Who are the top five heavyweight boxers of all time?
The most iconic boxing matches in history and the big names that even people who don’t follow the sport
know are almost all heavyweights. The boxers we picture when we think of the elite in the sport are
almost all heavyweights. Even though the most famous movie boxers are welterweights or middleweights,
many people don’t even realize how many other weight classes there are because so much attention is
paid to the class at the top of the scale.
Of course, there are lightweights and bantams that have their followings, but heavyweight boxing has
been the most popular for decades. It’s also one of the more popular betting categories. Betting on boxing
has been a part of the sport since the very beginning. Thanks to the arrival of online sports betting, there are more options that ever for putting some money on a big fight.
The biggest fights are almost always the heavyweight fights. The hits are harder, and the speed, agility
and resilience that the fighters display is even more impressive when they’re in the top weight classes.
There is a lot of debate and discussion over which fighters should be considered the best of the best.
Here are our picks for the top five heavyweight boxers of all time.
Being the first man to defeat Muhammed Ali would probably be enough on its own to get Joe Frazier on
this list. The rest of his career — he retired with a record of 32-4-1 — more than justifies his inclusion.
Frazier was known for his strength and durability. His pressure fighting style made him an exhausting
opponent to face.
Frazier won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics and was the undisputed heavyweight champion from
1970-73. He only ever lost to two fighters — Muhammed Ali and George Foreman.
In 1986, Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history after he defeated Trevor
Berbick in Round Two of their title fight. He was only 20 years old. Since then, Tyson’s career has been
one of ups and downs, with most of the high points in the ring and the low points in his life outside of it.
Regardless of how you feel about his antics or his criminal convictions, it’s impossible to deny the fact
that “Iron Mike” lived up to his nickname. His record of 50-6-2 with 44 KOs is a staggering one. He
combined a fearsome punching power with speed that made those hits impossible to dodge.
Evander Holyfield has the unique honor of being the only boxer in history to have been the undisputed
world champion in two different weight classes. He began his career as a cruiserweight, then moved up to
heavyweight. He is considered one of the greatest cruiserweights of all time and his reputation as a
heavyweight isn’t far behind.
Holyfield’s record when he retired was 44-10-2 and 1 no contest. He was the first heavyweight boxer to
win the title four times. Unfortunately, Holyfield’s talents in the ring are often forgotten as people tend to focus on the infamous incident when Mike Tyson bit his ear off.
With a record of 41-2-1, with 32 KOs, Lennox Lewis is one of the toughest and most impressive
heavyweight fighters of recent years. He held the world heavyweight championship title three times over
the course of his career. Lewis also won gold in the 1988 Olympics as a super-heavyweight.
He is particularly known for being one of the hardest hitters in the sport and his ability to fight on the
outside thanks to his 84” reach.
Muhammed Ali tops our list — the man was known as ‘The Greatest’ for a reason. With a career record of
56-5, his success is even more impressive because he was unable to box from ages 24 to 29 due to his
refusal to fight in Vietnam. That he was able to come back to boxing just as strong, is a testament to his
Not only was he an amazing fighter and presence in the ring, he was also an innovator. The rope-a-dope
strategy that he unveiled during his fight against George Foreman not only allowed him to unseat the
champion, it also changed the face of boxing forever.
Do any of today’s fighters have what it takes to become one of the all-time greats? Some think that Tyson
Fury does, others aren’t so sure. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before another indisputable
champion comes along.