Whether you’ve got a photo of your favourite boxer up on your wall, or every time you hear their name mentioned you instantly remember their most iconic fight, every boxing fan has that one boxer they think is in a league above everyone else. But deciding who you think is the greatest boxer of all time isn’t easy, especially when the history books are filled with so many boxing legends. That’s why we’ve come up with our own list of who we think have been some of the top 10 greatest boxers over the years. Keep reading to see if yours made it onto the list:
Generally considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, Mike Tyson heads up our list of one of the greatest boxers to ever have fought. During his later career, Tyson became known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet” largely due to his ability to weave through his opponent’s punches before unleashing his own attack; Tyson has largely been remembered as one of the best defensive fighters we’ve ever seen. Indeed, he mastered his mentor Cus D’Amato’s iconic “peak-a-boo” style to perfection, which only made his outstanding hand speed, timing and accuracy even more unforgettable. True Tyson fans will remember one infamous fight where “Iron Mike” was disqualified for biting a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ears off - now considered one of Tyson’s most iconic matches. View our Mike Tyson photos here.
Before he admirably retired from boxing to prioritise his family, Rocky Marciano was also considered one of the greatest boxing legends to ever enter the ring. Marciano has remained the only fighter to have stopped every opponent he ever faced for the world heavyweight title and boasts a gleaming career record of 49 wins with 43 knockouts (view source). With a formidable fighting style and indomitable punching power, it’s no wonder Rocky Marciano also holds the highest knockout-to-win percentage (85.71%) in world heavyweight title fights, along with other boxing icon, Joe Louis. Or maybe it’s also down to Marciano’s legendary extremely durable chin. View our Rocky Marciano photos here.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a person on the planet that hasn’t heard of Muhammad Ali. After winning multiple trophies, national titles and even an Olympic Gold Medal, not many boxers had such a successful amateur career as Ali before they transitioned to the professional ring… where his winning streak never seemed to slow down. In fact, after a jaw-dropping 19-fight unbeaten streak, Ali won true boxing championship status by beating Sonny Liston in February 1964 - and then defending the title 11 times before he was eventually knocked off the podium. There’s no doubt that Ali has well and truly gone down in boxing history. View our Muhammad Ali photos here.
Joe Louis broke numerous records during his illustrious boxing career. Not only did he set the record as the longest-tenured world heavyweight champion for over 11 years, but Louis was also the only active heavyweight champion to serve in the military during his reign at the top. That’s even before the time he made headlines when his sheer power caused 52 of his 66 opponents to go down. View our Joe Louis photo here.
There’s not much more legendary in boxing than holding world titles at four different weights - as well as fighting over five different decades. Introducing: “Hands of Stone,” Roberto Duran. What earned Duran his formidable nickname? His strength as a technical bawler and pressure fighter - as well as his intimidating punching power. View our Roberto Duran photos here.
‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson
You know you’re one of the greatest boxers in history when other boxing legends also tell you so; both Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali acknowledged ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson as one of the greatest boxers in the ring. Over his 25 years+ career, Sugar Ray Robinson fought almost 200 times, demonstrating his tremendous power in every single one of those matches. Indeed, it was this incredible power that helped him win a 40-fight streak at the beginning of his career, and a 91-fight winning stretch at his peak. Lest anyone forget the time he knocked out LaMotta in just 13 seconds to secure the championship?
With one of the longest professional careers in the history of boxing, Archie Moore spent his time fighting legends like Rocky Marciano and Cassius Clay… at the same time as becoming a legend in his own right. In total, Moore is thought to have fought more than 220 fights - winning a jaw-dropping 194 of them. More impressive still, out of those 194 winning matches, Archie Moore defeated his competitor by knockout - a feat that continues to be the highest knockout total in professional boxing history.
Speaking of legends making boxing history, Manny Pacquiao is the only boxer in history to win eight world titles from different weight divisions - just one of the reasons why Pacquiao has made our top 10. Another reason why we think Pacquiao deserves a place in our top spots? His incredible record-breaking achievement as the oldest welterweight world champion in history at the grand old age of 40, not to mention the fact that he started his boxing career as a 106-pounder. View our Manny Pacquiao photos here.
‘Big’ George Forman
You know you’ve made a lasting impact in the sport when you’re still known as one of the most feared boxers in the ring. But it wasn’t the sheer size of ‘Big’ George Forman that made competitors fear him, but because of his notorious punching power; there weren’t many people who weren’t knocked out by just one right hook from Foreman. Dedicated fans of Foreman might also remember his part in two of the biggest boxing matches ever: The Sunshine Showdown and the Rumble in the Jungle where he fought against boxing royalty Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali respectively. It would be hard to forget two such incredible matches…
Last but certainly not least on our roundup of the 10 greatest boxers in history is Willie Pep. Between 1942 and 1948, and 1949 and 1950, Willie Pep totally reigned the featherweight division, and like many others on the list, “Will o’ the Wisp’’ was known for his legendary defensive skills; rumour has it that he even won a round without throwing a single punch, just by making his opponent miss so terribly! Now that’s something worth being remembered for…
Over the years, the ring has seen some of the greatest boxers of all time. Lightweight champions, welterweight legends, middleweight hotshots and heavyweight powerhouses, the very best have been able to finesse the ring - and land a knockout punch any time from the first to the last second.