'Lights Out' and the Best Nicknames in Boxing History
Nicknames are a dying breed in sports. "A-Rod" simply doesn't compare to "The Babe." "Dr. J" blows "The Flash" right out of the water.
Throughout the years the best nicknames could be found in a boxing ring. Whether self proclaimed or anointed—you have to have a good nickname to be a famous boxer.
As the brand new boxing show "Lights Out" and its lead, Patrick "Lights Out" Leary, premiere January 11 on F/X, let's take a look at the top 15 best boxing nicknames of all time.
15. "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler
"Marvelous" was the undisputed world middleweight champion between 1980 and 1987. He is an inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame
The guy liked his nickname so much he legally changed his first name to "Marvelous", which I think is a much better name change than "Ochocinco".
14. Henry "Homicide Hank" Armstrong
Henry "Homicide Hank" Armstrong is widely considered one of the best boxers of all time.
He was part of a small group of fighters that won boxing championships in three or more different divisions and also held three world championships at the same time.
Did I mention the fact that his opponents had to fight a guy name "Homicide Hank"?
13. Mike "The Body Snatcher" McCallum
Mike McCallum had a professional record of 49-5-1 (36 knockouts). "The Body Snatcher" was never knocked out as a professional.
He defeated seven world champions, winning and defending titles at light middleweight, middleweight and light heavyweight.
He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003.
But the most memorable part of McCallum has to be his nickname—even if it was inspired by a 1970's film.
12. Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran
Roberto Duran was one of the most durable boxers of all time. He got his nickname because of how hard he hit his opponents; they claimed it was like getting hit by a stone.
He held world titles at four different weights and is the only professional in history to have fought in five different decades.
You didn't mess with the "Hands of Stone" unless you wanted a rock to the face.
11. James "Bonecrusher" Smith
With a name like "Bonecrusher" you can do whatever you want. No waiting in line, no slow service at restaurants, nothing but scared souls bowing down to your every need.
"Bonecrusher" gets whatever the heck "Bonecrusher" wants, or else your bones will be crushed.
James Smith had a solid career in the boxing ring, but it's his name that will live in infamy.
10. Thomas "Hitman" Hearns
The "Hitman" became the first fighter in boxing history to win world titles in four separate divisions.
He was also the first fighter in history to win five world titles in five different divisions.
He has scored many memorable knockouts in his career and is widely considered to be one of the greatest knockout artists of all time. He lost only one decision in his entire career.
Being called the "Hitman" must of gone to his head with all the knockouts Thomas Hearns had. Messing with a dude like "Hitman" will normally never end well.
9. Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao
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"Pacman" may be the best fighter in the sport today. Since Floyd "Money" Mayweather never seems to give the people what they want, we don't know for sure.
I do know "Pacman" is a catchy nickname that explains the compact style with which Manny Pacquiao boxes: quick and short jabs that pack a punishing blow.
The video game "Pacman" is an all-time classic, and so is Manny.
8. Ike "Bazooka" Quartey
Quartey's best weapon was his quick jab, which was one of the best while he was in his prime.
It was sort of like a bazooka coming at you, with non-stop jabs that were issued at a fevered pace.
"Bazooka" will be remembered for his rapid-fire punches en route to a 37-5 record with 31 knockouts.
7. Eric "Butterbean" Esch
The 350-pound "Butterbean" was one of the heaviest boxers of all time. He almost exclusively went by his nickname with few people even remembering his first name was Eric.
At one point he won 51 consecutive matches in a row.
This tub of butter was a very solid boxer in his day, but he will always be remembered for his very appropriate nickname.
I can neither confirm or deny if "Butterbean" has ever eaten an entire tub of butter in one sitting.
6. Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker
Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker was known for his superior defensive skills and amazing counter-punches.
Whitaker was not an overpowering hitter on offense, but he had a very consistent attack, making him extremely slippery and difficult to hit with a solid blow.
His nickname was perfect.
Not a hard hitter by any means, but he had a sweet punch that slowly wore down his opponent.
5. "Iron Mike" Tyson
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At one point, Mike Tyson was considered the baddest man alive.
He punched his opponent so hard it looked as if he had an iron in his glove. "Iron Mike" was the hardest hitter in boxing at the time, and his nickname fit him perfectly.
Tyson may have gone through many ups and downs throughout his career—but his "Iron" fists will always be remembered.
4. Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini
It didn't take more than a few punches, and "Boom Boom" the match was over.
Ray Mancini was just an average boxer, but he had an incredible punch and was a hard worker.
The ultimate "Boom Boom" occurred when Duk Koo Kim died of injuries inflicted from a match with Mancini. It was a tragedy that will live with him the rest of his life.
3. Rocky "The Italian Stallion" Balboa
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Okay so he may not have been a real boxer, but who could argue that "The Italian Stallion" isn't one of the best nicknames of all time?
There's no way Rocky could have beaten Mr. T with a bad nickname.
2. "Sugar" Ray Leonard
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The smoothest nickname of all time—"Sugar" Ray was also one of the smoothest in the ring.
World welterweight champion and five times world middleweight champion, stylish dresser, night club owner, believed by many to be pound-for-pound the best boxer in the history of the sport.
You know it's a great nickname when he goes by the name for the rest of his life. "Sugar Ray" will go down as one of the best boxers of all time—and so will his nickname.
1. Muhammad "The Greatest" Ali
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Boxer, philanthropist and social activist, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was truly one of the most influential people of the 20th century.
He is widely regarded as the best boxer of all time. Ask any person on the street to name three boxers and Ali will be one of them; he is internationally known and one of the most famous people in the world.
Ali told reporters that he could "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" in the boxing ring. He was one of the greatest trash talkers and one of the few who always backed up his word.
I would say that earns you the nickname "The Greatest."