Legendary Boxers from Ali to Whitaker,

This article is about doing the impossible: breaking down/ranking the best boxers of all time and magically placing them on the same level playing field. Which of the power punchers landed the most devastating blows? Which had the best record against the stiffest competition? Which were the most underrated and yet most feared? Which boxer had the best defensive skills while moving their head, body and legs and hardly ever getting touched? With this sport being multiple generational, opinions will surely be pure conjecture without anyone being able to review the effects of their different food intake, dietary supplements, the difference in their training camps and equipment. How does anyone compare the best power puncher with the best boxer? It just might be that you have already jumped on your favorite’s bandwagon but believe me boxing is another one of those sports where the saying, “On any given Sunday, on any given night, this boxer could win.”

The boxers on our all time list were chosen for their success up the ranks from hopeful to invincible; for their showmanship and popularity which no doubt led them to their induction into the various Boxing Hall of Fames.

#1 Joe Louis “The Brown Bomber” from Detroit, Michigan by way of Lafayette, Alabama had 66 wins, 3 losses, 52 KOs. Louis faced many boxing greats to include the 28-year-old Rocky Marciano in 1951 (by that time Louis was 37). In that fight Louis went through the ropes in Round #8. In his prime, Louis battled the likes of boxing greats Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe Walcott, Billy Conn, Buddy Baer, John Henry Lewis, the 6’5½″ tall Primo Carnera (88-14, 71 KOs) and Germany’s Max Schmeling (twice). In Louis’ first meeting with Schmeling, Schmeling won by KO in Round #12 over the 28-year-old. In their second match, the more mature and better prepared Louis stopped Schmeling in Round 1.

#2 Former Heavyweight Champ Muhammad Ali (56-5 with 37 KOs).

As an 18-year-old Amateur boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay (top right), with just one loss over six years of competition is shown being surrounded by friends and admirers after his return home from the 1960 Rome Olympics with the Gold Medal around his neck for his victory in the Light Heavyweight Competition. After discovering his Gold Medal victory at the Olympics hadn’t changed anything as far as his acceptance (service) at a nearby diner, he became bitter and soon joined the local Black Panther Organization and legally changed his name from his namesake Cassius Marcellus Clay to Mohammed Ali. It had been reported that Ali’s namesake, Cassius Marcellus Clay was the son of Green Clay, the largest slaveholder in his state, and yet this Clay had embraced the cause of emancipation from young adulthood. In Clay’s maturation/development, this issue had always bothered the young Cassius Clay. So much so, that soon after his defeat of Sonny Liston, Clay went ahead and joined the Black Muslim Faith and soon changed his name to Mohammad Ali.
One of the most iconic Boxing photos ever shows Mohammad Ali emploring the former World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston to get up off the canvas.

#3 Sugar Ray Robinson (173 wins – 19 losses, 109 KOs, 6 Draws, 2 No Contests). Over his very long 25 year career (1940-1965), Robinson fought 200 bouts and won first the welterweight title followed by the middleweight title for a record fives times. Over the first 11 years of his career, he had a 128-1-2 record with wins over Hall of Famers Jake LaMotta, Kid Gavilan, Fritzie Zivic and Sammy Agnott. He later engaged in epic battles with more Hall of Famers like Carmen Basilio, Rocky Graziano and Gene Fullmer. Because of his immense skill, the term “pound for pound” was coined to reference the exceptional fighters who managed to transport their incredible skills/talent throughout multiple weight classes.

#4 Jack Johnson (73 wins – 13 losses, 40 KOs, 9 Draws, 2 No Contests) was the first of many African American Heavyweight Champions. Johnson was also known for being be the boldest ever of trash talkers.

#5 Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey (66 wins – 6 losses, 51 KOs, 9 Draws). If you do your proper research, go two generations back, you’ll discover the Manassa Mauler was and will likely remain the most popular American Boxer of all time.

#6 Henry Armstrong Jr. (150 wins – 21 losses – 9 Draws with 100 KOs). Armstrong was the first and only boxer to hold three World Championship Division Titles a the same time.

#7 Willie Pep (229 wins – 11 losses – 1 Draw with 65 KOs). This elusive Italian-American Icon of the sport would wear opponents out with just head movement.

#8 Rocky Marciano (49 wins – 0 losses, with 43 KOs) Considered one of the hardest punchers ever.

#9 Mike Tyson (50 wins – 6 losses, 2 No Contests with 44 KOs) Like Marciano, Tyson has to be considered one of the most devastating punchers ever.

#10 Julio Cesar Chavez (107 wins – 6 losses, 2 Draws with 80 KOs). This Mexican legend went over 10 years without a loss.

#11 From 1974 through 1982, the 5’10” tall Alexis Arguello (77-8, 62 KOs) from Managua, Nicaragua was the dominate Super Featherweight on up to Lightweight while holding down either the WBA or WBC crowns. Arguello’s rule ended when a gentleman by the name of Aaron Pryor from Cincinnati, Ohio (39-1, 35 KOs) came on the scene.

#12 Landing a punch on the 5’6″ tall southpaw Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker (40-4-1, 17 KOs) could be compared to catching a butterfly without a net.

#13 Like Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, the 5’5″ tall featherweight Jorge “El Maromero” Paez (79-14-5, 52 KOs) from Mexicali, B. C., Mexico was a crowd pleaser or should we say a grand circus act. He entertained the fans from 1984 until the close of 2003 (19 memorable years).

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