On another day, we might have put Sugar Ray Robinson on top of this list. He is one of the main reasons why the pound-for-pound rankings exist. Robinson won a remarkable 85 amateur bouts before turning professional. He went 40 pro fights without defeat until he lost to Jake LaMotta.
Robinson became a welterweight champion after avenging his defeat to LaMotta. Then he won the middleweight title – a belt he would win five times. He fought during a golden era of boxing, beating the likes of Jake LaMotta and Randy Turpin. Raging Bull showed how ferocious he could be.
Without a doubt the most famous boxer in history, there’s a good reason why Muhammad Ali is on top of this list. His sporting achievements and cultural impact make him the greatest combats sports athlete ever. The former heavyweight champion of the world fought with flamboyance and speed. Cassius Clay influenced every boxer that came after him.
He first won the heavyweight title against Sonny Liston. But it’s his legendary trilogy with Joe Frazier and his fight with George Foreman in the Congo that proved his brilliance. Ali remains the only boxer ever to hold the lineal championship three times. Fighters across all disciplines adore Ali. The man’s influence went beyond boxing. Few fighters had such a strong impact.