Top 10 Boxers of All Time

Boxers aren’t just known for their boxing skills and their charisma but also for the way they overcome tough battles and handle their successes. Some of the best boxers didn’t always succeed on the first try and other successful boxers suffered painful defeats near the end of their careers.

Still these boxers did more than entertain fans with their abilities. They showed us an example of hard work, dedication and graciousness in adversity. Here is a top 10 list (in no particular order) of arguably the greatest boxers of all time.

1. Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier was one of the most talented boxers of all time and he gave Muhammad Ali a run for his money with his quick and sharp boxing abilities. He earned a world championship title during the years that Muhammad Ali was suspended from boxing and his boxing career lasted from 1965 to 1981. Some boxing critics feel that Joe Frazier outperformed Muhammad Ali and hasn’t received proper credit for his contributions to boxing.

2. Manny Pacquiao

The one thing that’s amazing about Manny Pacquiao’s life isn’t that he was born in the Philippines or that he is now also a politician there. The one thing that is truly amazing is that he is an eight division world champion which has never been accomplished before in the world of boxing. The Ring has called Manny Pacquiao the best pound for pound boxer in the world.

3. George Foreman

You can’t discuss the best boxers of all time without mentioning George Foreman. This boxing legend had a career record of 76-5 and he gave 68 knockouts during his career. At 45 years old Foreman became the oldest boxer to claim a successful comeback after defeating Michael Moorer in 1994 and earning the heavyweight title. In the beginning of his career he successfully defeated Joe Frazier in 1973 but two years later in 1975 Foreman was defeated by Muhammad Ali in 1974 during a match in Zaire.

4. Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano was the only undefeated heavyweight champion in history and had a record of 49-0 along with 43 knockouts of his opponents altogether.

5. Sugar Ray Leonard

Sugar Ray Leonard was an Olympic medalist who won the welterweight world championship title in 1979. He was later defeated by Robert Duran but in another match he defeated Duran that time. Although he experienced some defeats throughout his career, his successes left a lasting mark on the boxing industry.

6. Jack Dempsey

During Jack Dempsey’s career between 1914 and 1927, he had a record of 61-6-8 and 50 knockouts. He also held the world championship title from 1919 to 1926. Fans loved his two-punch style and it was because of Dempsey that boxing as a sport rose to similar prominence as baseball and football. His final championship match drew an audience of 120,000.

7. Joe Louis

Aside from his predecessor Jack Johnson, Joe Louis broke through tough barriers in order for African Americans to enter this sport. Louis started his career in 1934 and won a world championship title in 1937. In addition he held this title for 11 years and retired in 1947. Joe Louis fought two matches against German boxer Max Schmeling but Louis was defeated the first time. However, in a rematch Joe Louis defeated Schmeling and he became an American boxing icon from that time on.

8. Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was just as controversial and bold as he was talented in the ring. He caused a stir when due to his conversion to Islam and his belief in civil rights, he refused the draft and as a result his boxing license was suspended briefly. However, this never took away from his illustrious career. Ali was the first boxer to earn a world heavyweight title three times.

9. Jack Johnson

The movie The Great White Hope is based on the life of African-American boxing pioneer Jack Johnson, who was the first black man to earn a heavyweight championship title. The prejudice he battled in the United States grew worse and as a result he ended up living in Europe and in other parts of the world in order to continue his boxing career. He boxed with great speed and cleverness and his confidence was similar to that of Muhammad Ali.

10. Oscar de la Hoya

Oscar de la Hoya, is one of the best-known boxers in the mid 20th century and he has the tenacity, speed and determination that’s needed in order for a boxer to have staying power for many years. He defeated boxing Julio Cesar Chavez in the 1990s and since that time he’s been unstoppable in earning several titles.

Of course like all top 10 lists, this one about boxing greats is open to debate. You may prefer to switch some numbers or add and delete some of the listings. But, one thing is for sure is that all boxers listed need to be recognized for their personal achievements in the sport of boxing.

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