By Al Francis: Boxing fans can almost unanimously agree that Muhammad Ali is the greatest heavyweight of all time. Most of us can also unite in admitting that Joe Louis and Jack Johnson aren’t too far behind. As we look further down the pantheon of greats it becomes considerably more subjective and there are varied opinions on where we should rank heavyweight greats like Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Joe Frazier, Jack Dempsey, John L Sullivan, Jim Jeffries and several more.
By Liam Santiago: The legacy of any fighter is often not fully appreciated until enough years have past or that fighter is unable to ever fight again. The reason for this is often down to the selfish nature of critics and fans. Of course, every boxing fan wants to see the best fight the best. Rocky Marciano retired undefeated after forty nine bouts. Joe Calzaghe came close to equaling the record with forty six.
By Liam Santiago: This subject always fascinates me. You could ask fifty boxing fans who the best ever boxer is and each one would give you a different answer. Obviously, I am not going to try and say who is the greatest of all time. I will say who I think holds the top spot and put an argument up for each fighter I believe come into this category. Is there anyone fighting today that might be considered to take this title now or in the future?
By Erik Schmidt: I often wonder how would the great Rocky Marciano (49-0, 43 KOs) do against today’s heavyweights. It’s perhaps even more of a question now than ever due to the lack of talent and interest in the heavyweight division. It’s been a decade since the heavyweight division had a champion – Mike Tyson – that fans were interested in, and since that time the quality of the fighters has dropped off dramatically, along with naturally the interest in the division as a whole. Many people say that it’s impossible for fighters of different generations to fight each other due to the size differences, the more advanced training techniques, and the better nutrition available now compared to the 40s and the 50s, when Marciano was at the top of the sport.
However, I don’t buy into all that, mainly because I see a lot of really poor trainers and a lot of heavyweights with bad diets and poor conditioning, and if anything, the nutrition and training is worse today than it was before. The main difference now, however, is that there’s a larger pool of people to get fighters from due to many of the other countries now having fighters that have turned professional. Despite that, the division still is in the worst shape now than it has been in years. So for this reason, I think it’s important to throw out the belief that you can’t compare different eras.