Throughout the history of boxing, as far back as the beginning of the 20th century, we have seen unusually large heavyweights.
And some of these past monsters reached the peak of sport and became champions.
It is extremely difficult to take all things into account when classifying as the best boxers ever: size, cultural relevance, legendary status, and potential.
But still, I tried my best on my understanding of the sport analyzing the past 50 years or more.
Here are the top 10 best heavyweight boxers of all time:
10. Mike Tyson
Michael Gerard Tyson, also familiarly known as Mike Tyson, started his career as an International boxer in 1985. He was the first heavyweight boxer to win the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles also holds the record to win a heavyweight title as the youngest boxer. Tyson is the undisputed champion in the heavyweight between 1987 and 1990 by winning every possible title, breaking many records, and creating new boxing ones. Out of 58 total fights in the game, he won 50 and lost only 6. In 2011, Holds the record of defeating the 11 boxers for world heavyweight, which is the seventh-most in boxing history. Tyson has been inducted into the International Boxing hall of fame.
9. Wladimir Klitschko
Wladimir Wladimirovitsch Klitschko is an intelligent and strategic boxer who is considered the strongest puncher among the top 10 heavyweight boxers of all time.
Wladimir was known for his knockout power, using the straight right hand, strong jab, left hook, and excellent footwork.
He won the world heavyweight championship two times, including WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, and Ring magazine.
Also won A Olympic Gold in the super heavyweight division and European Championship in the year 1996. Made his retirement announcement in 2017.
Defeated a total of 23 boxers in his entire career, which is an all-time record.
8. Jack Dempsey
William Harrison Dempsey is one of the earliest boxers who competed between 1914 and 1927. Reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey had a unique aggressive fighting style and punching power, making him one of the exceptional boxers in history. His fights set many of the financial and attendance records, including the first million-dollar gate also pioneered the live broadcast for the fightings. Ranked as 10th as the all-time heavyweights champion and 7th among the Top 100 Greatest Punchers in The Ring magazine’s list. He was the first inductee to name into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and also a member of the previous Boxing hall of Fame.
7. Lennox Lewis
Lennox Claudius Lewis, also known as “The Lion,” is one of the best British heavyweight boxers. He won many heavyweight championships in his early professional career, which are regional, namely British, European, and Commonwealth titles. He is 3 times the world heavyweight champion, 2 times a lineal champion, and Lennox remains the last heavyweight to hold the undisputed title. Won Olympic Gold in 1988, Common Wealth in 1986, Pan American Games in 1987, 1985 World Cup, and 2 North American Championships and Holds the WBC, Holyfield’s WBA, IBO, and IBF titles. In 2008, inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 2009 into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and also into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.
6. Joe Frazier
Joseph William Frazier is nicknamed Smokin Joe, who reigned as the heavyweight champion. Joe was known for his strength, punching power, relentless fighting style, and durability. In the early 1960s, he defeated many world-renowned boxers and became an undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973. During his entire Boxing career, he took part in 37 fights, out of which he won was 32 by losing only 4 matches. Also won an Olympic Gold medal in 1964. IBRO rates Frazier as one of the 10 greatest heavyweights of all time. The Ring magazine ranked him as the 8th top heavyweight boxers all time. Named into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and also the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
5. George Foreman
George Edward Foreman, who we knew as “Big George,” competed between 1969 and 1997. Apart from a boxer, he is also a minister, entrepreneur, and author. Foreman has won the Gold medal in the 1968 Olympics and won unified WBA, IBF, and lineal titles. Retired from boxing after his loss to Jimmy Young in 1977 and came back in 1994 when he was 45 years old. Foreman is regarded as the most senior living heavyweight champion in boxing history. Made his retirement at 48 in 1997 and then inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame.
4. Larry Holmes
Larry Holmes had competed in international boxing from 1973 to 2002 and held the WBC heavyweight title from 1978 to 1983. Also reigned the lineal heavyweight title from 1980 to 1985 and the IBF heavyweight title between 1983 and 1985. Holmes’ left jab is rated as one of the best in boxing history. During his title reign, he defended the title against 19 fighters, which is the second-most in boxing history. Finally, he fought in 2002 at 52 and ended the career with a record of 69 wins. Holmes frequently ranked as one of the greatest heavyweights inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and World Boxing Hall of Fame.
3. Rocky Marciano
Rocco Francis Marchegiano is the only heavyweight title champion who finished the career undefeated by holding the title between 1952 to 1956. We know Marciano for his relentless fighting style, stamina, punching power, and durable chin, which is exceptional. His knockout-to-win percent is 87.76%, which remains one of the highest winning percentages in heavyweight boxing history by finishing the career with no losses. The Ring Magazine has rated him as the 14th in the list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. In 2005, he was named the 5th best heavyweight boxer ever by the International Boxing Research Organization and BoxRec as the 4th best heavyweight boxer.
2. Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow, also professionally known as Joe Louis, is one of the most remembered boxing champions. Holds the record of having the single reign champion for a long time, i.e., 11 years and 10 months in any heavyweight boxer in history. Reigned as the heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, which lasted 140 consecutive months and took part in 26 championship fights. He had won in 25 consecutive title defenses. Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight by the International Boxing Research Organization of all time in 2005 and ranked in the 100 greatest punchers on Ring magazine’s list.
1. Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time according to major Sports publications like Sports Illustrated, NBCSports, BBC, and ESPN SportsCentury. Ali is also consistently ranked among the greatest athletes of the century. At 18, he won a Gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics. He then turned into a professional by winning many fights and involved in historic matches. Apart from boxing, he is also an activist and philanthropist. He was a three-time lineal champion of the heavyweight division and a record of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title, including won 14 unified title bouts, which stood for 35 years. Ali is the only boxer named in “The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year” six times.