Boxing is a fighting sport in which two people take part in a match of strength, pace, reflexes, stamina, and will by throwing punches at each other with gloved hands. It is indeed one of the highest paying sports and a very difficult one. Moreover, it is a universal sport that is included in almost all the major sporting events, including Olympics, commonwealth, and more. Beginning from the legendary boxers of the pre-modern era to the world’s best boxer right now, we have assembled the list of all the notable boxers who put their mark in the history of the sports. The article below has the details about the history of boxers along with their achievements and accolades.
1. The Greatest of Greatest, Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942-June 3, 2016)
In addition to being one of the best heavyweights of all time, Muhammad was also one of the most colorful athletes. At the 1960 Olympics, he won the gold medal and went on to become the first-ever boxer to win three times the heavyweight title.
Muhammad Ali had his boxing stint for more than 20 years, starting from 1960 to 1981. Furthermore, he was brilliant in every aspect of boxing. During his boxing days, he was outspoken, entertaining, and an unbeaten boxing champion. Perhaps, he was one of the greatest entertainers in the boxing world.
Muhammed had a record of 56 victories out of which 37 were knockout victories. The world’s greatest champion boxer has had just five losses in his career. Talking about his achievements and honors, he received the highest civilian award of the country, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, at a ceremony in the White House in 2005.
Ali was also an activist and a philanthropist who spoke out for people’s rights. Muhammad Ali also ranks among the world ‘s greatest Muslim athletes. Besides, Ali died of respiratory disease on June 2, 2016.
2. The best pound for pound boxer, Sugar Ray Robinson (May 3, 1921-April 12, 1989)
Sugar Ray Robinson was involved in boxing from 1940 to 1965. Ray had a record of 173 victories, 109 of which were knockout victories, 6 were draws, and two matches were no contest matches. Also, he was the best boxing talent the world had ever seen. Perhaps, Sugar Ray Robinson was the inspiration for many boxers, including the all-time greatest, Muhammed Ali.
Robinson retained the rank of welterweight from 1946 to 1951, and in the latter year, he won the middleweight crown. He retired in 1952, only to return two and a half years later, and in 1955, he reclaimed the middleweight crown. Furthermore, he retired for the second time in 1965. Announcing the retirement from boxing, he said:
“I hate to go too long campaigning for another chance.“
Although Robinson is often compared with another boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, the comparison was quoted as saying:
“Someone once said there’s a comparison between Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson. Believe me, there’s no comparison. Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest.“
3. The Undefeated Boxer, Rocky Marciano (September 1, 1923-August 31, 1969)
Rocky Marciano is the only heavyweight champion to retire with an undefeated record in the history of boxing. The hardest punchers of all time, Rocky finished his career with a 49-0 record, which includes 43 knockouts and zero losses. Besides, Rocky had a boxing era from 1948 to 1955 and held the heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956. His six title defenses were against Roland La Starza, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, Don Cockell, and Archie Moore.
Renowned for its relentless fighting style, tremendous punching power, stamina, and exceptionally durable chin, Marciano is among the greatest boxers of all time by boxing historians. Also, he is currently ranked by BoxRec as the fifth-greatest heavyweight boxer in history. Moreover, his 87.76 percent knockout-to-win ratio remains one of the best in the history of heavyweight boxing.
4. Joe Louis (May 13, 1914- April 12, 1981)
Joe Louis spent 140 consecutive months as a heavyweight champion, including 25 successful defenses. Actively involved in boxing from 1934 to 1951, he reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949. Additionally, he is also considered one of the greatest boxers of all time. In 2005, International Boxing Research Organization ranked Louis as the best heavyweight of all time. Additionally, he was also ranked number one in the list of “100 greatest punchers of all time” by The Ring magazine.
Joe ended his career with a 65-3 record with 51 KOs. The first loss of Louis was against German Max Schmeling, but he classically avenged his loss. After just 2:04 into the first round, Louis knocked down Schmeling three times before his trainer threw in the towel. On the other hand, Schmelling, symbolizing Nazi Germany, only hurled two punches. For the people of America, he was a national hero and also a sign of pride. He was more than just a boxer during world war-II, and his fights had social, political, and international significance.
5. Ray Charles Leonard (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981)
Ray Charles Leonard, better known as Sugar Ray Leonard, is an ex-professional American boxer, motivational speaker, and actor. Also considered one of the greatest fighters of all time, he fought from 1977 to 1997, winning world championship titles in five weight divisions, the lineal championship in three weight divisions, and the undisputed title of welterweight.
Along with Leonard, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns, and Marvin Hagler, Ray Charles Leonard was part of “The Fabulous Four”. Leonard was also the first fighter to gain over $100 million in purses, and in the 1980s, he was named “Boxer of the Decade.” The Ring magazine named him Fighter of the Year in 1979 and 1981, while he was named Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) in 1976, 1979, and 1981.
6. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson, the youngest ever heavyweight champion, has won his first 37 fights before James Douglas upset him in 1990. He was actively involved in boxing from 1985 until 2005. Moreover, he reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and held the record of winning a heavyweight championship as the youngest boxer at 20 years, four months, and 22 days.
After defeating Trevor Berbick in the second round, he won the WBC title in 1986 and added the WBA and IBF titles, beating Tony Tucker and James Smith. As a result, Tyson became the first heavyweight boxer to wear the WBA, WBC and IBF belts concurrently and the only heavyweight to unify them successively.
He was accused of rape in 1992 and placed in jail for three years. Upon his return, he won two titles, but fell to Evander Holyfield and then lost the rematch. Tyson was one of the most famous boxers of all time, but his lack of big-name opponents hurts his overall reputation.
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