Famous Boxers

There have been many great athletes in the sport of boxing over the decades. Each boxer on this list made a solid name for himself in the ring. It is highly debated who was the greatest of all time, but one thing is for sure: the following list of boxers certainly includes the best of the best.

Famous Boxers

Jack-Johnson Jack-Dempsey Joe-Louis
Jack Johnson (1878 – 1946)
Nationality: American
Known For: First African American to be the world heavyweight boxing champion.
Nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” Jack Johnson was widely considered to be the most famous African American on the planet for more than a decade as he dominated the world of boxing. Notably, Johnson had his success during the time period when Jim Crow laws were still in effect. In fact, both of his parents had been slaves. Racism ran deep at that time and when Johnson became world heavyweight boxing champion, many whites were furious.
Jack Dempsey (1895 – 1983)
Nationality: American
Known For: Holding the world heavyweight boxing champion title 1919 through 1926
Jack Dempsey was known as “The Manasa Mauler” and was celebrated for his offensive style and powerful blows. Of his 65 recorded wins in the ring, 51 were by knockout. Dempsey was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. His fights drew in large crowds, often setting attendance records. Additionally, The Associated Press named Dempsey as being the best boxer to fight during the span of 1900 to 1950.
Joe Louis (1914 – 1981)
Nationality: American
Known For: Being the world heavyweight champion for almost 12 years (longest in history).
Called the “Brown Bomber,” Joe Louis successfully defended his world heavyweight championship title 25 times. He was known as being a very generous and kind man – even donating his winnings twice to military rellief during World War II. In 1982 Louis was posthumously honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. He was later named a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Sugar-Ray-Robinson Jake-Lamotta Rocky-Marciano
Sugar Ray Robinson (1921 – 1989)
Nationality: American
Known For: Often argued to be the greatest boxer of all time.
Originally named Walker Smith Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson got his name after using the Amateur Athletic Union card of a fellow boxer named Ray Robinson. After becoming pro in 1940, he won his first 40 bouts in a row. He had an astonishing record of 175 wins – 110 of which were knockouts – and only 19 losses. He even had a streak of 91 wins in a row that lasted for 8 years between 1943 and 1951.
Jake Lamotta (1921 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: His legendary fights with Sugar Ray Robinson.
Jake Lamotta was the inspiration behind the movie “Raging Bull” that starred Robert De Niro. He was the first boxer to ever beat Sugar Ray Robinson. He was known for being able to take a beating and still continue fighting. He was only knocked out one time in his 100-plus fight career and only lost 9 times.
Rocky Marciano (1923 – 1969)
Nationality: American
Known For: Was undefeated for his entire professional career.
Rocky Marciano went 49 and 0, including 43 wins by knockout during his time spent as a professional boxer. He was not known to have an accurate punch; however, when he landed a blow it was usually devastating. Tragically, he died in a plane crash the day before his 46th birthday. Marciano was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Sonny-Liston Ruben-Carter Muhammad-Ali
Sonny Liston (1932 – 1970)
Nationality: American
Known For: Learning how to box while in jail.
Charles L. “Sonny” Liston was a gifted boxer who lived a very troubled life. Liston was known to struggle with alcohol addiction, but his physical skills still allowed him to shine in the ring. He became the world heavyweight champion in 1962 after knocking out Floyd Patterson in the very first round. Nicknamed “The Big Bear,” Liston had a professional record of 50 – 4, with 39 knockouts.
Rubin Carter (1937 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Being wrongfully convicted of murder and put in prison for almost two decades.
Ruben “The Hurricane” Carter was known for his incredibly fast punches, but even more well-known for his struggles to be freed from prison. He and a friend were wrongfully accused of a triple homocide in June of 1966. The ensuing investigation was not conducted professionally and many believe that Carter was framed. While in prison, Carter wrote a book about his innocence entitled “The 16th Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472.” He was eventually freed in 1985.
Muhammad Ali (1942 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: His outspoken ways and historic fights.
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., Muhammad Ali dubbed hiimself “The Greatest.” He won an Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He later would knock out Sonny Liston in 1964 and become the world heavyweight champion. His overall professional record was 56 – 5 with 37 knockout wins. He was a part of some of the most famous fights in boxing history, including: the “Fight of the Century” against Joe Frazier and the “Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman.
Joe-Frazier George-Foreman Larry-Holmes
Joe Frazier (1944 – 2011)
Nationality: American
Known For: Holding the world heavyweight title from 1970 to 1973.
Joe Frazier was a gifted boxer who started off his career as the Middle Atlantic Golden Gloves Champion for three years in a row. He won gold at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Frazier famously fought agains Muhammad Ali in “The Thrilla in Manilla” – a match that lasted 14 rounds and was ended due to both of Frazier’s eyes swelling shut. He also was the world heavyweight champion
George Foreman (1949 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Twice being the world heavyweight champion.
Known as Big George, the Punching Preacher and the Heywood Giant, George Foreman won Olympic gold at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. To date he is noted for being the oldest heavyweight champion after beating Michael Moorer for the title at age 45. Of his 76 recorded professional boxing wins, 68 were by knockout. He only had five loses in his career, with the most memorable being a loss to Muhammad Ali at “The Rumble in the Jungle.”
Larry Holmes (1949 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Winning his first 48 professional boxing matches in a row.
Larry Holmes was the sparring partner for both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. Perhaps due to this he became quite skilled in his defensive techniques. In 1978, Holmes won the World Boxing Council heavyweight title. He had an impressive record of 69 and 6 by the time he retired in 2002. Since then he has been made a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
roberto-duran Floyd-Mayweather-sr Marvin-Hagler
Roberto Duran (1951 – Present)
Nationality: Panamanian
Known For: Winning the world championship in four separate weight classes.
Nicknamed “Manos de Piedra,” or “Hands of Stone,” Roberto Duran was known for his powerful punches. He become a professional boxer at the young age of 16. His long career left him with a final record of 103 wins and 16 losses which included 70 knockouts. His time as a professional boxer was ended after he was in a car accident that left him with a punctured lung and broken ribs.
Floyd Mayweather, Sr. (1952 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Being a well-known trainer after his professional career.
Floyd Mayweather Sr. was a world ranked welterweight fighter in the 1970’s and 80’s. He had strong defensive skills and a solid knowledge of boxing technique. His biggest fight was against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978 in which he lost by knockout. Mayweather Sr. has trained many successful boxers since his retirement, including Oscar De La Hoya and Chad Dawson. He also trained his son Floyd Mayweather Jr. who is currently 45 – 0 as of October, 2013.
Marvin Hagler (1954 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Holding the middleweight champion title for 7 years.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler dominated the boxing world for much of the 1970’s and 1980’s. He successfully defended his title twelve times and his 67 career wins include 52 KO’s – giving him the highest knockout percentage of any middleweight champion. He is known for having a very “tough chin,” meaning that he could take many hard punches and not be phased or knocked out easily.
Sugar-Ray-Leonard Evander-Holyfield Julio-Cesar-Chavez
Sugar Ray Leonard (1956 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Being a world title winner in five weight classes.
Sugar Ray Leonard made history by being the first boxer to make over $100 million in winnings. He was labeled the “Boxer of the Decade” in the 1980’s and defeated four future International Boxing Hall of Fame members. Additionally, he won the 1976 Montreal Olympic gold medal in the light welterweight division. Leonard ended his career when he retired in 1998 with a professional boxing record of 36-3-1 and 25 knockouts.
Evander Holyfield (1962 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: He was a two time world heavyweight champion in the early 1990’s.
Evander Holyfield goes by the nicknames the “Real Deal” and “The Warrior.” Perhaps most notably, Evander Holyfield is remembered for having part of his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson in 1997. He competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics and placed third, receiving the bronze medal.
Julio Cesar Chavez (1962 – Present)
Nationality: Mexican
Known For: Being a world lightweight champion.
Sometimes referred to as “The Caesar of Boxing,” “Mr. KO” or “The Great Mexican Champion,” Julio Cesar Chavez is widely considered to be the best fighter to come out of Mexico. His record upon retirement was 116 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws. 87 of his victories came in the form of a knockout. He retained his World Boxing Council Super Featherweight title for a total of nine fights.
Mike-Tyson Roy-Jones-Jr. Shane-Mosley
Mike Tyson (1966 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Being the youngest boxer to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight titles.
When Mike Tyson was just 20 years old he held all three major world boxing titles. He remains the sole heavyweight boxer to concurrently hold all three at titles. After twice biting Evander Holyfield’s ears in a match in 1997 he was temporarily suspended from boxing in the United States and fined $3 million. Since retiring in 2005, “Iron Mike” Tyson has made various commercial and movie appearances.
Roy Jones Jr. (1969 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Having been honored as”Fighter of the Decade” for the 90’s.
Roy Jones Jr. became the first former middlewight champion in 106 years to go on and take the heavyweight title. He has won 10 major world titles and 5 minor world titles. In 1988 he took the silver medal at the Seoul, Korea Olympic games – though it is generally agreed upon that he was robbed of the gold. Jones Jr. has appeared in a few movies and has also released his own albums.
Shane Mosley (1971 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: He has won the championship in three different weight classes.
“Sugar” Shane Mosley won the 1989 U.S. Amateur Championship, the 1990 U.S. Amatuer Championship and the 1992 U.S. Amatuer Championship before becoming a professional boxer. Mosley retired in 2012 with a final professional record of 46 wins, 8 losses and 1 draw. 39 of his victories were by knockout.
Lennox-Lewis Oscar-De-La-Hoya Floyd-Mayweather-Jr.
Lennox Lewis (1965 – Present)
Nationality: British
Known For: Winning the Olympic gold medal in the super heavyweight class in Seoul in 1988.
Lennox “The Lion” Lewis was the first British boxer since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1899 to become a world heavyweight champion. After winning Olympic gold, he went professional and won his first 21 bouts in the ring. Lewis retired in 2004 with a final record of 44 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw and 32 wins by knockout.
Oscar De La Hoya (1973 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Winning a total of ten world titles in 6 weight classes.
“The Golden Boy,” Oscar De La Hoya, won the gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the lightweight division. De La Hoya toppled seventeen world champions during his career and earned an approximate $696 million from pay per view fighting alone. This makes him the highest grossing boxer of all time. When he retired in 2009, De La Hoya finished with a final record of 39 wins and 6 losses.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (1977 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Being undefeated at 45 – 0 as of October, 2013.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. received much of his training from his father who was also a professional boxer. To date, Mayweather, Jr. has won 8 world titles as well as the lineal championship within 4 separate weight classes. He is currently ranked as the top pound for pound boxer on the planet by Sports Illulstrated, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports and ESPN.
Manny-Pacquiao Timothy-Bradley Julio-Cesar-Chavez-Jr.
Manny Pacquiao (1978 – Present)
Nationality: Filipino
Known For: Winning several world boxing champion titles in 8 separate weight divisions.
Manny Pacquiao holds ten world titles and was also the first boxer to be victorious in the lineal championship in 4 different weight divisions. The Boxing Writers Association of America honored Pacquiao with the title of “Fighter of the Decade” in the 2000’s. He currently has a record in professional boxing of 54 wins, 5 losses and 2 draws. 38 of his victories were knockouts.
Timothy Bradley (1983 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Defeating Manny Pacquiao in a controversial fight in 2012.
Since becoming a professional boxer, Timothy Bradley has remained undefeated and currently stands at 31 – 0 as of October, 2013. Bradley has held the World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Council titles. His victory over Manny Pacquiao is widely regarded as a mistake by the judges as Pacquiao clearly won seven of the twelve rounds and had landed more punches with more accuracy.
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (1986 – Present)
Nationality: Mexican
Known For: Winning the WBC middleweight title in 2011.
The son of famed Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., he is often called “The Son of the Legend.” He began his professional boxing career at just 17 years old. Over the ten years that he has now been boxing, Chavez, Jr. has only lost one of his 50 fights and has racked up 32 KOs.
Victor-Ortiz
Victor Ortiz (1987 – Present)
Nationality: American
Known For: Winning the welterweight champion title in 2011.
“Vicious” Victor Ortiz was abandoned by his mother and later his alcoholic father at a young age. He was mentored and trained by a few retired professional boxers and went pro himself at the age of 17. Notably, Ortiz is right handed, but opts to box using the southpaw stance.
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