Ranking the Most Productive Trainer-Fighter Relationships in Boxing History

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Ranking the Most Productive Trainer-Fighter Relationships in Boxing History
J. PAT CARTER/Associated Press

Nobody who encountered the young Joe Louis would have doubted his natural aptitude for a career as a prize fighter. But without a shrewd, veteran trainer like Jack Blackburn, the legendary Brown Bomber might just as easily have trod the road to Palookaville.

Without the molding of Cus D'Amato, Mike Tyson might have easily drifted into a life in and out of prison and/or a very early grave. Instead, he became the iconic fighter of the past 30 years.

In a sense, prizefighting is a kind of ultimate individual sport. Two opponents climb into a ring together and put everything on the line.

But people who know the sport understand that behind any successful fighter is an effective team. The one-on-one relationship of trainer and fighter is often far more intense and intimate than the coach-athlete relationship in team sports.

There's a reason fighters almost always speak in the plural when they discuss their fights: "We had a good plan coming into this fight" or "We knew we could use the jab to back him up and set up the body."

The relationship between trainer and fighter is so essential that even a long list of honorable mentions would omit worthy teams. But it's hard to argue against the success of these 10.

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