Just like any other competition in the world, boxing has its own legends. These are boxers who have made a name for themselves and become household names all over the globe. They’re not just known as great fighters but also because of their incredible stories behind them. Here is our list of legendary boxers that you should know about: For more insights, you can also visit pbboxing.
Muhammad Ali – The Greatest
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., on January 17 1942. He became one of the greatest boxers ever to live when he won his first title at 22 years. In 1967, he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam. After winning the heavyweight championship three times, he retired undefeated with an impressive record of 56-0. His most famous fights include those against Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick. Today, he remains the only boxer to win the World Heavyweight Championship four times.
Rocky Marciano – “The Italian Stallion”
Rocky Marciano was born Salvatore Rizzo on May 4 1923. At the time of his birth, he weighed less than 100 pounds. As a child, he had trouble walking due to polio. However, this didn’t stop him from becoming one of the best heavyweights in history.
When he turned professional, he fought under the nickname of ‘Rocky Marciano’. During his career, he went through many ups and downs before finally achieving success. On June 26 1952, he defeated Jersey Joe Walcott by knockout in the 15th round.
This victory earned him the WBA Light Heavyweight Title. Later that year, he defended it successfully against Ezzard Charles. In 1953, he lost the belt to Gene Fullmer. It wasn’t until 1955 that he regained the title.
That same year, he beat Jake LaMotta for the vacant version of the light heavyweight title. In 1956, he challenged Floyd Patterson for the undisputed version of the light heavyweight championship. Although he came close to beating him, he eventually lost. In 1957, he faced Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship.
Sugar Ray Robinson – A Legend of the Ring
Sugar Ray Robinson was born Marvin Francis Scharff on April 6 1918. He started as a middleweight boxer but later moved up to lightweight. By 1938, he was already considered among the top contenders in the division. In 1940, he won the welterweight championship. Two years later, he added another title to his collection when he took home the junior featherweight crown.
Jack Johnson – “Jack, the Giant Killer”
Born Eugene Walter Jacobs on March 24 1878, he grew up poor in Galveston, Texas. While working as a barber, he met Jim Jeffries. Both men were friends, and they decided to fight each other. Their match ended in a draw. Afterwards, both men agreed to meet again to settle things once and for all. Unfortunately, neither man showed up, so the rematch never happened.
James J Braddock – “Kid Dynamite”
James Joseph Braddock was born on July 23 1899. From the moment he began boxing professionally, he quickly rose to fame. In 1920, he knocked out Jess Willard in just 13 seconds. Three months later, he achieved even greater glory when he stopped Tommy Burns in 11 rounds. In 1921, he captured the world bantamweight championship.
Eddie Futch – “Mr Fit”
Eddie Futch was born Edward Franklin Futch III on November 3, 1941. He is known for being one of the fittest athletes of all time. Throughout his life, he has been involved in several sports, including football, basketball, track, baseball, golf and tennis. He also holds records in swimming, running, cycling and weightlifting.
Joe Louis – King of Sports
Joseph Louis Barrow Jr was born on January 31 1914. His father died when he was only three days old. Because of this tragedy, he became very protective over his mother, who raised him alone. Even though he had asthma most of his childhood, he still became an outstanding athlete at St Mary’s Dominican High School in Baltimore, Maryland.
After graduating high school, he joined the army, where he served during World War II. Upon leaving the military, he pursued a pro-boxing career. Eventually, he would win the heavyweight championship twice.
George Foreman – Rumblein’ Rooster
George Foreman was born on May 25, 1934. As a child, he had such low self-esteem that he beat himself daily because of it. That’s why he chose the name “Rumble”, not Richard. When he was young, he admired Joe Louis immensely since many people thought he could actually dethrone Louis. So much admiration did he have that he changed his name by adding two r’s.
Boxing legends are some of the greatest fighters ever to step into the ring. They fought with courage, determination and skill. Some of them went down fighting while others gave their lives trying to achieve greatness. But no matter what kind of fighter you want to be or how long you plan to stay alive, there will always be a fighter ready to challenge you.