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the 50 greatest boxers of all-time
Topic Started: Jun 6 2007, 09:47 PM (411 Views)
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http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/boxing/gr...=spotlight&lid= tab4pos2

50. Mike Tyson
Ring career: 1985-2005. Record: 50-6-0-2 (44 KOs)
Career notes: Knocked out Trevor Berbick in the second round in November 1986 to become youngest heavyweight champion in history. Intimidating demeanor and devastating two-fisted knockout power cowed many opponents into submission before the first bell. Tore through heavyweight ranks until being upended by 42-1 underdog James "Buster" Douglas in 1990. Comeback was derailed by a prison sentence for rape from 1992 to 1995. Regained WBC heavyweight belt from Frank Bruno and WBA belt from Bruce Seldon in 1996, but lost to Evander Holyfield in November of that year. Melted down in rematch, biting both of Holyfield's ears. Was beaten badly over eight rounds by Lennox Lewis in 2002. Quit on his stool after six rounds in his last fight, against Kevin McBride, in 2005.

49. Erik Morales
Super bantamweight, featherweight, junior lightweight
Ring career: 1993-present Record: 48-5 (34 KOs)
Career notes: Tremendously popular Mexican warrior, whose fights frequently evoke technical brawls of old. Career defined primarily by three-fight series with compatriot Marco Antonio Barrera (W12, L12, L12) and Manny Pacquiao (W12, TKO by 10, KO by 3). Won WBC super bantamweight title from Daniel Zaragoza in September 1997 and defended nine times. Won WBC featherweight crown in September 2000, lost it to Barrera in June 2002, regained now-vacant title five months later. Vacated to seize WBC 130-pound championship in February 2004, which he lost in November that year, again to Barrera. Has lost four of his last five and is clearly in decline, but has expressed interest in having at least one more fight, for a lightweight belt.

48. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight
Ring career: 1996-present. Record: 38-0 (24 KOs)
Career notes: Has greater potential than anyone on this list to rise or fall. Blessed with tremendous natural ability, but also a skilled technician. Won WBC 130-pound title with stoppage of Genaro Hernandez in 18th pro fight. Added WBC lightweight belt in 2002, and junior welterweight belt in 2005. Defeated Carlos Baldomir to become welterweight champion last year. Won split decision against Oscar De La Hoya to annex WBC super welterweight crown. Claims to now be retired.

47. Bernard Hopkins
Middleweight, light heavyweight
Ring career: 1988-present Record: 47-4-1 (32 KOs)
Career notes: Lost professional debut, as a light heavyweight, and did not fight again for 16 months. Lost first world title challenge, against Roy Jones Jr. for vacant IBF middleweight belt, in 1993. Drew with Segundo Mercado in second title attempt, for the same belt, in 1994, but stopped Mercado in rematch. Made 20 successful title defenses, adding WBC and IBF titles in 2001, and WBO belt in 2004. Lost titles to Jermain Taylor in 2005. Retired after stepping up to light heavyweight and defeating Antonio Tarver in 2006, but will emerge from retirement to fight Winky Wright in July.

46. Roy Jones Jr.
Middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight
Ring career: 1989-present Record: 50-4 (38 KOs)
Career notes: Tremendously physically gifted, with lightning reflexes and hand speed. Won IBF middleweight title against Bernard Hopkins in 1993, then stepped up to super middleweight and dethroned champion James Toney in November 1994. After five defenses of 168-pound crown, moved up to light heavyweight, becoming first WBC, then WBA and IBF champion. In 2003, added a portion of the heavyweight championship when he dominated WBA titlist John Ruiz. Through first 50 contests, only defeat was by DQ against Montell Griffin.

45. Carlos Monzon
Ring career: 1963-77 Record: 87-3-9-1 (59 KOs)
Career notes: Lost three times in first 19 bouts, then went undefeated over the final 81 of career. Won world middleweight title from Nino Benvenuti in Rome in November 1970, and defended it 14 times over next seven years.

44. Pernell Whitaker
Lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight
Ring career: 1984-2001 Record: 40-4-1-1 (17 KOs)
Career notes: Defensive master frequently left opponents flummoxed and struggling to tackle unorthodox moves. Only definitive defeats of career were final two bouts; of other two losses, one was controversial and one, his first world title shot, against WBC champion Jose Ramirez in 1988, was considered outright robbery. Won the title, against Greg Haugen, following year, and defeated Ramirez in a rematch. Added WBA lightweight belt in 1990, IBF junior welterweight title in 1992 and WBC welterweight belt in 1993. Widely believed to have beaten Julio Cesar Chavez in September 1993 bout declared a draw. Lost close decision to Oscar De La Hoya in April 1997, and didn't hold world title again.

43. Marco Antonio Barrera
Junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight
Ring career: 1989-present Record: 63-5 (42 KOs)
Career notes: Mexican brawler has evolved into masterful boxer-puncher. Won WBO 122-pound title in March 1995, but lost title in shocker to Junior Jones in November 1996. Regained vacant title in October 1998, and moved up to featherweight in April 2001, dominating favored Englishman Naseem Hamed. Rebounded from stoppage defeat to Manny Pacquiao to defeat Erik Morales for second time in three-fight series and take the WBC super featherweight title. Lost title to compatriot Juan Manuel Marquez in March.

42. Alexis Arguello
Featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight
Ring career: 1968-95 Record: 80-8 (64 KOs)
Career notes: Classy boxer-puncher renowned for gentlemanly behavior and attitude outside ring. Failed in first attempt at world title, falling short over 15 rounds in bid for WBA featherweight strap against Ernesto Marcel in February 1974. Won the title on next attempt, dethroning Ruben Olivares later that year. Defended title four times before annexing WBC 130-pound crown in January 1978; after eight defenses, moved up to lightweight, outpointing WBC champ Jim Watt in 1981. Came up short in two epic battles with Aaron Pryor for 140-pound championship in 1982 and 1983, after which he retired, before making two short comebacks.

41. Ted "Kid" Lewis
Featherweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight
Ring career: 1909-29 Record: 173-30-14 (71 KOs) and 65 no-decisions
Career notes: Won British featherweight title while only 18, and added European crown four months later. Won world welterweight title from Jack Britton in August 1915, before losing it to, regaining it from, and losing it once more to Britton in subsequent bouts. Fought Britton 20 times, with 12 of the bouts ending in no-decisions. Returned to Britain to annex that country's middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight crowns, and challenged world light heavyweight (and European heavyweight) champion Georges Carpentier in 1922, despite weighing only 153 pounds. 40. Evander Holyfield
Cruiserweight, heavyweight
Ring career: 1984-present Record: 41-8-2 (26 KOs)
Career notes: Considered to have one of the greatest fighting hearts of any boxer. Recognized as greatest champion in history of mostly moribund heavyweight division. Won WBA cruiser belt by split decision against Dwight Muhammad Qawi after a tremendous battle in just 12th pro bout. Later added IBF and WBC belts before moving up to heavyweight. Knocked out Buster Douglas in third round to become heavyweight champion in 1990. Lost title to, and regained it from, Riddick Bowe in 1992 and 1993, respectively, before losing it again to Michael Moorer. Regained WBA belt with stunning 11th-round knockout of Mike Tyson in 1996; Tyson bit off part of his ear en route to disqualification in the rematch. Widely adjudged to have lost March 1999 unification bout with Lennox Lewis officially scored a draw, but lost on scorecards in rematch. Three successive defeats, to Chris Byrd, James Toney and Larry Donald from 2002-04, led to calls for his retirement, but has scored three victories since and continues to campaign for another shot at heavyweight title.

39. Oscar De La Hoya
Junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight
Ring career: 1992-present Record: 38-5 (32 KOs)
Career notes: Most financially successful non-heavyweight in boxing history, and arguably sport's only remaining mainstream star. Won WBO 130-pound title in 12th fight, and same organization's lightweight belt two bouts later. Stopped Rafael Ruelas in two rounds in May 1995 to take IBF lightweight crown. Defeated Julio Cesar Chavez, adding WBC junior welterweight belt to collection the following year, and outpointed Pernell Whitaker to claim WBC welterweight crown the year after that. Lost highly controversial decision in unification bout with IBF champ Felix Trinidad in September 1999, and suffered second defeat, to Sugar Shane Mosley, in June 2000. Defeated Javier Castillejo to become WBC junior middleweight titlist in June 2001, and added WBA belt with September 2002 stoppage of Fernando Vargas, but lost both belts on disputed points defeat to Mosley. Claimed WBO middleweight belt with razor-thin victory over Felix Sturm in June 2004, but was knocked out by Bernard Hopkins in bid for undisputed championship that September. Knocked out Ricardo Mayorga in May 2006 to regain WBC 154-pound belt. Lost 154-pound belt in split decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday.

38. Larry Holmes
Ring career: 1973-2002 Record: 69-6 (44 KOs)
Career notes: Claimed vacant WBC heavyweight title with thrilling 15-round split-decision win over Ken Norton in June 1978, but labored in shadow of the recently retired Muhammad Ali. Ali came out of retirement to challenge him in October 1980, and Holmes dished out a terrible beating until Ali's corner stopped the fight after 10th round. Made 20 defenses of heavyweight crown and ran record to 48-0 before dropping a pair of controversial points decisions to Michael Spinks, after which he briefly retired. Came back in January 1988 to challenge Mike Tyson, but was stopped in fourth round. Came back again in 1991 and fought more or less continuously until 1997. Fought twice more for heavyweight crown, losing on points to Evander Holyfield (June 1992) and Oliver McCall (April 1995). Final bout was glorified carnival sideshow win over Eric "Butterbean" Esch in 2002.

37. Thomas Hearns
Welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, cruiserweight
Ring career: 1977-2006 Record: 61-5-1 (48 KOs)
Career notes: With freakish power and an occasionally suspect chin, seemed destined to either knock out or be knocked out in many of his big fights. Won WBA welterweight title with two-round stoppage of Pipino Cuevas in 1980, but failed in unification attempt with WBC champ Sugar Ray Leonard in 1981; leading on points through 12, was knocked down in the 13th and stopped in 14th. Bounced back to win WBC junior middleweight title from Wilfred Benitez in 1982; in second defense, starched Roberto Duran in the second round. Was knocked out in three by Marvin Hagler in thrilling attempt to lift middleweight crown in 1985. Stopped Dennis Andries to win WBC light heavyweight title in March 1987, then dropped back down to middleweight to claim vacant WBC belt. Lost title in shocking three-round knockout at hands of Iran Barkley in June 1988, but came back to score draw in June 1989 rematch with Leonard most observers thought he won. Retired after loss through injury to Uriah Grant in cruiserweight fight in 2000, but staged two-fight comeback in 2005 and 2006.

36. Eder Jofre
Bantamweight, featherweight
Ring career: 1957-76 Record: 72-2-4 (50 KOs)
Career notes: Won NBA bantamweight title with sixth-round knockout of Eloy Sanchez in November 1960, and became recognized as undisputed champion with defeat of Piero Rollo the following March. Made seven successful defenses, all by knockout, until losing championship, and rematch, to Fighting Harada in 1965 and 1966, only two defeats of career. Won world featherweight championship in May 1973, after 16 years as a pro.

35. Marvin Hagler
Ring career: 1973-87 Record: 62-3-2 (57 KOs)
Career notes: First attempt to win world title came up short when held to draw against Vito Antuofermo in November 1979. In following September, did win title by stopping Alan Minter in three. Defended title successfully 12 times, winning first seven bouts by knockout (including rematch with Antuofermo). Resisted strong challenge over 15 rounds from Roberto Duran in November 1983, and knocked out Thomas Hearns in the third round of one of the most intense and exciting title fights in living memory, in April 1985. Retired after suffering controversial points defeat to underdog Sugar Ray Leonard in April 1987.

34. Emile Griffith
Welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight
Ring career: 1958-77 Record: 85-24-2-1 (23 KOs)
Career notes: Despite winning the world welterweight championship three times and middleweight championship twice, will be forever known for one dark night, when he regained 147-pound crown from Benny "Kid" Paret on March 24, 1962: live on national television, he battered Paret into unconsciousness and death, and although he fought on for many years, was never quite the same. After losing middleweight title the second time, made four more attempts to regain it, before retiring after losing to Alan Minter in 1977. Was stopped just twice in 112 fights.

33. Ruben Olivares
Bantamweight, featherweight
Ring career: 1965-88 Record: 88-13-3 (78 KOs)
Career notes: Popular, hard-hitting champion won WBA and WBC bantamweight titles in August 1969, but lost on cuts to Chucho Castillo in October 1970, before regaining championship six months later. Lost belts a second time, to Rafael Herrera, in March 1972. Took vacant WBA featherweight championship in July 1974, but lost to Alexis Arguello four months afterward. Came back from two second-round knockdowns to score second-round TKO over Bobby Chacon and win WBC belt in 1975. Lost title in first defense, over 15 rounds to David Kotey.

32. Jose Napoles
Welterweight, middleweight
Ring career: 1958-75 Record: 77-7 (54 KOs)
Career notes: Won world welterweight title in April 1969 with 13th-round TKO of Curtis Cokes. Challenged Carlos Monzon for middleweight crown in 1974, but was stopped in seventh round. Made three defenses, but was stopped on cuts by journeyman Billy Backus in December 1970. Avenged loss with fourth-round TKO six months later, and made nine more defenses of title before losing to John H. Stracey in 1975 and retiring immediately afterward. Known as "mantequilla" for his buttery-smooth boxing skills.

31. Billy Conn
Middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight
Ring career: 1935-48 Record: 63-12-1 (14 KOs)
Career notes: Talented boxer beat middleweight champion Fred Apostoli twice in non-title bouts, before claiming light heavyweight crown in July 1939. Challenged Joe Louis for heavyweight championship in June 1941, and was outboxing the champion until he decided to stand and trade -- he started fighting, when he should have continued boxing -- and w30. Terry McGovern
Bantamweight, featherweight Ring career: 1897-1908 Record: 60-4-4 (42 KOs) and 10 no-decisions
Career notes: Fearsome puncher. Won world bantamweight title in 1899 with first-round knockout. Added featherweight crown via eighth-round stoppage victory in January 1900. Every one of six title defenses was by knockout.

29. Sandy Saddler
Featherweight, junior lightweight Ring career: 1944-57 Record: 144-16-2 (103 KOs)
Career notes: Tall and skinny for a featherweight. Frequently chastised for regular recourse to rough-and-tumble tactics, although also possessed good boxing skills. Only opponent to regularly get better of Willie Pep, whom he beat three times out of four, all victories coming inside the distance. Won featherweight championship in first bout, in October 1948, before losing it in rematch four months later. Won junior lightweight belt in December 1949. After two defenses, abdicated crown to concentrate again on featherweight division. Reclaimed championship from Pep in 1950. Held on to title until 1956, although two of those years were spent inactive while in Army. Retired as champion in January 1957 as result of vision problems stemming from an auto accident.

28. Jake LaMotta
Middleweight Ring career: 1941-54 Record: 83-19-4 (30 KOs)
Career notes: Famed for biography "Raging Bull," made into movie by Martin Scorsese, with Robert DeNiro playing LaMotta. Most famous for six bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson: LaMotta won the second -- the first to defeat Robinson -- but lost other five. Won world middleweight title against Marcel Cerdan in 1949, but lost it to Robinson in 1951. Knocked down just once in his career, by Danny Nardico in 1952.

27. Ezzard Charles
Middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight Ring career: 1940-59 Record: 96-25-1 (58 KOs)
Career notes: Had more heavyweight championship fights than anyone not named Holyfield, Louis or Ali. Four title bouts came against Jersey Joe Walcott; won first two encounters, taking NBA heavyweight belt in 1949 before achieving universal recognition as champ with victory over Joe Louis the following year, and defeating Walcott again in March 1951. Was TKO'd by Walcott in July 1951 to lose title, lost again on points and failed in two attempts to wrest belt back from Rocky Marciano.

26. Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Ring career: 1965-81 Record: 32-4-1 (27 KOs)
Career notes:Four losses came to two opponents. One of three greatest heavyweights in perhaps greatest heavyweight generation ever. Claimed world title during Muhammad Ali's suspension for refusing the draft, but many regarded Ali as true champion. Met Ali on March 8, 1971, in "Fight of the Century"; Frazier floored Ali in 15th to cement unanimous points victory. Lost title to George Foreman in 1973, and lost on points to Ali in non-title bout the following year. Fought Ali in 1975 a third time in the "Thrilla in Manila," widely regarded as greatest heavyweight title bout of all time. Ali retained title when Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch stopped contest after 14 brutal rounds. Retired after losing again to Foreman in 1976, but came back briefly in 1981, scoring a draw with Jumbo Cummings.

25. Marcel Cerdan
Middleweight Ring career: 1934-49 Record: 106-4 (61 KOs)
Career notes: One of most popular athletes in French history. Born in Algeria before emigrating to France. Suffered four defeats in 110 bouts, each dubious: two via disqualification, one on a controversial decision and once after injuring shoulder against Jake LaMotta in defense of world middleweight title won from Tony Zale. Was killed in a plane crash while en route to rematch.

24. Julio Cesar Chavez
Super featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight Ring career: 1980-2005 Record: 108-6-2 (87 KOs)
Career notes: Arguably most revered Mexican boxer in history. Called "J.C. Superstar." Known especially for heavy hands and murderous body punches. Won first 88 professional fights before escaping with draw against Pernell Whitaker in 1993. Tasted defeat for first time against Frankie Randall four months later. Won WBC super featherweight title in September 1984. Stopped Edwin Rosario to win WBA lightweight belt in November 1987. Added WBC belt with defeat of Jose Luis Ramirez in 1988. Stopped Roger Mayweather to annex WBC junior welterweight crown in May 1989. Added IBF title with last-second stoppage win over Meldrick Taylor in 1990. Lost title to Randall, but regained it in rematch. Lost it again, to Oscar De La Hoya, in 1996, and did not hold a world title again.

23. Jimmy McLarnin
Flyweight, lightweight, welterweight Ring career: 1923-36 Record: 62-11-3 (20 KOs) and 1 no-decision
Career notes: Won welterweight championship in 1933 with first-round knockout. Then engaged in spectacular three-fight series with Barney Ross, winning one and losing two. Held victories over 13 world champions. Was perhaps first fighter to be referred to by sportswriters as best "pound-for-pound" fighter in the world.

22. Barney Ross
Lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight Ring career: 1929-38 Record: 72-4-3 (22 KOs) and 2 no-decisions
Career notes: Claimed both lightweight and junior welterweight titles with victory over Tony Canzoneri in 1933, and defended both in rematch. Defeated Jimmy McLarnin for welterweight title in 1935, lost it in a rematch, and regained it in rubber match. Lost title to Henry Armstrong and retired.

21. Tony Canzoneri
Bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight Ring career: 1925-39 Record: 137-24-10 (44 KOs) and 4 no-decisions
Career notes: Won world featherweight championship in February 1928 when only 19, but lost first defense. Knocked out Al Singer in first round to win lightweight championship in 1930. Added junior welterweight title the following year. Lost, regained, and again lost both lightweight and junior welterweight belts. as knocked out at the end of the 13th round.20. George Foreman
Heavyweight Ring career: 1969-97 Record: 76-5 (68 KOs)
Career notes: On Nov. 5, 1994, knocked out Michael Moorer in 10th round to become, at 45, oldest heavyweight champion in history, capping improbable career comeback. In first incarnation, was a sullen wrecking ball of a champion, wrenching heavyweight title from Joe Frazier after six knockdowns in two rounds in January 1973. Was shockingly outthought, outfought and upended by Muhammad Ali in the "Rumble in the Jungle" in Zaire in 1974. After losing to Jimmy Young in March 1977, retired to become a preacher, but returned to ring 10 years later, to initial derision. Fought four more times after defeating Moorer before retiring for good after suffering points defeat to Shannon Briggs in a bout most people thought he won.

19. Stanley Ketchel
Middleweight, heavyweight Ring career: 1903-10 Record: 52-4-4 (49 KOs) and 4 no-decisions Career notes: Only boxer to beat twin brothers in consecutive bouts: Knocked out Mike Sullivan in February 1908, and his twin brother, Jack, two and a half months later. Victory over Jack Sullivan secured world middleweight championship, which he never lost. Made 11 defenses of crown in just three years, a total behind only Bernard Hopkins, Carlos Monzon and "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler. Fought heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in October 1909, and despite being outweighed by 35 pounds, knocked him down before being knocked out cold. Shot and killed by jealous husband in 1910, at 24.

18. Archie Moore
Light heavyweight, heavyweight Ring career: 1935-63 Record: 183-24-10-1 (131 KOs)
Career notes: Had fought 168 times and was 39 years old before finally getting shot at world title. Took advantage of that shot by outpointing champion Joey Maxim to take crown. Fought additional 52 bouts after that, losing just four, three to heavyweights: Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson and Cassius Clay. Remains oldest world champion in history: 48 years, 59 days old when last held the belt. With 131 knockouts, recorded the most of any boxer.

17. Mickey Walker
Welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight
Ring career: 1919-35 Record: 93-19-4-1 (60 KOs) and 46 no-decisions
Career notes: Won world welterweight championship in 1922 and defended it six times before losing it in 1926. In January 1925, weighing less than 150 pounds, challenged for light heavyweight title, the lightest man ever to do so. Later that year, unsuccessfully challenged Harry Greb for middleweight title. Won middleweight championship from Tiger Flowers in December 1926, and defended it three times before relinquishing in 1931. Made two more unsuccessful bids for light heavyweight crown and also challenged heavyweights Jack Sharkey and Max Schmeling.

16. Gene Tunney
Heavyweight Ring career: 1915-28 Record: 61-1-1-1 (45 KOs) and 19 no-decisions Career notes: Known as "Fighting Marine." Won American light heavyweight championship from Battling Levinsky in January 1922, before losing it to and then regaining it from Harry Greb. Took world heavyweight championship from Jack Dempsey in September 1926, and retained it in rematch 11 months later. Made just one more defense before becoming one of very few champions to retire at the top and stay retired.

15. Jimmy Wilde
Flyweight Ring career: 1910-23 Record: 131-3-2 (99 KOs) and 13 no-decisions Career notes: One of the smallest world champions ever, and yet, pound-for-pound, one of the most destructive. Ninety-nine knockouts rank among the highest for any fighter, in any weight class. Became first world flyweight champion in history, stopping Young Zulu Kid in 11th round in December 1916. Lost title in final fight of career, by knockout to Pancho Villa.

14. Rocky Marciano
Heavyweight Ring career: 1947-56 Record: 49-0 (43 KOs) Career notes: Only undefeated heavyweight world champion in history and one of the most popular and iconic American athletes of all time. Renowned for ferocious punch and tremendous heart. Won heavyweight championship with 13th-round knockout of Jersey Joe Walcott in September 1952. Made six defenses before retiring in 1956.

13. Harry Greb
Middleweight Ring career: 1913-26 Record: 105-8-3 (48 KOs) and 183 no-decisions Career notes: Despite dying at age 32, and despite a relatively brief professional career, fought more recorded bouts than all but two men in boxing history, majority of which were rendered no-decisions. Won world middleweight title in 1923 despite becoming largely blind in left eye following bout with Kid Norfolk two years earlier. Defended title six times over next three years before losing it to Tiger Flowers. In May 1922, became only boxer to defeat future heavyweight champion Gene Tunney.

12. Sugar Ray Leonard
Welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight Ring career: 1977-97 Record: 36-3-1 (25 KOs) Career notes: Olympic gold medalist won WBC welterweight world title with 15th-round stoppage of Wilfred Benitez in November 1979, only to shockingly lose title to Roberto Duran seven months later. Defeated Duran in rematch in the famous "No Mas" bout. Beat Ayub Kalule in 1981 to add WBA 154-pound title before dropping belt to focus on welterweight crown. Unified titles with dramatic 14th-round stoppage of WBA titlist Thomas Hearns in September 1981. Retired in November 1982 after surgery for detached retina. After comeback bout against Kevin Howard in May 1984, retired again after being disgusted with performance. Emerged from retirement to upset "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler to win middleweight crown in 1987. Defeated Donny Lalonde in November 1989 bout that was for both super middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Last two fights were ill-advised comebacks that resulted in defeats: against Terry Norris in 1991 and Hector Camacho in 1997.

11. Joe Gans
Lightweight Ring career: 1891-1909 Record: 120-8-9 (85 KOs) and 18 no-decisions Career notes: First black man to win world lightweight title, which was secured via first-round knockout of Frank Erne in May 1902. Defeated Battling Nelson in the 42nd round in 1906, the third-longest bout in boxing history. Lost title in rematch to Nelson in 1908. Once fought three times in one night. 10. Sam Langford
Lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, heavyweight
Ring career: 1902-26 Record: 167-38-37-3 (117 KOs) and 48 no-decisions
Career notes: Almost certainly the greatest fighter never to win, or even fight for, a world title. Fought all the way from lightweight to heavyweight, and continued to fight -- and win -- even after becoming almost completely blind in one eye and partially blind in another. Problem was that he was just too good. That, and the fact that heavyweight career overlapped with that of Jack Johnson -- who refused to give him a title shot, and whose behavior outside the ropes made promoters leery about the prospect of another black heavyweight champion -- combined to deny him the world title opportunity he deserved. After being forced to retire because of blindness, disappeared from view until he was rediscovered by journalist Al Laney in 1944.

9. Jack Dempsey
Ring career: 1914-27 Record: 61-6-8 (50 KOs) and 6 no-decisions
Career notes: Held world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926, although only six of his fights during that period were official title defenses. Furious two-fisted punching style was hugely popular with fans. Engaged in some of the most celebrated battles of all time, including with Luis Angel Firpo and Gene Tunney. The "Manassa Mauler" was the face of boxing at a time when it was still, along with baseball and horse racing, the most popular sport in the land. Rakishly handsome and charismatic outside the ring, was all-action inside it, brandishing a breathtaking, go-for-broke fighting style. Won the title by shattering the jaw of giant Jess Willard. When he lost it, by decision to Tunney in 1926, it was in front of the largest paid attendance in the history of boxing -- more than 120,000 spectators. In rematch, floored Tunney for a count of nine, the infamous "long count" in which Tunney was actually on the canvas for 14 seconds. After losing rematch, retired and opened a restaurant in New York.

8. Jack Johnson
Ring career: 1897-1928 Record: 77-13-14 (48 KOs) and 19 no-decisions
Career notes: First black heavyweight champion. Beat Tommy Burns to win crown in 1908, and held on to it until defeated by Jess Willard in 1915. Was in many ways precursor to Muhammad Ali: dominant in the ring and deliberately provocative and antagonizing outside it, shocking and infuriating white society with his boldness and arrogance. Was driven into exile for much of his reign, living and fighting in Europe and South America to avoid facing charges under the profoundly racist Mann Act, which prohibited the transport of white women across state lines for immoral purposes. Died in an auto accident in 1946.

7. Benny Leonard
Ring career: 1911-32 Record: 85-5-1 (69 KOs) and 121 no-decisions
Career notes: Won world lightweight championship in May 1917, and retired as champion in January 1925, making him the longest-reigning lightweight champion ever. After more than seven years, made return to the ring, winning 18 of 19. At one stage, fought 154 consecutive bouts without losing. Of five losses, three were in his formative ring years, one was on a foul when challenging for the welterweight championship and one was the final contest of his career, during his comeback after a seven-year layoff, against fellow Hall of Famer Jimmy McLarnin. Exceptional all-around talent possessed speed, accuracy and power in one package. Became a referee after retirement, and collapsed and died in the ring while refereeing a bout in New York state.

6. Roberto Duran
Lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight
Ring career: 1968-2001 Record: 103-16 (70 KOs)
Career notes: Won lightweight championship from Ken Buchanan in 1972. Snarling, unstoppable ring monster dominated lightweight division for seven years, and then outhustled Sugar Ray Leonard to become welterweight champ in 1980. Quit in the rematch with Leonard five months later. At 32, destroyed Davey Moore to win a junior middleweight belt in 1983, and fought bravely against Marvin Hagler five months later. In 1984, was felled, flat on his face, by Tommy Hearns inside two rounds. In the 21st year of professional career, improbably won a middleweight belt by beating Iran Barkley in 1989.

5. Willie Pep
Ring career: 1940-66 Record: 230-11-1 (65 KOs)
Career notes: Two-time world featherweight champion renowned for legendary defensive skills. Achieved tremendous success despite suffering near-fatal injuries in a plane crash in 1947. Legend that says he once won a round without throwing a punch (he almost certainly did not) is testament to defensive wizardry of "Will o' the Wisp." Won first 63 bouts before losing to Sammy Angott, and then went 72-0-1 before losing again, to Sandy Saddler. Only Saddler was ever truly able to figure him out, winning three of four times in bouts that were frequently brutal and foul-filled.

4. Joe Louis
Ring career: 1934-51 Record: 68-3 (54 KOs)
Career notes: Won world heavyweight championship in 1937, and retired as champion in 1949. Held heavyweight title for longer (11 years, 8 months, 7 days) and made more successful defenses (25) than anyone. Defined by two fights against Max Schmeling of Germany. In first encounter, was unbeaten and knocked out in the 12th round, in June 1936. In rematch, almost exactly two years later, as world champion knocked out challenger in the first round, becoming hero to black and white Americans alike, and cemented his place as one of the most popular champions of all time.

3. Henry Armstrong
Featherweight, lightweight, welterweight
Ring career: 1932-45 Record: 151-21-9 (101 KOs)
Career notes: Only boxer to hold world titles at three different weights simultaneously. Won featherweight crown in October 1937. Added welterweight title in May 1938 and became lightweight champion three months later. Challenged for middleweight crown in 1940, and held champion Ceferino Garcia to a draw. Known variously as "Hammerin' Hank" and "Homicide Hank." Third nickname, "Hurricane Hank," was perhaps the most appropriate. Was a whirlwind of a fighter, a perpetual-motion machine who overwhelmed opponents with a nonstop, suffocating fusillade of punches. Faced 17 world champions in career and defeated 15 of them.

2. Muhammad Ali
Ring career: 1960-81 Record: 56-5 (37 KOs)
Career notes: First to win heavyweight championship of the world three times. Was banned from the ring for three years for refusing induction into the armed forces during the Vietnam War. After ban was lifted, lost to Joe Frazier in "Fight of the Century" in 1971, but stunned George Foreman to regain belt in 1974. Lost title to, and regained it from, Leon Spinks in 1978. Three of defeats came in last four bouts, including two in an ill-advised emergence from retirement, against Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick, at 38. Transcended the sport unlike any other boxer. Reinvented the way heavyweights were supposed to fight, deploying a speed and athleticism that was previously unheard of; also alternately bedazzled and appalled America and the world with charisma, showmanship and braggadocio. Viewed progressively over the years as loudmouth, villain, hero and finally a figure of pathos. Remains for many the definition of a champion.

1. Sugar Ray Robinson
Welterweight, middleweight
Ring career: 1940-65 Record: 175-19-6-2 (109 KOs)
Career notes: Won world welterweight title in December 1946, and defended it four times before stepping up in weight and winning, in 1951, first of five stints as middleweight champ. Attempted to win light heavyweight title from Joey Maxim in 1952, but was stopped in the 14th round. Born Walker Smith in Ailey, Ga. Was the most complete boxer yet to grace the squared circle. Lost just one of first 123 fights, to Jake LaMotta, a defeat avenged five times in a classic ring rivalry. A near-perfect pugilist at welterweight, was less dominant at middleweight, but was still able to win the title five times, including three times after he had retired for two and a half years. Only stoppage defeat was when challenging Maxim for light heavyweight crown, and then was leading on points until overcome by heat so extreme that it had forced the replacement of the referee in the 10th.

** If you open the link I posted some of the fighters have highlight videos to show. also, each fighter has an enlargable photo .

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