Top Ten Greatest Boxers To Mark The Hall Of Fame
This list of the top 10 best boxers in the world is compiled taking into account many factors; such as their boxing records, reputation, boxing skill and the opposition they faced. A thorough list of most popular boxers should embody those men who showcased all these qualities
10. Henry Armstrong, Jr – This famous boxer had 150 wins and 100 knockout bouts. He reined the boxing ring between 1931 and 1945 and has the distinction of being the only boxer that held 3 world championship division titles concurrently.
Armstrong had a chequered career; but he kept bouncing back. He won 27 matches in a row; all of which were knockout victories. Armstrong is still remembered and recognized as among the greatest boxers of all time.
9. Jack Dempsey – Between 1914 and 1927 Jack Dempsey won 66 matches, 51 of which were knockouts. The tabloids termed him as the Superhuman Wild Man and rightly so – his fights were worth a million bucks. The first million dollar fight is credited to Dempsey.
Jack Dempsey began his career fighting in saloons to make some money. He went on to win the Heavyweight championship for 7 years.
The boxing champ has the honor of having a street named after him and has also appeared on a commemorative postage stamp.
8. Julio Cesar Chavez – Chavez is a Mexican boxer who won 107 matches with 86 knockout titles between 1980 and 2005. He holds the record of 88 straight wins before he lost his first match to Frankie Randall. Chavez also has a record for winning all his fights for straight 10 years and is clearly Mexico’s greatest fighter.
Chavez defeated big names like Sammy Fuentes, Roger Mayweather and many others over the years.
7. Rocky Marciano – The fact that Rocky Marciano remained undefeated throughout his boxing career between 1948 – 1955 remains his greatest achievement. He has a record of 49 wins with 43 knockout fights.
He wasn’t a very skilled fighter, but what he lacked in finesse he made up for it in power. Even though he remained undefeated his status is not given much credit, chiefly because his opponents were all passed their prime.
6. Mike Tyson – In his 20 year stint from 1985 to 2005 Tyson had 50 wins, 44 of which were knockouts. Tyson was perceived as a boxer who knocked out every competitor within the first few rounds.
At 20, Tyson was the youngest heavyweight champ the world had ever had. He also held the distinction of being the youngest and the first ever boxer to simultaneously hold the IBF, WBC and WBA titles.
Tyson’s been in the news with the Nintendo Game designed after him, to the comic books dedicated to him and not to forget Will Smith’s single, - ‘I think I Could Beat Mike Tyson’.
5. Willie Pep – Willie was an American boxer of Italian decent. He fought from 1940 – 1966 and won 229 fights with 65 knockout wins.
Willie had a record 61–0 World Featherweight Champion reign. He lost the title to Sammy Angott in 1943. However, he was back in form winning 5 fights in a row. The following year he won all the matches, 16 in all. He set a boxing record of 73 wins in a row.
Willie changed the way people looked at light weight championships and fought in front of packed arenas.
4. Jack Johnson – Long before Ali and Roy Jones Jr. came upon the boxing scene, there was Jack Johnson. Jackson better known as the ‘Galveston Giant’ was the first African-American to win the Heavyweight championship. Johnson has 73 wins to his credit, with 40 knockout victories.
He had a unique style that made it exceedingly difficult for his challengers to punch him. Though he was huge, he was quick on his feet. Jackson was presumably the most unloved sportsperson of his time, because he remained undefeated by his white challengers.
It was during this phase that James J. Jeffries the former undefeated champion came forward in a bid to dethrone Johnson. The fight was termed as ‘The Fight of the Century’ with the whites hoping for a victory for Jeffries whom they thought of as their ‘Great White Hope’. of course won the match which led to revelry and riots alike.
3. Sugar Ray Robinson – Robinson was talent personified. His boxing career lasted for 25 years from 1940 to 1965 and he secured a record 173 wins 109 of which were knockout wins.
Robinson moved at the speed of lightening, was agile and packed a powerful punch. He fought and defeated some of the best boxers of his time, including Rocky Graziano, Jake LaMotta and Kid Gavilan. His most amazing wins were over Jake LaMotta though he was 16lbs lighter. He held the Middleweight Championship Title a notable 5 times.
On a personal front Robinson was a flamboyant man who always had a large entourage accompanying him. He owned a popular nightclub in Harlem; was himself a gifted singer and an excellent dancer. He was noticed wherever he went.
2. Joe Louis – With a tally of 66 wins including 52 knockout victories Joe was a man who had an iconic status in America. Known as The Brown Bomber, Joe was unquestionably superior to his peers. He lived in a time when nations were at war; and his wins were seen as symbols of political victories. His remarkable knockout win over German Max Schmeling was celebrated nationwide.
Joe’s boxing career lasted from 1934 to 1951 but he kept fighting even after he officially retired because he was in severe debt. He suffered three loses in his career, the most shocking of which was the 8th round knockout loss against the young Rocky Marciano.
1. Muhammad Ali – Undoubtedly the strongest boxers of all times Ali holds the record of 56 wins including 37 knockout victories. Ali had a larger than life persona and remained unparalleled in the world of sport. Ali termed as the greatest in the boxing arena faced only 5 losses in his unstinted career from 1960-1981. There were controversies galore in the life of this man, who became a name people across the world recognized. His epic stand to not fight in the Vietnam War cost him his heavyweight title and got him banned from the sport and imprisoned. Despite these adversities Ali emerged a winner on his return after a 3 year hiatus.
Ali is known for some of the best fights in the boxing arena, most of which are legendry. Some of his fights have monikers; such as The Rumble in The Jungle and The Thrilla in Manilla.
Ali’s IIIrd Heavy Weight Title victory was by far his best. He was seen as an underdog in this fight against George Foreman who was the reigning champion. But Ali proved his mettle when he won the title in an exhilarating knockout victory.
At 39 Muhammad Ali retired from boxing and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 3 years later.
There were many other boxing greats who aren’t mentioned in this list. Larry Holmes for instance was quite a talented Heavyweight boxer, but he was eclipsed by the greatness of Muhammad Ali.
What make these 10 men legendary are not their boxing prowess and style alone, but the era they lived in and the factors that governed the boxing arena at that time. They set boxing records and faced tough competition and that’s enough to put them in the Hall of Fame.