The Most Famous

BOXERS from United States

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This page contains a list of the greatest Boxers. The pantheon dataset contains 326 Boxers, 87 of which were born in United States. This makes United States the birth place of the most number of Boxers.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Boxers of all time. This list of famous Boxers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Boxers.

Photo of Muhammad Ali

1. Muhammad Ali (1942 - 2016)

With an HPI of 89.51, Muhammad Ali is the most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 134 different languages on wikipedia.

Muhammad Ali (; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer and activist. Nicknamed "The Greatest", he is regarded as one of the most significant sports figures of the 20th century, and is frequently ranked as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. In 1999, he was named Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated and the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, he began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics and turned professional later that year. He became a Muslim after 1961. He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset on February 25, 1964, at age 22. Also that year, he renounced his birth name as a "slave name" and formally changed his name to Muhammad Ali. In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military owing to his religious beliefs and ethical opposition to the Vietnam War and was found guilty of draft evasion and stripped of his boxing titles. He stayed out of prison while appealing the decision to the Supreme Court, where his conviction was overturned in 1971. However, he had not fought for nearly four years by this point and had lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War made him an icon for the larger 1960s counterculture generation, and he was a very high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement and throughout his career. As a Muslim, Ali was initially affiliated with Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam (NOI). He later disavowed the NOI, adhering to Sunni Islam, and supported racial integration like his former mentor Malcolm X. He fought in several historic boxing matches, such as his highly publicized fights with Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier (including the Fight of the Century, the biggest boxing event up until then), the Thrilla in Manila, and his fight with George Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle. Ali thrived in the spotlight at a time when many boxers let their managers do the talking, and he became renowned for his provocative and outlandish persona. He was famous for trash-talking, often free-styled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry incorporating elements of hip hop, and often predicted in which round he would knockout his opponent. Outside boxing, Ali attained success as a spoken word artist, releasing two studio albums: I Am the Greatest! (1963) and The Adventures of Ali and His Gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay (1976). Both albums received Grammy Award nominations. He also featured as an actor and writer, releasing two autobiographies. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and focused on religion, philanthropy and activism. In 1984, he made public his diagnosis of Parkinson's syndrome, which some reports attributed to boxing-related injuries, though he and his specialist physicians disputed this. He remained an active public figure globally, but in his later years made fewer public appearances as his condition worsened, and he was cared for by his family.

Photo of Rocky Marciano

2. Rocky Marciano (1923 - 1969)

With an HPI of 70.07, Rocky Marciano is the 2nd most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Rocco Francis Marchegiano (September 1, 1923 – August 31, 1969; Italian pronunciation: [markeˈdʒaːno]), better known as Rocky Marciano (, Italian: [marˈtʃaːno]), was an American professional boxer who competed from 1947 to 1955, and held the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956. He is the only heavyweight champion to have finished his career undefeated. His six title defenses were against Jersey Joe Walcott (from whom he had taken the title), Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell and Archie Moore. Known for his relentless fighting style, formidable punching power, stamina, and exceptionally durable chin, Marciano is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.Marciano remains the only fighter to have stopped every opponent he ever faced for the world heavyweight title, and shares, with Joe Louis, the highest knockout-to-win percentage in world heavyweight title fights at 85.71%. His career knockout-to-win percentage of 87.8% remains one of the highest in heavyweight boxing history. Marciano is ranked #14 in The Ring magazine's list of the 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Photo of Mike Tyson

3. Mike Tyson (1966 - )

With an HPI of 67.70, Mike Tyson is the 3rd most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 76 different languages.

Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. Nicknamed "Iron Mike" and "Kid Dynamite" in his early career, and later known as "The Baddest Man on the Planet", Tyson is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, 12 of them in the first round. Claiming his first belt at 20 years, four months, and 22 days old, Tyson holds the record as the youngest boxer ever to win a heavyweight title. He was the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, as well as the only heavyweight to unify them in succession. The following year, Tyson became the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. In 1990, Tyson was knocked out by underdog Buster Douglas in one of the biggest upsets in history. In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, although he was released on parole after three years. After his release in 1995, he engaged in a series of comeback fights, regaining the WBA and WBC titles in 1996 to join Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield and George Foreman as the only men in boxing history to have regained a heavyweight championship after losing it. After being stripped of the WBC title in the same year, Tyson lost the WBA title to Evander Holyfield by an eleventh round stoppage. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield's ears, one bite notoriously being strong enough to remove a portion of his right ear. In 2002, Tyson fought for the world heavyweight title, losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis. Tyson was known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior inside and outside the ring. With a knockout-to-win percentage of 88%, he was ranked 16th on The Ring magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, and first on ESPN's list of "The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History". Sky Sports described him as "perhaps the most ferocious fighter to step into a professional ring". He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Photo of Joe Frazier

4. Joe Frazier (1944 - 2011)

With an HPI of 67.63, Joe Frazier is the 4th most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 61 different languages.

Joseph William Frazier (January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011), nicknamed "Smokin' Joe", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1965 to 1981. He was known for his strength, durability, formidable punching power, and relentless pressure fighting style and was the first boxer to defeat Muhammad Ali. Frazier reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973 and as an amateur won a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Frazier emerged as the top contender in the late 1960s, defeating opponents that included Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones, George Chuvalo, and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, and he followed up by defeating Ali by unanimous decision in the highly anticipated Fight of the Century in 1971. Two years later, Frazier lost his title to George Foreman. Frazier fought on and beat Joe Bugner, lost a rematch to Ali, and beat Quarry and Ellis again. Frazier's last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beaten by Ali in the brutal rubber match, the Thrilla in Manila. Frazier retired in 1976 after a second loss to Foreman but made a comeback in 1981. He fought just once before retiring for good, finishing his career with a record of 32 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Frazier among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time.The Ring magazine named him Fighter of the Year in 1967, 1970, and 1971, and the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named him Fighter of the Year in 1969, 1971, and 1975. In 1999, The Ring ranked him the eighth greatest heavyweight. He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame, having been a part of the inaugural induction class of 1990 for the IBHF.His style was often compared with that of Henry Armstrong and occasionally Rocky Marciano and was dependent on bobbing, weaving, and relentless pressure to wear down his opponents. His best-known punch was a powerful left hook, which accounted for most of his knockouts. In his career, he lost to only two fighters, both former Olympic and world heavyweight champions: twice to Muhammad Ali and twice to George Foreman. After retiring, Frazier made cameo appearances in several Hollywood movies and two episodes of The Simpsons. His son Marvis became a boxer and was trained by Joe Frazier himself. Marvis lost a title shot to heavyweight champion Larry Holmes in 1983 and was knocked out in the first round by an up-and-coming Mike Tyson in 1986. Marvis ended his career with a record of 19 wins and those 2 losses. Frazier's daughter Jacqui Frazier-Lyde also boxed professionally and is a former WIBA world light-heavyweight champion who ended her career with a record of 13 wins and 1 loss, with her sole loss coming in a majority-decision-points loss to Laila Ali, Ali's daughter, in a fight dubbed as "Ali–Frazier IV". Frazier continued to train fighters in his gym in Philadelphia. His attitude towards Ali in later life was largely characterized by bitterness and contempt but was interspersed with brief reconciliations. Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September 2011 and admitted to hospice care. He died of complications from the disease on November 7, 2011.

Photo of Joe Louis

5. Joe Louis (1914 - 1981)

With an HPI of 64.50, Joe Louis is the 5th most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 54 different languages.

Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. Nicknamed the Brown Bomber, Louis is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential boxers of all time. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 until his temporary retirement in 1949. He was victorious in 25 consecutive title defenses, a record for all weight classes. Louis had the longest single reign as champion of any boxer in history. Louis's cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first person of African-American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II because of his historic rematch with German boxer Max Schmeling in 1938. He was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952.

Photo of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

6. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (1977 - )

With an HPI of 64.24, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the 6th most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. (born Floyd Joy Sinclair; February 24, 1977) is an American boxing promoter and former boxer. He currently owns a team in the NASCAR Cup Series named The Money Team Racing. As a professional boxer he competed between 1996 and 2017, retiring with an undefeated record and winning 15 major world championships from super featherweight to light middleweight. This includes the Ring magazine title in five weight classes and the lineal championship in four weight classes (twice at welterweight). As an amateur boxer, he won a bronze medal in the featherweight division at the 1996 Olympics, three U.S. Golden Gloves championships (at light flyweight, flyweight, and featherweight), and the U.S. national championship at featherweight. Mayweather was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 2010s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), a two-time winner of The Ring magazine's Fighter of the Year award (1998 and 2007), a three-time winner of the BWAA Fighter of the Year award (2007, 2013, and 2015), and a six-time winner of the Best Fighter ESPY Award (2007–2010, 2012–2014). In 2016, ESPN ranked him the greatest boxer, pound for pound, of the last 25 years. As of May 2021, BoxRec ranks him the greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound. Many sporting news and boxing websites, including The Ring, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, BoxRec, Fox Sports, and Yahoo! Sports, ranked Mayweather as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world twice in a span of ten years.He is often referred to as the best defensive boxer in history, as well as being the most accurate puncher since the existence of CompuBox, having the highest plus–minus ratio in recorded boxing history. He has a record of 26 consecutive wins in world title fights (10 by KO), 23 wins (9 KOs) in lineal title fights, 24 wins (7 KOs) against former or current world titlists, 12 wins (3 KOs) against former or current lineal champions, and 5 wins (1 KO) against International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the class of 2021.Mayweather is one of the most lucrative pay-per-view attractions of all time, in any sport. He topped the Forbes and Sports Illustrated lists of the 50 highest-paid athletes of 2012 and 2013, and the Forbes list again in both 2014 and 2015, as the highest-paid athlete in the world. In 2006, he founded his own boxing promotional firm, Mayweather Promotions, after leaving Bob Arum's Top Rank. He has generated approximately 24 million PPV buys and $1.67 billion in revenue throughout his career, surpassing the likes of former top PPV attractions including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya. In 2018, he was the highest-paid athlete in the world, with total earnings, including endorsements, of $285 million, according to Forbes. In November, 2021, Sportico released an all-time athlete earnings list, in which Mayweather ranked no. 6 of all time, totaling an inflation-adjusted $1.2 billion in his career.

Photo of George Foreman

7. George Foreman (1949 - )

With an HPI of 63.70, George Foreman is the 7th most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

George Edward Foreman (born January 10, 1949) is an American former professional boxer, entrepreneur, minister and author. In boxing, he was nicknamed "Big George" and competed between 1967 and 1997. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist. As an entrepreneur, he is known for the George Foreman Grill. After a troubled childhood, Foreman took up amateur boxing and won a gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Having turned professional the next year, he won the world heavyweight title with a stunning second-round knockout of then-undefeated Joe Frazier in 1973. He defended the belt twice before suffering his first professional loss to Muhammad Ali in the iconic Rumble in the Jungle in 1974. Unable to secure another title opportunity, Foreman retired after a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977. Following what he referred to as a religious epiphany, Foreman became an ordained Christian minister. Ten years later he announced a comeback, and in 1994 at age 45 won the unified WBA, IBF, and lineal heavyweight championship titles by knocking out 26-year-old Michael Moorer. He dropped the WBA belt rather than face his mandatory title defense soon after, and following a single IBF title defense on June 28, 1995, Foreman relinquished his title – the last major belt he ever held. He was 46 years and 169 days old, becoming the oldest world heavyweight champion in history. Foreman is the oldest to ever win the world heavyweight boxing championship of major honors, and the second-oldest in any weight class after Bernard Hopkins (at light heavyweight). He retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a final record of 76 wins (68 knockouts) and 5 losses. Foreman has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Foreman as the eighth-greatest heavyweight of all time. In 2002, he was named one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past 80 years by The Ring. The Ring ranked him as the ninth-greatest puncher of all time. He was a ringside analyst for HBO's boxing coverage for 12 years until 2004. Outside boxing, he is a successful entrepreneur and known for his promotion of the George Foreman Grill, which has sold more than 100 million units worldwide. In 1999, he sold the commercial rights to the grill for $138 million.

Photo of Sugar Ray Robinson

8. Sugar Ray Robinson (1921 - 1989)

With an HPI of 61.57, Sugar Ray Robinson is the 8th most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Walker Smith Jr. (May 3, 1921 – April 12, 1989), better known as Sugar Ray Robinson, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1940 to 1965. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He is often regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, pound-for-pound.Robinson was a dominant amateur, but his exact amateur record is not known. It is usually listed as 85–0 with 69 knockouts, 40 in the first round. However it has been reported he lost to Billy Graham and Patsy Pesca as a teenager under his given name, Walker Smith Jr. He turned professional in 1940 at the age of 19 and by 1951 had a professional record of 128–1–2 with 84 knockouts. From 1943 to 1951 Robinson went on a 91-fight unbeaten streak, the third-longest in professional boxing history. Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, and won the world middleweight title in the latter year. He retired in 1952, only to come back two-and-a-half years later and regain the middleweight title in 1955. He then became the first boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five times (a feat he accomplished by defeating Carmen Basilio in 1958 to regain the middleweight championship). Robinson was named "fighter of the year" twice: first for his performances in 1942, then nine years and over 90 fights later, for his efforts in 1951. Historian Bert Sugar ranked Robinson as the greatest fighter of all time and in 2002, Robinson was also ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of "80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years". As of November 2021, BoxRec ranks Robinson as the greatest boxer, pound-for-pound, of all time.Renowned for his classy and flamboyant lifestyle outside the ring, Robinson is credited with being the originator of the modern sports "entourage". After his boxing career ended, Robinson attempted a career as an entertainer, but it was not successful. He struggled financially until his death in 1989. In 2006, he was featured on a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service.

Photo of Sonny Liston

9. Sonny Liston (1932 - 1970)

With an HPI of 61.21, Sonny Liston is the 9th most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Charles L. "Sonny" Liston (c. 1922-1930 – December 30, 1970) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1953 to 1970. A dominant contender of his era, he became the world heavyweight champion in 1962 after knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round, repeating the knockout the following year in defense of the title; in the latter fight he also became the inaugural WBC heavyweight champion. Liston was particularly known for his toughness, formidable punching power, long reach, and intimidating appearance. Although Liston was widely regarded as unbeatable, he lost the title in 1964 to Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), who entered as a 7–1 underdog. Liston retired in his corner due to an inflamed shoulder. Controversy followed with claims that Liston had been drinking heavily the night before the fight and had entered the bout with a lame shoulder. In his 1965 rematch with Ali, Liston suffered an unexpected first-round knockout that led to unresolved suspicions of a fix. He was still a world-ranked boxer when he died in mysterious circumstances in 1970. Underworld connections and his unrecorded dates of birth and death added to the enigma. The Ring magazine ranks Liston as the tenth greatest heavyweight of all time, while boxing writer Herb Goldman ranked him second and Richard O'Brien, Senior Editor of Sports Illustrated, placed him third. Alfie Potts Harmer in The Sportster also ranked him the third greatest heavyweight and the sixth greatest boxer at any weight. Liston was inducted into the international Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

Photo of Jake LaMotta

10. Jake LaMotta (1922 - 2017)

With an HPI of 59.56, Jake LaMotta is the 10th most famous Boxer.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Giacobbe "Jake" LaMotta (July 10, 1922 – September 19, 2017) was an American professional boxer who was world middleweight champion between 1949 and 1951. Nicknamed "The Bronx Bull" or "Raging Bull", LaMotta was a rough fighter who was not a particularly big puncher, but he would subject his opponents to vicious beatings in the ring. With use of constant stalking, brawling and inside fighting, he developed the reputation for being a "bully"; he was what is often referred to today as a swarmer and a slugger. Due to his hard style of fighting, LaMotta often took in as much as he dished out in an era of great middleweights. With a thick skull and jaw muscles, LaMotta was able to absorb incredible amounts of punishment over the course of his career, and is thought to have one of the greatest chins in boxing history. LaMotta's six-fight rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson was one of the most notable in the sport. Although each fight was close and LaMotta dropped Robinson to the canvas multiple times, LaMotta won only one of the bouts. LaMotta, who lived a turbulent life in and out of the ring, was managed by his brother Joey. He was ranked 52nd on Ring Magazine's list of the "80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years", and also ranked amongst its list of the 10 greatest middleweights of all time. LaMotta was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 1990.LaMotta's autobiography was adapted into the 1980 Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull. It went on to be nominated for eight Academy Awards, with Robert De Niro winning Best Actor for his portrayal of LaMotta.

Pantheon has 91 people classified as boxers born between 1858 and 1997. Of these 91, 45 (49.45%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living boxers include Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and George Foreman. The most famous deceased boxers include Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, and Joe Frazier. As of April 2022, 4 new boxers have been added to Pantheon including Gene Fullmer, Virgil Hill, and Demetrius Andrade.

Living Boxers

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Deceased Boxers

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Newly Added Boxers (2022)

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Which Boxers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Boxers since 1700.