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Best Boxers of the 1970s

Updated on May 1, 2017

Legends of The Sport

Roberto Duran handed Sugar Ray Leonard his first loss and won the Welterweight championship in the process.
Roberto Duran handed Sugar Ray Leonard his first loss and won the Welterweight championship in the process. | Source
Carlos Monzon defended the Middleweight championship 13 times and retired as the Champion.
Carlos Monzon defended the Middleweight championship 13 times and retired as the Champion. | Source
Alexis Arguello, right, knocked out Ray "Boom, Boom" Mancini in his prime.
Alexis Arguello, right, knocked out Ray "Boom, Boom" Mancini in his prime. | Source

Who is The Best?

Who is the best boxer from the 1970s?

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The Greatest vs. Smokin' Joe

Muhammad Ali fought Joe Frazier three times winning twice.
Muhammad Ali fought Joe Frazier three times winning twice. | Source

Top 10 Boxers of The 70s

1. Roberto Duran: Hands of Stone was a great boxer-puncher with a devastating body attack. He had great counter punching skills and in his prime he put smart pressure with descent defense to overwhelm his opponents. Duran won championships in the Lightweight, Welterweight, Jr. Middleweight and Middleweight divisions. Duran is one of the best lightweight boxers ever as he demonstrated by beating Ken Buchanon for the title and defending it 12 times successfully. Duran moved up two divisions to win the Welterweight Title by handing Sugar Ray Leonard his first loss. Duran's best wins came against: Leonard, Buchanon, Esteban De Jesus (Twice), Carlos Palomino, Ray Lampkin, Pipino Cuevas and Iran Barkley. Roberto Duran retired with a record of 103-16 with 70 knockouts.

2. Carlos Monzon: Shotgun was a superb boxer with descent power in both hands. Monzon had a great jab, good footwork and excellent distance and timing in the squared circle. Monzon fought all the best contenders of his era and he usually dominated his bouts. Most historians rate Carlos Monzon as a top two or three best middleweight to ever lace on the gloves. He won the Middleweight Championship of the world by knocking out Niño Benvenuti and defended it 14 times over a seven year period. Carlos Monzon's best victories have come against Benvenuti (Twice), Emile Griffith (Twice), Bennie Brisco, Jose Napoles and Rodrigo Valdes (Twice). Monzon retired as the 160 pound champion with a resume that reads: 87-3-9 with 58 knockouts.

3. Muhammad Ali: Ali had a great chin, big heart, superb reflexes, speed and boxing skills. The Greatest had stamina that was unmatched as he proved many times by dancing on his toes for 15 full rounds. Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics and he was a three time Heavyweight Champion of the World. He beat several Hall of Famers in his distinguished career including: Sonny Liston (Twice), George Foreman, Joe Frazier (Twice), Floyd Patterson (Twice), Archie Moore and Ken Norton (Twice). Muhammad Ali fought everyone and he brought talking smack and being a clown into the sport which in turn helped boxing stay center stage and it also helped create multi-million dollar pay days for fighters. Ali retired with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts.

4. Alexis Arguello: The Explosive Thin Man was a viscous puncher and he was tall and rangy with a solid jab and powerful strait right. He could box from a distance or fight on the inside. Arguello won Championships in the Featherweight, Jr. Lightweight and Lightweight divisions in his fabulous boxing career. He is considered to be the best sidestep boxer to ever come out of Nicaragua. Alexis Arguello's biggest victories have came against: Ruben Olivares, Alfredo Escalera, Rafael Limon, Bobby Chacon, Ruben Castillo and Ray Mancini. Arguello's final ring record reads: 89-8 with 70 knockouts.

5. Wilfredo Gomez: Bazooka was a devastating knockout puncher with both hands and one of the best prizefighters to come out of boxing rich Puerto Rico. He was an aggressive puncher who had subtle defensive movements and he threw punches in combination. Gomez was also great at cutting off the ring during his bouts. Gomez won titles in the Jr. Featherweight, Featherweight and Jr. Lightweight divisions. He also holds the record for most title defenses to end in knockout with 17 in a row. Wilfredo Gomez's best wins have come against: Dong Kyun- Yum, Carlos Zarate (52-0 at the time), Nicky Perez, Juan Meza, Lupe Pinter, Juan La Porte and Juan Antonio Lopez. Gomez finished with a record of 44-3-1 with 42 knockouts.

6. Bob Foster: Bob Foster was a big, tall light heavyweight with big knockout power in his fists. He had a pulverizing jab and he was excellent at finishing hurt opponents with his deadly combinations. He was virtually unbeatable as a light heavyweight and most of his losses occurred at heavyweight. Foster won the light heavyweight championship by knocking out Dick Tiger in four brutal rounds. Including a draw, Foster defended the 175 pound crown 14 times which was a boxing record at the time and never lost the title in the ring. His top wins came from beating Tiger, Mark Tessman, Ray Anderson, Mike Quarry, Chris Finnegan and Pierre Fourie (Twice). Foster wrapped his boxing career up with a record of 56-8-1 with 46 knockouts.

7. Jose Napoles: Mantequilla wasn't great at any one thing but, he was solid in every area. His jab and counter punching were very good as were his defense, footwork and power. Napoles also was good at body punching and he was a two time welterweight champion of the world. Napoles knocked out Curtis Cokes in 13 rounds for the Championship and defended it 3 times before losing it on cuts to Billy Bachus. In the rematch, Napoles regained his title and avenged the defeat. He then tallied ten more defenses before losing his crown and retiring. Napoles beat among others: Bachus, Cokes (Twice), Hedgemon Lewis (Twice), Emile Griffith, Ernie Lopez and Roger Menetrey. Jose Napoles left the ring with a final tally of 81-7 with 54 knockouts.

8. Miguel Canto: El Maestro was a defensive specialists and a skilled boxer with little power in his punches which is an odd combination for a Mexican boxer. He used footwork, head movement and accurate jabs to win his bouts. Canto won the Flyweight championship by beating Shoji Oguma and he successfully defended his crown fourteen times before finally losing. His best victories were against Oguma (three times), Betulio Gonzalez, Susumu Hanagata, Martin Vargas (Twice) and Ignacio Espinal. Miguel Canto is one of Mexico's best fighters in history and he finished his career with a record of 61-9-4 with 15 knockouts.

9. Carlos Zarate: Zarate was a Mexican brawler with tremendous punching power in both hands. He was very accurate, had good counter punching skills and he was a good pressure fighter who fought best on the inside. Zarate is one of the Bantamweights in history and he won the championship by knocking out Rodolfo Marinez. Zarate defended the title nine times before relinquishing it. Carlos Zarate's best wins came from beating Martinez, Andres Hernandez, Danilo Batista, Alfonzo Zamora and Paul Ferreri. Zarate retired with a fabulous record of 66-4 with 63 knockouts.

10. Yoko Gushiken: Fierce Eagle is one of Japan's best ever boxers and he had outstanding footwork, timing and counter punching skills to go along with great stamina and solid defense. Gushiken won the Jr. Flyweight Championship by knocking out Juan Antonio Guzman in only his 9th pro bout. He made 13 defenses before losing his crown and retiring. Yoko Gushiken's biggest victories came against: Guzman, Jaime Rios, Rigoberto Marcano, Martin Vargas and Pedro Flores. Yoko left the sport with an excellent ring record of 23-1 with 15 knockouts.

King of The Light Heavyweights!

Bob Foster, left, destroyed Dick Tiger to win the middleweight championship of the world.
Bob Foster, left, destroyed Dick Tiger to win the middleweight championship of the world. | Source

Muhammad Ali's Top Victories

Sonny Liston (Twice)
George Foreman
Leon Spinks
Ken Norton (Twice)
George Chuvalo
Archie Moore
Joe Frazier (Twice)
Earnie Shavers
Oscar Bonavena
Floyd Patterson (Twice)
Ten opponents of Ali who felt him float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
Wilfredo "Bazooka" Gomez was a big puncher who retired with a record of 44-3-1 with 42 knockouts.
Wilfredo "Bazooka" Gomez was a big puncher who retired with a record of 44-3-1 with 42 knockouts. | Source

Best Boxing Matches of The 70's

1. Muhammad Ali K.O. 14 Joe Frazier (1975) Ali defended the heavyweight title in a back and forth brutal war. Ali won the early rounds but Frazier beat Ali to the body and head to take the middle rounds. Finally, Ali gets another wind and pounds Frazier to a bloody, lumpy mess with swollen eyes. Eddie Futch, Frazier's trainer, stopped the bout at the end of the 14th.

2. Joe Frazier W15 Muhammad Ali (1971) Frazier and Ali were both undefeated and it was a closely contested bout. Ali busted Frazier's face up with jabs and hard rights but Frazier hurt Ali bad in the 11th round and started to pull slightly ahead. Frazier sealed the win with a 15th round knockdown to retain and gain full recognition as heavyweight champion of the world.

3. George Foreman K.O. 5 Ron Lyle (1976) Foreman and Lyle take turns tasting the canvas before Lyle finally succumbs in the 5th round as an exhausted Foreman goes wild. Big George was wobbled throughout the fight and he was knocked down twice in the fourth round. Lyle was floored in the fourth and finished by a barrage of punches by Big George in the 5th and final round.

4. Mathew Saad Muhammad K.O. 8 Marvin Johnson (1979) Muhammad (Formerly Mathew Franklin) was losing on the cards to Johnson and both of his eyes were swelling fast. Muhammad was landing shots but Marvin was pelting him at will. Johnson was bleeding profusely by the 8th round and on the verge of losing on cuts when he hurt Johnson. Johnson was out on his feet when the ref stopped the match.

5. Larry Holmes W15 Ken Norton (1978) Holmes won the heavyweight title in a closely contested battle. The fight was a pitch battle with both men landing huge shots and both boxers being wobbled several times. The 15th and final round was special as both fighters unloaded all they had left. Holmes pulled out a close win to become the champ.

Muhammad Ali: His Skills on Display!

Which Weight Class?

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Hands of Stone's Career Highlights

Birthplace of Muhammad Ali (Louisville, Kentucky)

A Tribute To Carlos Monzon

© 2013 Buster Johnson


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