, the American professional boxing player who was the World Heavyweight Champion from 1952 to 1956. He is the only boxer to hold the world heavyweight title without a bout tie or defeat during his entire boxing career. Rocky defended the title six times against Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles (twice), Ronald La Starza, Don Cockell and Archie Moore. He has been ranked by many boxing historian as one of the best boxers of all time.
Rocky Marciano had an incredible boxing era from 1948 to 1955. During his time in the ring, he is amongst the hardest punchers in boxing history. He holds the record of 49 wins with 43 knock outs and zero losses. Undoubtedly, he was considered as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He marks his spot at No. 8 in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.
7. Julio Cesar Chavez
Julio Cesar is a retired Mexican professional boxer and has gained the fame as the greatest Mexican fighter of all time. He is the six-time world champion in three weight divisions of boxing and was considered as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. His boxing career spanned from 1980 to 2005 and has a spectacular record that speaks for himself. Julio Cesar has a record of 107 wins and 80 knock outs with only 6 matches’ losses. Probably that another main reason to keep his name in this list of top 10 best boxers of all time.
During his 25-year career, he won WBC Super Featherweight in 1984, WBA Lightweight in 1987, WBC Light Welterweight in 1989, IBF Welterweight in 1990 and WBC Light Welterweight in 1994. Chaves also has the record of longest undefeated streak, which is 13 years.
He was one of the famous boxers with his outstanding punching power, devastating body attack and his relentless stalking on the opponents. His name was inducted in the prestigious International Boxing Hall of Fame for 2011 class. He remains at No. 7 in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.
6. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He holds the record as the youngest boxer to ever win the WBC, IBF and WBA heavyweight titles at only 20 years 4 months and 22 days old. Tyson won the WBC title in 1986, defeating Trevor Berbick by a knock out in the second round. The following year, he added the IBF and WBA titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker. He is one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time, who simultaneously hold the WBC, WBA and IBF titles and he is the only to successively unify them.
During his time from 1985 to 2005, he has been a legendary boxer. In early 90s, Mike Tyson was the name of a living threat who knocked out all the contender who came in front of him. He has a record of 50 wins out of which 44 were knock out wins and lost 6 matches. The sensational spark, Mike Tyson is the 6th boxers among the Top 10 greatest boxers of all time list.
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5. Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey, “The Manassa Mauler”, was an American professional boxer and a cultural icon of the 1920s. From 1919 to 1926, he was the one holding the World Heavyweight Championship. He was known for his aggressive style and exceptional punching power. Many of his boxing matches set financial and attendance records which included the first million-dollar gate. Jack Dempsey was listed at 10th on the Ring’s list of greatest heavyweight boxers of all time and he also ranked 7th among Top 100 greatest punchers. Dempsey’s name was inducted into The Ring’s Boxing Hall of Fame in 1951.
He is definitely, the most brutal and entertaining boxer in the boxing history. Jack was a wild boxer in his time with a total 66 wins out of which 51 were knock out wins and with losses of 6 matches. We have included this great boxer at No. 5 in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.
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4. Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson, nicknamed as “The Galveston Giant” was the first African American World heavyweight champion. Jack’s career was full of controversies, when he was charged with violating the Mann Act in 1912, even though there was an obvious lack of evidence. The charge was finally proved to be largely racially biased. A documentary was made about his life, where Ken Burns noted,
“For more than 13 years, Jack was the most famous and the most notorious Afro-American on Earth.”
He reigned from 1897-1945 and was unbeatable for more than 10 years. Jack Johnson had a remarkable record of 73 wins where 40 were KO wins and 13 losses. The Giant is at No. 4 in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.
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3. Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson, nicknamed as “Sugar“, is the greatest American boxer of all time. His outstanding performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions in boxing prompted the sports journalists to create “pound for pound” ranking, where fighters were regardless of weight. He inducted himself into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
From 1943-1951, Robinson went on a 91 fight unbeaten streak, which is the third longest in professional boxing history. During that period, he held the world welterweight title and in latter year he won the middleweight title as well. Ray Robinson became the first boxer in the history to win the divisional world championship five times. He was named ‘Fighter of the year’ twice, first in 1942 and then over 90 fights later in 1951.
Robinson was one of the best boxing talents that the world ever witnessed. With his amazing powerful punching ability, he is the No. 3 in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.
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2. Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay Jr., is a famous American boxer. He is generally considered among the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time in sport’s history. Undoubtedly he can be the favorite choice for anyone when listing top 10 boxers of all time. Ali is widely regarded for the skills he displayed in the ring as well as the values he exemplified outside the ring. According to Sports Illustrated magazine he is the “Sportsman of the Century“.
Boxing became his life while he began his training at 12 and at the age of 22, he won the world heavyweight championship defeating great Sonny Liston in a stunning upset in 1964. He converted to Islam and changed his name in 1975.
Muhammad Ali’s boxing era lasted 21 years, from 1960-1981. In every aspect of boxing, Ali was just marvelous. He was exciting, outspoken and an undefeated boxing champion during his time. He built a record of total 56 wins out of which 37 were knock out wins. Ali had only 5 losses in his entire career. Beside a famous boxer, Muhammad Ali is also a boxing promoter. We consider him to be put at No. 2 in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.
1. Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow, nicknamed ‘The Brown Bomber’ is the boxer we are looking for. He is the one who was considered ‘The Man Who Beat the Hitler’. The American iconic boxer, Joe Louis has a record of 66 matches, 52 knock out wins and only 3 losses. He was the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949. His championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he fought in 26 championships, a 27th against Ezzard Charles, a challenge to his heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis’ era. He was undefeated in 25 title defenses, an amazing record for any division.
In 2005, Joe Louis was ranked as the No. 1 among the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization. During the period of Second World War, his role was more than a boxer and his fights had political, social and international significance. Louis is an American National hero and also a symbol of pride. He is the No. 1 in our list of top 10 greatest boxers of all time.