• Muhammed Ali:

His nickname says it all, “The Greatest”, Muhammed Ali was the very first boxer to win the heavyweight championship of the world not only once, not twice, but three times.

 

  • Tony Canzoneri:

In an era of brilliant fighters, Tony Canzoneri was one of the very best out there. He is a three-time world champion and is one of only a select few boxers who have held titles in three or more weight divisions at the same time. In February 1928 Canzoneri won the featherweight championship, he was only 19 years old. Throughout his career, he held five world titles, fighting in four different weight divisions. In 1930 came one of the American boxer’s most memorable victories, he knocked Al Singler out and won the lightweight championship that year. Canzoneri also holds victories over Kid Chocolate and Jimmy McLarin.

 

  • Barney Ross:

Barney Ross is known to be one of the most courageous boxers of all-time, he became a world champion in three weight divisions. Ross was not knocked out in 81 professional matches; several of the fights were against legendary fighters. Tony went on to defeat Tony Canzoneri in 1933; he claimed both junior welterweight and lightweight titles.

His most memorable fight was against Henry Armstrong, where Ross tried to defend his World Welterweight Championship. Ross took quite the beating in this fight, but he refused to let the fight be stopped. Even though Ross lost the fight, he ended it on his feet. He then went on to become a decorated veteran of World War II.

 

  • Julio Cesar Chaves:

Julio Cesar Chavez is one of the most legendary Mexican fighters of all time. He started his career by winning his first 87 professional fights. In 1987 and 1990, Chavez was named Fighter of the Year by various publications. He was later on inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Chavez was known for his fierce fighting style and his heavy hands. He holds records for the most title fight victories (31), the most total successful defences of world titles (27), the most title fights (37), and the most fighters beaten for the title. In 1993 this legendary fighter’s win over Greg Haugen at Estadio Azteca set the record for the largest attendance for a boxing match.

 

  • Ted Lewis:

This British boxer, known as Ted “Kid” Lewis was a two-time World Welterweight Championship titleholder and still to this day seen as one of the very best boxers in boxing history. When Lewis turned 18, he won the British featherweight title and he also added the European crown four months later. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame after a phenomenal career.

There was a serious rivalry going on between Lewis and Jack Britton. Lewis defeated Britton in 1915 to win the world welterweight title. Thereafter Britten regained the title, before losing it back to Lewis again, Lewis then eventually lost the title to Britton once more. These two great boxers battled it out 20 times, with 12 of those fights ending in no-decisions.

 

  • Floyd Mayweather:

Arguably one of the best defensive boxers and promoter in history, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is also said to be one of the most fascinating boxers this sport has seen. He has one of the highest plus-minus ratios in recorded boxing history, which makes Mayweather the most accurate puncher since CompuBox. He has gone on to win eight championships in five weight divisions.

With a record of 23 wins in lineal title fights, 26 consecutive wins in world title fights, 24 wins against the former or current world titlists, and 2 win against International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees, Floyd Mayweather is definitely one of the top boxers in boxing history.

 

  • Stanley Ketchel:

His nickname is “The Michigan Assasin”, Stanley Ketchel is one of the biggest what if’s in the history of boxing. Ketchel had a victory over Jack Sullivan and secured the world middleweight championship, which he never lost. He defended his title three times in just three years.

In 1909, Ketchel fought heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, he knocked the legend down despite the weight difference, which was 35 pounds. Later on, in that same fight, Johnson knocked Ketchel out cold. When Ketchel was only 24, and still holding the title for the heavyweight champion, he was murdered at a ranch in Conway, Missouri. Stanley Ketchel will always be remembered as one of the bravest boxers in the history of the sport.

 

  • Carlos Monzon:

Argentine Carlos Monzon is known for holding the undisputed world middleweight championship for 77 years in a row. Also known for his punching power, his speed and his work rate, Monzon had defended his title 14 tiles, successfully we might add. Even more impressive than that, throughout his career, he was undefeated over the final 81 fights.

Sadly, his life outside of the ring was spinning out of control. He lived a very glamourous life but a violent life too, is accused many times of beating up paparazzi as well as domestic violence. In 1988, Monzon was charged with the murder of his wife and was sentenced to 11 years in jail. In January 1995 he died in a car crash.

 

  • George Foreman

George Foreman is known as one of the most iconic boxers of all time, he is well known for his upset of Joe Frazier in 1973, to win his very first title. Foreman defended the title twice before his first professional loss, this loss was to Muhammed Ali in 1974 at “The Rumble in the Jungle”.

Foreman left boxing for 10 years, he then decided to make a comeback and regained a portion of the heavyweight championship when he was 45. In 2019, Foreman still remains one of the oldest heavyweight champions in the history of boxing and the second oldest in any weight class. Outside of the boxing ring, he is known for his entrepreneurial career. He went on to promote the George Foreman Grill and sold the naming rights for $138 million.

 

  • Thomas Hearns:

Tommy “Hitman” Hearns is known as one of the most decorated boxers in the history of the sport. Most notably, Hearns is the very first man to win four world titles in four different weight divisions, he is also the first to win five titles in five different divisions. In 1980 and 1984, Hearns went on to be named Fighter of the Year by various publications.

Hearns was part of many great fights, he faced components like Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran. Even though Hearns lost to two of the opponents, he bested Duran to defeat his WBC junior middleweight title. In 2012 Hearns was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

 

  • Mickey Walker

Mickey Walker was one of boxing’s early stars; he was a champion World Welterweight and World Middleweight boxer. Walker became the lightest man to ever challenge for the light heavyweight title in 1925. He was weighing 150 pounds at the time.

Walker definitely did not take a light schedule; he often fought over a dozen fights in one year. Some of these fights were stiff competition, and he beat fighters like Tiger Flowers and Jack Britton. He went on to make nine title defences in his career, despite holding only two belts. He has been placed among the very best middleweights of all time by various publications and historians. In 1990 Walker was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame as a first-class member.

 

  • Archie Moore

Archie Moore was a victim of racism for almost his whole boxing career, he did not get the opportunity to fight for his first world title until he had first fought 168 times and was 39 years old. Moore won his fight and became a champion. He went on to fight another 52 fights after he became champion and only lost four of them.

In 2019 Moore remains one of the oldest world champions in the history of boxing at 48 years old. In his career, he had 131 knockouts, which is also the most of all-time. Once Moore retired from the sport, he spent a brief time as a trainer. Some of the boxers he trained are George Foreman, Muhammed Ali, and James Tillis.

 

  • Sandy Saddler

Sandy Sadler was a skinny, tall featherweight boxer, one of the most feared punchers in the history of boxing. He won the featherweight world championship twice. He also held the title for super-featherweight. Saddlers boxing career lasted 12 years, where he scored 103 knockouts. He was only ever knocked out once in his second professional fight.

Saddler is well known for his four fights against the legendary Willie Pep, he won three of the four fights. In 1950, he went on to reclaim his final championship from Pep and kept the title until 1956. In January 1957 he retired a champion and because of his vision problems which stemmed from a car crash. Saddler is also known for being an uncle to DJ Grandmaster Flash.

 

  • Ruben Olivares

Ruben Olivares is a Mexican boxer who is widely considered o be one of the very best bantamweight champions of all-time. Olivares holds the record for the most wins in unified title fights in bantamweight history, with six. The popular boxer held both WBC and WBA Bantamweight titles, every two times. Olivares also held the WBC and WBA Featherweight titles each one time.

The boxer was in more than 100 fights of which he knocked out 79 opponents, he was a very dominant boxer for his time. With notable wins over Jose Ramirez and Bobby Chacon, the hard-punching Olivares went on to become a national celebrity in Mexico. His popularity even led to some cameo appearance in some Mexican movies.

 

  • Jimmy Wilde

Jimmy Wilde was one of the smallest but most destructive fighters of all-time. He was the very first world flyweight champion in boxing history. Wilde is one of the very best boxers to come out of Europe and he is considered by many to be the greatest flyweight boxer in the world.

He still holds the longest unbeaten streak in boxing history, winning 104 consecutive fights. Reigning as the world’s best flyweight boxer, Wilde would fight featherweights and bantamweights, winning many of his fights by knockout. Because of Wilde’s punching power, he earned nicknames like “The Tylorstown Terror”, “The Mighty Atom”, and “Ghost with the Hammer in His Hand”.

 

  • Jack Britton

Jack Britton is a three-time world welterweight boxing champion and not just one of the greatest boxers in his era, but one of the best of all-time. Britton holds the world record for the number of title fights fought in a career with 37, where 18 of the fights ended in no-decisions. Many of the fights were against his archrival, Ted “Kid” Lewis. The two boxers fought 20 times.

Britton has a 25-year boxing career and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame as a first-class member. Britton also made his way into pop culture, It is said that the short story “Fifty Grand” written by Ernest Hemingway is based on one of Britton’s fights.

 

  • Joe Gans

Joe Gans is considered by many to be one of the very best lightweight boxers of all-time. He was the very first black man to ever win the lightweight title. Gans was a trailblazer and his success guided the path for many African-American fighters. He held the lightweight title for six years from 1902 to 1908 where he dominated the competition.

Gans was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and became the very first African-American World Boxing Champion of the 20th century. He was nicknamed “Old Master” by taking a scientific approach to the boxing sport, fighting three times in one night.

 

  • Harry Greb

Harry Greb was nicknamed “The Pittsburgh Windmill” and was a freak of nature. He had a 13-year career where he fought 298 times, this is the third-most of any boxer in history. Throughout the 1910s and the 1920s Greb fought the very best opposition he could find. Even though he started his career when he was 140 pounds, he would often match up against light heavyweights and even some heavyweights.

Greb went on to become a light heavyweight champion as well as a world middleweight champion; he also won 100 of his 104 fights by knockout. Even though he becomes mostly blind in his one eye, Greb still defended his title six times in three years before he finally surrendered to Tiger Flowers. Greb was also the only boxer to ever defeat the future heavyweight champion, Gene Tunney.

 

At African Ring, we bring you all of the latest and oldest boxing news and events in South Africa. To find out more about boxing news or to view some of our memorabilia, visit our website on www.africanring.co.za.

 

 

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