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Best Boxers of All Time from West Virginia

Updated on July 4, 2017

Christy Martin vs Bethany Payne (Video)

Coal Miner's Daughter

Former champion Christy Martin is seen on a Ringside boxing card.
Former champion Christy Martin is seen on a Ringside boxing card. | Source

Simply the Best

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Christy Martin (Bluefield, West Virginia)

The "Coal Miner's Daughter" is the former WBC Junior Welterweight Champion and she retired with a fantastic resume that reads: 49-7-3 with 31 knockouts to her credit. Martin made women's boxing popular by her fighting style which is similar to Mike Tysons. She uses the bob and weave head movement to get inside and unleash hooks and uppercuts to the head and body. Her overhand right and her left hook are trademark crushing blows in her arsenal. The first time I seen Christy Martin or women's boxing, for that matter, is when Martin fought Bethany Payne. The bout took place on the undercard of a Mike Tyson PPV card and it helped put Christy Martin and ladies prizefighting on the map. Martin won that bout by highlight reel knockout. I always enjoyed watching Martin fight because she was explosive and always going for the knockout and trying to hurt her opponent with each and every blow. Christy Martin is one of the 5 best women's boxers in history. She is what peeked my interest in ladies professional fighting. Her style in the ring always guaranteed action because she smothered her foes and stayed in close. Another thing about Martin is that she rose up from nothing to become a world champion and a star. Martin is the first female fighter to reach Pay Per View. As far as West Virginia goes, you guys should be proud cause she represented her state to the fullest.

Christy Martin's top victories came from defeating Mia St. John, Kathy Collins, Andrea DeShong and Deirdre Gogarty.

Christy Martin's Best Victories

Beverly Szymansky
Deirdre Gogarty
Andrea DeShong
Dakota Stone
Mia St. John
Kathy Collins
 
Melinda Robinson
 
 
 
 
Seven of Christy Martin's top wins inside the squared circle.

Tunney Hunsaker vs. Muhammad Ali (Then Cassius Clay)

Muhammad Ali fought in his pro debut in boxing against Tunney Hunsaker, winning a unanimous decision.
Muhammad Ali fought in his pro debut in boxing against Tunney Hunsaker, winning a unanimous decision. | Source

Tunney Hunsaker (Fayetteville, West Virginia)

Tunney Hunsaker was a heavyweight boxer who fought in the 50s and 60s. Hunsaker was Muhammad Ali's first professional opponent. Tunney Hunsaker retired from the sport with a record reading: 18-15-1 with 9 K.O.s to his credit. Not fast or a big puncher, Tunney relied on solid fundamentals to see him through his fights. Other than a lack of speed his biggest problem was his porous defense. On offense he had a good jab and straight right hand and for his skill level Hunsaker had decent accuracy in his punch volleys. Hunsaker was not a spectacular boxer but you could be sure that he was gonna give it his all each and every time that he entered the prize ring. Forever linked to the ring by his association with Muhammad Ali but still a pretty good boxer in his own right. Hunsaker was a small heavyweight and barely could make the division limit but his heart kept him a live dog all the while. An average boxer on skills but very fun to watch anytime he laced on the gloves for combat.

Mr. Hunsaker's best wins came from topping the likes of Ranchero Alonzo, Carl Griffin, Bennie Thomas and O' Neal Crocker.

1924 Olympic Games

Ed Greathouse was a successful amateur boxer who competed in the 1924 Olympics.
Ed Greathouse was a successful amateur boxer who competed in the 1924 Olympics. | Source

Ed Greathouse (Roane County, West Virginia)

"Guy" was an amateur boxer who fought in the Olympic games in 1924. Ed Greathouse boxed out of the heavyweight division. Greathouse is the 1924 AAU champion in the heavyweight division. We are left only to wonder where he could have gone if he had chosen to convert from an amateur to the pro game. Greathouse was known for having good ring generalship by using his feet exceptionally well. Also, Guy Greathouse had a solid stick which he used to set up long, accurate right hands from a distance. If he got a good trainer and manager he could have dedicated his life to boxing in the pro ranks but it just wasn't meant to be. Still all of his boxing talent was evident from early on and that is why he excelled and became an Olympian. Winning any award in this tough sport is hard enough but making it to the Olympics is really trying so hats off to this sportsman for accomplishing his goal.

Please leave your thoughts on West Virginia boxing or boxing in general by putting comments at the bottom of this article.

Southpaw

Left Handed

Enswell

In boxing, the enswell is a freezing cold piece of steel that is used to reduce swelling on a boxer's face especially around the eyes.
In boxing, the enswell is a freezing cold piece of steel that is used to reduce swelling on a boxer's face especially around the eyes. | Source

My Love For the Sport

My love for boxing runs deep. I have been watching since I was 10 years old. My first bout was in 1989 when Evander Holyfield fought Alex Stewart for the first time and it was televised on Showtime. From that day I fell in love with the sport. My two favorite boxers ever are Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson even though I can name over 100 past and present that I simply love to watch. I watch all the PPV bouts as well as the HBO, ESPN and Showtime matches. And of course I watch old bouts and clips as well as interviews while I am online.

I have my gripes within the sport such as bad or crooked decisions that happen far too often but all in all I love boxing with my heart and soul and it is my first and main true passion. I do not deny the sport has broken my heart on more than a few occasions but, the good definitely outweighs the bad. I am very happy to see boxing making its way back on regular TV so that the masses can see what they have been missing. The emergence of the PBC (Premiere Boxing Champions) has been a tremendous boost that has seen boxing appear on CBS, NBC, Spike, ESPN and several other channels.

Tunney and Ali (Video)

© 2017 Buster Johnson

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