Top 25 Greatest Boxers of All Time by Weight Class

Last Updated on January 13, 2024 by Emily Foster

Boxing has produced some of the most legendary athletes in sports history. From the raw power of heavyweight titans to the lightning-fast reflexes of featherweight dynamos, the sport has captured the hearts and imaginations of fans around the world. In this article, we will explore the top 25 greatest boxers of all time, categorized by weight class. We will take a closer look at their incredible careers, highlighting the matches, moments, and milestones that solidified their place in boxing history.

Key Takeaways

  • The sport of boxing has produced some of the most legendary athletes in sports history.
  • From heavyweight to flyweight, the top 25 greatest boxers of all time will be explored in this article.
  • We will examine their incredible careers and highlight the matches, moments and milestones that solidified their place in boxing history.
  • Boxing continues to inspire fans around the world, and these top 25 fighters have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the sport.
  • Stay tuned as we delve into the exciting world of boxing and explore the greatest fighters of all time.

Heavyweight Division

The heavyweight division is the most prestigious weight class in boxing. It has produced some of the greatest boxers of all time, known for their power, technique, and endurance. In this section, we will highlight the top fighters who have left an indelible mark on the sport. These are the boxers who have dominated the division, demonstrating their exceptional skills and athleticism time and time again.

greatest heavyweight boxers

Boxer Record Notable Wins
Joe Louis 66-3 Max Schmeling, Billy Conn
Muhammad Ali 56-5 Joe Frazier, George Foreman
Mike Tyson 50-6 Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks
Rocky Marciano 49-0 Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles
Jack Dempsey 66-6-11 Jess Willard, Georges Carpentier

These fighters have become household names, transcending the sport of boxing and achieving global recognition. Their legacies live on, inspiring current and future generations of boxers to strive for greatness in the heavyweight division.

Light Heavyweight Division

The light heavyweight division has undoubtedly produced some of the greatest boxers of all time. With a weight limit of 175 pounds, these fighters have exhibited a unique blend of power and speed, making for some of the most exciting bouts in boxing history.

One of the most dominant light heavyweight boxers was Michael Spinks, who remained undefeated throughout his professional career. He won the undisputed light heavyweight world championship in 1983, and later moved up to the heavyweight division to defeat the legendary Larry Holmes.

greatest light heavyweight boxers

Another legendary boxer in this weight class was Bob Foster, often regarded as one of the hardest hitters in boxing history. Foster won the light heavyweight world championship in 1968, and successfully defended his title 14 times before moving up to the heavyweight division.

Joe Calzaghe was another great light heavyweight boxer, with an unbeaten record throughout his career. He won the WBO light heavyweight world championship in 2006, and defended it successfully before retiring from boxing in 2009.

Other notable light heavyweight champions include Gene Tunney, Archie Moore, and Roy Jones Jr.

It’s important to note that many boxers have moved up from the light heavyweight division to the heavyweight division, and vice versa, throughout their careers. However, for the purpose of this list, we have highlighted their accomplishments in the light heavyweight division.

Middleweight Division

The middleweight division has produced some of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport. From Sugar Ray Robinson to Marvelous Marvin Hagler, these fighters have displayed phenomenal technical abilities and raw knockout power.

One of the most dominant boxers in this weight class is Gennady Golovkin, also known as GGG. With a record of 41 wins, 36 by knockout, and only 1 loss, GGG has proven himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the ring. His aggressive style and powerful punches have earned him a loyal fan base and a spot among the greatest middleweights of all time.

Another middleweight legend is Bernard Hopkins, who held the unified middleweight championship for a record 10 years. Hopkins’ defensive skills and calculated counterpunching made him a nearly unbeatable opponent, and he retired with a record of 55 wins, 32 by knockout, and only 8 losses.

Boxer Wins Losses Knockouts
Sugar Ray Robinson 173 19 109
Marvin Hagler 62 3 52
Gennady Golovkin 41 1 36
Bernard Hopkins 55 8 32

According to boxing promoter Bob Arum, “The middleweight division has always been one of the most entertaining and competitive weight classes in the sport. These fighters possess a rare combination of power and speed, making for some truly unforgettable matches.”

As the middleweight division continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly produce more legendary fighters who will leave their mark on the sport. But for now, we can look back at the greatest middleweights of all time with awe and respect.

greatest middleweight boxers

Welterweight Division

As we move down in weight class, we come to the welterweight division, which has been one of the most competitive and exciting weight classes in boxing history. The welterweight division includes boxers with a maximum weight of 147 pounds and has seen countless legendary fighters showcase their skills in the ring.

One of the most iconic welterweight boxers of all time is Sugar Ray Robinson. Born as Walker Smith Jr., Robinson dominated the welterweight division and is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, regardless of weight class. Robinson won the welterweight championship five times and had an incredible record of 173 wins, 19 losses, and six draws. His precision and power in the ring were unmatched and solidified his place in boxing history.

Boxer Notable Achievements
Manny Pacquiao 8-division world champion, only fighter to win world titles in 4 different decades
Floyd Mayweather Jr. undefeated in his career (50-0), 5-division world champion
Thomas Hearns 5-division world champion, known as “The Hitman” for his devastating right hand

Other notable welterweight boxers include Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Thomas Hearns. Pacquiao is an eight-division world champion and the only fighter to win world titles in four different decades. Mayweather Jr. is undefeated in his career with a record of 50 wins and 0 losses and is a five-division world champion. Hearns, known as “The Hitman” for his devastating right hand, is also a five-division world champion.

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The welterweight division has seen some of the most exciting fights in boxing history and continues to produce talented fighters who capture the attention of fans worldwide.

greatest welterweight boxers

Lightweight Division: Exploring the Careers of the Greatest Lightweight Boxers

When it comes to the world of boxing, the lightweight division has produced some of the most skilled and agile boxers throughout history. Here, we will take a closer look at the greatest lightweight boxers who have captivated audiences with their speed and precision in the ring.

Roberto Duran

greatest lightweight boxerRoberto Duran, also known as “Hands of Stone,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. With a career spanning over three decades, Duran dominated the lightweight division, winning 72 of his 103 fights. He was known for his incredible punching power and stamina, which helped him defeat some of the biggest names in the sport.

Joe Gans

Joe Gans, also referred to as the “Old Master,” was the first African American boxer to win a world title. Gans held the lightweight title for over six years and finished his career with an impressive record of 145 wins, 10 losses, and 16 draws. He was renowned for his technical abilities, including his use of the jab and footwork, which made him a difficult opponent to beat.

Benny Leonard

Benny Leonard, known as the “Ghetto Wizard,” was a dominant force in the lightweight division during the 1920s. Leonard held the lightweight title for seven years and won 183 of his 219 fights. He was known for his unparalleled speed and footwork, which allowed him to outmaneuver his opponents and land devastating blows.

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey

Pernell Whitaker

Pernell Whitaker, also known as “Sweet Pea,” was a defensive mastermind in the ring. Whitaker won gold at the 1984 Olympics and went on to have a Hall of Fame professional career. He held the lightweight title for four years and amassed a record of 40 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw. Whitaker’s slick footwork and ability to slip punches made him a difficult opponent for anyone to face.

Vasyl Lomachenko

Vasyl Lomachenko, also known as “The Matrix,” is a modern-day boxing legend. Lomachenko has won world titles in three weight classes, including the lightweight division. With a record of 14 wins and 2 losses, Lomachenko is known for his incredible agility and technical abilities, including his ability to throw punches from unorthodox angles.

These are just a few of the greatest lightweight boxers to have ever stepped foot in the ring. Their incredible skills, grit, and determination have inspired generations of boxers to come.

Featherweight Division: The Greatest Featherweight Boxers of All Time

The featherweight division has been home to some of the most electrifying fighters in the history of boxing. These athletes exhibit exceptional speed and agility, and have left an unforgettable impression on the sport. Here, we will explore the careers of the greatest featherweight boxers of all time, highlighting their achievements in and out of the ring.

1. Willie Pep

Willie Pep, also known as the “Will o’ the Wisp,” is widely regarded as the greatest featherweight boxer of all time. His career spanned from 1940 to 1966, during which he compiled an impressive record of 229 wins, 11 losses, and 1 draw. Pep was known for his slick footwork, superior defensive skills, and incredible stamina. His outstanding career includes victories over legendary fighters such as Sandy Saddler, Chalky Wright, and Jackie Graves.

2. Eder Jofre

Eder Jofre, a Brazilian boxer, is considered one of the greatest fighters to come out of South America. He held the world featherweight title twice and retired with a record of 72 wins, 2 losses, and 4 draws. Jofre was known for his powerful left hook and a relentless fighting style, which made him a crowd favorite. His most notable victories include wins over Johnny Caldwell, Nino Benvenuti, and Vicente Saldivar.

3. Sandy Saddler

Sandy Saddler was a fierce and aggressive fighter who fought during the 1940s and 1950s. He had a record of 144 wins, 16 losses, and 2 draws, with 103 of those wins coming by way of knockout. Saddler’s punching power was legendary, and he was able to defeat some of the best fighters of his time, including Willie Pep, Ike Williams, and Kid Gavilan.

Greatest Featherweight Boxers

4. Henry Armstrong

Henry Armstrong was a dominant force in the featherweight division during the 1930s. He held the featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight titles simultaneously, making him one of the most impressive boxers in history. Armstrong’s aggressive style and iron chin made him a formidable opponent, and he retired with a record of 150 wins, 21 losses, and 10 draws.

5. Salvador Sanchez

Salvador Sanchez was a Mexican boxer who held the featherweight title from 1980 until his untimely death in 1982. He had a record of 44 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw, with 32 of those wins coming by way of knockout. Sanchez was known for his exceptional boxing skills and the ability to adapt to his opponent’s style. His most notable victories include wins over Wilfredo Gomez, Azumah Nelson, and Danny Lopez.

These five boxers represent just a few of the greatest featherweights of all time. With their speed, agility, and incredible fighting skills, they have left an indelible mark on boxing history and continue to inspire new generations of fighters today.

Bantamweight Division

The bantamweight division has always been a fan favorite, producing some of the most dynamic bouts in boxing history. With a weight limit of 118 pounds, fighters in this division are known for their speed, agility, and incredible stamina, making for an exciting display of skill and athleticism.

Boxer Record Notable Wins
Jimmy Carruthers 53-12-1 Bobby Sinn, Pascual Perez
Eder Jofre 72-2-4 Johnny Caldwell, Jose Medel
Rafael Herrera 53-7-1 Enrique Pinder, Alfonso Zamora
Jeff Chandler 33-6-2 Oscar Muniz, Julian Solis
Orlando Canizales 50-5-1 Kelvin Seabrooks, Paul Gonzalez
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One fighter who stands out in this division is Jimmy Carruthers. The Australian boxer was a fierce competitor, known for his powerful left hook and exceptional defense. He was the first Australian to win a world boxing title and held the bantamweight title from 1952 to 1954.

Eder Jofre, a Brazilian boxer, is another bantamweight legend. With an incredible record of 72 wins, 2 losses, and 4 draws, Jofre was known for his incredible technical skills and punching power. He won the bantamweight title in 1960 and held it for six years.

Mexican fighter Rafael Herrera is also a notable name in the bantamweight division. With a record of 53 wins, 7 losses, and 1 draw, Herrera was a fierce competitor who dominated the ring. He won the bantamweight title in 1968 and held it for three years.

Jeff Chandler, an American boxer, was another dominant force in the bantamweight division. With a record of 33 wins, 6 losses, and 2 draws, Chandler was known for his relentless style and powerful right hand. He won the bantamweight title in 1980 and held it for four years.

Finally, Orlando Canizales, an American boxer of Mexican descent, was a powerful force in the bantamweight division. With a record of 50 wins, 5 losses, and 1 draw, Canizales was known for his incredible speed and quickness. He won the bantamweight title in 1988 and held it for six years.

greatest bantamweight boxers

Flyweight Division

The flyweight division has been home to some of the fiercest and most skilled boxers in history. These fighters may be small in size, but they pack a punch that belies their weight class. Here, we will take a closer look at the greatest flyweight boxers of all time, who have dazzled audiences with their agility, speed, and power.

Name Nationality Record (W-L-D) Notable Wins
Jimmy Wilde Welsh 132-3-1 Young Zulu Kid, Joe Lynch, Tancy Lee
Small Montana American 85-4-1 Frankie Genaro, Fidel LaBarba, Pete Sanstol
Pascual Perez Argentinian 84-7-1 Dado Marino, Leo Espinosa
Masao Ohba Japanese 39-2-1 Susumu Hanagata, Jangchun Lee
Mark Johnson American 44-5-0 Francisco Tejedor, Ratanapol Sor Vorapin

These fighters may be small, but they have achieved greatness in the ring. From Jimmy Wilde, the “Mighty Atom,” to Mark Johnson, the first African American flyweight world champion, the flyweight division has seen its fair share of exceptional boxers. And with new talent emerging every year, the flyweight division will surely continue to captivate audiences for years to come.

Greatest Flyweight Boxers

Conclusion: Top 25 Greatest Boxers of All Time by Weight Class

After exploring the careers of some of the most legendary fighters in the history of boxing, we have crafted a comprehensive list of the top 25 greatest boxers of all time. With each boxer categorized by weight class, we have witnessed the remarkable athleticism, skill, and tenacity that have made these athletes stand out among their peers.

From the heavyweight division to the flyweight division, each weight class has showcased some of the most thrilling and unforgettable moments in boxing history. These fighters have left an indelible mark on the sport, inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.

As we conclude this article, we are reminded of the greatness that exists within each weight class. The top 25 greatest boxers of all time are a testament to the determination and fortitude required to succeed in this challenging and exhilarating sport. Their legacies will continue to live on, as they continue to inspire and captivate boxing fans everywhere.

FAQ

What criteria were used to determine the top 25 greatest boxers?

The criteria used to determine the top 25 greatest boxers include their overall skill, achievements, impact on the sport, and level of competition faced.

How were the boxers categorized by weight class?

The boxers were categorized by weight class based on the division in which they competed during their careers.

Who is considered the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time?

The title of the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time is subjective and has been a topic of debate. However, some notable names often mentioned in this discussion include Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, and Rocky Marciano.

Who are some of the greatest middleweight boxers?

Some of the greatest middleweight boxers include Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, and Carlos Monzon.

Are there any female boxers included in the list?

While this particular list focuses on male boxers, there have been numerous talented and accomplished female boxers throughout history who have made significant contributions to the sport.

How can I learn more about these boxers and their careers?

To learn more about these boxers and their careers, you can refer to biographies, documentaries, historical articles, and interviews available in various media formats.

Were any current boxers included in the list?

The list includes boxers from various eras, both past and present. Some current boxers who have already made a significant impact and are considered among the greatest of all time include Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

Are there any boxers from outside the United States on the list?

Absolutely, the list includes boxers from all around the world, representing different countries and continents. Boxing has a rich global history, and many non-American boxers have achieved legendary status.

Is this list definitive, or are there other boxers who could also be considered among the greatest?

The list is a subjective compilation, and there are many other boxers who could also be considered among the greatest of all time. The beauty of boxing lies in its diversity, and opinions may vary based on personal preferences and perspectives.

Can I use this list as a reference for research or academic purposes?

While this list can provide a starting point for research or general knowledge, it is always recommended to supplement your findings with additional resources and conduct thorough research for academic or professional purposes.

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