Top ten heavyweight champions of all time
By Dennis Broadhurst: This article is a list of the top ten heavyweights champions of all time. I hope the article will be able to give a better idea to some people on who the greats were. The fighters have been ranked on who they fought and beat, how well they beat fighters and are ranked in their prime.
10) Rocky Marciano – Rocky is the only undefeated heavyweight champion in history(49-0). He won the title against an aging Jersey Joe Walcott by an amazing knockout in the 13th round. Rocky defenced the title 6 times. He was a very hard puncher who could knock out just about anybody, he had a great chin and was only twice put on the canvas, he had great stamina and he had bags of heart and determination. Rocky did not have great skill and was often being out-boxed before winning a fight by KO. He fought mainly weak opposition but also fought great fighters such as Moore, Charles and Walcott. This earns him a place in the top ten.
9) Floyd Patterson – A greatly skilled heavyweight who was trained by Cus D’Amato. Patterson was a very good puncher and had extremely fast hands, he was also very elusive as he used the peek-a-boo defence style that D’Amato taught him. The one thing Patterson did lack was a good chin, he was knocked out in one round twice by Sonny Liston. For this reason Patterson is only 9th in the list.
8.) Sonny Liston – Liston was perhaps the most intimidating fighter of all time. He had great power and as mentioned knocked out Patterson in 1 round twice. Liston had a great chin and in his early career had good heart. Liston also had an extremely long reach of 84 inches but was a very slow fighter so gets the number eight position.
7) Jack Johnson – For his time Jack Johnson was a great fighter, he was defensively flawless and took advantage of the primitive styles of the fighters in his day. He was denied a chance to fight for the World title for a while because he was black but he chased down champion Tommy Burns and won the title. Johnson also defeated the previously undefeated James J. Jeffries who had made a comeback. So Johnson was a great fighter but he would not have stood up to the skill level of guys like Louis, Ali and Tyson so he is ranked at number seven.
6) Mike Tyson – Tyson was perhaps in his prime the ultimate pressure fighter, he had great power and speed in both hands and could take a very good punch. He was another D’Amato fighter like Patterson so he had great head movement. The reason that Tyson is not ranked higher is that he did not face great opposition in his prime.
5) Larry Holmes – Holmes was a great champion, he had a great chin, fast hands and a great left jab. He has to respected for his great record and skill in the ring. He also took on some great fighters in Shavers, Tyson and Ali (past his prime by far).
4) Joe Frazier – George Foreman. These two get the joint spot. Two great fighters and great punchers. Foreman had hellish power and destroyed Frazier twice but this was mainly because of styles. Foreman had an iron jaw and usually ko’ed opponents early.
Despite the losses against Foreman, Frazier had a solid punch, the best left hook ever, a great chin and unmatched heart, he also took on great fighters in Ali, Foreman, Quarry, Bonavena, Foster and others.
2) Joe Louis – The Brown Bomber gets this space. He was a great puncher and had fast hands, he only lost on three occasions and knocked out men a lot bigger than himself. Louis had an average chin whichj sometimes let him down but he had great heart and could knock out anybody if he caught them.
1) The Greatest, Muhammad Ali gets the top spot. Ali was the fastest heavyweight champion and had the fastest feet, he took a better punch than anybody and faced the best opposition of anyone in Liston, Foreman, Norton, Quarry, Bonavewna, Foster, Frazier, Moore, Cooper and Holmes. In his prime he was unstoppable, other fighters could barely lay a glove on him and it was only after a 3 and a half year forced exile that he slowed down.