Sports

The Best Boxers of the 20th Century 

Ranker Sports
Originally by
Updated April 18, 2020 23.8k votes 2.8k voters 22.2k views 207 items

List Rules Vote for the greatest boxers in any weight class based on their performances during the 20th Century

Who are the best boxers of the 20th century? This list of the best boxers of the 20th century contains some of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport. From legends like Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Louis to late-century stars like Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, and Evander Holyfield, this list of the greatest boxers of the 20th century will surely include some of your favorite fighters of all time!

Now it's your turn to vote on who you think are the greatest boxers of the 20th century from the list below. See a great boxer from the 20th century missing from the list? Add them so that other boxing fans and Rankers can vote on your addition!
list ordered by
1
Rocky Marciano is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 46 (1923-1969)

Birthplace: Brockton, Massachusetts, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

49 fights from 1947-1955
49 wins (43 KO)

More Rocky Marciano 

#2 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #527 of 2,444 The Most Influential People of All Time #106 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

2
Jack Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 88 (1895-1983)

Birthplace: Manassa, Colorado, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

75 fights from 1914-1927
54 wins (44 KO)

More Jack Dempsey 

#7 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #2,008 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on College & Professional Athletes Who Were Raised Mormon

3
Gene Tunney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
darren-bell added Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 81 (1897-1978)

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York

Nationality: United States of America

85 fights: 65 wins (48 KO)

More Gene Tunney 

#15 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #1,778 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #9 of 102 The Best Heavyweight Boxers of All Time

4
Max Baer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
darren-bell added Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 50 (1909-1959)

Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Nationality: United States of America

81 fights: 68 wins (59 KO)

More Max Baer 

#28 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #15 of 71 The Greatest Jewish Athletes Of All Time #10 of 102 The Best Heavyweight Boxers of All Time

5
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: 77

Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

61 fights from 1960-1981
56 wins (37 KO)

More Muhammad Ali 

25 Muhammad Ali Quotes To Get You Floating Like A Butterfly #127 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #59 of 469 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

6
Joe Louis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 67 (1914-1981)

Birthplace: La Fayette, Alabama, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

69 fights from 1934-1951
66 wins (52 KO)

More Joe Louis 

#376 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #5 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #695 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

7
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 67 (1944-2011)

Birthplace: Beaufort, South Carolina, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

37 fights from 1965-1981
32 wins (27 KO)

More Joe Frazier 

#597 of 598 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #9 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #1,210 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

8
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Super bantamweight, Flyweight, Welterweight

Age: 41

Birthplace: Kibawe, Philippines

Nationality: Philippines

29 fights from 1995-2000
27 wins (20 KO)

More Manny Pacquiáo 

#1,936 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #4 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #1,416 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

9
Sugar Ray Robinson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Welterweight, Middleweight

Age: Dec. at 68 (1921-1989)

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

200 fights from 1940-1965
173 wins (108 KO)

More Sugar Ray Robinson 

#3 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #75 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 55 The Best Welterweight Boxers of All Time

10
Archie Moore is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century

Age: Dec. at 82 (1916-1998)

Birthplace: USA, Mississippi, Benoit

Nationality: United States of America

219 fights: 186 wins (132 KO)

More Archie Moore 

#19 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #1,712 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #11 of 102 The Best Heavyweight Boxers of All Time

11
George Foreman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: 70

Birthplace: Marshall, Texas, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

81 fights from 1969-1997
76 wins (68 KO)

More George Foreman 

#133 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #8 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #79 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

12
Sugar Ray Leonard is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Super middleweight, Welterweight, Light middleweight

Age: 63

Birthplace: Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

40 fights from 1977-1997
36 wins (25 KO)

More Sugar Ray Leonard 

#12 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #93 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #3 of 55 The Best Welterweight Boxers of All Time

13
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: 53

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Nationality: United States of America

48 fights from 1985-2000
46 wins (40 KO) 

More Mike Tyson 

#263 of 469 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time #6 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #44 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

14
Evander Holyfield is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Cruiserweight, Light heavyweight, Heavyweight

Age: 57

Birthplace: Atmore, Alabama, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

41 fights from 1984-2000
35 wins (22 KO)

More Evander Holyfield 

#254 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #18 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #949 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

15
Roy Jones Jr. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Super middleweight, Middleweight, Light heavyweight

Age: 50

Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

74 fights: 65 wins (47 KO)

More Roy Jones Jr. 

#13 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #21 of 55 The Best Welterweight Boxers of All Time #5 of 72 The Best Middleweight Boxers of All Time

16
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 68 (1878-1946)

Birthplace: Galveston, Texas

Nationality: United States of America

101 fights from 1900-1938
71 wins (38 KO)

More Jack Johnson 

#40 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #21 of 25 Famous People From History You Had No Idea Were Foxy #1,956 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

17
Lennox Lewis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: 54

Birthplace: West Ham

Nationality: United Kingdom, Canada

37 fights: 35 wins (26 KO)

More Lennox Lewis 

#22 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #1,881 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #4 of 67 The Best Boxers of the 1990s

18
Larry Holmes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Heavyweight

Age: 70

Birthplace: Cuthbert, Georgia, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

75 fights: 69 wins (44 KO)

More Larry Holmes 

#273 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #42 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #21 of 67 The Best Boxers of the 1990s

19
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Welterweight, Lightweight, Light middleweight

Age: 46

Birthplace: East Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

More Oscar de la Hoya 

#35 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #1,591 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #9 of 55 The Best Welterweight Boxers of All Time

20
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Welterweight, Featherweight, Lightweight

Age: 42

Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

More Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

50 Cent & Floyd Maywather’s Feud: A History Of Their Animosity #33 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #1,581 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time

21
John L. Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
anthony-alan added Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 60 (1858-1918)

Birthplace: Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts

Nationality: United States of America

More John L. Sullivan 

#17 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #8 of 102 The Best Heavyweight Boxers of All Time

22
Harry Greb is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Middleweight

Age: Dec. at 32 (1894-1926)

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Nationality: United States of America

298 fights from 1913-1926
261 wins (48 KO)

More Harry Greb 

#20 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #9 of 72 The Best Middleweight Boxers of All Time #46 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

23
Willie Pep is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Featherweight

Age: Dec. at 84 (1922-2006)

Birthplace: Middletown, Connecticut

Nationality: United States of America

241 fights from 1940-1966
229 wins (65 KO)

More Willie Pep 

#21 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #42 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History #2 of 48 The Best Featherweight Boxers of All Time

24
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
Middleweight

Age: 98

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Nationality: Italy, United States of America

106 fights: 83 wins (30 KO)

More Jake LaMotta 

Behind The Scenes Of 'Raging Bull,' The Masterpiece Scorsese Never Wanted To Make #16 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #7 of 72 The Best Middleweight Boxers of All Time

25
Ingemar Johansson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Boxers of the 20th Century
darren-bell added Heavyweight

Age: Dec. at 77 (1932-2009)

Birthplace: Gothenburg, Sweden

Nationality: Sweden

More Ingemar Johansson 

#128 of 188 The Best Boxers of All Time #38 of 102 The Best Heavyweight Boxers of All Time #14 of 52 The Best Boxers of the 1960s