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The Best Boxers of the 20th Century 

Ranker Sports
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Updated April 18, 2020 24.2k votes 2.8k voters 22.6k 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 

#22 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #501 of 2,437 The Most Influential People of All Time #2 of 178 The Best Boxers 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 

#1,705 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #7 of 178 The Best Boxers 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)

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#1,604 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #15 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #12 of 190 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

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)

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#28 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #11 of 71 The Greatest Jewish Athletes Of All Time #10 of 100 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 #131 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #62 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

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)

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#379 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive #725 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #5 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time

7
Sugar Ray Robinson is listed (or ranked) 7 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 

#24 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #3 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #1 of 49 The Best Welterweight Boxers 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)

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#1,785 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,379 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #4 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time

9
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 9 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)

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#1,180 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #9 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #581 of 582 The Greatest Baseball Players 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)

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#1,548 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #18 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #18 of 190 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

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)

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#130 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #35 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #8 of 178 The Best Boxers 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)

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#26 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #12 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #3 of 49 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) 

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#27 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1,232 of 1,344 The Greatest Minds of All Time #6 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time

14
Roy Jones Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 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)

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#13 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #21 of 49 The Best Welterweight Boxers of All Time #35 of 190 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

15
Evander Holyfield is listed (or ranked) 15 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)

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#254 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #942 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #19 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time

16
Lennox Lewis is listed (or ranked) 16 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)

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#1,672 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #22 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #62 of 190 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

17
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 17 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)

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#1,676 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #40 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #21 of 25 Famous People From History You Had No Idea Were Foxy

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)

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#268 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #42 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #49 of 190 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

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 

#34 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #9 of 49 The Best Welterweight Boxers of All Time #6 of 65 The Best Boxers of the 1990s

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 #1,487 of 1,820 The Best Athletes Of All Time #33 of 178 The Best Boxers 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 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #8 of 100 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)

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#21 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #46 of 190 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History #9 of 72 The Best Middleweight Boxers of All Time

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 

#20 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #41 of 190 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History #5 of 45 The Best Boxers of the 1950s

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 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #11 of 190 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

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 

#130 of 178 The Best Boxers of All Time #38 of 100 The Best Heavyweight Boxers of All Time #18 of 45 The Best Boxers of the 1950s