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10 of the Greatest to Step in the Ring

These are 10 of the best boxers of all time, highlighting both their strengths and which of their fights showcased those traits. Each of these fighters presided over different eras in boxing – some older, some more modern – and you'll find that their styles of fighting and climbs to fame are unique from each other.

  1. Muhammad Ali
  2. Sugar Ray Robinson
  3. Tyson Fury
  4. Lennox Lewis
  5. Oscar de la Hoya
  6. Rocky Marciano
  7. Joe Frazier
  8. Mike Tyson
  9. Joe Louis
  10. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

1. Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay Jr.) is one of the greatest boxers of all time. He had an amazing career and he became a global icon. He was known for his charisma, confidence, speed, and power.

Ali won his first championship title as a light heavyweight in 1964 when he defeated Sonny Liston in seven rounds to win the WBA, WBC and NBA World Heavyweight Championship titles.

Ali is widely considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights in boxing history. He won 56 of his 61 fights, with a staggering 37 knockouts. He successfully defended his title 18 times and fought in many legendary bouts such as "The Rumble in the Jungle" with George Foreman.

In 1967, Ali refused to be inducted into military service because of his religious beliefs (he was a member of the Nation of Islam). This led to an arrest warrant and conviction on draft evasion charges in June 1967; however, he was able to avoid prison due to a successful appeal and eventually had the conviction overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971.

Cassius Clay changed the face of boxing forever, not just by winning fights but by changing how the public viewed him.

2. Sugar Ray Robinson

Sugar Ray Robinson was a master of defense and offense, possessing incredible speed and agility.

Robinson was born Walker Smith Jr. on May 3, 1921 in Detroit, Michigan. His father died when he was seven years old. Sugar Ray began boxing at age 12 as a way to provide financially for his family. He won amateur titles in 1940 and 1941 before turning professional at age 20 under his new name: Sugar Ray Robinson.

Robinson had incredible speed and footwork that allowed him to move around the ring while dodging punches from his opponents. His world class defensive skills made it difficult for opponents to land solid hits on him during fights.

In addition to his defensive skillset, Robinson had exceptional endurance which allowed him to continue fighting for long periods of time without tiring or slowing down significantly during fights. (Even when going multiple rounds against one opponent without resting between rounds like most other fighters did.)

Robinson had an impressive record of 175 wins including 109 knockouts in 200 fights. Robinson fought professionally from 1940 to 1952 and was world middleweight champion five times during that span!

3. Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury remains undefeated. He has won 34 professional bouts with 23 of them coming via knockout. Fury is a heavyweight champion holding the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at different times throughout his career. He also has the fifth longest heavyweight title reign ever, which lasted 25 months between November 2015-October 2017.

The 6'9" heavyweight from Manchester, England continues to make waves in the boxing world with his dynamic fighting style and unorthodox antics that have drawn comparisons to a fellow great, Muhammad Ali.

The British boxer's arguably biggest win came when he defeated Klitschko in 2015 to become the unified world heavyweight champion. His climb to the top was not easy; he lost over 100 pounds before getting another shot at the title fight because of health issues related to his weight gain.

Fury is an anomaly in boxing and there is no doubt that we will see more wins from him in the future!

4. Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis was born on September 2nd, 1965 in England to parents of Grenadian descent. Lewis was known for his power punching ability, which helped him win many fights by knockout or technical knockout (TKO).

Lennox started boxing professionally at age 18 and won his first match against Olly Allen by a knockout in round two.

Lewis went on to win his next eight fights before losing to Oliver McCall on November 15th, 1988 by a technical knockout in round four. Lewis turned professional in 1989 and won his first world title in 1992, beating Razor Ruddock on points over 12 rounds.

In 1994 Lewis lost his title in 1995 to Mike Tyson by TKO when Tyson bit part of Lewis' ear off during the fight! After his loss to Tyson, Lewis moved up to Super Heavyweight class (200 lbs. and over) where he beat Evander Holyfield twice. Once in 1999 and once in 2000 to win back his crown as Heavyweight Champion of the World (WBA).

5. Oscar de la Hoya

Oscar de la Hoya is known for his quickness and ability to adapt. He was born on February 4, 1973 in Los Angeles, California. His father Francisco was a former boxer and his mother Ruth was a seamstress. De La Hoya started boxing at his father's gym when he was was five years old and showed a lot of promise early on.

At age 15 he won the national Junior Olympics for his weight class. Nicknamed "The Golden Boy", de la Hoya is the first Mexican-American to win titles in six different weight classes, and he is also the first fighter to earn more than $100 million in career earnings.

Oscar De La Hoya had a very successful career in the ring however it wasn't without controversy.

6. Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano was born Rocco Francis Marchegiano in Brockton, Massachusetts on September 1, 1923. As a teenager, Rocky worked at a grocery store and took up boxing as an amateur when he was 16 years old.

Marciano defended his title five times before retiring as champion in 1956 with an undefeated record of 49-0 with 43 KOs. Rocky was tough as hell and had incredible speed and power in his punches.

He could take punishment from his opponents and keep walking forward. Rocky's story is one of determination, guts, and courage that will live on forever in boxing history.

7. Joe Frazier

In the annals of boxing history, there have been many great champions, but few have achieved the kind of greatness that Joe Frazier did. He was a southpaw who possessed a rare combination of size and speed. Both of which he used as an upper hand over his opponents.

Frazier's defensive style was aggressive and hard-hitting, but he could get away with it because he had a nearly airtight defense. He is most widely known for his three fights with Muhammad Ali, which are considered to be among the greatest in boxing history.

8. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson is one of the most controversial and talked about boxers in history. He was known for his aggressive style, his explosive knockout power and his ability to take a punch.

Tyson grew up poor in Brownsville, New York and had a very troubled childhood. His mother was a prostitute and his father was a pimp who died when Tyson was only 16 years old.

In 1988, Tyson became the first fighter to simultaneously hold all three major heavyweight titles (WBA, WBC & IBF) when he knocked out Michael Spinks in a mind-blowing 91 seconds. Two years later he successfully defended his titles against Evander Holyfield despite losing two teeth during the fight.

9. Joe Louis

Joe Louis nicknamed "The Brown Bomber", was born on May 13, 1914, and died on April 12, 1981. Over the span of his career he had 67 fights and won 52 of them by knockout!

Louis fought in a time when there were few opportunities for African Americans and became one of the first African American world heavyweight champions, winning the title in 1937 and defending it a record 25 times.

Louis retired for good in 1955 with a record of 66 wins (52 by knockout), with 2 losses and 1 loss by decision. Joe Louis: America's Hero Betrayed is a great documentary about the ups and downs of Joe Louis' life.

10. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. was born on February 24th, 1977 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father Floyd Sr., was a professional boxer who had been taught by his grandfather to be a boxer when he was young.

Mayweather Jr. is widely considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time, but also has a record of domestic violence that includes battery, harassment and false imprisonment charges.

In 2012, Mayweather Jr. was accused of punching his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris while she was holding their daughter in 2012. He eventually pleaded guilty to reduced charges of misdemeanor harassment and no contest on three counts of harassment stemming from the incident with Harris and served two months in jail as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Floyd holds a record of 50-0, with 27 wins via knockout. In 2009, he was named Fighter of the Decade by USA Today.

And The Bell Goes Ding

Boxing has had its ups and downs over the years, but there have been a few athletes who stood head and shoulders above the rest. Without a doubt: for someone to be considered among the best in boxing history, they had to be quite a spectacle of boxing greatness.