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10/12/2007 12:23:00 PM
Most Popular Boxers of All Time
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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
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 5)
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.
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.
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.