The Toughest Professional Fighters in History People In Sports

The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

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List Criteria: Professional boxers, wrestlers, and MMA fighters

The toughest professional fighters in history include some of the fiercest and bravest boxers, MMA fighters, and even wrestlers who proved their strength and perseverance time and time again. These tough men are the types you'd love to have behind you in a dark alley or a bar fight, as well as the men who entertain us on pay-per-view fights in the ring and the octagon. We can argue all day about the best boxers, MMA fighters and wrestlers, but which professional fighter is the toughest of them all? Who is the toughest man in history? Vote up your favorite and add other tough guys below.

Despite also being known for their silly UFC fighter nicknames, because of the skill required to compete and the level of danger of the sport, a great argument can be made that mixed martial arts fighters are some of the toughest pro fighters around. Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Dan Henderson and the great Chuck Liddell all lead that pack as some of the toughest MMA fighters and the hardest men in history. 

Others would argue that boxers are the greatest fighters in history. Ukrainian heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, the great welterweight Micky Ward, top puncher Earnie Shavers and Muhammad Ali are favorites in the boxing world as some of the toughest to enter the ring. Sure, some of the technical best boxers of all time are not on that list but remember, this is about the toughest fighters, not necessarily the best.

Professional wrestlers can be added to the mix despite being more entertainers than athletes. Regardless, they are required to be pretty darn tough to do their jobs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Terry Funk, and Mike Foley are just a sampling of the WWF/WWE wrestlers that you wouldn't want to take on in a fight.

Each of these professional fighters dealt with different challenges and opponents as they competed in their respective sports. All of these pro fighters proved their toughness time and time again. To get knocked down once and get back in that ring takes a whole lot of courage, and these fighters did that over and over throughout their careers. If that isn't a measure of toughness, I'm not sure what is.
List Photo:  sportingnews.com
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  1. 1
    + 5,551
    - 2,581
    Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    most listed
    Muhammad Ali United States of America

  2. 2
    + 7,289
    - 2,460
    Rocky Marciano is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Rocky Marciano United States of America, Italy

  3. 3
    + 12,683
    - 7,036

    the people's #1
    Russia

    ;
  4. 4
    + 5,712
    - 3,631
    Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Mike Tyson United States of America

  5. 5
    + 3,515
    - 1,738
    Joe Louis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Joe Louis United States of America

  6. 6
    + 3,031
    - 1,229
    Sugar Ray Robinson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Sugar Ray Robinson United States of America

  7. 7
    + 3,190
    - 2,267
    Anderson Silva is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anderson Silva Brazil

  8. 8
    + 2,690
    - 962
    Jack Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    ranked low on reranks
    Jack Dempsey United States of America

  9. 9
    + 3,101
    - 844
    Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    ranked low on reranks
    Joe Frazier United States of America

  10. 10
    + 3,141
    - 1,395
    Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    added by JamesHunt
    Jake LaMotta Italy, United States of America

  11. 11
    + 4,517
    - 2,563


    Hong Kong, United States of America

    ;
  12. 12
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    - 1,689

    often listed
    Canada

    ;
  13. 13
    + 2,478
    - 851


    United States of America

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2,353
    - 890
    Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    ranked low on reranks & added by SeanPatrickKennedyHill
    Marvelous Marvin Hagler United States of America

  15. 15
    + 2,644
    - 1,426


    United States of America

    ;
  16. 16
    + 2,506
    - 1,414


    Brazil

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,996
    - 1,237


    United States of America

    ;
  18. 18
    + 2,167
    - 1,370


    United States of America

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,437
    - 789

    added by Hammerman47
    Brazil

    ;
  20. 20
    + 2,299
    - 968
    Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    ranked low on reranks
    Manny Pacquiáo Philippines

  21. 21
    + 1,840
    - 1,006


    New Zealand

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,912
    - 1,225
    Evander Holyfield is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Evander Holyfield United States of America

  23. 23
    + 1,266
    - 676
    Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    added by MatthewKurňava
    Ronda Rousey United States of America

  24. 24
    + 1,675
    - 995
    Cain Velasquez is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Cain Velasquez United States of America

  25. 25
    + 1,772
    - 818
    Arturo Gatti is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    added by kassaq
    Arturo Gatti Italy, Canada

  26. 26
    + 1,811
    - 1,115


    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,602
    - 1,124
    Micky Ward is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Micky Ward Ireland, United States of America

  28. 28
    + 1,644
    - 1,177


    Brazil

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1,845
    - 1,225

    added by bcmoney
    Netherlands, United States of America

    ;
  30. 30
    + 340
    - 273

    often listed & added by JamesNicholsIII
    United States of America

    ;
  31. 31
    + 1,510
    - 1,215


    United States of America

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1,159
    - 629
    Archie Moore is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Archie Moore United States of America

  33. 33
    + 983
    - 681


    Russia

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,196
    - 815
    George Chuvalo is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    added by lac la biche
    George Chuvalo Canada

  35. 35
    + 1,213
    - 604

    ranked low on reranks & added by bcmoney

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,178
    - 688
    Julio César Chávez is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    added by g_money_stud
    Julio César Chávez Mexico

  37. 37
    + 990
    - 644
    Gene Tunney is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Gene Tunney United States of America

  38. 38
    + 1,260
    - 962
    Junior dos Santos is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Junior dos Santos Brazil

  39. 39
    + 1,309
    - 1,033


    ;
  40. 40
    + 668
    - 431
    Roy Jones Jr. is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Roy Jones Jr. United States of America

  41. 41
    + 1,167
    - 654
    Thomas Hearns is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    ranked low on reranks
    Thomas Hearns United States of America

  42. 42
    + 1,019
    - 987
    Vitali Klitschko is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Vitali Klitschko Ukraine

  43. 43
    + 127
    - 165

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    United States of America

    ;
  44. 44
    + 859
    - 750


    United States of America

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,279
    - 1,233

    added by bcmoney
    Croatia

    ;
  46. 46
    + 899
    - 968


    United States of America

    ;
  47. 47
    + 339
    - 220
    Sonny Liston is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    ranked low on reranks
    Sonny Liston United States of America

  48. 48
    + 362
    - 532
    Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

    often listed & added by ejlinehan
    Floyd Mayweather Jr. United States of America

  49. 49
    + 678
    - 556
    Carmen Basilio is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History


    Carmen Basilio United States of America

  50. 50
    + 828
    - 702


    ;
229 +

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