It’s been centuries since boxing got recognition as a sport and produced some of the greatest boxers in history. The omnipresent pressure, the ever buzzing boxing arena, the hustle of the crowds, the thudding of boxing gloves when it hit the opponent, and the grave sighs that end with the final count down all these simply put together gave boxing a world-class piece of attraction.
And the artists, well, the boxers were hailed all over the generation. There’s no doubt every one of them was in their prime. When they set the event in history, they put forward to set a milestone that was wished not to be crossed, ever.
Undoubtedly, they are all remembered. Whether it’s Mohammad Ali or Mike Tyson; it was never solely about the art, it was about the artists too.
So who are the greatest boxers of all time? Let’s see.
#10. Jack Dempsey
When it comes to immense popularity, there are only a few boxers who stand a chance against Jack Dempsey. He was the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. He was given a nickname as ‘The Manassa Mauler’. He was also known as an aggressive puncher.
Out of many reasons Jack Dempsey became one of the greatest boxers of all time is because of his boxing style. The heavyweight boxing was defined by Jack Dempsey in the late 1920s. One of the famous matches played by is known as ‘The Long Count Fight’.
Jack Dempsey was born in 1895 in the United States whose real name was William Harrison Dempsey. Kid Blackie, another nickname of Dempsey, had played 85 matches and won 68 of them. Out of which 53 were won by knockout. He lost 6 games with a total of 11 draws.
Jack Dempsey was surely one of the best fighters in the world as many of his matches had set attendance as well as financial records. Being voted and entitled as the best fighter ever of the past 50 years, this boxer is also famous for the most brutal boxers of all time.
He died at the age of 87 in 1983.
#9. Julio Cesar Chavez
Julio Cesar Chavez is one of the best boxers in the world securing his position in the top ten list of the greatest boxers. He was born in 1962 in Sonora, Mexico. The boxing era of Julio started in 1980 which ended in 2005. He has some of the best boxer records of all time in his name.
Julio is a Mexican legend with a record of 10 years of undefeated career, not even losing a single match during this period. He has always been portrayed as one of the toughest and best boxers in UFC. The title of ‘Greatest fighter in Mexico’ is well deserved by this boxing superstar.
The real name of Julio Cesar Chavez is Julio César Chávez González. He is acquainted with some popular nicknames as well. He is well known as ‘The Caesar of Boxing’, ‘The Great Mexican Champion’, ‘Mr. KO’ and ‘The Lion of Culiacan’.
The boxing career of Julio Cesar Chavez is unquestionably one of the best fighters of all time. He had a total of 115 matches out of which he had won 107 matches. 86 of them were won by knockouts. He had lost a total of 6 matches in his entire career while there were only 2 draws.
#8. Sam Langford
We all know how racism could be ruinous for one’s career and Sam Langford was a victim of racism in sports during the ascending of his career. He was denied countless opportunities in his career just because of racism.
Besides, he had to go through many hardships in his career, yet he proved himself one of the greatest boxers ever. Sam Langford was born on March 4, 1886, in Nova Scotia, Canada. He was known as ‘Boston Tar Baby’, ‘Boston Bonecrusher’, and ‘Boston Terror’ as well.
He started his career as a lightweight boxer but eventually paved his path toward heavyweight boxing. He had been dominating his entire career. Sam Langford had played 313 matches out of which he won 211 matches. A total of 126 matches were won by knockouts.
The legendary Langford lost 43 matches and there were a total of 52 draws in his career. Many publications and scholars have considered Sam to be the best ever Canadian boxer.
Like being said, racism used to be a dominating factor in sports during that time. Sam Langford was refused in many Word Championship fights. If he had the chance to compete in all championship fights, his career would have been more stunning.
The greatest boxer breathed his last in 1956.
#7. Benny Leonard
Being the longest-reigning lightweight champion is a dream of every boxer. Acquiring such a title is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements of all time. The great Benny Leonard had this title for over 8 years until he retired for the first time.
The cleverest and defensive boxer of all time was born in 1896 in New York City, United States. Benny Leonard’s original name was Benjamin Leiner. As he was shining bright in his career, everyone knew he was going to be one of the best boxers in the world.
Benny had played 220 matches out of which he secured 186 wins. He won 70 matches by knockout. Besides, he lost 22 matches and there were 9 draws. One of the remarkable achievements of Benny was that he had back-to-back 153 bouts without losing any of them.
After 7 years of his first retirement, Benny returned to the boxing industry again and astonished the audiences by winning 18 of his total 19 fights. He decided to be a referee after his final retirement. The superstar was also known as the ‘Ghetto Wizard’ and ‘Benny the Great.
The death of Benny Leonard shocked the whole world. In 1947, while he was reffing he suddenly collapsed and died.
#6. Willie Pep
The number of quickest and most durable boxers in the world is very limited. Willie Pep is one of them securing the position in the list. He had also won the world featherweight champion twice. He had many obstacles and accidents going on in his career.
Nonetheless, he managed to succeed to the throne of the top 10 boxers. Many associations considered Pep to be the greatest featherweight boxer ever. Such accomplishment rendered him with the title of one of the greatest fighters of all time.
The career of Willie Pep was quite long compared to other boxing legends. He played a good number of matches; a total of 241. He started his career as an amateur boxer in 1937. The year 1966 brought to closure in his career.
Willie Pep was born in Connecticut, United States on September 19, 1922. His real name was Guglielmo Papleo. He was popular with the nickname ‘Will o’ the Wisp’ as well. The legendary boxer was nominated as the 20th Century’s top featherweight boxer.
Winning over 200 matches is surely a sensational record for any professional boxers. He lost only 11 matches with only one draw. The legendary boxer was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and died in 2006.
#5. Henry Armstrong
Is it even possible to hold the world title at three distinctive weights?
Henry Armstrong showed the world with a positive answer to this question. He is the one and the only boxer simultaneously having the world titles in terms of three distinct weights. They were including featherweight, lightweight and welterweight.
Without any question, it is considered one of the greatest boxing records. Such astounding achievement made this guy one of the best boxers ever. During that time, only eight acknowledged divisions were present.
Surprisingly this super talented boxer had started his career on the losing end. Later, he managed to secure 27 succeeding victories. Henry Armstrong played a total of 181 fights. He won 151 of them. Out of the wins, there were 101 knockouts. He lost a total of 21 games.
Henry Armstrong was born in 1912 in Columbus, Mississippi. His real name was Henry Melody Jackson Jr. He was popular with some of the nicknames including ‘Homicide Hank’, and ‘Hurricane Hank’. The famous boxing and wrestling magazine named -The Ring Magazine entitled him ‘Fighter of the Year’ in 1937.
Most boxing publications have acknowledged Henry Armstrong in topmost positions in the top 10 greatest boxers of all time. His successful career, remarkable achievements made him one of the biggest boxers ever.
Henry Armstrong died of heart failure in 1988 after suffering from a long series of illnesses.
#4. Jack Johnson
If you know about the most seminal sports figures of all time, then you probably heard of the name Jack Johnson. He was one of the world’s greatest boxers. The title for any black boxers to be the first heavyweight champion was Jack Johnson’s.
This utter humiliation of the opponents was one of the shreds of evidence that he was the true boxing legend. Adding more to the context, for more than ten consecutive years Jack Johnson was unbeatable.
The boxing era of this superstar was from 1897 to 1945. His boxing style of this megastar was a bit different than the conventional ones. He used to beat his opponents ceaselessly that it helped him to seize his victory.
Jack Johnson was born in 1878 in Texas, United States. Throughout his career, Jack Johnson played around 95 matches and managed to win 70 matches. There were 35 knockouts, 11 losses and 11 draws as well.
His success and achievement ensured his position for top boxers of all time. It is confirmed that he is one of the most popular African American boxers of all time. His unexpected death in a car crash in 1946 shocked the whole world.
#3. Joe Louis
Among the top ten boxers of all time, Joe Louis is another shining star. He was a heavyweight champion born in 1914 in Alabama, United States. He was nicknamed ‘The Brown Bomber’ for his massive punching power.
Louis was one of the very first black boxers achieving the fame to be the national hero in the United States. The achievement indeed proved his worth to be one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Joe Louis was not only the national hero of the United States but also known as the representation of pride. His contribution was much more than just an athlete. All his boxing matches had high international, social as well as political significance.
The remarkable records of Joe Louis mesmerized the audience, made them love this iconic boxer. The glowing star had his career from 1937 to 1949. During this period, he managed to win a total of 66 matches where there were a total of 52 knockouts.
The superstar also shined in golf. He was the first African-American player participating in a PGA Tour Event. The world was deeply saddened with the passing away of the boxing legend in 1981.
#2. Sugar Ray Robinson
The title for the best pound-for-pound boxer ever would surely go to Sugar Ray Robinson. He was born in Georgia, the US in 1917. Throughout his career, he managed to defeat other boxing legends including, Randy Turpin, Rocky Graziano, Jake LaMotta, and Kid Galivan.
Undoubtedly, Sugar Ray Robinson was one of the greatest fighters of all time. Being the first boxer to win the divisional world championship not once, not twice but five times proved his worth of achieving the title. He was entitled to the ‘Fighter Of The Year’ twice in 1942 and 1951.
The performance of Sugar Ray Robinson in lightweight boxing, middleweight boxing, welterweight boxing as well as heavyweight boxing were so groundbreaking. Journalists were prompted to create the rankings for the ‘Pound for pound’.
One of the best boxers in the world dominated his career from 1940-1965. During this time, he had a total of 173 wins. It is considered one of the best boxing records ever. Out of the wins, there were a total of 6 draws and 109 knockout wins.
The great boxer’s demise happened in 1989.
#1. Muhammad Ali
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
You don’t have to be a die-hard boxing fanatic for hearing this quote of the legendary Muhammad Ali. It was his versatility that made him the best and famous. Not a single soul in the boxing industry could touch the social, cultural, and political impact of the worldwide lauded superstar. No wonder why he was nicknamed ‘The Greatest’.
The career of Muhammad Ali was like a glowing star inspiring the newbies. He was the only boxer achieving the heavyweight championship of the world three times. This remarkable acquirement paved the path of Muhammad Ali towards achieving the title of ‘The Best Boxer Ever’.
Muhammad Ali is considered to be one of the most celebrated and significant sports figures not only in the history of America but also all over the world. His career, achievement, fame, distinction, and expertise in boxing ensured the top position in the ranking of the best boxers ever.
The boxing era of one of the greatest boxers of all time was igniting from 1960-1981. He proved himself worthy in almost all aspects of boxing. Nevertheless, his stamina, excitement, and hunger to be the best lingered until the end of his career.
In terms of his achievement, Muhammad Ali secured a total of 56 wins where the total knockout wins were 37. One of the best boxers in history had only 5 losses throughout his career.
This list doesn’t represent the choice and preference of all, for sure, and it is needless to say that ranking is relative. Many boxers became the face of many industries, creating global impacts, together.
The greatness of art is that it does not limit its reach towards the future. Legends are remembered over the years and years, generations after generations. Boxers thus are remembered as the legend growing subtly and gently.