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The Most Famous American Boxers in History

Updated on May 2, 2017

Popular Prizefighters

George Foreman crossed over from just a boxer to a celebrity when he started selling his now famous grills.
George Foreman crossed over from just a boxer to a celebrity when he started selling his now famous grills. | Source
Sugar Ray Leonard was an Olympic gold medalist, 5 division champion boxer and a household name in the 1970s and 1980s.
Sugar Ray Leonard was an Olympic gold medalist, 5 division champion boxer and a household name in the 1970s and 1980s. | Source
Oscar De La Hoya, seen here with Shaquille O' Neil, is a mainstream celebrity who has his own boxing promotional company.
Oscar De La Hoya, seen here with Shaquille O' Neil, is a mainstream celebrity who has his own boxing promotional company. | Source

Who is The Most Known Boxer?

Who is the most famous American boxer ever?

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Ten Mainstream Prizefighters


Please note that this list is not a list of the best boxers ever but more of a list of the most known boxers ever.

1. Muhammad Ali: The Greatest won a Gold Medal in the 1960 Olympics and he also won the Heavyweight Championship three times as a professional. Because of his skills, mouth and stance on the Vietnam conflict at the time, Ali became famous the world over. He retired from the sport with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts. Ali has had books, movies (including Ali: played by Will Smith), toys, clothes and music made about him. He has been in commercials, on talk shows, and he even lit the Olympic torch in the 1996 Atlanta games which was 36 years after he won Gold.

2. Mike Tyson: Iron Mike is a two time Heavyweight Champion and the youngest Heavyweight Champion in History (20 years old). He possessed speed and knockout power in both fists. Because of his power, attitude and even his outside the ring troubles, Tyson is known in countries throughout the world. Tyson retired from boxing with a record of 50-6 with 44 knockouts. Tyson has played in films and been on television constantly since he was 20 years old and it has never let up. Tyson has had his own show, video game, clothes, toys, and even comic books. Tyson is mainstream from America to London to Hong Kong.

3. George Foreman: Big George won a Gold Medal in the 1968 Olympics and the heavyweight championship twice. He is the oldest heavyweight champion in history (45 years old). He had a great, pulverizing jab and tremendous power in both hands. He had two boxing careers, the first in the 70's and the the second one in the 90's. Foreman retired with a boxing resume of 76-5 with 68 knockouts. Foreman has had his own sitcom, grills and he has been in numerous commercials featuring everything from chicken to mufflers.

4. Sugar Ray Leonard: Sugar Ray won a Gold Medal in the 1976 Olympics and championships in five weight classes. Leonard's had amazing hand and foot speed as well as a captivating personality. Leonard filled the void after Ali retired before Tyson arrived on the scene. He retired for good from boxing with a record of 36-3-1 with 25 knockouts. He has had his own boxing reality show, promotional firm, toys, commercials (7UP with his son), clothes and he is recognizable and known by not only sports fans but non sports fans as well.

5. Oscar De La Hoya: The Golden Boy won the Gold Medal in the 1992 Olympics and he won titles in six weight classes as a professional fighter. He had excellent boxing skills complemented by a good jab and in the lower weight divisions he had a devastating left hook. He was a good looking man and he had more women attend his bouts than any other boxer has had before or after Him. De La Hoya retired with a record of 39-6 with 30 knockouts. De La Hoya has won a Latin Grammy for singing, been in commercials, on television shows and he has Golden Boy Promotions which is the second largest promotional outfit in boxing.

6. Joe Louis: The Brown Bomber is a former Heavyweight Champion who holds the record for the most title defenses in any division with 25. Louis had a great jab, knockout power in both hands with his short hooks and he was very accurate with his combination punching. He retired with a boxing record reading 66-3 with 52 knockouts. Louis became an American hero when he knocked out German Max Schmeling in one round during the uprising of Nazi Germany. It made Louis more of a household name than he already was. Louis has been on television and he has had many books and documentaries made about him.

7. Jack Dempsey: The Manassa Mauler had power in both hands and he became so popular because of the savage way in which he fought. Dempsey tossed bombs with every shot he threw. Also, Dempsey was part of boxing's first ever million dollar gate. He is a former Heavyweight World Champion who left the sport with a record of 54-6-9 with 44 knockouts. Dempsey boxed, reffed boxing and wrestling matches and he even owned a restaurant in New York called Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant. He remained famous all the way up to his death.

8. Floyd Mayweather,jr.: Money Mayweather had speed, reflexes, an amazing defense, undefeated record and a big mouth. He knew how to sell fights and he played the bad guy well. It helped him along with the win over Oscar De La Hoya to become a mainstream star. Love him or hate him you watched him on MTV Cribs, Dancing with the Stars and even knocking out Big Show on WrestleMania. The amazing Pretty Boy Floyd has a record of 45-0 with 26 knockouts. (As of Jan. 2014).

9. John L. Sullivan: The Boston Strong Boy was the last ever Bare Knuckle Heavyweight Champion in history. He was the first famous boxer and he was known throughout America and the United Kingdom by men, women and children everywhere. He had power and usually won his bouts by knockout. Sullivan retired with a record of 38-1-1 with 32 knockouts. Sullivan toured the country fighting in exhibitions and appearing on radio and at stage plays signing autographs.

10. Evander Holyfield: The Real Deal won a Bronze Medal in the 1984 Olympics, the Cruiserweight Championship and the Heavyweight title four different times. Holyfield was known for his heart, determination, stamina and chin. He took on all comers and he was very humble which helped to endear him to the fans. His record as of Jan. 2014 stands at: 44-10-2 with 29 knockouts. Holyfield has sponsored Diet Coke, Burger King and he has been a television celebrity starring on such shows as Dancing with the Stars.

Famous Fighters!

Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant was located in New York and because of Dempsey's popularity it was a big success.
Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant was located in New York and because of Dempsey's popularity it was a big success. | Source
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Danced with Karina Smirnoff in Dancing with the Stars.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Danced with Karina Smirnoff in Dancing with the Stars. | Source

Big George Foreman's Top Wins

Joe Frazier (Twice)
Ken Norton
Michael Moorer
Ron Lyle
George Chuvalo
Gerry Cooney
Dwight Muhammad Qawi
Alex Stewart
 
 
 
 
Eight opponents who felt the power of "Big" George.

The Greatest Meets The President

Muhammad Ali at the White House meeting President Ronald Reagan.
Muhammad Ali at the White House meeting President Ronald Reagan. | Source

Mike Tyson's Punch Out

Mike Tyson had his own Nintendo game and he was famous for his in and out of the ring battles.
Mike Tyson had his own Nintendo game and he was famous for his in and out of the ring battles. | Source

Best Boxing Video Games

1. Mike Tyson's Punch Out (Nintendo)

2. Fight Night Champion (PS3 and Xbox 360)

3. Prizefighter (Sega CD)

4. Fight Night Round 3 (PS3 and Xbox 360)

5. Greatest Heavyweights (Sega Genesis)

Sugar Ray Leonard 7 Up Commercial: 1981

Muhammad Ali Book on Amazon

Birthplace of Mike Tyson (Brooklyn, NY)

SportsCentury: Jack Dempsey

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Ali is a legend in this sport. I have much respect for this athlete.

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