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Boxing's Best Bantamweights of All Time

Updated on August 5, 2017

Photos of Great Bantamweights

Eder Jofre is a great boxer in the smaller weight classes. As a Bantamweight champ he defended his crown eight times.
Eder Jofre is a great boxer in the smaller weight classes. As a Bantamweight champ he defended his crown eight times. | Source
Johnny Tapia unleashes a flurry in defense of his bantamweight championship. Tapia fought on emotion many times but he was also an exceptional boxer.
Johnny Tapia unleashes a flurry in defense of his bantamweight championship. Tapia fought on emotion many times but he was also an exceptional boxer. | Source
Rafael Marquez can take a shot as well as deliver one as he demonstrated in his wars with Israel Vazquez.
Rafael Marquez can take a shot as well as deliver one as he demonstrated in his wars with Israel Vazquez. | Source
Carlos Zarate was a boxing Champion from Mexico who had tremendous knockout power in both hands.
Carlos Zarate was a boxing Champion from Mexico who had tremendous knockout power in both hands. | Source

Who is the best?

Who is the best Bantamweights boxer ever?

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Tim Austin

Tim Austin won a Bronze medal in the Olympics. He had great ring generalship and a magnificent jab which he used to win and defend his title.
Tim Austin won a Bronze medal in the Olympics. He had great ring generalship and a magnificent jab which he used to win and defend his title. | Source

Legendary Bantamweights

1. Eder Jofre: Jofre was Bantamweight Champion for five years and finished his career with a fantastic record of seventy two wins, two losses, four draws and fifty knockouts. He defended The Bantamweight Crown eight times and also fought in three non-title fights. Jofre beat Johnny Caldwell and Leo Espinoza. He could win bouts with power or with boxing skills. He was very well rounded and nearly impossible to beat.

2. Manuel Ortiz: Ortiz was Bantamweight Champion from 1942-1947 and made fifteen successful title defenses. He won the title a second time after losing it to Harold Dade in a rematch and defended it five times. Ortiz could box or brawl and he had a severe body attack that he used very well in the early rounds of his bouts. Ortiz left boxing with a great record that reads: 100-28-3 with 54 stoppage victories to his credit.

3. Ruben Olivares: After a 51-0 record Rockabye Ruben knocked out Lionel Rose in five brutal rounds. He finished his great career with eighty eight wins, thirteen losses and seventy eight knockouts. Although he lacked footwork and speed, his power nullified everything. He knocked out the great Carlos Zarate and he is considered the biggest puncher in Mexican boxing history.

4. Carlos Zarate: Zarate had one punch knockout power as attested by his record of sixty six wins with sixty three of those wins by knockout vs. four losses. He beat Lupe Pintor, Alfonzo Zamora, Alberto Davila and Juan Rodriguez. He was flat footed but, he had knockout bombs in either hand and he usually cut the ring off eventually. Zarate left the squared circle with a record reading: 66-4 with an astonishing 63 wins coming by way of knockout.

5. Fighting Harada: Harada had a record of fifty five wins, seven losses and twenty two wins coming by way of knockout. Harada was Bantamweight King for three years. Among his victims were undefeated legend Eder Jofre, Alan Rudkin, Bernardo Caraballo and Dwight Hawkins. He was a handful for all boxers and on his best day he was nearly impossible to beat.

6. Orlando Canizales: Canizales had fifty wins, five losses and thirty seven knockouts in his great Bantamweight career. He was Bantamweight Champion from 1988-1994 and then he vacated to campaign at a higher weight. Among his victims were: Kelvin Seabrooks, Paul Gonzales and Bones Adams. He defended the crown a division record of sixteen times.

7. Panama Al Brown: Panama Al had one hundred twenty three wins, eighteen losses and fifty five knockouts on his resume. He beat Gregorio Vidal for The Championship and defended the laurels ten times in his career. Brown is the first Hispanic Champion in boxing history.

8. Rafael Marquez: Marquez has thirty nine wins, five losses and thirty five knockouts on his ledger. He beat unbeaten Champion Tim Austin for the belt and defended it seven times including wins over Mauricio Pastrana and Silence Mabuza. His power was his calling card and he had a huge heart and will.

9. Johnny Tapia-Mi Vida Loca He was a two time Bantamweight Champion of the world and he also won titles in two other weight classes, may he R.I.P. Tapia had an overall career record of fifty nine wins, five losses with thirty knockouts scored. Tapia beat Nana Konadu for the belt and he beat Jorge Julio for his second strap. Tapia has old school heart and skills.

10. Tim Austin: Austin beat Mbulelo Botile for The Crown and held it from 1997-2003. He defended his Championship ten consecutive times before losing to Mexican legend Rafael Marquez. Austin had a good since of distance in the squared circle and a high output accurate jab. Austin quit boxing sporting a mark of: 27-2-1 with 24 knockout victories coming before the final bell. Too bad Austin was so inactive because he could have fought a 50 bout career.

* I would love to hear who your favorite Bantamweight boxer is. Please share your thoughts in the comments box located at the bottom of this article.

Boxing Is a Sport. Boxing Is Not a Game!

Boxing is easily the most dangerous contact sport. Don't get me wrong Mixed Martial Arts and the NFL have serious dangers to watch out for as well. But realistically boxing has deaths that occur nearly every year wear as football and the UFC for example rarely or in the case of the UFC, never have a death happen. Anyone who decides to step in the squared circle needs to be fully prepared and in excellent condition. If not, serious injury could occur.

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Boxing Equipment

Heavybag
Speedbag
Double End Bag
Uppercut Bag
Reflex Bag
Body Bag
Hand Wraps
Shorts
Boxing Gloves
Six of the most commonly used gym bags.

Johnny Tapia Tribute

Rafael Marquez Highlights

Birthplace of Johnny Tapia (New Mexico)

Boxing Extras

Bantamweights are fun to watch because they are smaller and they throw a lot more leather. Also the Bantamweights, are light on their feet. This division is one of the original eight weight classes.

Some of the best Featherweight fighters began as Bantamweight fighters. The smaller guys tend to throw tons of punches over the course of a grueling 12 round fight.

Some of the best or at least considered more exciting to some people because of the amount of punches thrown in any given fight. The Featherweight or Bantamweight fighters are impressive.

© 2012 Buster Johnson

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