Boxers with Great Footwork
Great Ring Generals
1. Willie Pep: Pep has over two hundred wins and is considered the best Featherweight fighter in history and the best Defensive boxer ever. His defensive mastery is due in part to his footwork. He on many occasions danced on his toes for a full fifteen round fight doing nothing but popping out jabs and giving angles. He was once said to have won a round without even throwing a punch. Pep was a master inside the ropes and lacked nothing other than power.
2. Muhammad Ali: Ali had the famous Ali Shuffle, where he would dance on his toes in place. He was a heavyweight boxer but, he could dance on his toes for 12 and 15 rounds like a Middleweight. Ali used his footwork and jab to keep opponents at bay and to judge distance during his matches. Ali made solid fighters looked clumsy oftentimes with his speedy feet. Ali used his feet to get ouit of danger but also to set up his two and three punch salvos.
3. Sugar Ray Robinson: Robinson floated around the ring like he was born to do it, he was true poetry in motion. Sugar Ray has evaded and kept foes like Randy Turpin, Jake La Motta (5) five times, Camen Basilio and Kid Gavilan at the end of his jab and out of reach with his smooth footwork. Robinson used his footwork lots of times to get in range to unload his fistic fury on his opponents.
4. Benny Leonard: This lightweight Legend had power, skills and footwork that set the standard for his era. Benny used his fancy footwork to get leverage to set up his knockout blows. He could dance in and out or from side to side with ease as he landed accurate shots. Leonard was a master boxer with one punch knockout power and he is considered one of the top lightweight champs in boxing history.
5. Sugar Ray Leonard: Leonard could turn slugger if he has to but Sugar is a pure boxer at his best. His feints, jabs and footwork have baffled great boxers. As a matter of fact, Leonard made The Great Roberto Duran quit in ring center because he could not catch or touch Leonard as he danced along the ropes. Leonard's footwork was as big a part of his ring persona just as much as his punches were.
6. Wilfred Benitez: Benitez had speed and footwork and reflexes that were second to none. If Wilfred got hurt in a bout, he had the ability to dance for as long as he had to. Benitez went 15 rounds on his toes against Sugar Ray Leonard. To this day he is the youngest Champion in Boxing History having won his first title as a junior welterweight at the age of 17.
7. Pernell Whitaker: Sweet Pea was a defensive and dancing wizard in the ring. He used his footwork to create space and distance. He schooled great boxers such as Buddy McGirt and Julio Cesar Chavez. Whitaker used to dance and glide the ring going forwards and backwards while scoring points. Whitaker won world titles as a lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight.
8. Ezzard Charles: Charles won The Heavyweight Crown and he was one of the best Light Heavyweight fighters ever as well. Charles would use his feet to pivot and set up odd angles to launch his crisp punches. As a light heavy, Charles was a boxer- puncher but as a heavyweight Charles relied on his footwork and boxing skills to achieve greatness.
9. Roy Jones Jr.: Jones was a master at moving around on his toes or using his feet to set up power shots. He used his feet to humiliate James Toney, Bernard Hopkins and John Ruiz. Jones could dance for twelve rounds if necessary or he could use his feet to get him in and out of punching range. He won championships in 4 weight classes which were titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight.
10. Gene Tunney: Tunney used his hand and foot speed to baffle Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey and take his Crown. He also beat among others, Harry Greb, with his fancy footwork. Tunney was one of the pioneers of using fancy footwork to control his bouts. Tunney is the former light heavyweight and heavyweight world champion.
* Please let me know who you think has the best footwork in boxing history. You can leave your opinions in the comments capsule located at the bottom of this page.
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