Top 10 Heavyweight Boxing Champions

Neither tennis, football nor any other sport generates as much passion from its supporters when speculating as to who would succeed whom or who is superior to whom as boxing fans. The following is the listing of the ten finest heavyweight boxing champions in history.


1. Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

He fought every other contender during the time when there were many popular champions in this arena. Simply the Greatest, he earned points as the first man in history to win the title three times. He became the first person to win the lineal heavyweight championship three times as a professional.


2. Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

Nicknamed the “Galveston Giant”, Johnson was an American boxer and arguably the best heavyweight boxer of his generation. Being the first black world heavyweight boxing champion (1908-1915), he was a defensive master. He could avoid blows with great ability and had great punching power.


3. Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey

He transformed the sport with his superb fighting style. He is also popular for his granite jaw. An American boxer, he held the world heavyweight title from from 1919 to 1926.


4. Joe Louis

Joe Louis

Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. Having the longest reign in heavyweight history, he also had an astonishing unbeaten record 25 title defenses. His championship reign extended for 140 consecutive months, during which he took part in 27 championship fights, including 25 successful title defenses – all records for the heavyweight division.


5. Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano (September 1, 1923 – August 31, 1969), born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was the heavy weight champion of the world from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. He retired unbeaten! He has great punching power and endless stamina.


6. George Foreman

George Foreman

George Edward Foreman is an American two-time former World Heavy weight Boxing champion, successful entrepreneur and an Olympic gold medalist. He is also the oldest heavyweight champion in history. He has great thumping power and superb strength in fighting his opponents.


7. Larry Holmes

Larry Holmes

Larry Holmes is a former world WBC and IBF heavy weight boxing champion. He spent the major part of his adult life in Easton, Pennsylvania, giving rise to his boxing nickname, The Easton Assassin. He ranks only second to Louis in number of title defenses. He possessed the best jab in heavyweight history.


8. Sonny Liston

Charles Sonny Liston

Charles L. “Sonny” Liston was a professional boxer who became world heavy weight champion in 1962 by defeating Floyd Patterson in the first round. He has great power and force. He was a decent boxer, with a great jabbing ability.


9. Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier

Joseph “Billy” Frazier, known as Smokin’ Joe is a former Olympic (1964) and World Heavyweight boxing Champion who was active mostly from the later 1960s to the mid 1970s. He had a great heart and could take punishment without ill feelings. Frazier had a bullying fighting style, depending on weaving, bobbing and power punching.


10. Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield

He is a professional boxer from the U.S and a multiple world champion in both the heavy weight and cruiser weight categories which earned him the nickname “The Real Deal”. He proved all his critics wrong when they felt he was not strong enough. He used great courage and guts to beat the huge Riddick Bowe. He also showed amazing talent when he defeated Tyson. He earned points for becoming the only four time heavyweight champ.

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10 Responses

  1. lockdown

    Marciano doesn’t belong in this list, out of all his matches, only 4 opponents (Walcott, Moore, Charles and Louis) were worth a damn, they were old, out of their prime and washed up, and Rocky barely defeated them. Rocky never fought anyone on Frazier or Ali’s level, he only cherry picked the worst possible available boxers to fight, got a gift decission against Roland LaStarza and denied him a rematch, avoided the number one contender Valdez and retired before Sonny Liston could challenge him. He’s a fraud

  2. sonny

    Clay is the most OVER RATED of all time its not even funny. Jack Johnson never had to face a first rate challedger. Jack Dempsey would have cut them both to pieces. They would have carried “the greatest” out of the ring on a stretcher with a sheet over him at room temp. Jack Johnson wouldn’t have faired much better. But, at least he might have lived after the fight. Dempsey had killed men in and out of the ring. So you think Clay or Jackson are better? I want to know what the people who rated these boxers were smoking at the time they were voting.

  3. MIke

    bad list, no Lewis , or Tyson. And to be honest both Klitschko bros beat Dempsey , Johnson and Marciano. They would stand a good chance against some of the rest too

  4. Steven

    In response to “Mike” – In your comment about the Klitschko Bros., you’re talking about “Fantasy Fights”. Totally subjective. I agree that the Klitschko Bros. are “tough as nails” and extremely talented. But to say they “beat Dempsey”? That’s speculation. Dempsey had his “David and Goliath” fight and look what he did. And no, I do not believe any theory about his gloves being “Fixed” in any way. The fact that (due to the rules back then) Dempsey was able to stand over Jess Willard and continually beat him down accounts for the severe damage Willard sustained. That is my opinion, of course. But as an ardent Dempsey fan, I’ve poured over every piece of “Evidence” (“for” and “against” the argument) that his gloves were “Fixed”; or that Dempsey was holding something which strengthened his punches (such as a “knuckleduster”), and have come to the obvious conclusion that Dempsey’s gloves were not “Fixed”. He stood over, and punished Willard every time Willard’s knees cleared the canvas – giving Dempsey the opportunity to pick his target and explode, again and again.
    Of course this wouldn’t be allowed today in a “Boxing Match” between Dempsey and either Vitali, or Wladimir Klitschko… but it would if that fight were held in 1919. Therein lies the problem with “Fantasy Fights”.
    In response to “Sonny” – I completely agree with his assessment of Jack Dempsey. However, as to “Clay” being overrated? I completely disagree… No.1 overall? Too hard to for me to call. Nevertheless Ali, in a “Heavyweight Fantasy Fight” scenario, would be in my “Top 3″… no doubt; with my “Top 3” (No Particular Order) being Dempsey, Ali, and (?)… Ok my “Top 2”.

  5. hp

    Larry should be #2 after Ali.

    What they did to Larry was one of the greatest travesties in boxing history.

    He would have surpassed Rocky and in his prime would have beaten the crap out of Foreman.

    Ali had it all in more quantity than all the rest.
    Especially his chin which he never gets praised for because he was so great at everything else.

    Who else could have taken those shots from Frazier, Shavers, Chuvalo, Foreman; all the big hitters?

    Marciano vs. Chuvalo would have been epic!

    I’d take Chuvalo.

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