5 of the Greatest Heavyweight Boxing Champs of All Time
The modern greats such as Tyson Fury have made a case as one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time, but where does he stack up against other such titans of the sports. The modern heavyweight boxer is often made fun of as a substandard version of what came before them in the 20th century, whose legacy is engraved in people’s memories for eternity.
There is no doubt that the likes of Fury, Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk and others are sitting at the top of the heap at the moment and produced some of the most entertaining bouts in a long time. So we thought we would look into five of the greatest boxers there has ever been, and you can tell us whether any of the current crop of stars deserves a place ahead of these true greats.
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Foreman may be known nowadays for his range of grill machines that take away the fat, but George Foreman rose to fame as a boxer throughout the decades before the millennium.
Foreman had some incredible victories, including a pair of second-round TKOs against Joe Frazier and Ken Norton to make him one of the best at the time. Still, Foreman retired in 1977 following a loss to Jimmy Young. Foreman made a sensational comeback in 1994, beating Michael Moorer. Foreman was the oldest heavyweight champion when he finally ended his career at the age of 46. This goes to show Foreman can bring the heat!
Known as Smokin’ Joe, the late Joe Frazier was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for three years between 1970-73; the culmination of his fantastic career came when he beat Muhammad Ali in the fight of the century in 1971. Frazier also won gold at the 1964 Olympic Games. Frazier was the one who handed Ali his first-ever loss as a professional boxer. Frazier tried to make a comeback in 1981 but only fought once more before retiring for good. He was a part of the inaugural induction class into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Apart from meeting Ray Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, Evander Holyfield is the only four-time heavyweight world champion in boxing history. Victories over Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe showed Holyfield’s prowess in the ring.
Holyfield won bronze on home soil at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles during his amateur years. Like many on this list, Holyfield retired multiple times, the first in 1994 for medical reasons, only to come back a year later and defeat Tyson. Holyfield eventually retired in 2014, having been the first boxer to hold a world title in three different decades.
Tyson was known for his ferocious and intimidating style in the ring and was feared by many on this list. Tyson won 50 of his 58 fights and won multiple titles, including the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael Spinks in just 91 seconds of the first round. When Tyson regained the WBA and WBC titles in 1996, he joined other greats such as Floyd Paterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon and George Foreman as the only men to ever regain a heavyweight championship after losing it.
Since retiring from boxing in 2005, Tyson has starred on both TV and in movies, including the sitcom How I Met Your Mother and the Hangover.
When talking of the greatest boxers of all time, we can’t leave out The Greatest; the late Muhammad Ali will always be known as the face of boxing in the 20th century. Ali won 56 of his 61 professional boxing fights and won 6 major world titles and gold at the 1960 Olympic Games.
Muhammed Ali was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Century and BBC Sports Personality of the Century, which shows just what a contribution to sport Ali made. Ali’s name will always reign supreme when it comes to boxing, whether it was avenging his loss to Joe Frazier with two victories, taking out George Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle or slugging out wins against the likes of Floyd Paterson and Ken Norton, Ali will always be the GOAT of the boxing world.
That is our list of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time; where does the modern crop of boxers fall in this list? Let us know on Twitter @casinorange.