The Greatest Boxers of All-Time

Boxing is considered to be one of the toughest yet most artistic sports out there. Even the most dominant fighters can be bested on any given day and one punch has the ability to end a fight in an instant.

Throughout the decades, there have been a number of fighters that have stood above the rest. While there is no clear cut way to determine the “greatest” fighter ever, these names are consistently on the list.

Muhammad Ali

If boxing betting had been as prevalent back then as it is now, there is little doubt that Ali would have been a heavy favorite in many of his fights. Even more impressive about his career is the fact that he was derailed for years because of the Vietnam War.

Ali had unmatched speed and power, with perhaps only his confidence being greater. He elevated the heavyweight division to unparalleled highs thanks to wars with George Foreman and Joe Frazier, some of the greatest in the history of boxing.

Sugar Ray Robinson

When talking about the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the sport, Robinson has to be there. During the 1940s and 1950s, he dominated the welterweight and middleweight divisions, bringing a rare combination of speed and power to the table.

He won the title five times at 160 pounds but most importantly, he lost just once in his first 123 fights. He retired only to return after 2.5 years, retiring with a 175-19-6 record. One of the most prolific, dominant fighters of any era, without question.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather

Mayweather may be the most cerebral fighter ever. Though he is often criticized for opting for mismatches in his career, Mayweather has always delivered. He didn’t have the knockout power of some of his predecessors, but it is hard to argue with his success.

Mayweather retired a perfect 50-0, sporting 27 knockouts and held an incredible 12 world championships across five weight classes. Based on track record alone, it is hard for many to even come close to “Money” in terms of career achievements and accolades.

Joe Louis

How can you make a list of the greatest boxers ever and not include the longest-reigning heavyweight champion ever? A vicious puncher, Louis won the belt in 1937 and proceeded to defend it a record 25 times. He even knocked out the five previous heavyweight champions, including Max Schmeling and Max Baer.

Though he did have late-career losses to Rocky Marciano and Ezzard Charles, there is no denying Louis’ greatness. How many fighters can say that they have had an arena named after them (the longtime Joe Louis Arena in Detroit was just recently torn down after decades of being a Motor City staple)?

Roberto Duran

Spanning four weight classes in a career that lasted from 1968-2001, Duran carved out quite the reputation for himself. With a snarl on his face, he dominated the lightweight division with devastating knockout power. His most memorable fight came when he won the welterweight championship from Sugar Ray Leonard in an epic battle in 1980.

Though Duran is perhaps now most famous for “No Mas” in the rematch against Leonard, his career speaks for itself. His 70 Kos and 103-16 record don’t tell the whole story. He is one of the fiercest, most vicious fighters to ever step into the ring at any weight class.

There are other names that definitely could be mentioned here. Willie Pep, Benny Leonard, and old-school names like Henry Armstrong and Jack Johnson all deserve their mention. But at their peaks, any of these fighters could be the best to ever do it.

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