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Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world and can be dated back 1000’s of years. In the 16th-18th century the sport evolved into prize fighting which has catapulted boxing into a truly worldwide and most popular sports. Like all sports,there are a list of greats, so we try to answer the big question among its fans: “Who are the best boxers in history?”.
At PledgeSports, we are huge boxing fans and have helped many boxers and boxing clubs raise money for their sport through crowdfunding. We felt it was time to weigh in on the near-impossible debate that is naming the best fighter ever. With all the competitions, nation-specific listings, VIP and social media boxing events on the rise, and a steady liking from the public, our mission has been difficult.
Without further ado, here’s our countdown of the best boxers to have ever graced the sport:
10. Harry Greb
Ring career: 1913-26
Record: 105-8-3 (48 KOs) and 183 no-decisions
By comparison to some in his era, Greb had a relatively brief career but packed so much into it, winning the world middleweight title in 1923 and defending it six times over the next three years.
In 1922, he became the only boxer to defeat future heavyweight champion Gene Tunney – the man who dethroned the great Jack Dempsey.
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9. Benny Leonard
Ring career: 1911-32
Record: 85-5-1 (69 KOs) and 121 no-decisions
Leonard won the world lightweight title in 1917 and retired as champion in 1925, making him the longest-reigning lightweight champion in history.
After more than seven years he returned to the ring, winning 18 of his 19 bouts. Indeed, at one stage he had gone 154 fights without defeat.
Of five losses, three were in his formative ring years, one was on a foul when challenging for the welterweight championship and one was the final contest of his career to fellow legend Jimmy McLarnin. He later became a referee and collapsed and died in the ring while refereeing a bout.
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8. Manny Pacquaio
Record: 57-6-2 (38 KOs)
Named Fighter of the Decade for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers of America, Pacquaio is the first boxer to win world titles in eight divisions – starting with the WBC flyweight title. He has now won twelve major world titles,as well as being the first boxer to win thelineal championshipin five different weight classes
A huge hero in the Philippines, his homeland comes to a standstill to watch their hero in action. A phenomenal athlete, he holds wins over legends such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales, and Shane Mosley on the way from flyweight to welterweight glory. Manny currently holds the WBA (Super) welterweight title since July 2019.
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7. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Ring career: 1996-2017
Record:50-0 (24 KOs)
Mayweather’s place in an all-time top 10 may well be disputed by many who find it hard to appreciate his style which is founded on a slick defence. But the Noble Art is about hitting and not being hit and Mayweather fits that mould perfectly.
From super-featherweight through to light-middleweight he has thwarted numerous great fighters, including Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
The final feather in Mayweather’s heavily-decorated cap would be his 10th round win over double-weight UFC fighter Conor McGregor in what was classed as the biggest sporting event of all time.
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6. Roberto Duran
Ring career: 1968-2001
Record: 103-16 (70 KOs)
Won the lightweight World title from Ken Buchanan in 1972 and then proceeded to dominate the division for seven years with his ferocious intensity and smart boxing skills.
Duran would then lift the welterweight title when he outpointed Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980.
Five months later he lost to Leonard but would go on to win the light-middleweight title three years later and in 1989 produced an amazing performance to outpoint Iran Barkley and land the WBC World super-middleweight crown.
5. Sugar Ray Leonard
Ring career: 1977-97
Record: 36-3-1 (25 KOs)
Leonard managed to stand out in an era of legends, winning great fights against Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
The ‘Four Kings’ as they would come to be known, captured the sporting world in the early 1980s. Leonard won the WBC World welterweight title before unifying the division with a stoppage of Hitman Hearns. He would go on to win world titles at light-middle, middle, super-middle, and light-heavyweight.
Famously, having lost to Duran in an epic brawl, he forced the Panamanian to quit in their re-match, forever known as the ‘No Mas’ fight.
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4. Muhammad Ali
Ring career: 1960-81
Record: 56-5 (37 KOs)
Ali transcended the sport unlike any other boxer and was for many the greatest sportsman of the 20th Century.
His speed and grace in the ring for a heavyweight were a sight to behold and even when the footwork was slowing down he had the fortitude to stand up to awesome punchers like George Foreman, Joe Frazier, and Ken Norton in the 1970s.
The first man to win the World heavyweight title three times, his first reign came when as a 7-1 outsider Ali stopped Sonny Liston in 1964.
He regained the title 10 years later with his epic victory over Foreman in ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’. Lost and then defeated Leon Spinks in 1978 to win the title for the third time.
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3. Willie Pep
Ring career: 1940-66
Record: 230-11-1 (65 KOs)
The two-time world featherweight champion was renowned for his defensive skills, enjoying amazing success despite suffering near-fatal injuries in a plane crash in 1947.
Known as Will o’ the Wisp, Pep won his first 63 fights before losing to Sammy Angott and then went 72-0-1 before losing again to Sandy Saddler with whom he had four epic encounters.
2. Henry Armstrong
Ring career: 1932-45
Record: 151-21-9 (101 KOs)
Armstrong is the only boxer to hold world titles at three different weights simultaneously.
In an age when there was only one world champion and just eight weight divisions, he won the featherweight title crown in October 1937 before winning the welterweight title in May 1938 and became lightweight champion three months later.
Dubbed Homicide Hank, he also fought for the world middleweight title in 1940, holding Ceferino Garcia to a draw. In all, he faced 17 world champions and defeated 15 of them.
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1. Sugar Ray Robinson
Ring career: 1940-65
Record: 175-19-6-2 (109 KOs)
Born Walker Smith, he would go on to become the supreme ring combatant, Sugar Ray Robinson, winning World titles at welterweight and middleweight.
The welterweight title came in December 1946 and he defended it four tim/es before stepping up to middleweight on the back of a solitary loss in 124 bouts.
He would become a five-time world middleweight champion, defeating such legends as Carmen Basilio, Jake LaMotta, and Gene Fullmer.
His only stoppage defeat came when losing to Joey Maxim for the world light-heavyweight title – a bout fought in such extreme heat that the referee had to be replaced in the 10th round.
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Like him or not, Tyson Fury has made quiet a name for himself in the ring, he held theunifiedWBA (Super),IBF,WBO,IBOandThe Ringtitles after defeatingWladimir Klitschko in 2015. He’s currently thetwo-time world heavyweight champion sincedefeatingDeontay Wilder in 2020. He knocked out Wilder again in their third fight in October 2021.
On 23rd April the Gypsey King retained his WBC title at Wembley in London by stopping Dillian Whyte in the sixth round with a stunning upper cut. He intends to retire now, but we’ve heard that before..
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Kazakhstani middleweight Golovkin, is close to all time greatness. GGG or Triple G as he is known,is a two-time middleweight world champion, holding the IBFandIBOtitles since 2019 and previously holding theunifiedWBA (Super),WBC, IBF and IBO titles between 2014 and 2018.
The silver medal winner at the 2004 Olympics never been knocked down or out in 393 fights, 43 as a professional and 350 as an amateur. His win-loss-draw record is 41-1-1 and36 of his wins are KO’s!
His last fight was in April 9th whereGolovkin beat Murata by a ninth-round technical knockout.
The American boxerhas held multipleworld championships in three weight classes – welterweight (since 2018, lightweight )2014 to 2015) and light welterweight (2015-2017). He is one of six male boxers to simultaneously hold all four major world titles in boxing (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO).
Crawford holds an immaculate 38-0 record and 29 of those are wins by knockout.
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Who is actually the best boxer of all time? ›
1. Muhammad Ali. Ali is widely considered the best among the best. Ali, who conquered the heavyweight crown three times and won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics, finished his career with a 56-5 record (37 KOs).Who is the #1 boxer in the world? ›
- Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Career: 1996 – 2017. ...
- Jimmy Barry. Career: 1890 – c. ...
- Ricardo López. Career: 1985 – 2001. ...
- Rocky Marciano. Career: 1947 – 1955. ...
- Joe Calzaghe. Career: 1993 – 2008. ...
- Sven Ottke. Career: 1997 – 2004. ...
- Andre Ward. Career: 2004 – 2017. ...
- Harry Simon. Career: 1994 – 2018.
The Most Feared Fighter in Boxing History: Charles 'Sonny' Liston remembered - The Ring.Which boxer never lost a fight? ›
Marciano holds the record with heavyweight Brian Nielsen for the longest undefeated streak by a heavyweight. He is also the only world heavyweight champion to go undefeated throughout his professional career.Who is the top 3 boxers of all time? ›
- 1 – Muhammad Ali (56-5) Muhammad Ali tops this list of the top 10 boxers.
- 2 – Joe Louis (66-3) ...
- 3 – Sugar Ray Robinson (174-19-6) ...
- 4 – Rocky Marciano (49-0) ...
- 5 – Floyd Mayweather Jr. ...
- 6 – Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2) ...
- 7 – Jack Dempsey (53-6-8) ...
- 8 – Roberto Duran (103-16) ...
Muhammad Ali crowned 'King of Boxing'Which boxer had all 5 belts? ›
All in all, Pacquiao won 11 major world titles in his career and became the only boxer to win lineal championships in five different weight divisions.Which boxer beat the most champions? ›
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali once admitted that he might not have been able to handle a punch from Mike Tyson if the two had ever fought. Ali is widely considered as the greatest heavyweight boxer there has ever been. As far as notoriety goes, Tyson is not far behind at all.
Who was Mike Tyson's favorite boxer? ›
In an interview posted by Fighting Centre, the youngest heavyweight champion in history was asked why he named Roberto Duran over Muhammad Ali as the person he looked up to most in the sport. “He was a street fighter, like me.Which boxer had over 100 wins? ›
|Julio César Chávez|
Amazingly enough, Melankomas was undefeated throughout his career yet he never once hit an opponent or was hit by one. Side A: athletic victor. Photograph by Maria Daniels, courtesy of the Toledo Museum of Art. His boxing style was to defend himself from the blows of the other boxer and avoid striking the other man.What boxer went broke? ›
Evander Holyfield is bankrupt, but refuses to sell his greatest asset to pay off debts. Evander Holyfield has gone from having it all and being one of the richest boxers in the world to now having some financial problems that have left him in considerable debt.Who is #1 pound-for-pound boxer? ›
- Terence Crawford. Record: 39-0. Last Month: 1. ...
- Oleksandr Usyk. Record: 20-0. Last Month: 2. ...
- Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Record: 58-2-2. ...
- Naoya Inoue. Record: 24-0. ...
- Errol Spence Jr. Record: 28-0. ...
- Tyson Fury. Record: 32-0-1. ...
- Dmitry Bivol. Record: 21-0. ...
- Shakur Stevenson. Record: 18-0.
1. Jose Luis Castillo I, April 20, 2002. This fight remains the most controversial of Floyd Mayweather's career. More than a decade after it took place, fans still argue on Internet forums that Jose Luis Castillo deserved the nod over Mayweather in April 2002.Who is best boxer to Floyd? ›
- Floyd Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs)
- Pernell Whitaker (40-4-1, 17 KOs)
- Roberto Duran (103-16, 70 KOs)
- Larry Holmes (69-6, 44 KOs)
- Aaron Pryor (39-1, 35 KOs)
However, while both men are 5'10.5, Floyd Mayweather's actual tallest opponent happens to be a Canadian boxer named Tony Pep. Floyd Mayweather faced Tony Pep on June 14th, 1998, and defeated him to secure a unanimous decision and the 17th win of his legendary 50-fight win streak.Who held the most boxing belts at one time? ›
The most boxing world titles held simultaneously in different traditional weight divisions is three, achieved by Henry Armstrong (USA, b. Henry Jackson) at featherweight, welterweight and lightweight on 17 August 1938.Who has 7 belts in boxing? ›
Manny Pacquiao is the first boxer to win world titles in seven different weight divisions. Pacquiao clinched the feat when he defeated Miguel Cotto via TKO in 12th round and won the WBO Welterweight (147 lbs) title on November 14, 2009 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Who has most undefeated fights in boxing history? ›
Jimmy Wilde - 93-0-1
Wilde would fight 28 times in 1911, finishing the year with a record of 27-0-1, by the end of 1914 he had recorded the longest unbeaten record in boxing history of 93-0-1 – a record which still stands to this day.
The World of Boxing! Mike Tyson - The Hardest Puncher in Boxing Ever!Who was faster Ali or Tyson? ›
Ali is the clear winner when it comes to foot speed. He had speed that a man of his size wouldn't normally possess. Ali had quick hands as well, but his hand speed was nowhere near as lethal as his foot speed. For years Mike Tyson's hand speed has been overlooked.Who was stronger than Ali? ›
Who is a better boxer than Ali? Ali won 56 out of his 61 fights, and 37 of them were knock-outs. While these are great stats, other boxers had better: Harry Greb won 262 fights (!), Sugar Ray Robinson won 173, and Harry Armstrong won 150.Who would win Ali or Tyson? ›
Ali is the clear winner when it comes to foot speed. He had speed that a man of his size wouldn't normally possess. Ali had quick hands as well, but his hand speed was nowhere near as lethal as his foot speed. For years Mike Tyson's hand speed has been overlooked.Is Muhammad Ali better than Mike Tyson? ›
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali once admitted that he might not have been able to handle a punch from Mike Tyson if the two had ever fought. Ali is widely considered as the greatest heavyweight boxer there has ever been. As far as notoriety goes, Tyson is not far behind at all.Is Mike Tyson one of the best boxers ever? ›
Nicknamed "Iron Mike" and "Kid Dynamite" in his early career, and later known as "The Baddest Man on the Planet", Tyson is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990.Who has the biggest wins in boxing? ›
Floyd Mayweather — 43-0 professional record, with 26 knockouts. Sugar Ray Robinson — 175-19-6 record, with 109 knockouts. Mike Tyson — 44 of his 50 victories were by knockout.Was Tyson faster than Ali? ›
Tyson was faster in the ring for all practical purposes.
Muhammad Ali relied on his foot speed as his main defense. That foot speed failed him SEVERAL times.
Ali's place in boxing history as one of the greatest fighters ever is secure. His final record of 56 wins and 5 losses with 37 knockouts has been matched by others, but the quality of his opponents and the manner in which he dominated during his prime placed him on a plateau with boxing's immortals.
What is Mike Tyson's IQ? ›
Steel Fist - Myke Tyson IQ 78
Mike Tyson is well-known for his intelligence. Many would claim that he is even a child prodigy. He possesses the "spark" that distinguishes a simply intelligent or competent someone from a truly great. From 1987 through 1990, he was the undisputed world heavyweight champion.
Muhammad Ali (/ɑːˈliː/; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer and activist. Nicknamed "The Greatest", he is regarded as one of the most significant sports figures of the 20th century and is frequently ranked as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.