Ranking the 10 Greatest Comebacks in Boxing History

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Ranking the 10 Greatest Comebacks in Boxing History
Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Boxing fans love a great comeback story. Muhammad Ali's early career prior to being stripped of his titles in 1967 was impressive enough to earn him a mention with the great heavyweight champions of all time.

But it was his remarkable achievements after his return from exile in the 1970s that made him the most beloved sports figure of his era.

Still, successful comebacks are rare. Even most elite fighters have trouble returning to their prior form after a long layoff. Competition at the top is so fierce, even a minor diminishment in timing and other physical abilities can spell the difference between victory and defeat.

In compiling this list I've tried to balance the improbability of the comeback with the quality of opponents beaten during the comeback.

So Floyd Mayweather isn't included. Although he officially retired for 21 months, it was at the height of his powers, when very few boxers in the sport were even considered credible opponents for him. Nobody was surprised that he picked up exactly where he left off.  

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