They are lists that always divide opinion in the boxing world; “He is better than him!” and “He should be higher than him!”.
All of us have differing opinions on the subject. So I would like to give you mine. The top five of all time in each weight division, starting with the Heavyweights.
5. Larry Holmes 69-6-(44)
The “Easton Assassin” would tell you himself he should be number one in this list and some say he could be right. Holmes whose left Jab is arguably the best in heavyweight history was undefeated in his first 48 fights and just fell short of Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0. He held the WBC title from 1978-1983 and amongst others beat Shavers, Norton & the great Muhammad Ali. After many failed returns to the ring Holmes retired for good in 2002.
4. Jack Dempsey 65-6-11-1-(51)
William Harrison Dempsey “The Manassa Mauler” is one of my favourite all time fighters. He held the world heavyweight title from 1919-1926. He was an aggressive fighter with a lot of power in his fists which made him one of the most popular fighters of his generation. Dempsey’s fights will be remembered for producing high attendances and financial turn overs, including the first million dollar gate when he beat Georges Carpentier.
3. Jack Johnson 73-13-10-5-(40)
“The Galveston Giant” was the first African American to hold the world heavyweight title from 1908-1915. He was certainly the most controversial fighter there has been. Johnson was hugely successful and liked to flaunt that success in a time of deep racial hatred which did not sit to well. He was known for his unorthodox fighting style, starting off defensively then becoming more aggressive as the fight wore on.
Jack Johnson was inducted into the hall of fame in 1954. A remarkable fighter and man.
2. Muhammad Ali 56-5-(37)
Some of you will be saying “Ali at 2? Are you mad?”. Well the answer to that is, yes I most probably am. It was a close run with Ali and my number one overall pick.
An incredible figure in and out of the ring Ali had magical skills, superb reflexes, lightning quick hand speed and amazing movement. His fights with George Foreman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ & ‘The Thriller im Manilla’ with Joe Frazier will go down as the most famous fights in heavyweight history.
An amazing man who inspired so many.
1. Joe Louis 66-3-0-1
And here we are at number one “The Brown Bomber”. The great Joe Louis held the world Hhavyweight title from 1937-1949. He is certainly one of the hardest punchers there has been and he was successful in 25 title defences. He was a hero to the American public which was further cemented after his win against Nazi Germany’s Max Schmelling. Louis bought boxing out of a slump which started when Jack Dempsey retired and he will be remembered for putting the sport back on the map.
Joe Louis – A great fighter and for me the greatest heavyweight of all time.