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In this post, we will check out the top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
Boxing is one of the most heated sports around the world. The game is all about attack, defense, skills, and proving the best in the ring. The game has witnessed some of the great heavyweight boxers over time.
Heavyweight boxing is one of the most popular and iconic sports in the world. Throughout history, the heavyweight division has produced some of the greatest boxers of all time, who have become legends in their own right.
From the classic era of Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis to the modern era of Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, heavyweight boxing has seen some of the fiercest, most thrilling, and most memorable battles in the ring.
These fighters have left an indelible mark on the sport, and their careers continue to inspire future generations of boxers.
In this list, we will take a look at the top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. These boxers have been selected based on a combination of their in-ring accomplishments, longevity, dominance, and cultural impact
Table of contents
Top 10 Greatest Heavyweight Boxers Of All Time
10 Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is a former professional boxer who was a dominant boxer from 1985 to 2005. He was known with a Nickname “Iron Mike and “Kid Dynamite“.
He has the hunger to be the best and dominate the boxing ring. Tyson became the first heavyweight boxer to win the WBC, IBF, and WBA titles.
He is an energetic puncher known for swift head movements and his unusual techniques to make life hell for the opponents.
Tyson is regarded to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990.
Tyson’s power can be easily examined with his stats. He won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, and 12 of them in the first round. Surely he is one of the baddest men on the planet.
Professing his first belt at an age of 20 years is not a cup of tea and thus holds the record as the youngest boxer ever to win a heavyweight title.
Mike won 50 out of 58 matches he played. The aura does Tyson creates on the ring is brutal and he is popularly known for his punch power.
He had a knockout-to-win percentage of 88% and was ranked 16th on The Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.
ESPN also listed him as “The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History”. Mike Tyson is number 10 in our list of top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
9 Lennox Lewis
Lennox Lewis is a former professional boxer who is the dominant figure in boxing from 1989 to 2003. He is a three-time world heavyweight champion, a two-time lineal champion, and lives the last heavyweight to own the undisputed championship.
Lewis is without a doubt one of the legends in boxing history. He has proved his worth by defeating some of the big names in boxing which include Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Vitali Klitschko.
Having a glittering start to his career, he continued his top form to defeat Donovan Ruddock in 1992 to secure over the number one position in the WBC rankings.
He had played a total of 44 matches in his career, out of which he won 41 matches. Lennox has such dominance on the ring that he had won thirty-two of them by knockouts.
In 2002, Lewis defeated Mike Tyson who has been one of the top names in boxing. The match was referred to as one of the most highly anticipated fights in boxing history.
Lewis was known with the nickname ‘The Lion’. He is considered by many as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers and one of the greatest British fighters of all time.
8 Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano is contested from 1947 to 1955 and took the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956. He is the only heavyweight champion to have finished his career undefeated.
His six title defenses were against some of the greats of the game which includes Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell, and Archie Moore.
He is known for his ruthless fighting style and exceptional stamina. Many greats have placed Rocky Marciano as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
He is one of a few boxers who have his own style of boxing. Rocky is known with the nickname of ‘The Brockton Blockbuster’ and ‘The Rock From Brockton’.
He had played a total of 49 matches and had a percentage of knockout-to-win of 87.76%. Marciano remains the only fighter in history to stop every opponent for the world heavyweight title,
Marciano is listed 14 in The Ring magazine’s list of the 100 greatest punchers of all time. He is number 8 in our list of top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
7 Joe Frazier
Joe Frazier is known for his power, durability, impressive punching power, and constant pressure fighting style. He was also the first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali.
Frazier dominated as the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973. He is one of the toughest boxers to beat in boxing history.
Frazier is the kind of boxer who has always been indulged in compelling and explosive fights. He was popular with his nickname ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier’. He had mastery in both attacking and defending.
Frazier appeared as one of the top boxers in the late 1960s, pounding opponents which includes Jerry Quarry, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones, and Jimmy Ellis. He defeated Ali by collective decision in the highly apprehended Fight of the Century in 1971.
He had a total of 32 wins, 4 defeats, and 1 draw in his whole career. The International Boxing Research Organization considers Frazier amongst the ten greatest heavyweights of all time.
The Ring magazine described him Fighter of the Year in 1967, 1970, and 1971, and the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) identified him Fighter of the Year in 1969, 1971, and 1975. In 1999, The Ring rated him the eighth greatest heavyweight.
6 Evander Holyfield
Evander Holyfield dominated as the undisputed champion at cruiserweight in the late 1980s and at heavyweight in the early 1990s. He remains the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes in the three belt era.
He is known for the Nickname “the Real Deal”. Holyfield is the only boxer in history to be a four-time world heavyweight champion.
Evander Holyfield was one of the best heavyweight boxers when it comes to skills and techniques. His journey began in the cruiserweight category however he continuously proved himself in heavyweight boxing.
He is the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in both cruiserweight and heavyweight classes.
Evander triumphantly defended his titles three times in his career He has done that against the former champions George Foreman and Larry Holmes.
He played a total of 57 matches, out of which he won 44. Holyfield retired in 2014 and is placed number 77 on The Ring‘s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.
BoxingScene placed him as the greatest cruiserweight of all time. He is also the first boxer in history to hold world titles in three different decades, in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
5 Larry Holmes
Larry Holmes American former professional boxer and one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time. He competed from 1973 to 2002 and is known by the nickname of the “Easton Assassin“.
Holmes won against legendary boxers which include Trevor Berbick, Leon Spinks, Gerry Cooney, and last but not least the legendary Muhammad Ali.
Holmes is brutally known for his left jab. He held the WBC heavyweight title from 1978 to 1983, the Ring magazine and lineal heavyweight titles from 1980 to 1985, and the inaugural IBF heavyweight title from 1983 to 1985.
Holmes is the only boxer to have beaten out Muhammad Ali and the only boxer yet alive to have that feat.
He had played a total of 75 matches, out of which he won 69 matches. Holmes’s last match was in 2002 against the 334lb Eric “Butterbean” Esch and finished his career with a record of 69 wins and 6 losses.
He is often ranked as one of the greatest heavyweights boxers of all time and has been drafted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Larry Holmes is number 5 in our list of top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
4 George Foreman
George Foreman was nicknamed “Big George” and fought between 1967 and 1997. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist.
Foreman is one of the hardest punchers in boxing history. He is known for the classic style of play and he is one of the most fearless boxers in history.
Foreman won the world heavyweight title with some exceptional performance in the ring and defeated the undefeated boxer of that time named Joe Frazier in 1973.
He retained the belt twice before undergoing his first professional loss against Muhammad Ali in the iconic Rumble in the Jungle in 1974.
Foreman played a total of 81 matches out of that he won 76. His comeback match after 10 years shocked the entire boxing fraternity.
He is also referred to as the oldest man ever to win the heavyweight title. He has achieved that feat in 1994 at age 45 when he won the unified WBA, IBF, and lineal heavyweight championship titles by knocking out 26-year-old Michael Moorer.
Foreman has been drafted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame. The International Boxing Research Organization considers Foreman as the eighth greatest heavyweight of all time.
In 2002, he was listed as one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past 80 years by The Ring. George Foreman is number 4 in our list of top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
3 Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey is known by the nickname Kid Blackie, and The Manassa Mauler. He was an American professional boxer who fought from 1914 to 1927 and ruled as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926.
He is surely one of the iconic names in the 1920s. Dempsey’s dynamic fighting style and outstanding punching power made him one of the best boxers in the history of boxing.
He is the first boxer to hatch a million-dollar gate. His fierce fighting style, destructive power, and strong stature made millions of fans around the world.
The story of Jack Dempsey is truly inspiring. He started the struggling life in the streets and went on to become the biggest boxing star in the world in the 1920s.
His persona and his style of play broke many commercial and attendance numbers during his time. Dempsey is listed tenth on The Ring magazine’s of all-time heavyweights and seventh among its Top 100 Greatest Punchers.
In 1950 the Associated Press declared him as the greatest fighter of the past 50 years. Jack Dempsey is number 3 in our list of top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
2 Joe Louis
Joe Louis is known with a Nickname the Brown Bomber. Louis is popularly considered as one of the greatest and most prominent boxers of all time.
He ruled as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 until 1949. He was dominant and triumphant in 25 consecutive title defenses, a record for all weight classes.
Louis had the longest single reign as champion of any boxer in history. Such a persona he has in the history of boxing. He was generally known for his offensive counter punch.
His professional career had a long span from 1934 to1951. Louis was surely one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He played a total of 69 matches, in which he won 66.
Louis’s impact was not only inside the ring, he also made the sport a global sensation outside the ring. He is number 2 in our list of top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
1 Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is Nicknamed The Greatest, he is without a doubt one of the most notable and celebrated sports icons of the 20th century. He is often ranked as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.
During his career, he had played a total of 61 matches out of which he had won 56 matches. He had a charismatic style of play and was well known for his footwork and speed to knock down opponents.
Ali competed in many historic boxing matches which include the fight against Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, including the Fight of the Century.
He was remembered for trash-talking and addressed word poetry. Ali often foretold in which round he would knock out his opponent.
His playing routines, his charm, and his unique skills made millions of fans around the world. He has been rated the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.
He has also been listed as the greatest sportsman of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated and the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC.
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