Since the birth of boxing, many have proved themselves to be the best. There have been hundreds of legendary fights and hundreds of legendary boxers. Only 10 managed to make it on the list and are remembered as legends in the ring.
10. Mike Tyson
Michael Gerard Tyson comes in tenth on the list. The former American professional boxer competed from 1985 to 2005 with a total of 58 fights, 44 wins by KO and 50 wins. Tyson resigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title which happened when he was 20-years-old. Even though his career was surrounded by controversy he still made it out as one of the greatest boxers of all time. He will also be remembered for the malicious attack on the ear of Evander Holyfield.
9. Evander Holyfield
Holyfield competed from 1984 to 2011 and resigned as the undisputed champion in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions. He has a total of 57 fights, 29 wins by KO and 44 wins. Holyfield is the only four-time world heavyweight champion having held the WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal titles. A series of fights with Tyson led to the infamous ear bite that shocked the boxing world.
8. Larry Holmes
Holmes competed from 1973 to 2002, he held the WBC heavyweight title from 1978 to 1983. Holmes grew up in Pennsylvania and had the nickname Easton Assassin. His left jab is rated as one of the best in boxing history, earning him a total of 69 wins out of 75 with 44 wins by KO. In 1980, Muhammad Ali came out of retirement to challenge him. Holmes responded by placing a beating on Ali that led to his corner stopping the fight shortly after the tenth round came to an end.
7. Joe Frazier
Frazier fought through the greatest heavyweight boxing generation of all time, fighting against some big names such as Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. He fought against Ali in 1971, in the "Fight of the Century." In this fight, Frazier earned himself a unanimous points victory. He has had a total of 37 fights, 32 wins and 27 wins by KO. He was known for his strength, durability, formidable punching power, and relentless pressure fighting style.
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6. George Foreman
George Edward Foreman, with the nickname Big George has made a name for himself as a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medallist. Outside his boxing career, he is an ordained minister, an author, and an entrepreneur. Foreman’s career was between 1969 to 1977, where he competed in a total of 81 fights. He won 76 of the fights, 68 of them by KO. Today he is famous for his health grills, but still holds a place in many people’s hearts as one of the greatest boxers.
5. Jack Dempsey
Also known as the Manassa Mauler, Dempsey won his first heavyweight title when he broke Jess Wilard’s jawbone. He was known for drawing enormous crowds, he was also one of the players that put boxing on the map in the roaring 1920’s. Dempsey has had a total of 75 fights, 54 wins and 44 wins by KO during his reign in 1914 to 1927.
4. Rocky Marciano
The former American boxer started his career in 1947 up until 1955. He held the world heavyweight
title from 1952 to 1956, and is the only world heavyweight champion in professional boxing history to retire undefeated. Marciano had a knockout-to-win percentage of 87.76, which remains one of the highest in heavyweight boxing history. Rocky defended his title six times before he announced his retirement on April 27, 1956.
3. Jack Johnson
The boxer from Texas started his boxing career in 1908 and retired in 1915. Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns to become the first African American heavyweight champion in 1908 and held on to the title until he was defeated by Jess Willard in 1915. For seven years he was the king of the ring. He paved the way for all the great African American boxers that followed. Johnson had a 104 fights throughout his career, 73 wins and 40 wins by KO.
2. Joe Louis
Louis fought when the World War 2 was in full swing in Europe and headed to the USA. He was given the nickname the Brown Bomber. He helped bring boxing back into the mainstream after the Jack Dempsey era had concluded. In 2005, Joe Louis was named the greatest heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization. He has had a total of 69 fights, 66 wins and 52 wins by KO. Some of his personal conducts included never gloating over a fallen opponent and never engaging in fixed fights.
1. Muhammad Ali
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” It’s no surprise that Ali comes in at the number 1 spot as he is widely celebrated as one of the biggest sports figures of the 21st century. He had several nicknames throughout his career some of them including “The Champ” and “The Greatest”. Ali was a three-time Heavyweight Champion of the world, and he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympic games. One of the biggest controversies of his career was when he refused to fight in the Vietnam War and was arrested and found guilty of draft evasion. He was stripped of his heavyweight title because of the charges and suspended from boxing for four years. He was not only a boxer, but an activist and an inspiration to all.
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