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Best Boxers Who Never Won a World Championship

Updated on May 3, 2017

Champions or Contenders?

The boxers listed below were not champions for many different reasons. Some boxers such as Sam Langford shamefully never received a title shot because of his skin color. Then there is Oba Carr who was an excellent prizefighter but had the misfortune of being a welterweight in the era of Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya. Either way they are people's champions even without a belt.

Muhammad Ali vs. Earnie Shavers

Hard hitting Earnie Shavers gave Muhammad Ali a competitive fight when The Acorn challenged The Greatest for the heavyweight title.
Hard hitting Earnie Shavers gave Muhammad Ali a competitive fight when The Acorn challenged The Greatest for the heavyweight title. | Source

Sam Langford

Sam Langford is one of the best middleweight and heavyweight fighters even though he never got a chance to fight for a world title.
Sam Langford is one of the best middleweight and heavyweight fighters even though he never got a chance to fight for a world title. | Source

Charley Burley

Charley Burley is considered to be an uncrowned champion by many experts in boxing.
Charley Burley is considered to be an uncrowned champion by many experts in boxing. | Source

Champions Without Belts

Harry Wills is a legendary heavyweight boxer who was ducked by champion Jack Dempsey during his title reign.
Harry Wills is a legendary heavyweight boxer who was ducked by champion Jack Dempsey during his title reign. | Source
Jimmy Bivins was a great middleweight contender who was a a good as any champion to ever lace on the gloves.
Jimmy Bivins was a great middleweight contender who was a a good as any champion to ever lace on the gloves. | Source
Oba Carr was an excellent fighter and he is seen here fighting Oscar De La Hoya in 1999.
Oba Carr was an excellent fighter and he is seen here fighting Oscar De La Hoya in 1999. | Source

Who is The Best?

Who is the best boxer that never won a world championship?

See results

Ten Top Boxers That Never Held a World Title

1. Sam Langford: "The Boston Tar Baby" retired with a record of 179-39-39 with 128 of those wins coming by way of knockout. Known for his devastating one punch power which he delivered with equal force from both hands. The Ring magazine ranks him number 2 on their top 100 list of The Greatest Punchers of All Time. Although he was avoided constantly by the champions of his time Langford still managed to fight and beat many top boxers including: Fireman Jim Flynn, Tiger Flowers, Sam Mcvea, Joe Jeanette, Harry Wills and Gunboat Smith among many others.

2. Charley Burley: Charley Burley retired from the squared circle with a record of 83-12-2 with 50 knockouts. Burley was born in Pennsylvania and was world ranked in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. Burley could punch in combination and his jab was beautiful. He was ALS good at setting traps and counter punching his opponents with ease. Burley never held a world championship but he beat many great boxers of his day including: Bert Lytell, Archie Moore, Holman Williams, Fritzie Zivic, Cocoa Kid and Billy Soose just to name a few.

3. Earnie Shavers: "The Acorn" left the sport with a mark of 74-14- with 68 explosive knockouts. This Alabama native had tremendous knockout power especially with the right hand but he had a weak chin and mediocre footwork. Many consider Shavers the hardest hitting heavyweight ever. Shavers lost in his bid to win the heavyweight title from the great Muhammad Ali but he did knock Ali down in the match. Later when Larry Holmes was champion Shavers put Holmes on his butt too even though he lost that fight. Among his victims were: Ken Norton, Jimmy Ellis, Joe Bugner, and Roy Williams.

4. Harry Wills: "The Black Panther" retired with a resume reading 68-9-3 with 54 knockouts. This New Orleans, Louisiana native is a legendary heavyweight who although ranked number one in the world for years, was ducked by heavyweight King Jack Dempsey. Wills was a tremendous puncher with both fists and he was deadly accurate. Feints were part of his skill set and he could box from a distance or slug it out up close. Among his best victories were wins over: Luis Angel Firpo, Tut Jackson, Sam Langford, Kid Norfolk, Joe Jeanette and Sam McVea.

5. Jimmy Bivins: "The Cleveland Spider Man" left prizefighting with a record of 86-25-1 with 31 knockouts. This boxer from Georgia was a great light heavyweight and heavyweight prizefighter. Bivins was not a power puncher even though he would keep you honest with his speed and punching accuracy. Bivins skills in the ring were second to none and he fought and beat many top boxers during his prime including: Lloyd Marshall, Melio Bettina, Archie Moore, Pat Valentino, Cloey Wallace and Mike DeJohn.

6. Bennie Briscoe: "Bad Bennie" left boxing with a record of 66-24-5 with 53 knockout victories. Briscoe was a top middleweight contender who had the misfortune of fighting at the time of middleweight champions Carlos Monzon and Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Bad Benny was a dynamic body puncher and his right cross to the head was dangerous as well. Briscoe fought a who's who of the middleweight division during his prime. Among his best wins were victories over: Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Eugene Hart, Tony Mundine, George Benton and Pedro Miranda.

7. Peter Jackson: "The Black Prince" retired from pugilist with a mark of 43-5 with 30 knockout wins. This legendary Australian heavyweight took on all comers or at least the boxers willing to take him on. Jackson did not possess one punch power but he was accurate and fast with his punches and feet. Jackson was ducked by the champions of the day even though he was world ranked because of racism. Jackson never dodged anyone and he beat many top boxers including: Frank Slavin, Denver Ed Smith, Jack Fallon, George Godfrey, Patsy Cardiff and Peter Maher.

8. Jerry Quarry: "The Bellflower Belter" retired with a record of 53-9-4 with 32 knockouts on his resume. This Californian was a very good boxer puncher who would have won a heavyweight championship except for three reasons. Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Quarry cut easily but he did have a slid chin and heart which most of the time got him through. Quarry had a powerful left hook even though he was somewhat felt footed. His top wins came against: Earnie Shavers, Ron Lyle, Mac Foster, Floyd Patterson, Thad Spencer and Brian London.

9. George Chuvalo: Canada's George Chuvalo left boxing with a record that reads 73-18-2 with 64 knockouts. This Canadian boxer had exceptional knockout power and he was best known for his iron chin that was never cracked or dinged his entire career. His footwork and defense were subpar but he had a steel chin and relentless stalking ability along with good stamin. Chuvalo fought them all Nd beat some very good ones including: Cleveland Williams, Jerry Quarry, Willi Besmanoff, Doug Jones and Yvon Durelle.

10. Oba Carr: "Motor City" retired from boxing with a record of 54-6-1 with 31 knockouts. Carr was an excellent boxer with skills but he lost in three title challenges against very skilled Ike Quartey and Hall of Fame fighters Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya. His jab and trait right ere accurate and his footwork and feints were nice additions to his game. Among his best performances are wins over: Luis Ramon Campas, Derrell Coley. Pedro Sanchez, Livingstone Bramble and Ross Thompson.


Earnie Shavers Best Ring Victories

Jimmy Ellis
Kenny Norton
Jimmy Young
 
Joe Bugner
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Four boxers that were knocked cold by the deadly punching Earnie Shavers.

Bennie Briscoe vs. Rodrigo Valdez 2

Bennie Briscoe was a solid contender who would have won a world championship had he fought in any other era.
Bennie Briscoe was a solid contender who would have won a world championship had he fought in any other era. | Source

Boxing's World Championships

World Boxing Council: The WBC was founded in Mexico in 1963.

World Boxing Association: The WBA was founded in America in 1921 and it was originally called the NBA (National Boxing Association).

International Boxing Federation: The IBF was founded in 1983 in New Jersey in the United States.

World Boxing Organization: The WBO started up in 1988 in Peurto Rico.

Sam Langford Highlights

Ten Top Boxers Who Never Won a Title

Birthplace of Sam Langford (Canada)

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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