An intensive and physically rigorous sport, boxing is known to be a very brutal sport. The jawbreaking punches, the calculated blocks, and the frequent attacks—these are just a few of the regular events boxing is shrouded in. Among the fittest and toughest boxers who have dominated the boxing scene and have made amazing accomplishments, few can be said to be amongst the best and the greatest boxers in the world.
So, who are the greatest boxers of all-time? Is Muhammad Ali really the greatest boxer of all-time?
You’ll agree with us that in every sport, any list/ranking pertaining to the ‘greatest of all time’ always boils down to controversies. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that we all have different opinions when it comes to any sort of rankings. In boxing, the case is no different. Muhammad Ali is regarded by pundits and some boxing fans as the greatest of all time. But is he? You’ll be surprised at Muhammad Ali’s rating in this ranking.
A recent boxing ‘greatest of all-time’ list released by BoxRec, the official boxing record-keeping website, revealed a point-based system in which each boxer is rewarded based on annual division performance. According to Martin Reichert of BoxRec, the ranking is an accumulation of successes in a boxer’s career regardless of the weight division.
Reichert said that “A boxer can get up to another 200 points per year for defeating No. 1 or No. 2 over all divisions. Top wins per year are avenged by losses against lower rated opponents in the referenced year, the year before and the year after. Top wins are rewarded much higher than medium-scale wins. The points per year are reduced to 1/2 for defeating No. 3, to 1/3 for defeating No. 4, 1/4 for defeating No. 5 etc. So defeating No. 11 earns only a 1/10 of defeating No. 1 or No. 2.”
While the algorithm seems to be a very intuitive way to determine who the greatest boxer of all-time is, many may disagree with this. However, Floyd Mayweather Jr does agree as back in 2015, he placed himself top on the list of the greatest boxers.
Here are the Greatest Boxers of All-Time Revealed
Floyd Mayweather Jr
Sugar Ray Robinson
Oscar Da La Hoya
Julio Ceasar Chavez
Marvelous Marvin Hagler
Juan Manuel Marquez
Roy Jones Jr
A Closer Look at the BoxRec’s Top-10 Greatest of All-Time Ranking
10. Julio Cesar Chavez
From 1980 to 2005, El César del Boxeo, as Julio Cesar Chavez is nicknamed ruled the boxing scene. He competed in a total of 115 matches, winning 107 and losing just six while settling for a draw on two occasions. He won the WBC super featherweight title, the WBC light welterweight title, and the IBF light-welterweight. Since 2010 Chavez has been a member of the International Boxing Hall of fame.
9. Oscar De La Hoya
At just the age of 5, Oscar De La Hoya had already ventured into the world of boxing. As he progressed, he created a solid reputation for himself, thanks to his unique style of fighting, which he is famous for. He won titles in 6 different weight classes which include the super featherweight, the lightweight, and the light welterweight. He fought 45 matches during his career, won 39 and lost 6.
8. Archie Moore
A genuinely legendary boxer, Archie Moore, who was nicknamed The Old Mongoose in the latter days of his career, had one of the longest careers in boxing. For 28 years, he ruled the boxing scene. He also is famous for being the most extended holder of the World Light Heavyweight Champion title, which he held for ten years. Moore competed in a total of 219 matches throughout his career. He won 186 of those matches, lost 23, and ended 10 in draws.
7. Joe Louis
An African American athlete who was celebrated nationally for defeating Germany’s Max Schmeling in 1938, Joe Louis was nothing short of a phenomenal boxer. His 17-year stint in the world of boxing saw him defend his title 25 times, which made him the longest-reigning heavyweight champion in the history of boxing. During his career, he fought in 69 matches, winning 66 of them and losing just 3.
6. Bernard Hopkins
“The Executioner” as Bernard Hopkins was nicknamed, had a really interesting career in boxing from 1988 to 2016. During those 28 years, Hopkins emerged as one of the toughest boxers in the world. He won the IBF middleweight title and also was the first boxer in history to become the reigning Champion of major titles for all four major boxing sanctioning entities. In 2011, Hopkins became the oldest boxer to win a world championship after he won the light heavyweight title at the age of 46. He competed in 67 matches, won 55, lost 8, drew 2, and 2 ended in a no contest.
5. Sugar Ray Robinson
For 25 years, Sugar Ray Robinson captured the attention of the boxing world with his glorified style of boxing. Even legendary boxer Mohammed Ali praised him while referring to him as ‘the king.’ Five times, he won the middleweight championship, and for five successive years, he was the welterweight champion. He fought in 202 matches, won 175 of these matches, lost 19, and drew 6, while 2 of his matches ended in a no contest.
4. Muhammad Ali
One of the most recognizable names in the world of boxing, Muhammad Ali is one of the most celebrated and famous sportspeople from the 20th century. His exploits in boxing are incredible, but his socio-political opinions are even more respected. He won the heavyweight title, coming out of a career break to reclaim it. Throughout his career, Ali fought in a total of 61 matches, won 56 and lost 5.
3. Carlos Monzon
“Escopeta” as Carlos Monzon was nicknamed, made his mark in boxing by his unique style of boxing. His swift and powerful punches were so fierce that it was so much feared during his days. For seven years, he held the world middleweight championship, thanks to his ever-changing style of boxing. In the course of his career, Carlos defended his title about 14 times. He fought in 100 matches, won 87, lost 3, drew 9, and 1 ended in a no contest.
2. Manny Pacquiao
One of the names in boxing, which will undoubtedly stand out, Manny Pacquiao, reigned in the boxing scene in the early years in the 21st century. He remarkably defeated Oscar De La Hoya in 2008, lasting just 6 minutes in the ring. Pacquiao is famously known for his fight of the century match against Floyd Mayweather, which he lost. He has won several titles, including the featherweight, the flyweight, the welterweight, and the lightweight. Pacquiao has competed in 71 matches, won 62, lost 7, and drew 2.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr
A famous boxer known across social media for his extravagance and flamboyant lifestyle, Floyd Mayweather Jr is undoubtedly one of the greatest boxers in history. He has won several titles since he began fighting in 1996. His titles won include the Super featherweight, the lightweight, and the welterweight. Though retired, he comes out of retirement to fight, to the delight of fans. He has competed in 50 matches and has won all, a feat no boxer has seen, until now in the world of boxing.
What a controversial list. We at SportyTell believe that pretty much every GOAT rankings are debatable. With Floyd Mayweather, Jr ranked top on the list the greatest boxers of all-time, and other famous boxers like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, and several other all-time greats coming behind, what do you think about this list? Please share in the comments section below.