Outstanding Boxers From Around the World Part 2!
By Ken Hissner: Starting with the one person I failed to mention in Part 1 from Venezuela, 2-division world champ Edwin Valero, 27-0 with 27 knockouts, committed suicide in prison, ending his career.
From Jamaica, after an amateur record of 65-2, the 2- division world champ Simon “Mantequilla” Brown, 47-12 with 34 knockouts in April of 1988, came from behind on the scorecards and won the vacant IBF welter title, stopping Tyrone “Butterfly” Trice, 28-1, in the fourteenth round in France.
In his ninth defense, he won the WBC title by stopping Maurice “Thin Man” Blocker, 32-1, behind all cards after nine rounds stopping Blocker in the tenth. In his next fight, he lost to Buddy McGirt, 54-2-1, by decision. In December of 1993, he won the super welter title knocking out “Terrible” Terry Norris, 36-3.
3-division world champ “Bodysnatcher” Mike McCallum, 49-5-1 with 36 knockouts, lived up to his nickname. In his third defense and his possible biggest win, he stopped the unbeaten Julian “The Hawk” Jackson, 29-0, in two rounds.
The United States furnished the best of the best boxers starting with the best in “Sugar” Ray Robinson, 174-19-6 with 109 knockouts and champ in two divisions. 3-division world champ Henry “Homicide” Hank Armstrong, 149-21-10 with 99 knockouts, is right up there with Robinson. They actually fought one another when Armstrong was past his peak, with Robinson taking the win.
The heavyweights produced the two best in Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, 66-3, with 52 knockouts and 25 defenses. The other is Olympic Gold Medalist Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, 56-5, with 37 knockouts, winning the title three times. He had 19 defenses and was the most colorful of all champions.
Others, like middle champ Harry “Pittsburg Windmill” Greb, 262-17-18, with one blind eye. He was the only one to defeat future heavyweight champion Gene “The Fighting Marine” Tunney, 65-1-1, with 48 knockouts.
The best of the smaller weight class champions was feather champ Willie “Will o’ the Wisp” Pep, 229-11-1, with 65 knockouts and one of the best defensive boxers of all time, once winning a round without landing a punch!
Light heavyweight champ Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore, 186-23-10 with a record 132 knockouts, failed in two attempts to win the heavy title.
Born in Canada with less than a dozen fights there, fighting out of the US was one who never won the world title coming as close as a title fight ending in a draw was Sam “The Boston Bonecrusher” Langford, 178-30-38 with 126 knockouts.
Two champs to retire unbeaten were heavyweight Rocky Marciano, 49-0, with 43 knockouts, and 5-division champ Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., 50-0, with 27 knockouts.
Two that fought one another a pair of times were 5-division champs “Sugar” Ray Leonard, 36-3-1 with 25 knockouts, and Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, 61-5-1 with 48 knockouts. 6-division champ Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya, 39-6 with 30 knockouts like Leonard, was also an Olympic Gold Medalist. Another Olympic Gold Medalist and 4-division champ is Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, 40-4-1 with 17 knockouts.
That’s ten of the best pound-for-pound boxers to ever come out of the United States.
Canada’s best may have been heavyweight champ Tommy “The Little Giant of Hanover” Burns, 47-4-8 with 35 knockouts, who at 5’7” was no match for Jack “The Galveston Giant” Johnson, 54-11 and 34 knockouts. New Zealand’s 3-division champ was Bob “Ruby” Fitzsimmons, 61-8-4 with 57 knockouts born in the UK. Australia had 3-division champ Jeff “Marrickville Mauler” Fenech, 29-3-1, with 21 knockouts.
2-division world champ Fighting Harada, 55-7, with 22 knockouts, was one of the best that Japan produced. Korea had Olympian and middle-world champ Ki Soo Kim, 33-2-2, with 17 knockouts as one of their best. He snapped possibly Italy’s best Olympic Gold Medalist and middle champ Nino Benvenutti’s 65-0 winning streak, who ended up at 82-7-1 with 35 knockouts.
8-division world champ Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 62-8-2 with 39 knockouts and still talking about fighting again, was the Philippine’s best.
The UK’s world fly champ was Jimmy “The Mighty Atom” Wilde, 131-3-1 with 98 knockouts, certainly one of the world’s best. Heavyweight champ Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, 41-2-1 with 32 knockouts, was their best big man.
Spain had two with over 100 wins in Luis Folledo, 129-6-2, with 60 knockouts, and Pedro Carrasco, 105-3-2, with 67 knockouts. Cuban-born Jose Legra was 27-3-2 when he arrived in Spain, ending with a 129-11-4 with 49 knockouts record.
France had Algeria-born middle champ Marcel Cerdan, 110-4, with 65 knockouts at the time of his death. Hungary had 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist Laszlo Papp, 27-0-2, with 15 knockouts following a 125-3 amateur career. Another Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-division world champ were Italy’s Nino Benvenutti, 82-7-1, with 35 knockouts.
Russia’s Nikolai “The Russian Giant” Valuev, 50-2 with 34 knockouts, was the world heavyweight champion at 7’0”. Kazakhstan’s Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, 42-2-1 with 37 knockouts, is the current world middle champ and Olympic Silver Medalist.
Germany’s world heavyweight champ Max Schmeling, 56-10-4 with 39 knockouts who stopped the then unbeaten Joe Louis was one of the best. Gustav “Bibi” Scholz, 88-2-6 with 46 knockouts, was another top one.
Ukraine had one of the great amateurs in winning 2 Olympic Gold Medals and a 2-division world champ as a pro in Vasyl “Loma” Lomachenko, 17-2 with 11 knockouts and still active. The Klitschko brothers both held heavyweight titles. Vitali “Dr. Ironfist,” 45-2 with 41 knockouts, won the title first. Vladimir “Dr. Steelhammer,” 64-5 with 53 knockouts and the 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist.
I have met many great boxers that I have included in both articles, such as Muhammad Ali, “Smokin” Joe Frazier, Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes, 1976 Olympians “Sugar” Ray Leonard, and the Spinks brothers, Willie Pep, Roberto Duran, Alexis Arguello, Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, Carlos Ortiz and Kid Gavilan. The last two were my two all-time favorites.
- Was Ali or Joe ‘The Brown Bomber’ Louis the Best?
- Not Only Marciano & Mayweather Left Boxing Unbeaten!
- Fighters of Many “Colors” May Surprise You!
- Who Had the Most Successful Title Defenses?