Since its appearance in the 18th century, boxing has known many practitioners, each more formidable than the other! 

Many fights are engraved in legend today, such as the one between George Foreman VS Mohamed Ali in 1974 , during which Mohammed Ali recovered his belt of world heavyweight champion, 7 years after having lost it. Or the famous fight between Iron Mike and Holyfield in 1997 , during which, mad with rage, Mike Tyson bit his opponent’s ear twice, disqualifying him! And how can we not talk about the longest fight in the history of boxing between Jack Burke and Andy Bowen which lasted 110 rounds (more than 7 hours) between two boxers.

These shows are legendary today thanks to the boxers who sweated in the ring. Here is our top 10 most legendary boxers:

1- Mike Tyson, nicknamed “Iron Mike”

mike tyson
  • Wins: 50
  • Losses: 6
  • Ties: 2

Mike Tyson, nicknamed “Iron Mike”, became in 1986 at the age of 20, the youngest heavyweight boxing champion in the world. In 1990, he was stripped of his title and sentenced to three years in prison for rape charges. Upon his release from prison, Mike Tyson will make his return to the ring by fighting Peter McNeeley, in a fight that lasted less than 2 minutes, easily won by the ex-convict. In 1997, he gained further notoriety by biting Evander Holyfield’s ear during a rematch, which earned him direct disqualification. Mike Tyson is the very first boxer to have combined the WBA, WBC and IBF titles.

Tyson went on to star in several films and in a Broadway production based on his life titled: Mike Tyson Undisputed Truth . He also wrote a bestselling book and started a lucrative cannabis business.

2- Floyd Mayweather Junior, The undefeated

floyd mayweather
  • Wins: 50
  • Losses: 0
  • Ties: 0

Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr (born February 24, 1977 as Floyd Joy Sinclair) is an American former professional boxer and promoter. He fought from 1996 to 2015, returning for a fight in 2017 against the famous MMA champion, Conor McGregor, and more recently, for a fight against the very popular YouTuber in the USA, Logan Paul. 

He has won fifteen major world titles between super featherweight and light middleweight, including the Ring magazine title in five weight classes, the lineal championship in four weight classes (twice at welterweight), and a invincibility record. Mayweather took third place on the podium at the 1996 Olympics in the featherweight category. He also won three US “Golden Gloves” championships (over the lightweight, flyweight and featherweight categories), as well as the US national championship.

3- Manny Pacquiao, the “PacMan”

manny pacquiao
  • Wins: 62
  • Losses: 7
  • Ties: 2

Pacquiao has won twelve major world titles and is the only boxer to have won world titles in all eight categories . He is the first boxer to win the national championship in five different weight classes, as well as the first boxer to win major world titles in four of eight “glamorous” divisions: flyweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. . He is also the only boxer to hold world titles across four decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s). At 40, “PacMan” became the oldest world lightweight champion in history following his victory over Thurman for the WBA title in July 2019, as well as the 1st boxer in history to become a four-time lightweight champion. .

4- Tyson Fury, The Gypsy King

tyson fury
  • Wins: 31
  • Losses: 0
  • Ties: 1

Tyson Luke Fury (born August 12, 1988), also known as “The King of the Gypsies” is a professional boxer from the United Kingdom. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion and has held the WBC and The Ring magazine titles since his victory over Deontay Wilder in 2020. After defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, he obtained the WBA unification titles (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring. Following his win over Wilder, Fury joins Ali and Patterson as the 3rd boxer to win The Ring magazine title twice. He is today identified as the lineal heavyweight champion by the media. In October 2021, ESPN, the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB) and BoxRec ranked Fury as the best active heavyweight in the world., as well as as the third best active boxer, pound-for-pound, by BoxRec, fourth by ESPN, and seventh by the TBRB and the Boxing Writers Association of America.

5- Jack Dempsey, the pioneer 

jack dempsey 2
  • Wins: 68
  • Losses: 6
  • Ties: 9

William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey, also known by the nicknames “Kid Blackie” or “The Manassa Mauler”, was a professional boxer from the US who was in the ring for 13 years, from 1914 to 1927 and held the title world heavyweight for 7 years . William D. was one of the most popular boxers in the world thanks to his very aggressive fighting style, making him a cultural icon of the 1920s . Many of his fights broke attendance records and financial records, including the first million dollars in revenue. He was a pioneer in live broadcasting of sporting events, including boxing matches.

Dempsey is ranked tenth on The Ring magazine’s list of all-time heavyweights and seventh in its Top 100 Greatest Punchers, and he was named the greatest boxer of the past 50 years by The Associated Press in 1950. He was in the former Boxing Hall of Fame and is now a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

6- Ray sugar leonard, member of the “Fabulous Four”

ray leonard
  • Wins: 36
  • Losses: 3
  • Ties: 1

Ray Charles Leonard is a former professional boxer from the USA, who also gave motivational talks, also known as “Sugar” Ray Leonard. Between 1977 and 1997 he competed in five weight classes, winning world titles in five of them , the lineal championship in three of them, and the undisputed welterweight championship. Leonard was a member of the “Fabulous Four”, a group of fighters who faced off in the 1980s. Leonard, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler were the members.

Leonard beat future colleagues Hearns, Durán, Hagler and Wilfred Bentez, who were inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The movement “The Fabulous Four” created a real craze for boxing in the lower weight categories, which allowed the sport to remain popular despite the end of the air. In the 80s, Leonardo was even voted boxer of the decade! In 1979 and 1981 he was voted boxer of the year by The Ring magazine, and in 1976, 1979 and 1981 he was named boxer of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). In 2002, The Ring named Leonard the ninth greatest fighter of the past 80 years; in 2016, he was named the greatest living fighter by The Ring; and BoxRec ranks him as the 23rd greatest boxer of all time.

7- Julio César Chavez, the Mexican champion

wbc super lightweight champion julio cesar chavez

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 8: WBC super lightweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez of Mexico celebrates after he retained his title with a unanimous 12-round decision over Giovanni Parisi of Italy April 08, 1995 in their fight at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It was the 33rd title fight for Chavez. (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

  • Wins: 107
  • Losses: 6
  • Ties: 2

Julio César Chávez González (born July 12, 1962), often known as Julio César Chávez Sr, is a retired Mexican professional boxer who competed between 1980 and 2005.

From 1990 to 1993, The Ring ranked Chávez as the best boxer in the world (in his category) . During his career, he won the WBC super featherweight title for 3 years, the WBA and WBC lightweight titles for 2 years, the WBC lightweight welterweight title twice for 7 years, and the IBF title light welterweight from 1990 to 1991.

In addition, from 1988 to 1989, he held the Ring magazine and lineal lightweight titles, as well as the lineal light welterweight title twice between 1990 and 1996. The Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring elected Chávez Fighter of the Year in 1987 and 1990, respectively.

Chávez holds the records for most world championship title defenses (27, shared with Omar Narváez) , most title fight wins and title fighters beaten (31 each), and most title fights (37); he also holds the record for most title defenses by knockout (21, after Joe Louis with 23).

Prior to his first professional loss to Frankie Randall in 1994, he had an 87-game winning streak that ended in a draw against Pernell Whitaker in 1993. Chávez’s win over Greg Haugen at the Estadio Azteca in 1993 set the record for largest outdoor boxing crowd: 136,274.

BoxRec ranks him 17th in the All-Time Greatest Boxers , and 24th in the ’50 Greatest Boxers of All Time’. He was inducted into the 2011 class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010. He is the father of two professional boxers Omar Chávez and Julio César Chávez Jr, the former WBC middleweight champion.

8- Joe Frazier, the first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali

joe frazier
  • Wins: 32 
  • Losses: 4
  • Ties: 1

“Smokin’ Joe” Frazier was an American professional boxer who competed from 1965 to 1981. Joe Frzier was the first boxer to defeat Muhammad Ali. Frazier was the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973 , and he won an Olympic gold medal as an amateur at the 1964 Summer Olympics.

Frazier made a name for himself at the end of the 1960s, beating several great boxers such as Quarry, Bonavena, Mathis, George Chuvalo and Jimmy Ellis, among others, before becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, then beat Ali by unanimous decision in the most anticipated fight of the century in 1971. 

Frazier lost his belt to George Foreman two years later. Frazier persevered, defeating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Ali, then defeating Quarry and Ellis once again. Frazier is ranked among the top 10 heavyweights of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization.

In 1967, 1970 and 1971 he was voted Fighter of the Year by The Ring, and in 1969, 1971 and 1975 he was named Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). In 1999, The Ring named him the ninth best heavyweight in the world. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame, having been inducted into the initial class of the IBHF0 in 1990.

His most famous punch was a powerful left hook which was responsible for the majority of his knockouts. He has only lost to two competitors in his career, both former Olympic and world heavyweight champions: Muhammad Ali, twice, and George Foreman, twice.

After retirement, Frazier made guest appearances in various Hollywood films and two episodes of The Simpsons. Marvis Frazier, the son of Joe Frazier, became a boxer and received his education. Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, Frazier’s daughter, is a former WIBA lightweight world champion with a 13-1 record, her only loss being a majority decision points loss to Laila Ali, Ali’s daughter, in a fight called “Ali-Frazier IV”.

Frazier continued to train fighters at his gym in Philadelphia. Later in life, his feelings towards Ali were mostly anger and contempt, but he had brief reconciliations with him.

9- Oscar De La Hoya, the “Golden Boy”

oscar de la hoya
  • Wins: 39
  • Losses: 6
  • Ties: 0

Oscar De La Hoya is an American professional boxer who was also a promoter in boxing in the 2000s, and more recently in MMA. From 1992 to 2008 he competed as a boxer. He achieved the feat of winning 11 world titles in 6 different weight classes, including the lineal championship in 3 of them. In 1992, De La Hoya fought in the Olympic Games under the USA flag, and won a gold medal in the lightweight category which earned him the nickname “Golden Boy of Boxing”. The magazine The Ring voted him fighter of the year in 1995 and best fighter in the world two years in a row in 97 and 98! De la Hoya is also the boxer with the highest pay per view income (700 million before being overtaken by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. After a 16-year career, the Goden Boy has announced his retirement of boxer.

10- Muhammad Ali, the Legend!

Mohamed Ali
  • Wins: 56
  • Losses: 5
  • Ties: 0

Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, artist, poet, and philanthropist famous of the twentieth century , and is known as “The Greatest”. Many critics and boxing experts consider him the best heavyweight boxer of all time.

Ali grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was born. At the age of 12, he began training as an amateur boxer. He won a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in the light heavyweight division at the age of 18 and turned professional later that same year. On February 25, 1964, at the age of 22, he defeated Sonny Liston in a spectacular knockdown to win the world heavyweight championship. On March 6, 1964, he announced that he would no longer be recognized as Cassius Clay and would be known as Muhammad Ali. Ali refused to be drafted into the army in 1966, citing his religious beliefs and his moral objection to the Vietnam War as justifications. He risked five years in prison and the loss of his boxing titles after being found guilty of avoiding military service. He was not jailed while he appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court, which overturned it in 1971, but he had not fought in nearly four years and had missed a period of peak athletic performance . Ali became an idol for the counterculture generation as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, and he was a prominent figure of racial pride for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement and throughout his career. but he had not fought in almost four years and had missed a period of peak athletic performance. Ali became an idol for the counterculture generation as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, and he was a prominent figure of racial pride for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement and throughout his career. but he had not fought in almost four years and had missed a period of peak athletic performance. Ali became an idol for the counterculture generation as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, and he was a prominent figure of racial pride for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement and throughout his career.

His fights against Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier, including the fight of the century (boxing’s biggest event to date), the Thrilla in Manila, and his fight against George Foreman in “The Rumble in the Jungle”, which was followed by an estimated TV audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide , making it the most-watched live TV show in the world at the time. Ali flourished in a time when most boxers let their coaches do the talking, and he was often outspoken and outrageous. He was known for his trash-talking and for his freestyle using rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, foreshadowing elements of hip-hop.

He was named the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time by Sports Illustrated, as well as the greatest sportsman of the twentieth century and the sports personality of the century by the BBC.

Ali found success outside of the ring as a spoken word artist, earning him two Grammy nominations. He was also an actor and writer, with two autobiographies to his credit. Ali gave up boxing in 1981 to pursue religion, philanthropy and activism. He announced the diagnosis of his Parkinson’s disease in 1984, which some publications attributed to boxing-related injuries, although he and his medical specialists refuted this hypothesis. He remained a popular public figure around the world, but as his health deteriorated and he was cared for by his family, he made fewer public appearances. Ali passed away on June 3, 2016.

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