Greatest Ever: Boxing: Top Ten Boxers Of All Time
The 18th installment of Barney Corkhill's Greatest Ever series is here!
In this series I will look at the greatest talents to grace various sports. This time, I look at boxing, and the top 10 pound-for-pound boxers to have ever graced the ring.
Boxing has thrown up many greats over the ages, be it lightweight, welterweight, middleweight or heavyweight. The best have been able to boss the ring, and have the ability to land a knock out blow any time from the first to the last second.
Here is my top 10:
10. Roy Jones Jr. (USA)
A modern day boxing legend, Jones was named fighter of the decade in the 90s. He mainly boxed at middleweight or light heavyweight, and showed himself to be adept in both classes. In 2003, he became the first former middleweight title holder to win a heavyweight title in 106 years, showing his class at different weight categories.
He went 35 fights before his first loss, a disqualification, and 52 before he was first knocked out, against Antonio Tarver in their second of three bouts. He has fought 56 times, with 52 wins, 38 of which he knocked his opponent out in. He lost just four times.
He fought in a total of 30 title fights, winning a title on 13 occasions and losing on just three. At one time he held seven titles at once: the IBA, IBF, IBO, NBA, WBA, WBC and WBF titles. He is due to fight undefeated Joe Calazghe for his Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight belt.
9. Archie Moore (USA)
Archie Moore had one of the longest professional careers in the history of boxing. He fought some of the best throughout his career as well, including Rocky Marciano and Cassius Clay.
In all, he is thought to have fought 221 fights, perhaps more. He won 194 of them, and of those 194, he won by knockout 145 times, still the highest knockout total in professional boxing history. He lost 26 times and drew eight.
8. Rocky Marciano (USA)
Rocky Marciano remains the only heavyweight champion in boxing history to have retired undefeated, winning all of his fights. He was only knocked to the canvas twice in his whole career, one of which came against the great Archie Moore.
He fought 49 times in his boxing career, winning all 49, and knocking his opponent out a staggering 43 times, which gives him a knockout rate of 88 percent.
7. 'Big' George Foreman (USA)
An Olympic gold medal winner, George Foreman was one of the most feared boxers in the ring, because of his size, but mainly because of his notorious punching power. One right hook from Foreman and his man was most likely knocked out.
He took part in two of the biggest boxing matches ever - The Sunshine Showdown and the Rumble in the Jungle, against Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali respectively. He became the oldest world heavyweight champion in 1994, aged 45, winning the title 20 years after losing it to Muhammad Ali.
He fought 81 times, winning 76, 68 of which by knockout. He lost just five times.
6. Roberto Duran (PAN)
"Hands of Stone", Roberto Duran, was one of the best for a long time. He became only the second boxer in history to have fought in five different decades, finally retiring in 2002, aged 50. He held world titles at four different weights (lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight).
In his 119 professional fights, he won 103, knocking his opponent out on 70 occasions. He lost 16 fights overall, his first coming after 32 fights, and his next after 75, against the great 'Sugar' Ray Leonard.
5. 'Sugar' Ray Leonard (USA)
Another Olympic gold medallist, 'Sugar' Ray Leonard was named fighter of the decade for the 1980s. His stats may not look that impressive when compared to others in this list, but when you consider he was fighting against the likes of Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns, they get a whole lot more impressive.
He fought 40 times, winning 36, of which 25 were by knockout. He lost just three times, and drew once.
4. 'Iron' Mike Tyson (USA)
"The baddest man on the planet", Mike Tyson was perhaps the most feared boxer in history. He was the undisputed heavyweight champion for over two years. He is well known for controversial acts both in and out of the ring.
Tyson has been convicted of rape, and, in a fight against Evander Holyfield, was disqualified for biting a piece of Holyfield's ear off.
His stats are somewhat skewed by fighting past his prime. He fought 58 times, winning 50 of them, 44 of which came by knockout. He lost six times, and was involved in two no contests.
3. Joe Louis (USA)
Joe Louis, the "Brown Bomber" was one of the most dominant boxers of any generation. He held the heavyweight title for over 11 years which is a record, and participated in 27 heavyweight championship fights, another record which still stand today.
He fought 72 times in his career, winning 69 of them. Of those 69, 55 came by knockout. He was only beaten three times in his entire career, one by the great Rocky Marciano.
2. Muhammad Ali (USA)
The most famous boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali is an Olympic gold medallist and former heavyweight champion. He was known for his overwhelming self-belief, to the point of cockiness, and for his fantastic quotes including "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"
He was one of the most popular and well-known people in the world in his prime, and stands he made, such as refusing to fight in the Vietnam War, which earned him a temporary ban from boxing, just added to his legend.
He fought 61 times, winning 56 of those fights. He knocked his opponent out 37 times. He suffered five losses, most coming in the twightlight of his career when he was past his best.
1. 'Sugar' Ray Robinson (USA)
'Sugar' Ray Robinson fought at lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight, and was named fighter of the decade in the 1950s. He was a five time World Middleweight Champion.
Many boxing greats, such as Joe Louis, 'Sugar' Ray Leonard, and even Muhammad Ali have acknowledged Robinson as the greatest ever. The pound-for-pound rankings were developed for Robinson, so he could get the credit he deserved.
He fought 202 fights, winning 175 of them. He is one of few boxers to have knocked out over 100 people, with his total standing at 108. He lost 19 times, drew six and had two no contests.
'Sugar' Ray Robinson is my greatest pound-for-pound boxer of all time!
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