Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top 10 Boxers Of All Time

No one should underestimate the power of a punch. It can propel you to international fame; it could open a lot of opportunities for you. It could give you a fortune; it could make you a legend.

Boxing could be considered as one of the world’s toughest sports but the people on this list proved that without pain, there is no gain. With their strong punching abilities, blinding speed, ability to think inside the ring, excellent endurance and a heart to top it all up, these boxers have propelled to boxing’s all-time greats.

1. Sugar Ray Robinson (173 wins, 109 (KO), 19 Losses, 6 draws, 2 No Contests)

Frequently regarded as the best boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson was born to be a legend. Out of 200 professional bouts, he held a record of 109 knockouts making him the all-time leader in knock-outs. He is the first boxer in history who has achieved the feat of winning a divisional world championship five times in the middleweight division. Credited as the first athlete to have an entourage, his presence was something in and out of the ring. In his prime as a boxer, he had beaten eight Hall of Fame boxers undeniably making him the best in the sports. Known for his flamboyant lifestyle, Robinson died a pauper suffering from diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease in 1989. He was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

2. Henry Armstrong ( 150 wins, 100 (KO), 21 Losses, 1 Draw)

For being the only boxer to hold three championships at the same time and for defending his Welterweight championship more than any other fighter, Henry Armstrong deserves to be included as one of the greatest triumvirate. His streak of 27 knockout wins in a row is regarded by The Ring as one of the longest knockout win streaks in history of boxing. He retired from boxing in the year 1945 and was ordained as a Baptist minister. Two years after his passing in1988, he was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

3. Muhammad Ali (56 wins, 37 (KO), 5 Losses)

Nicknamed “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali surely lived up to his name. Known for his trash talking in rhymes, Ali’s fight with two of his arch nemesis, George Foreman and Joe Frazier, are regarded as historical bouts: “The Fight of the Century” where Frazier knocked out Ali in the 15th round, “The Rumble in the Jungle” where Ali stopped Foreman in the eight and the infamous “Thrilla in Manila” where Ali solidified his status as the best beating Frazier in the 14th round. Regarded by The Ring as the best heavyweight fighter of all-time, he was an Olympic gold medalist during his amateur years as a boxer and inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

4. Joe Louis ( 66 wins, 52 (KO), 3 Losses)

Joe Louis transcends from a being a boxing legend to a social icon. In the time of world war, social inequity and racial discrimination, his fights sent a great deal of message to the American people in time where “whites” were seen as superior people and the World War II on-going. By establishing a clean, honest and hardworking image, Joe Louis became a hero not just to the blacks but the American people as a whole. He has successfully defended his heavyweight title 25 times which is a record in itself. He also leads the pack in The Ring’s 100 Greatest Punchers of All Time.

5. Roberto Durán ( 103 wins, 70 (KO), 16 Losses)

Having “manos de piedra” (hands of stone) as he is called, Roberto Durán is one enduring fighter. He is only one of the two of the boxers who have fought in the span of five decades and the one of the few to win bouts in those five decades. He is regarded as the best lightweight fighter of all time and has won major world titles in four different weight divisions. He was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.

6. Willie Pep ( 229 wins, 65 (KO), 11 losses, 1 Draw)

Inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, Guglielmo Papaleo, better known as Willie Pep was undefeated until his 63nd win. Renowned for his excellent defenses and speed, he is a two-time world featherweight champion. Owing to his greatness, a famous urban legend says he won a round in his fight with Jackie Graves in 1956 without throwing a punch.

7. Harry Greb ( 115 wins, 51 (KO),8 losses, 3 Draws)

Often regarded as the best middleweight fighter in history, Greb was a highly aggressive fighter. Claimed to have fought more than 300 times in his professional boxing career and being half-blind in one eye due to a detached retina in 1921, Greb continued to fight for five years. Nicknamed the Human Windmill for his often non-stop punching, he died while undergoing surgery to repair his nose and respiratory tract caused by his career and an auto accident.

8. Benny Leonard ( 183 wins , 70 (KO), 19 Losses, 11 Draws)

Born in a Jewish Ghetto in Manhattan, Leonard learned to fight in the streets. He is known for his ability to use is head in the ring coupled by his blinding speed and his very technical style. He is regarded as one of the top all time lightweights. He was awarded different hall of fame awards including the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.

9. Jack Johnson (73 wins, 40 (KO), 13 losses, 10 draws)

Jack Johnson was the first African-American World Heavyweight boxing champion where black Americans where highly discriminated upon and where segregated from the whites in the 1900s. A son of former slaves, Johnson made his color proud. His win against James Jeffries in 1910 humiliated the whites in America and sent the blacks to the streets in jubilation. Fighting professionally until 1938 at the age of 60, he died in a car crash in 1946. He was inducted in the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954.

10. Sam Langford (178 wins, 129 (KO),32 losses, 40 draws)

Dubbed as the “Greatest Fighter Nobody Knows” by ESPN, Sam Langford has never secured a world title due to the refusal of heavyweight champion Jack Johnson of a rematch but his punching abilities put him in The Ring’s best heavyweight of all time and one of the greatest punchers of all time in second place. Forced to retire because of his failing eyesight, he died in 1956 in Massachusetts one year later after being inducted in Canada’s Sports of Fame.

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