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10/12/2007 12:23:00 PM

Most Popular Boxers of All Time

Any list of popular boxers will start with Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali.
Jerry Cooke/SI
By Richard Deitsch, SI.com

Though he's never thrown a punch as a professional boxer, Carl Weathers is easily one of the most famous fighters in history. That's the iconic power of playing Apollo Creed. But the 59-year-old actor does have legitimate sports connections: Weathers was a star linebacker at San Diego State and played for the Oakland Raiders in 1970 and 1971 before moving to CFL's British Columbia Lions for 18 games over three seasons. While in New York promoting his news sports comedy The Comebacks, which opens next Friday, SI.com caught up with Weathers to get his five favorite fighters of all time:

1. Muhammad Ali: From Day 1 this guy was magnificent to watch. He has to be on this list.

2. Sugar Ray Leonard: He really was an amazing fighter. His fights with Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns were brutal battles.

3. Sugar Ray Robinson: I never saw him fight in person but watching film on that man was like watching a ballet dancer. When that punch came, guys just dropped like a ton of bricks. For his weight class, he had a ton of power.

4. Rocky Graziano: He always impressed me. He wasn't a big guy when you looked at film on him, he was just a bad dude. When he got the ring, he just seemed bent on taking the other guy out.

5. Floyd Mayweather: He has more confidence than anybody outside of Ali. People think this guy is bragging and full of himself: I just think he does not see himself in any way except victorious. Now to watch him on Dancing on Stars, he comes off like a sweet guy. He's committed on that show like he would be for a championship fight.

Agree with Carl? Tell us your five favorite boxers.
posted by SI.com | View comments |


Posted: October 12, 2007 12:51 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Totally agree with Ali #1. He IS the GREATEST. His personality was fun, his banter/relationship with Cosell was hilarious and he was simply an amazing boxer. Gotta love him, then and now.
Posted: October 12, 2007 1:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Mayweather is a first-class jerk. Sweet guy? Check his history.
Posted: October 12, 2007 1:12 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Who didnt love the raw power of Mike Tyson in the 1980s?
Posted: October 12, 2007 1:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
where was Tyson? who wasnt on the Tyson train in the 80's. pure power and crazy k.o's.

You forgot Rocky Marciano, you fool.

His website: www.rockymarciano.net/
Posted: October 12, 2007 1:42 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
He may be totally INSANE, and maybe wasn't as pretty as Ali or as fundamental as some others, but Mike Tyson, in his prime, for his time, was VERY VERY popular. People jammed arenas and paid $50 on pay per view to watch him pummle opponents. Mike is a dim shadow of what he used to be, or could of been, but at one time he was AWESOME, and popular.
Posted: October 12, 2007 1:45 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
#1 Rocky Marciano was the GREATEST
Posted: October 12, 2007 2:00 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Arturo Gatti
Posted: October 12, 2007 2:11 PM   by Anonymous big ghi
Good list, but here are two who didn't make it.

George Foreman - not the first incarnation, but the powerful, lovable bald guy who came back. The man was all smiles, and so much fun to listen to. He reinvented himself (and invented some cooking devices).

Vito Antefuermo - this guy seemed like a real-life Rocky. Great battles with Hagler.
Posted: October 12, 2007 2:38 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Good list, I think you have to put Hagler and Hearns in there after the fight they had against each other. One of the greatest fights ever! Pure excitement for 3 rounds.
Posted: October 12, 2007 2:41 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Vinny Paz???
Posted: October 12, 2007 2:58 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
It is tough to classify what Popular means. If it means worldwide acknowledgement and recognition I would go with:


If it means the most loved boxers of all time (during their fighting days) I would go with:

Posted: October 12, 2007 3:07 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How in the world can you not include Mike Tyson, that guy is known worldwide (hello). Who writes for you guys anyway.
Posted: October 12, 2007 4:56 PM   by Anonymous dag2311
Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson
Posted: October 12, 2007 5:31 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Rocky Graziano? I can think of probably 50 boxers more popular than him
Posted: October 12, 2007 6:06 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Whatever you may think of him as a fighter, Oscar De La Hoya belong easily belongs on this list.
Posted: October 12, 2007 6:41 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: October 12, 2007 6:57 PM   by Anonymous Captain Fantasy
Joe Lewis should mauybe be on that list
You gotta be kidding. Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, James Braddock, and Sugar Ray Robinson not only meant to boxing in their era, they were extremely popular and in case you forgot: great fighters. Shame on you for your poor choices. It must be because of a lack of historical knowledge of the sport or a short memory.
Posted: October 12, 2007 7:22 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I believe that Joe Louis and Archie Moore have to be in the top 5.
Posted: October 12, 2007 9:10 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Floyd Mayweather does notbelong there!
Posted: October 13, 2007 1:25 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
1. Joe Frazier
2. Evander Holyfield
3. Muhammed Ali
4. Roberto Duran
5. Oscar De La Hoya

Honorable Mention: Thomas Hearns, Ray Leonard, & Julio Cesar Chavez.
Posted: October 13, 2007 9:27 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Rocky Graziano...Floyd Mayweather over Rocky Marciano...are you punchy? You can not be serious
Muhammed Ali (for his grace, speed, courage, and personality); Sugar Ray Robinson (for his style, resiliency, and smile); Jack Dempsey (for his power, and helping down and out fighters in later years); Joe Louis (for his courage in the face of racism, and his determination); Archie Moore (for his longevity and craftiness).
Posted: October 13, 2007 12:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Rocky Marciano not mentioned? I did not see him fight since cable was not around back then, but I did see the "recreated" dream match between Marciano and Ali where Marciano "knocked him out" in the last round. The best recreated fight of all time!
Posted: October 13, 2007 12:31 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Mike Tyson
Roy Jones Jr.
Clubber Lang
Jorge Paez
Naseem Hamed

Honorable mention: Kimbo Slice
Posted: October 13, 2007 12:58 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Ali....obvious choice.
Mike Tyson....always a show even in latter years
Leonard.....heart and class
Rocky Marciano...undefeated more than 100 fights???????
Arturo Gatti. I have never seen more heart in a fighter
Posted: October 13, 2007 3:08 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Where's Joe Louis? What about Frazier? What about Foreman? Where's De la Hoya? Those guys were pretty popular?
Posted: October 13, 2007 4:22 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Honestly, I think you have to put Mike Tyson on this list.

Yes he is a very polarizing figure, but he still has a strong following even to this day which speaks volumes. True a lot of people don't like him, but even more do.
Posted: October 13, 2007 4:42 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
MY Five Favorite would be:
1)Evander Holyfield-100% effort at all times.Great fights with Bowe.
2)Marvelous Marvin Hagler-Always looking to be aggressive and do damage,terrific boxer also.
3)Jerry Quarry-from film clips and videos i have seen,great action fighter. Never won the big one though.
4)Diego Corrales-Heart,desire,punching power
Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Rocky Marciano.

To see them was to appreciate the art of the sweet science.
Posted: October 13, 2007 10:36 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
He might not be my favorite, but Mike Tyson has to be one of the most known boxers ever.
Posted: October 13, 2007 11:11 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
1.Rocky Marciano
2.Muhammud Ali
3.Evander Holyfield
4.Sugar Ray Robinson
Posted: October 14, 2007 12:42 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Joe Louis has to be on the list.
Posted: October 14, 2007 11:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Larry Holmes is most underrated Heavyweight of all time. Could have given Ali or Joe Louis all they could handle in their respective primes.
Posted: October 14, 2007 11:49 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
mike tyson in the late 80s.
Posted: October 15, 2007 12:58 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
1) Sugar Ray Robinson
2) Rocky Marciano
3) Wille Pep
4) Carmen Basilio
5) Muhamed Ali
I would have to say:

1. Roberto Duran
2. Rocky Marciano
3. Mike Tyson
4. Jake Lamotta
5. Ali
1. Roberto Duran
2. Rocky Marciano
3. Mike Tyson
4. Jake Lamotta
5. Ali
Posted: October 15, 2007 5:18 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: October 15, 2007 8:11 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
No Joe Louis?
Mike Tyson
Sugar Shane Mosely
Hurricane Carter
Leon Spinks
Joe Louis
Posted: October 15, 2007 10:41 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
For sheer entertainment alone, I'm going with Butterbean.
Posted: October 15, 2007 10:51 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Wladimir Klitschko - Devastating
Posted: October 15, 2007 11:54 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Most popular? What an interesting way to classify an athlete.

What about those who left an indelible impression - make that a POSITIVE indelible impression; unforgettable, legendary. That immediately discounts the Tyson freak show.

I would add Marciano and Duran to the newly classified list.

I really liked Hagler myself, his toughness By the way, he was robbed when he fought Leonard in Vegas. Leonard did not "take it away" from Hagler.
That kind of thing never would have happened in MSG.
Posted: October 15, 2007 11:55 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Who the heck is Butterbean? If he/she/it is not a boxer, then I'm voting for Mr. T, fool.
Posted: October 15, 2007 12:00 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Its funny that reasons for your picks are about their skills and not the range of their popularity. using your criteria #1 IS Rockey Marciano! Too old, too Small, too awkward, and no skills; yet He is the ONLY undefeated , undisputed, record title defense holding, heavey weight champion.
Posted: October 15, 2007 12:19 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: October 15, 2007 12:36 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Very few athaletes transend the sport they were in. Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretszey and Michial Jordan were a few . Muhammad Ali certainly deserves to be number 1. Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson tied for second. Fourth may be Jack Johnson. He was the Dallas Cowboys of his day. You either loved him or hated him.But if you were to go against him, you feared him.
Posted: October 15, 2007 1:52 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
All you guys are Way Off? The most popular boxer of all time should be Matilda the Boxing Kangaroo.
Posted: October 15, 2007 2:31 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
A charactature of himself.. Macho Camacho
Posted: October 15, 2007 2:43 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The five greatest ever (at least from the 1960's on):
1a) Leonard (Olympic gold medallist, beat Benitez, Duran, Hagler and Hearns)
1b)Ali (Olympic gold medallist, had to fight Frazier 3 times and beat both Sonny Liston and Foreman no other heavy weight could have done what Ali did. He was Champ when the heavy weight division was at its best)
2) Joe Frazier (the bouts with Ali were the best fights of all time. The last man to truely beat Ali in his prime)
3) Foreman (in his prime he could destroy any current heavy weight)
4) Tie Roy Jones Jr. - Marvin Hagler - Evander Holyfield all great fighters whose skills, heart and determination only matched by the other fighters on this list.
if you just talking about popularity than you have to put Tyson in there. everyone knows who Tyson is...you might not like him but yuo know who he is
Posted: October 15, 2007 2:56 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
First of all, anyone without Ali on their list are out to lunch.

I would agree that Tyson (for pure animal rage in the ring) and Marciano and very good choices as well.

I personally loved watching Hagler fight.
01. Muhammed Ali
02. Mike Tyson
03. Rocky Marciano
04. Joe Frazier
05. Joe Louis
06. Sugar Ray Leonard
07. Sugar Ray Robinson
08. Jack Dempsey
09. George Foreman
10. Evander Holyfield.
Posted: October 15, 2007 3:19 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
George Chuvalo
Posted: October 15, 2007 3:22 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'd like to see Tyson fight Mike Vick.....or at least a few of Vick's dogs!!
Posted: October 15, 2007 8:49 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Carl Weathers is my favorite boxer.
Posted: October 15, 2007 8:49 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Ali, Frazier, Leonard, Joe Louis, Duran.
Posted: October 18, 2007 8:33 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Everyone only thought ali was the greatest because he said he was. Rocky Marciano was the greatest, along with Sugar Ray Robinson. Joe Frazier should be high on the list too
Posted: December 1, 2007 11:56 PM   by Anonymous Big Tim from Brooklyn
1) Rudy(white foot bottom) Diamond
2) Rusty Brooks
3) S.D. (Special delivery) Jones
4) Kamala
5) Jimmy Snuka
Posted: December 17, 2007 5:09 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Smokin Joe
Sugar Ray
Big George Foreman
My Ex-wife
Whoever made this list has no sense of boxing history. Sugar Ray Leonard #2, c'mon give me a brake.
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