Exploring the world of boxing and getting ready to fight in the ring include more than training your body, developing boxing skills, and using the right boxing shorts and gear. While wearing quality boxing headgear will protect you from unwanted injuries, studying a champion’s fighting style and matches will help you enter the mindset of a winning fighter and inspire you to train so you can enjoy the same achievements.
In our previous posts, we have highlighted some of the greatest fighters in the world and today we move even further and focus on the best African American boxers and what made them hold leading positions in many boxing charts.
Considered to be the greatest boxer of all time by many boxing enthusiasts and boxing websites, Muhammad Ali reached a leading position in the boxing field thanks to his fighting style and skills that triggered an impressive collection of victories. He won the World Heavyweight Champion title and medals after engaging in multiple historic boxing matches.
This made The Ring rank him Fighter of the Year six times. Moreover, Sports Illustrated ranked him as the greatest athlete of the 20th century and the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. What also makes his career stand out is the fact that he won 14 unified title bouts and the world heavyweight title beating 21 boxers, records that remained unbeaten for 35 years.
His boxing record includes 61 fights with 56 wins. 37 of his victories were by knockout. The principles and values he exemplified outside the ring and his entertainment activities have enhanced his popularity even further and turned him into a complex and iconic personality.
One of the all-time greats, Joe Frazier is now a legendary figure in the world of boxing thanks to his wins and fighting style. Nicknamed “Smokin’ Joe”, he is remembered for his incredible punching power and his pressure fighting methods. One of the most notable moments of his boxing activity is the fight against Muhammad Ali in 1971.
Winning over the great Ali was decisive in contouring him as one of the best fighters in this field. From 1970 to 1973, he held the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion title. Admired for being a perfectionist in the ring, Frazier finished his career with an exceptional record that includes 37 fights out of which 32 wins by knockout.
Often referred to as a boxing pioneer, Jack Johnson is one of the longest-fighting boxers of all time competing from 1898 to 1945, even if some say that his career ended in 1928. He is the first African American to hold the World Heavyweight Champion title. His boxing activity was spiced up by his fighting methods.
Employing a fighting style that often triggered both controversy and awe, Jackson carried out several historic fights such as the “fight of the century” against James J. Jeffries in 1910. Nicknamed the Galveston Giant, he ended his career with 73 victories and only 13 losses. The wins included 40 knockouts.
Sugar Ray Robinson
Watching some of Sugar Ray Robinson’s iconic fights and taking a look at his boxing record will help one understand why he is regarded as one of the greatest boxers in history. Engaging in remarkable fights, Robinson won this leading place through his unique fighting style and skills.
Winning the divisional world championship five times, Robinson was a winner even as an amateur. In his early and amateur days, he engaged in 85 fights with 69 victories by knockouts. He became a professional when he was only 19.
His 91 fight unbeaten streak from 1943 to 1951 is one of the reasons why he deserves his champion status. He held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951 and won the world middleweight title in 1951. At the end of his professional boxing career, he had 173 wins and only 19 losses.
No such list would be complete without Mike Tyson. With a noteworthy professional record that includes 58 fights, out of which 50 wins, Tyson is appreciated for remarkable punching power and dominance while in the ring. He is the youngest boxer to ever win the heavyweight title, enjoying this achievement when he was only 20.
He also won the WBC title (1986) and the WBA and IBF titles (1987) and was the first heavyweight boxer to hold these titles at the same time. Tyson won over boxers such as Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes, and Frank Bruno and held the third longest unified championship reign in the history of heavyweight boxing.
Henry Armstrong also holds a special place in the field of boxing being regarded as one of the all-time greats due to his outstanding fights and the multiple titles he won. Winning three titles in three different weight classes, Armstrong held three world championships at the same time, which made Bert Sugar rank him as the second-greatest fighter in history.
He thus won the Featherweight, Lightweight, and Welterweight belts. He was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring in 1937 and by the BWAA in 1940. His boxing record includes 181 fights with 151 wins. At the end of his career, Armstrong had 101 victories by knockout.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The boxers mentioned above performed long ago, so we end our list with one of the most important boxers in the last 25 years and that is Floyd Mayweather Jr., a five-division world champion.
Currently undefeated, and most probably he will remain so since he is now retired, Mayweather won ten world titles including titles in three different weight classes as well as various awards. He retired with 50 fights, all of them wins.
Mayweather received The Ring Fighter of the Year award in 1998 and 2007 and the BWAA Fighter of the Year award in 2007. Both The Ring and ESPN ranked him as the best pound-for-pound boxer.