Top 10 Greatest Heavyweights

Deciding who should be on the list of Top 10 Greatest Heavyweights, and in what particular order, is always going to be a bone of contention among boxing fans. What follows are BoxBets and Mark Wilson Smith’s own opinions on the matter. Please do leave a comment with your personal Top 10 below.

Top 10 Greatest Heavyweights


10. Lennox Lewis

“Britain’s best heavyweight”


Career Record


9. Larry Holmes

“One of the best left jabs in history”


Career Record


8. Joe Frazier

“First man to beat Muhammad Ali”


Career Record


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7. Rocky Marciano

“The Rock, never beaten”


Career Record


6. George Foreman

“Reclaimed the title at the age of 45”


Career Record


5.  Jack Dempsey

“Brute force and aggression”


Career Record


4. Joe Louis

“Longest reign as Heavyweight champion”


Career Record


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3. Jack Johnson

“Unbeatable in his prime”


Career Record


2. Muhammad Ali

“The names on his record speaks for itself”


Career Record


1. Mike Tyson

“At his peak, the best of the lot”


Career Record


It may surprise a few boxing purists to see Tyson holding the #1 spot. They will probably mention the defeats on his record or his reduced skill set post incarceration – but BoxBets is not looking at his career as a whole, we are judging him, and each boxer on this list, when he was at the pinnacle of his ability: The unbeaten Mike Tyson of the 1980’s.

In his prime he had the speed, power, movement, and the defence to beat anyone. Taken into the gym at the age of 13, he was an experiment in boxing. What would happen if you take a young man and devote his every waking moment to studying the art of pugilism? The outcome was Mike Tyson.

People like to forget that back in the 80’s many leading boxing writers were hailing Tyson as the greatest ever, the perfect fighting machine. However, a lack of dedication – including drug abuse during his career – and a period behind bars led to major decline in his skills. The post-prison Tyson was a shadow of the pre-prison Tyson. That is why people may be surprised to see him at number one on this list; they look at the defeats to Evander Holyfield (1996 & 1997) and Lennox Lewis (2002) and say he couldn’t mix it with other boxing legends. Don’t forget though, Tyson was at his peak in 1988 – many years before the Holyfield and Lewis bouts. That Tyson would have produced an entirely different performance.

Take a look at the 1980’s Tyson and really look at how he fights. Don’t believe the stories about him being a brawler, look at his head movement, evasive skills, speed, and counter punching. He backed up his freakish power with intelligent aggression. It’s easy to get caught up in the knockout itself, but actually look at the buildup and what set up that shot.

Had Tyson stayed motivated and dedicated to the sweet science, then no one, no one, would be doubting his place at the top of this list.

Top 10 Greatest Heavyweights

Top 10 Greatest Heavyweights

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Top 10 Greatest Heavyweights

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