The world of boxing has seen many great champions since the mid-19th century. Numerous boxers have left a lasting mark on the boxing scene and helped create what boxing stands for today, however, there is no doubt who are the all-time greatest boxers. Here are the top 5:
1 Sugar Ray Robinson (1921-1989)
The American professional boxer is recognised as the greatest boxer of all times by most boxing critics and even boxers themselves. Even the legendary Muhammad Ali who like to call himself “The Greatest” declared Sugar Ray Robinson the greatest boxer in history. The welterweight and middleweight champion lost only 1 out of 123 first matches and dominated the welterweight almost throughout his entire boxing career which lasted from 1940 to 1965. He was not as invincible in middleweight but he has won the championship title four times.
2 Muhammad Ali (1942- )
Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali could easily share the number 1 place with Sugar Ray Robinson. The first and the only boxer who won heavyweight championship three times also went into history for his unconventional and revolutionary approach to boxing. His boxing technique involved speed that was unseen before in boxing as well as employment of new techniques such as rope-a-dope. “The Greatest”, however, is also remembered for refusing the conscription into the US military during the Vietnam War for which he was stripped of his boxing title and banned from the ring for nearly four years.
3 Henry Armstrong (1912-1988)
Occasionally also ranked as the 2nd greatest boxer of all times, Henry Armstrong had an outstanding boxing career which lasted from 1932 to 1945. He was the only boxer to date to hold three world championships at the same time and defended the most welterweight championship titles in history. During his career, he faced 17 world champions and was defeated only twice. In total, he fought 181 matches of which 150 were wins, 21 losses and 10 draws. Of the 150 wins, 101 were won by knock-outs.
4 Joe Louis (1914-1981)
Nicknamed the “Brown Bomber”, Joe Louis went into history for holding the heavyweight championship for over 11 and a half years, longer than any other boxer so far. During his championship, he was challenged 26 times and succeeded 25 times. After his legendary match with the German boxer Max Schmeling, Joe Louis became a hero in the United States. He fought as a professional boxer from 1934 to 1951.
5 Willie Pep (1922-2006)
The 5th all-times greatest boxer and an indisputable number 1 featherweight boxer had an outstanding 26 year boxing career with a record 229-11-1. He went into boxing history for his speed, finesse and an outstanding defence. There is even a legend about his exceptional defence strategy which says that he once won a round without throwing a single punch.