10 Of The Top Champions In Boxing History

A Short List of Some of the Most Successful Champions In Boxing History

Collage of Mayweather, Ali and Louis
From left to bottom right: Floyd Mayweather Jr | Credit: floydmayweather.com Muhammad Ali | Credit: Photograph by Stanley Weston / Getty Joe Louis | Credit: Underwood Archives / UIG/REX Shutterstock

A List of Some of the Most Successful Champions in Boxing History

The sport of boxing has been around for a long time, dating back to around the 8th century B.C. in Ancient Greece. Over time, it has only become more refined and advanced. This advancement has led to an increase in training for those participating, who try to hone their skills and do their best to ensure they have a winning chance. A respected sport globally, it is loved by sportsmen and general sports enthusiasts alike, and in most cases, everyone is rooting for an specific individual to win.

Whether you’re a veteran follower of the sport or just starting out, it’s a good idea to brush up on all things boxing. More specifically, in ‘boxing greatest of all time terms. What we mean is, it’s well worth knowing about the top boxing champions in history. Having sufficient knowledge about the greatest fighters in history will let you keep up with the more present games, as well as understand any references made during matches by the commentators. So, to find out about some of our historic champions, keep reading below!

1. Muhammad Ali

Even if you aren’t a follower of the sport, everyone has heard the phrase ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ at least once in their life. The man behind those words was also nicknamed ‘The Greatest’ – none other than Muhammad Ali. As one of the most notable figures in the world of boxing, Ali made his mark in other ways as well including being a philanthropist and activist. Some of his most notable fights include ‘Fight of the Century’, the ‘Thrilla in Manilla’, both with Joe Frazier, and ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ against George Foreman.

2. Rocky Marciano

Marciano earns a spot on the list by being the sole heavyweight champion who retired undefeated; a first in the history of boxing. His especially powerful punches were a good reason why he was able to retire undefeated, and it was his ability to win at moments that seemed unfavorable for him that made his matches all the more interesting to watch. His career came to a magnificent close with a 49-0 record, and 43 of those fights ended in a knockout win!

3. Joe Louis

From 1937 till 1949 he reigned as the heavyweight champion, and in total, defended his title an impressive total of 25 times which rightfully earned him the nickname of the ‘Brown Bomber’. Throughout his career, one of the most significant moments was perhaps when he knocked out Max Schmeling in the very first round in 1938 with only 3 punches; a perfect moment of revenge from Schmeling’s win in 1936 previously.

4. Mike Tyson

In an exceptional victory, Tyson earned his very first heavyweight title at just a little over 20 years old, making him the youngest champion in history. This made his worldwide recognition is understandable. After a bit of a controversial time both inside and outside the ring, a lack of competition during his prime years hurt his overall ranking quite a bit. Despite that, some of his biggest victories include wins over Tony Tucker, Michael Spinks, Trevor Berbick and Larry Holmes.

5. George Foreman

Sharing the same name as the famous kitchen appliances, Foreman was also one of the greatest boxers of his time, and for good reason. Aside from being a two-time heavyweight champion, prior to this, he earned Gold in the 1968 Olympics! The following year, he turned to heavyweight boxing and impressively knocked out Joe Frazier in 1973 in the second round . At 46 years old he also holds the title of being the oldest heavyweight boxing champion.

6. Wladimir Klitschko

With a career spanning 1996 to 2017, Klitschko has one of the most accomplished careers in boxing. Having won the heavyweight championship in 2008, he went on to defend his title 17 times, consecutively! Despite his impressive height of 6 foot 6 inches, he was well known for his knockout power, speed, and mobility; something that wasn’t usually seen for someone of his height. Alongside his older brother Vitali, the two brought about the ‘Klitschko era’ in boxing and dominated the sphere.

7. Evander Holyfield

Not many people can say that they were able to defeat Mike Tyson, but Evander Holyfield is one of those people who did so in the 11th round of the WBA heavyweight title match in 1996. He also remained the undisputed champion in the cruiserweight category in the 1980s and is the only known boxer to win the championships in two different weight classes, making him one of the best fighters in history.

8. Floyd Mayweather

Being named ‘Fighter of the Decade’ in the 2010s, Mayweather earned that title by winning world titles in five divisions, picking up lineal champion status in four. Out of the 50 fights, 27 of them ended in a knockout with one of his key skills being the ability to tire his opponent out before he struck, which is why he is known as one of the best defensive boxers in history! 

9. Larry Holmes 

The ‘Easton Assassin’ was known to have one of the best jabs in boxing and this is part of what landed him being a champion for over seven years during the late 70’s to mid 80’s. During his reign, he made 19 title defenses and was one win away from tying Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 heavyweight record. Even more impressive, he is the only fighter to gain a victory over Muhammad Ali via stoppage.

10. Joe Frazier

“Smokin’ Joe” was the very first fighter to defeat Muhammad Ali, and was most recognized for his durability and pressure style of fighting. Between 1970 and 1973, Frazier remained the undisputed champion and defended the status four times before losing his first of two bouts against George Foreman. One of the more memorable bouts of his career was a trilogy against Ali in what was dubbed the ‘Thrilla in Manila’. In total, he only lost to Ali and Foreman, twice in both instances.

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