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Best Boxers of the 1950s

Updated on May 1, 2017

Legendary Prizefighters From The 50s

Sandy Saddler knocked out Willie Pep I'm four rounds to win the Featherweight world championship.
Sandy Saddler knocked out Willie Pep I'm four rounds to win the Featherweight world championship. | Source
Gene Fullmer and Sugar Ray Robinson traded the middleweight championship during the 1950's.
Gene Fullmer and Sugar Ray Robinson traded the middleweight championship during the 1950's. | Source
Pascual Perez was a legendary prizefighter who took on all comers.
Pascual Perez was a legendary prizefighter who took on all comers. | Source

Who is The Best?

Who is the best boxer from the 1950's?

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Warriors of The Squared Circle

Kid Gavilan is the former Welterweight world champion from Cuba.
Kid Gavilan is the former Welterweight world champion from Cuba. | Source
Carmen Basilio was involved in the Fight of the Year from 1955-1959.
Carmen Basilio was involved in the Fight of the Year from 1955-1959. | Source

Top 10 Boxers of The 50s

1. Sugar Ray Robinson: Sugar Ray is a former welterweight and former 5-Time middleweight world champion who inspired The Pound for Pound rankings. Speed, power, chin, reflexes, footwork, defense and an amazing offense. Robinson had all these attributes wrapped into one and he had a heart and amazing will to go with his top notch skills. Robinson beat Tommy Bell for the welterweight crown and made several defenses including beating Kid Gavilan before taking on the middleweights. Robinson beat among others: Bell, Jake La Motta (5 Times), Rocky Graziano, Carmen Basilio, Gene Fullmer, Randy Turpin, Bobo Olson, Charley Fusari and Henry Armstrong. Sugar left the sport with a record of 173-19-6 with 108 knockouts.

2. Archie Moore: The Ole Mongoose is one of the best light heavyweights in history although he tried his hands with the heavyweights as well. He beat Joey Maxim for the 175 pound Championship and defended it ten times. He beat among others: Joey Maxim (3 Times), Yvon Durelle (2 Times), Eddie Cotton, Bobo Olson, Harold Johnson (3 Times), Jimmy Bivins ( 4 Times), and Holman Williams. He fought in a rarely used cross-arms style defense. (George Foreman used the same style later in his career). He did not waste shots and he was great at placing perfectly timed knockout bombs with both fists. Moore holds the record for the most knockouts in boxing history and he retired from the sport with an astonishing record of 185-23-10 with 131 knockouts.

3. Rocky Marciano: The Rock was a relentless pressure fighter with dynamite in both hands. Rocky would pound on your head, body and arms until you wilted. He had an average defense and he was a short heavyweight but his heart, will, stamina and chin pulled him through every bout. Marciano is the only undefeated heavyweight champion in history and he has had many entertaining and bloody matches during his career. He knocked out Jersey Joe Walcott in 13 rounds to win the heavyweight crown in a fight he was losing on the cards. In the rematch he flattened Walcott in one round. He defended his title against Ezzard Charles twice winning the first bout by decision and winning the rematch by 8th round knockout. He also is the only man to ever knock out Joe Louis. In Marciano's final bout he knocked out Archie Moore in 9 rounds to retire with an undefeated record reading 49-0 with 43 knockouts.

4. Kid Gavilan: The Cuban Hawk had very good technical skills and a solid defense. He was great at judging distance and he had excellent timing. Famous for his deadly bolo punch, Gavilan had enormous stamina, heart and a steel chin. He had average power but he was very accurate with his combination punching and counter shots. He beat Johnny Bratton over 15 one sided rounds to win the Welterweight championship and promptly made seven successful title defenses before moving up to the 160 pound ranks. He gave the prime Sugar Ray Robinson all he could handle landing his underrated jab at will. Robinson won a close decision. Gavilan's best wins came from beating Bratton, Carmen Basilio, Chuck Davey, Billy Graham, Gil Turner, Tony Janiro and Ralph Tiger Jones. Gavilan retired with a resume reading 108-30-5 with 28 knockouts.

5. Sandy Saddler: Saddler was a deadly puncher and as a matter of fact Saddler was one of the most prolific two fisted knockout artist in boxing history. His right hand and left hook laid out many opponents. He was very tall for his weight classes at the time Standing almost 5 ft 9. Saddler won the Featherweight Championship twice and the Jr. Lightweight championship of the world. He beat many great fighters including Flash Elorde, Willie Pep (3 Times By Knockout), Harold Dade, Paddy DeMarco, Teddy Davis and Diego Sosa. Sandy Saddler could stand back with his height and reach landing long range bombs but he was just as adapt at chasing an opponent down, cutting off the ring and ending matters with sledgehammer punches. Saddler retired from the ring with a remarkable record of 144-16-2 with 103 knockouts.

6. Gene Fullmer: Cyclone was a former Two Time Middleweight world champion who beat Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio for his titles. Although he was not a one punch knockout artists Fullmer was a face first non stop puncher who would wear you down to the head, body and arms with pure aggression, work rate and stamina. He defended his title a total of seven times during his second reign beating several top boxers such as: Sugar Ray Robinson (Twice), Benny Paret, Florentino Fernandez, Carmen Basilio (Twice), Gil Turner (Twice), Rocky Castellani and Spider Webb (Twice). Fullmer left the ring with a record of 55-6-3 with 24 knockouts.

7. Carmen Basilio: Basilio was a true warrior in the ring and he won The Fight of the Year Award five strait times. Basilio was an awkward fighter with somewhat limited skill especially on defense. On the other hand, He had accurate punching ability and his chin and stamina were solid as well. Basilio is a former two time welterweight champion and middleweight world champion. Basilio never stopped plowing forward even when he was hurt or staggered. His signature victories came against: Sugar Ray Robinson, Johnny Saxton (Twice), Tony DeMarco (Twice), Ike Williams, Gil Turner and Billy Graham (Twice). The Upstate Onion Farmer retired from the sport with a record of 56-16-7 with 27 knockouts.

8. Pascual Perez: Perez is the first ever boxing champion from Argentina and he took on all comers and has showed heart and determination in the ring many times. He had above average power and he was very good at cutting off the ring when need be. Perez had an excellent jab and his footwork was top notch as well. Pascual Perez was the World Flyweight Champion from 1954-1960. Perez defeated Yoshio Shirai and he defended his crown 16 times. His best accomplishments came from beating: Shirai, Danny Kid, Leo Espinoza, Marcelo Quiroga, Oscar Suarez and Sadao Yaoita. Perez retired with a ring resume that reads 84-7-1 with 57 knockouts.

9. Ezzard Charles: The Cincinnati Cobra is widely considered the best light heavyweight boxer in history even though he never won the championship. Charles also won the Heavyweight championship and defended it 8 times. As a light heavyweight and heavyweight he took on all comers and he usually won. Charles had slick, subtle defensive moves and great ring science. His jab, footwork and constant feints were his trademarks. Among his best victories wee wins over Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Walcott, Joey Maxim, Archie Moore (4 Times), Jimmy Bivins, Gus Lesnevich, Bob Satterfield and Rex Layne. Charles retired with a mark reading 93-25-1 with 52 knockouts.

10. Floyd Patterson: Patterson is a former Gold Medalist and two time heavyweight champion of the world. He is the first heavyweight to ever regain the championship. Patterson beat Archie Moore to win the heavyweight title and after losing it to Ingemar Johansson he knocked him out in the rematch to regain the crown. Patterson had a weak chin but a huge heart and a dynamite left hook. Also, Patterson had a good defense employing Cus Damata's peak a boo, Bob and weave style. Patterson was a good combination puncher with an accurate, stiff jab. His top wins came from beating Johansson (Twice), Archie Moore, Yvon Durelle, Oscar Bpnavena, Henry Cooper, and George Chuvalo. Patterson left the squared circle with a record of 55-8-1 with 40 knockouts.

Archie Moore's Top Victories

Harold Johnson
Willie Besmanoff
Yvon Durelle
Bobo Olson
Joey Maxim
Nino Valdes
Jimmy Bivins
Bert Lytell
 
 
 
 
Eight opponents who felt the wrath of The Ol' Mongoose.

The Rock vs. The Ole Mongoose

Rocky Marciano knocked out Archie Moore in the 9th round of his final fight and the last heavyweight title bout of his career.
Rocky Marciano knocked out Archie Moore in the 9th round of his final fight and the last heavyweight title bout of his career. | Source

Sugar Ray vs. The Bronx Bull

Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake La Motta fought six times with Sugar Ray winning five of those contests.
Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake La Motta fought six times with Sugar Ray winning five of those contests. | Source

Fan.. Tastic Fights of The 50's

1. Rocky Marciano K.O. 13 Jersey Joe Walcott (1952) Marciano was knocked down in the first round and battered for most of the bout. Down on the scorecards, Marciano scored a one punch knockout in the 13th round to become heavyweight champion.

2. Archie Moore K.O. 11 Yvon Durelle (1958) Moore goes down three times in the first round and again in round five. Somehow, Moore starts fighting his way back into the bout Culminating in Moore scoring an improbable 11th round knockout to retain his light heavyweight title.

3. Carmen Basilio W15 Sugar Ray Robinson (1957) Basilio and Robinson fought on near even turns as the ebb and flow constantly went back and forth. Basilio took over in the final few rounds to eke out a split decision and win the Middleweight crown.

4. Carmen Basilio K.O. 12 Tony DeMarco 1(1955) Basilio and DeMarco traded shots the entire bout. Basilio started strong but lost many of the middle rounds. Basilio turned up the pressure in the late rounds and knocked out DeMarco for the Welterweight championship.

5. Jake LaMotta K.O. 15 Laurent Dauthiulle (1950) The Bronx Bull was far behind on the cards and he was being outclassed when he entered the 15th and final frame. LaMotta with less than a minute to go unleashed a relentless flurry to knockout Dauthiulle and retain his middleweight title.

Archie Moore Tribute

Sugar Ray Robinson Highlights

Which State?


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Birthplace of Archie Moore (Benoit, Mississippi)

Rocky Marciano Knocks Out Joe Louis

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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