Is there any doubt that Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer to ever step in the ring? It’s hardly debatable, but what is up in the air is where the other spectacular boxers rank. Since boxing isn’t as subjective as some other sports, thanks to the stats backing up the facts, doesn’t that make Floyd Mayweather a top-five fighter ever? People can decide who they have on their list, but here are our 50 best boxers ever to do it.
Oscar De La Hoya – 39 Wins, 6 Losses
Here’s a controversial one. Oscar De La Hoya, or The Golden Boy, had a better career than most, but he doesn’t get enough respect for his time in the ring.
He won ten world championships in six weight divisions. If you were to account for star power in the conversation, there aren’t many fighters bigger than The Golden Boy. He fought the biggest fighters in his time and managed to walk away with only six professional losses.
Billy Conn – 64 Wins, 12 Losses, 1 Draw
Who is Billy Conn? This slugger fought in the ring from 1934 to 1948 and was a former undisputed light heavyweight champion. You might know him from his most notable fight against Joe Louis for the heavyweight title.
Conn missed out on a chunk of his prime after having to serve during WWII. Had it not been for that service, you might be looking at someone with fewer losses to their name and more notoriety.
Alexis Arguello – 77 Wins, 8 Losses
With 77 wins and 62 knockouts, Alexis Arguello is consistently praised as one of the best punchers ever. The boxer won three championships in different categories. Arguello was the champ in WBA Featherweight, WBC Super Featherweight, WBC Lightweight.
Taking it a step further, the Associated Press has Arguello as the greatest junior lightweight in history! That’s high praise from a respected news outlet, so you’d have to expect other fighters didn’t have fun facing this guy.
Bernard Hopkins – 55 Wins, 8 Losses
Bernard Hopkins is probably more familiar to the casual boxing fan, but everyone should know he was a threat in the ring. Hopkins learned to box at Graterford Prison while serving an 18-year sentence.
Fighting against someone who has nothing to lose isn’t what you want to do. He used his skills to earn the nickname “The Alien” and even knocked out De La Hoya during his time. Oh yeah, he also defended his middleweight belt a record 20 consecutive times.
Jose Napoles – 80 Wins, 7 Losses
The Cuban-born slugger, Jose Napoles, was a force. He’s easily one of the best welterweight fighters ever to do it, as he’s the WBC/WBA Welterweight champ three times over.
His nickname is “Mantequilla,” which means butter, but his hits weren’t that soft. Napoles tried stepping up a weight class, but he didn’t see the same success after losing to Carlos Monzon. After that, he went back to the welterweight division and would retire only after losing his title.
Terry McGovern – 59 Wins, 5 Losses, 4 Draws
Terry McGovern is another fighter from back in the day. He fought between 1897 and 1908, earning the nickname of “Terrible” Terry McGovern. Born in Pennsylvania, McGovern would end up making a name for himself in Brooklyn.
An interesting piece of his story is his notable victory over Joe Gans. This is important because Gans later came out and said he threw the fight against Terrible Terry. The Ring lists McGovern as one of the greatest punchers of all-time.
Emile Griffith – 85 Wins, 24 Losses, 2 Draws
From 1958 to 1977, Emile Griffith became a world champion in the welterweight and middleweight class multiple times. He had 23 knockouts in his 85 wins and had a few notable fight series.
One three-fight series that many remember him from is when he boxed welterweight champion, Benny Paret. Griffith won two out of the three, with the third one being highly controversial because Paret died due to the injuries he sustained in the fight.
Wilfredo Gomez – 44 Wins, 3 Losses, 1 Draw
When you have a nickname like “Bazooka” Gomez, you’re a bad man. Wilfredo Gomez bullied opponents from 1974 to 1989 and secured three world titles along the way in three weight classes.
He’s hands down the best fighter hailing from Puerto Rico and has destructive punching power. There was a streak he went on when he won 32 consecutive fights by a knockout! You’d figure by the tenth knockout, the next fighter would arrive at the fight more prepared.
Eder Jofre – 72 Wins, 2 Losses, 4 Draws
At 72 wins, Eder Jofre made sure 50 of them were a knockout. Between 1957 and 1976, Jofre was the World Bantamweight champion and the WBC/WBA Bantamweight Champion. He was pretty much a well-kept secret in the boxing community.
He didn’t do much fighting outside of his native country of Brazil, so that added to his mystique. Jofre didn’t lose a fight his first 50 times stepping the ring, which is pretty outstanding.
Manny Pacquiao – 54 Wins, 5 Losses, 2 Draws
Analysts, fans, and casual viewers all have their opinions on Manny Pacquiao. One thing that’s a fact is his ten world championships in eight different weight divisions. He was the first in boxing history to accomplish that.
Pacquiao started his career at 108 pounds and competed against world-class athletes in upper weight classes. He might not have won the biggest fight of his career against Mayweather, but he still deserves as much respect as you can give him.
Willie Pep – 229 Wins, 11 Losses
There’s a reason Willie Pep won so many fights in his 26-year career. He has the reputation of being one of the most durable and quickest fighters to step in the ring.
He fought between 1940 and 1966, so it’s sensational to know he could compete in that many bouts but still only have 11 losses. He was the pinnacle of featherweight and won the first 62 fights of his career.
Salvador Sanchez – 44 Wins, 1 Loss, 1 Draw
Say what you want about Salvador Sanchez, but one loss is already saying a lot. Considering that he fought in a later era (1975-1982), his winning ratio is pretty darn good.
Unfortunately, Sanchez lost his life in a car crash in 1982, cutting his career shorter than expected. Many analysts felt he could have become the best featherweight fighter had his life not ended so early. Sanchez secured big victories while alive, including one against Wilfredo Gomez.
Joe Frazier – 32 Wins, 4 Losses
When the only losses on your resume are from Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, you’re one of the greats. Joe Frazier lost to those legends twice but destroyed everyone else in his path.
Frazier also went on to win a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics. He knocked out 27 opponents in his career and earned the nickname of “Smokin’ Joe” while he was at it. Frazier was one of the most polished fighters ever.
Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin – 40 Wins, 1 Loss,
Is Gennady Golovkin the greatest middleweight fighter of this era? Well, it’s hard to argue against the facts. “GGG” or “Triple G” has a chin made of iron that allows him to take the most powerful hits like they don’t phase him.
GGG won the title in WBO MIddleweight, IBF Middleweight, WBC Middleweight, and WBA (Super) Middleweight. His only loss came in 2017 when Canelo Alverez brought the intensity to match.
Julio Cesar Chavez – 107 Wins, 6 Losses
Imagine starting your career in anything and not having any losses the first 87 times you do it. That’s what happened with Julio Cesar Chavez, who had his record blemished by a controversial draw against Pernell Whitaker.
Fans realized he was human four months after his draw when he lost a split decision to Frankie Randall. Still, with the record he has, you can’t discredit Chavez in any way. He deserves all the praise.
Marvin Hagler – 62 Wins, 3 Losses
Marvin Hagler is easily one of the best middleweights of all-time. He reigned as champion for six and half years, which is the second-longest span in that division’s glorious history.
What made him so special is that he defended his title against many greats you’ll see on this list. His chin was also pretty special, with some thinking it’s the best this sport ever has seen. Once Hagler lost a heartbreaking match to Sugar Ray Leonard, he retired for good.
Ezzard Charles – 95 Wins, 25 Losses
If you wanted to bet on a boxer that had heart, you would pick Ezzard Charles. This dynamic fighter pummeled a handful of Hall of Famers in his career, but he also took a decent amount of losses.
One of his biggest victories came when he beat Joe Louis unanimously to keep his heavyweight belt. To be fair, Charles has many losses to his name, thanks to taking fights past his prime for financial reasons.
Evander Holyfield – 44 Wins, 10 Losses
A man that got a piece of his ear bitten off in the middle of a fight has to be in the consideration for greatness. Evander Holyfield became the first boxer to be the undisputed heavyweight and cruiserweight champion.
As an amateur, Holyfield brought home a bronze medal for the U.S. He had a counter left hook that would leave you on the ground if you weren’t cautious of it.
Larry Holmes – 69 Wins, 6 Losses
Larry Holmes is another fighter who started his career with a ridiculous amount of consecutive wins (48). Many believe he has the best-left jab in heavyweight history. Surely, his opponents would know the answer to that.
Holmes had a thing for rallying back into the fight when things didn’t look good for him. Due to that, no one felt comfortable fighting this machine of a man. He’s also one of the only fighters to defeat the great Ali.
Lennox Lewis – 41 Wins, 2 Losses
Unlike many fighters, Lennox Lewis has dual Canadian and British citizenship. He won a gold medal representing Canada thanks to this, but he’s also a three-time world heavyweight champion.
He only lost twice in his career, and the losses came from Hasim Rahman and Oliver McCall. Sadly, both of those fights had the title on the line, and he lost both due to a knockout. Lewis’ pride wouldn’t let him off that easy, so he fought both of them in rematches and won to earn his titles back.
Pernell Whitaker – 40 Wins, 4 Losses
Not many enjoyed the success that Pernell Whitaker did. The four-weight world champion also won the Olympic gold medal in 1984. Boxing in the southpaw form, he was a defensive fighter that had cat-like reflexes.
His right jab was also a serious threat to opponents. Whitaker’s most prominent matchup was against Julio Csar Chavez, which was more than likely a win for him, but ended in a draw. Many felt he clearly won that fight.
Archie Moore – 186 Wins, 23 Losses
Archie Moore had an outstanding win-to-loss ratio. Analysts believe him to be the most celebrated light heavyweight ever, thanks to his defense and Superman’s chin. Imagine fighting as much as he did and only losing 23 times.
Moore earned the nickname of “The Old Mongoose,” and he also had the most knockouts in boxing history (131). After a long career wand 219 professional fights, he finally decided to call it quits.
Mike Tyson – 50 Wins, 6 Losses
Here’s the man that would win fights before stepping into the ring. Mike Tyson is easily one of the most intimidating boxers ever, as he possessed knockout power in both of his hands.
“Iron Mike” became the youngest boxer to secure the heavyweight title when he won it at 20! Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, with 12 of them happening in the first round. Would you step in the ring with him if someone paid you $20 million?
Fighting Harada – 55 Wins, 7 Losses
Masahiko Harada is easily the greatest Japanese boxer to live. His aggressive style helped him punish opponents in the flyweight and bantamweight class, as he won world titles in those weights.
Harada is also the only boxer to have the bantamweight and lineal flyweight titles at the same time. He’s in a class of his own for having such accomplishments, but you would love to see how he would compete against people of this era.
Jack Dempsey – 54 Wins, 6 Losses
Jack Dempsey was a cultural icon during the Roaring Twenties. His punches packed heat, which helped him set financial and attendance records when it was time for him to fight in arenas.
He earned the nickname of “The Manassa Mauler” but would retire after a controversial decision when judges chose Gene Tunney as the winner in a fight in 1927. One of his signature moves was bobbing and weaving between punches.
Ricardo Lopez – 51 Wins, 0 Losses
How can you debate against a man with zero losses? Ricardo Lopez was technically sound and pressured his foes with his deceptive power. Competing in the strawweight, you don’t get many fighters that have the power Lopez had.
The only blemish on his resume was a draw against Rosendo Alvarez. In true Lopez fashion, he got his revenge in a rematch by majority decision. He’s the only boxer to leave the sport with an undefeated record in amateur and pro.
Harry Greb – 261 Wins, 17 Losses
With a nickname of “The Pittsburgh Windmill,” you can bet that Harry Greb was a beast in the ring. He utilized his durability and speed since he lacked power, but his agility was immaculate.
A tactic that worked well for Greb was putting his opponents in the ropes and going to town on them. After a loss to Tiger Flowers in 1926, Greb decided to hang up the gloves, with 298 documented matches to his name.
Andre Ward – 32 Wins, 0 Losses
Andre Ward is an interesting figure in the boxing world. Going undefeated throughout his career to appearing in boxing films, he’s managed to earn some respect from many. He has eight world titles under his name, and he captured the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.
His underrated left hook is what helped him maintain a perfect record. Ward took fans by surprise when he announced his retirement in 2017, as The Ring magazine had him as the number one pound-for-pound boxer.
Roman Gonzalez – 46 Wins, 2 Losses
Roman Gonzalez was the first boxer from Nicaragua to take home world titles in four divisions. His heavy punches are a big reason for that, as he accomplished that in the four lowest weight classes.
Nicknamed “Chocolatito,” Gonzalez was the best pound-for-pound boxer from 2015 to 2017 according to The Ring. What’s even better to know about this prizefighter is that only one man was able to beat him, and he did it twice. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai had his number.
Roy Jones Jr. – 66 Wins, 9 Losses
Roy Jones Jr. is one of the best that fans ever got to see in the ring. He might have nine losses, but some of those came later in his career as he fought until he was 49.
When he was in his prime, there wasn’t much competition for him. In fact, the BWAA named him the ’90s “Fighter of the Decade.” Jones was the first person to win the heavyweight title as a middleweight in more than 100 years after defeating John Ruiz.
Wladimir Klitschko – 64 Wins, 5 Losses
Wladimir Klitschko is a massive fighter. The Ukrainian boxer fights smart and utilizes his large body perfectly. He has the record for holding the longest combined world championship reign in boxing history at 4,383 days. Only Joe Louis has more title defenses than this man.
More impressive is that he has a gold medal from the 1996 Olympics in the super heavyweight division. He called it quits after his last fight (which was only one of his best) ended in a loss.
Jack Johnson – 73 Wins, 13 Losses
Jack Johnson is a pioneer in the sport of boxing. He became the first black person to win a heavyweight title in 1908 after he beat down Tommy Burns in Australia.
The man of history was a defensive genius and earned the nickname of “Galveston Giant.” His defense wasn’t the only great thing about his boxing style, as he had tremendous speed and timing. His impact on the sport should never diminish.
Sugar Ray Leonard – 36 Wins, 3 Losses
Before officially starting his pro career, Sugar Ray Leonard won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. He might’ve had a boyish look to him, but he wasn’t anyone you wanted to underestimate.
Leonard would win five world titles in five different classes with ease during his time in the ring. When it comes to money, he became the first boxer to secure more than $100 million in purses. Leonard was also the Boxer of the Decade for the ’80s.
James Toney – 77 Wins, 10 Losses
Whenever you watched a James Toney fight, you knew precisely what you were going to see. Toney had that tough-guy demeanor and was a defensive juggernaut. His vicious style made it a nightmare to step in the ring with him.
Out of his 77 wins, 47 of them were knockouts. During his career, he beat fighters like Evander Holyfield, and Iran Barkley. A positive drug test prevented him from fighting Roy Jones Jr. for the heavyweight championship.
Benny Leonard – 89 Wins, 6 Losses
As one of the most unbeatable lightweights ever, Benny Leonard is a Jewish boxing icon. He was able to do things with his small frame that others couldn’t, such as retiring with a 70 percent knockout rate!
He had the nickname of “The Ghetto Wizard,” and was easily a prodigy. He did his opponents in by outsmarting them and using his fists made of bricks. There wasn’t anyone he was afraid to fight.
Roberto Duran – 103 Wins, 16 Losses
Do you know what “Manos de Piedra” means? Well, it translates to Hands of Stone and that was the nickname Roberto Duran earned during his boxing career. That already says a lot about you as a fighter.
The four-weight champion had a signature victory against Sugar Ray Leonard for the welterweight title. It was the first time Leonard suffered a loss as a professional and it went the full 15 rounds.
George Foreman – 76 Wins, 5 Losses
No, he isn’t just the guy who sells those grills. Newer boxing fans need to put some respect on George Foreman’s name because he had an illustrious career. He’ll serve you a burger these days, but before he would give you a knuckle sandwich of pain.
In 1973, Foreman dismantled Joe Frazier in only two rounds, which gave him lineal heavyweight titles. It wouldn’t be until his loss to Muhammad Ali that fans would stop seeing Foreman in the ring.
Sam Langford – 180 Wins, 29 Losses
Sam Langford is the “Greatest Fighter Nobody Knows.” He stood 5’7″ and would take out lightweights as well as heavyweights during his time fighting. You might think he’s a bit undersized, but that wasn’t an issue for him.
BoxRec has Langford as the third best heavyweight in the history of the sport. The best part about his success is that he had to endure tons of public discrimination. There aren’t many on this list who dealt with similar issues while dominating.
Gene Tunney – 65 Wins, 1 Loss
Gene Tunney was a powerhouse. What else would he be if only lost one fight? He earned titles in heavy and light heavyweight classes, so The Ring named him the Fighter of the Year in 1928.
He didn’t stick to the paradigm for heavyweights and became more of a tactical fighter. Tunney’s left jab was his weapon of choice as he broke down his opponents with it before ending them. His only loss came against the middleweight legend, Harry Greb.
Henry Armstrong – 151 Wins, 21 Losses, 10 Draws
Henry Armstrong can arguably be the best to ever do it. He’s one of the few to have titles in three different weight classes at the same time, and 101 of his victories were by knockout.
“Hammerin’ Hank” was the epitome of a boxer. He was the top fighter in light, feather, and welterweight. Armstrong won The Ring’s Fighter of the Year in 1937, but there aren’t enough accolades that can describe how special Armstrong was.
Floyd Mayweather – 50 Wins, 0 Losses
Floyd “Money” Mayweather is another boxer to finish with a perfect record. He gets a lot of misguided opinions thrown at him because he’s such a defensive fighter. The casual fan will say he likes to “run,” but he considers that his ultimate strategy. It’s hard to beat what you can’t catch.
He’s a five-division titleholder, and one of the smartest to step in the ring. When it comes to trash talk, he might be the kind, but his stats back up his mouth.
Ted Lewis – 192 Wins, 32 Losses
Ted Lewis ran a clinic in the ring from 1909 to 1929. If you look at the number of total fights he’s had, you can only imagine how much of a break he had for those twenty years.
Ted “Kid” Lewis had a 20-fight series with Jack Britton. These two would trade the belt back and forth, but there was a whopping 12 no-decisions in their series. The rest of his fights pretty much went his way.
Carlos Monzon – 87 Wins, 3 Losses, 9 Draws
Carlos Monzon remained active between 1963 and 1977. Monzon was a brilliant fighter in the ring, but he had a troubling life outside of the ring. He became the unified WBC/WBA Middleweight champion and would defend it a then-record 14 times.
Outside of boxing, Monzon got convicted for murder in 1989, and that isn’t good for anyone’s career (obviously). If only he had saved that aggression strictly for boxing, things might have turned out differently.
Tommy Hearns – 61 Wins, 5 Loss
Tommy “Hitman” Hearns became the first boxer to win four world titles in four weight divisions, followed by five in five classes. That’s the least of his accomplishments, as he’s best known for his fights against some of the greats.
He went toe-to-toe with Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran (pictured), and Marvin Hagler. He was only able to beat Duran out of that group, but that’s no reason to punish him.
Joe Louis – 66 Wins, 3 Losses
When it comes to legends, Joe Louis is without a doubt one of them. Don’t let the three losses fool you, this man was practically unstoppable in the ring. After nabbing the heavyweight title, he would defend it 26 times.
A cool fact about him is that Ronald Reagan posthumously gave Louis a Congressional Gold Medal in 1982. After he defeated German fighter Max Schmeling in 124 seconds, Louis became a black cultural icon.
Sandy Saddler – 144 Wins, 16 Losses
Between 1944 and 1956, Sandy Saddler knocked out 103 opponents on his way to winning 144 times. He’s a highly rated featherweight champion, best known for beating Willie Pep in three of their four fights.
He’s also one of the only boxers to knockout over 100 people in his career. He’s easily one of the strongest to box, and that’s how history will and should remember this legendary slugger. The 16 people that beat him probably felt very good about their lives after winning.
Ruben Olivares – 89 Wins, 13 Losses
There was a point when Ruben Olivares was the best fighter to hail from Mexico. Many still consider him the best bantamweight fighter in history thanks to his impressive 79 knockouts.
That means only ten of his 89 victories resulted in a normal victory. This guy wasn’t anything to take lightly when you hopped in the ring with him. If you weren’t up on your training, consider yourself knocked out not too long into the fight.
Sugar Ray Robinson – 173 Wins, 19 Losses
Thanks to Sugar Ray Robinson, the creation of “pound-for-pound” rankings had to happen due to all the debate this man caused. As an amateur fighter, Robinson went undefeated with 85 wins.
He didn’t lose until his 41st pro fight against Jake LaMotta. That means this guy won 126 straight fights. He interestingly enough retired for two years after failing to secure the light heavyweight title from Joey Maxim. Upon his return, he would continue capturing titles and beating everyone in his era.
Rocky Marciano – 49 Wins, 0 Losses
Rocky Marciano is another boxer to end his careers with zero losses, but he’s the only heavyweight champ to do this. He was the definition of a slugger and never took it easy on his opponents. It’s too bad he never fought Ali in a real fight.
In The Ring’s 1952 Fight of the Year, Marciano beat down Jersey Joe Walcott. That victory gave him the World Heavyweight title, as he went on to defend that six times.
Muhammad Ali – 56 Wins, 5 Losses
If only every boxer could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Muhammad Ali was the greatest and knew it before it was a fact. He was the first to secure the world heavyweight three times.
Ali won gold at the 1960 Olympics before going pro, so that’s a sure sign that he was going to be a problem in the ring when he turned pro. After he beat Sonny Liston in the seventh round, Ali shocked the world because everyone thought Liston was invincible.