I made the suggestion of Johnathan and I making these lists, yet I am the last to do so. As with his list, this isn’t who I think is the greatest fighter of all-time, just the ones I most enjoying watching and re-watching. There are some still-current fighters that could be on here, but these are my all-time guys.
Here goes nothin’!
#5 Wladimir Klitschko. The *best* heavyweight fighter for the last 20 years or so, this guy has definitely defined his era. I know a lot of the gripe with him(and his brother) is that competition waned, but what do you want the guy to do? He jumped in the ring with all comers, and most of the time beat them down and made it look like they didn’t belong in the ring with him. His strong right and great footwork are unmatched as far as I’m concerned. It sure would’ve been interesting if he had ever fought his brother…
#4 Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Do I need to explain? The footwork, the handspeed, the boxing IQ… One of the only fighter’s I’ve consistently bought PPVs for. Every fight was an event, even if the fight itself wasn’t anything spectacular. He dominated most opponents, some came close or were controversially defeated, but rematched and beaten again (Castillo, Maidana). He beat guys bigger than him on several occasions. Just a joy to watch for any defense-minded boxing fan.
#3 Evander Holyfield. Talk about an any place, anytime kind of guy. The guy was really a bloated cruiserweight but took on (and beat) guys like Tyson and Bowe. He took Lennox Lewis to a draw(granted he was beaten by him later on). He went undefeated as a cruiserweight, moved up to heavy and didn’t miss a beat. His first defeat of Tyson was a huge upset and really showed this guy’s toughness.
#2 Oscar de la Hoya. Loved watching this guy fight. One of the big events that got me to start paying attention to boxing again was his fight vs. Mayorga, where Mayorga decided to talk a lot of trash to Oscar, his family, and his manhood, and then Oscar utterly dominated him. It really brought a good vs. evil that I couldn’t keep my eyes off of. He took on a lot of guys he probably shouldn’t have (Hopkins, Pac-man so late in his own career). But he knew when to quit, and now he’s become a helluva promoter.
#1 Thomas Hearns. My Detroit bias on full display, The Motor City Cobra was so exciting, so powerful, won titles in 6 different divisions. Does The War need mentioning? I understand he lost the fight, but definitely the most exciting 3 rounds of boxing I’ll probably ever witness. The big shame for me will always be that his best years where while I was still growing up, and didn’t have access to his fights. But man oh man, I love to go back to YouTube for some of his amazing bouts.