Compiling a list of anything in a bottom to top order is quite a tough job. However when the task is of one of the most popular sports, boxing, it gets even harder. There are so many legends in the field to be honored to include in the greatest boxers in history. So narrowing those down to the top 10 could not have been tougher. As the world mourns the loss of unconditionally one of the best boxers in history, Muhammad Ali, let’s all take a look at where he stands among the boxing greats. Like any other list, the greatest boxers in history list is also a highly debatable piece of writing. So any suggestion and opinion on our selection would be highly appreciated.
Top 10 All-Time Greatest Boxers in History
10. Roy Jones Jr. (73 fights 64 wins 9 losses)
Known for his athleticism, quickness and reflexes Roy Jones was one of the best pound for pound fighter of middle and light heavyweight category. Although later on he also contested in heavyweight divisions winning the title. Roy Jones is the only boxer in history to start his career as a light middle weight but progressed to win the heavyweight title. One of the greatest boxers had the talent stiffened in him during his amateur days, where he represented the United States in 1998 Olympics. Not just this but he also won a silver medal in the competition. He won the WBA heavyweight title in 2003 being the only former middleweight champion to have won the heavyweight title in 106 years.
09. Mike Tyson (58 fights 50 wins 6 losses)
Let controversies aside, Mike Tyson is one of the greatest boxers in history considering the success he attended in the ring. The undisputed heavyweight champion also holds the record of being the youngest boxer to win the WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight titles. At an age when most of the professionals kick off their career, Mike Tyson had already conquered the ring. At an age of 20 years, 4 months and 22 days one of the most controversial figures in boxing history had seized the WBA, WBC, and IBF heavyweight titles. Mike Tyson started his career winning his first 19 professional fights by knockout that too 12 in the first round.
His whole boxing career was then followed by great heights and lows. From unifying the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles to getting six years imprisonment on rape charges and then biting the Holyfield’s ear in infamous 1997 rematch, Mike Tyson has been the center of news.
08. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49 fights 49 wins 0 losses)
Despite not losing a single bout in his whole career Floyd Mayweather did not get a higher rank in all-time greatest boxers in history list. The reason Mayweather did not reach the point the greatest boxers attended is mainly because of the mindset that he plays for money. The highest paid athlete in the world was recently involved in the fight of the century. His bout with Manny Pacquiao was one of the most anticipated fights in professional boxing history. However the bout did not live up to the expectations. The reason people also started to believe that most of his matches are scripted was also the disappointing outcome of the match of the century. Still being unbeaten for an elongated 19 years career deserves some applause. Overall Mayweather won twelve world titles and the lineal championship in four different weight classes.
07. Willie Pep (229 Wins 11 Losses 1 Draw)
Voted as the no. 1 featherweight of all-time by the International Boxing Research Organization in 2005, Pep was the greatest fighter of 20th century. He is a two-time world featherweight champion renowned for legendary defensive skills. Achieved tremendous success despite suffering near-fatal injuries in a plane crash in 1947. Willie Pep’s defensive tactics were so solid that it was said once that he won a match even without throwing a single punch. Willie won first 63 bouts before losing to Sammy Angott, and then went 72-0-1 before losing again, to Sandy Saddler. It is widely agreed upon that only Saddler was ever truly able to figure him out, winning three of four times.
06. Joe Louis (70 fights 66 wins 3 losses)
Back at those times, color and cast differences were a common trend however Joe Louis gained exceptionally high repute among all white and black Americans. One of the most popular champion and obviously amongst the greatest boxers, retired as a champion. Unlike many who opt for the retirement after losing out everything, Joe Louis got his farewell as a champion. He won world heavyweight championship in 1937, and retired as champion in 1949. Loius’ championship reign longed 11 years, 8 months and 7 days. During that period he made more successful defenses (25) than anyone in history. The first American African to break the color-barriers’ fame however was not confined to the ring.
05. Henry Armstrong (150 wins 21 losses)
One of the few boxers to have appeared and won in here different weight categories. Featherweight, lightweight and welterweight, he appeared in all three but defended his welterweight title for a total of nineteen times. Henry Armstrong is the only boxer to hold world titles for three different weight categories simultaneously. He won featherweight crown in October 1937, added welterweight title in May 1938 and became lightweight champion three months later. One of the most furious boxers when it comes to punching faced 17 world champions in his career and defeated 15 of them.
04. Manny Pacquiao (66 fights 58 wins 6 losses)
The Philippine might have lost to Mayweather but many would say that it was a pre-scripted event sat up to generate piles of money. Certainly it did generate the expected amount benefiting both Pacquiao and Mayweather. As far the personal stats of Manny Pacquiao he is generally considered as one of the greatest boxers. Pacquiao is the first and only eight-division world champion, in which he has won ten world titles. “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s is also the first to win the lineal championship at five different weight classes.
03. Sugar Ray Robinson (200 fights 173 Wins 19 Losses)
Widely regarded as the greatest of all, Sugar Ray Robinson created many historical records. One of the greatest boxers of all-times was the most complete boxer yet to grace the squared circle. Even as an amateur he was 85–0 with 69 of those victories coming by way of knockout, 40 in the first round. Started his professional career at an early age of 19 and went on to lose just one of first 123 fights. From 1943 to 1951 Robinson went on a 91 fight unbeaten streak, the third longest in professional boxing history. The two times ‘fighter of the year’ award winner is the first boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five times.
02. Rocky Marciano (49 fights 49 wins 0 losses)
One of the greatest boxers of the heavyweight division remained undefeated throughout his career. Known for his brute force and raw power Rocky defended the title six times. That too against the likes of Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell, and Archie Moore. His knockout-to-win percentage of 87.75 remains one of the highest in heavyweight boxing history. In the early years of his career he was notoriously reliant on his punching power. With time as the opponents got better he started to trust his stamina as well. Speaking of the stamina, he had one of the strongest chins in boxing history being knocked down just twice in his entire career. That too due to his poor balancing and foot movement rather than being unconscious.
01. Muhammad Ali (61 fights 56 wins 5 losses)
Muhammad Ali truly deserves to be on top of the greatest boxers in history list not just as a professional but as a human being. One of the best in sports history transcended the sport unlike any other boxer. Muhammad Ali reinvented the way heavyweights were supposed to fight, deploying a speed and athleticism that was previously unheard of. The greatest athlete of the 20th century Ali remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion. Although his peak years were lost as he was stripped off his titles for not participating in the Vietnam War and did not played for four years during that period, he regained the title back in 1974. A splendid era of boxing ended a few months back leaving behind billions of the admirers. Nicknamed ‘the greatest’ truly justified his tag being an icon in the sports history.
Top 10 All-Time Greatest Boxers in History
- Muhammad Ali
- Rocky Marciano
- Sugar Ray Robinson
- Manny Pacquiao
- Henry Armstrong
- Joe Louis
- Willie Pep
- Floyd Mayweather Jr.
- Mike Tyson
- Roy Jones Jr.