East Side Guru
Join Date: May 2007
Location: InYourMouth, NC
Re: Top 15 Heavyweights ever?
5. Rocky Marciano
Marciano had one of the divisions best chins, bone jarring punch, and seemed able to keep coming no matter what.Rocky Marciano's record run of 49 straight wins is, as of this date, still a record. In fact, he never lost as a profesional. You might wonder how a fighter that never lost is not at the top of the list, but his level of competition is what stops him. For the most part, he faced the best he could. Joe Walcott was an excellent fighter, but was 38 years old for their first fight, and 39 in their second. Ezzard Charles may have been the finest light-heavyweight that ever lived, but the smaller man was into his 30's at the time of their fights. Archie Moore is another argument for best light-heavy ever, but was 38 year old out of his division as well. Marciano would probably rank 2 spots higher on this list if he had fought, and defeated (which was possible), Floyd Patterson. If he had faced, and defeated (doubtful), Sonny Liston; he would make an argument for the top spot.
4. Larry Holmes
Larry Holmes tends to be the most underated heavyweight in history. He ranks second in number of consecutive wins, which was 48. He ranks second with his title reign of over 7 years. He also ranks second with number of successful defenses with a more than impressive total of 20. His level of competition was not the best, but he managed to defeat 8 men that held world titles at some point in their careers. Holmes had one of the best jabs ever seen, was an accurate puncher, and was able to pick apart his opponent 69 of the 75 times one was place in front of him. Notable wins came against Ken Norton, Ernie Shavers, Ossie Ocasio, Mike Weaver, Muhammad Ali, Trevor Berbick, Leon Spinks, Gerry Cooney, Tim Witherspoon, James Smith, Carl Williams, and Ray Mercer. Holmes was age 42 when he beat undefeated, 30 year old, Ray Mercer.
3. Jack Johnson
You almost have to rank Jack Johnson highly just on the hell he went through to become champion. It was not easy being black in the early 1900's, and Johnson endured a double dose of hatred. Whites hated Johnson because he was black, and good. Some blacks hated him because he didn't act according to society's standards, and thought that his defiance of the racist majority brought a bad name to all black people. Johnson fought during a time that white fighters could duck black fighters by claiming that they did not believe in fighting people of another race. Johnson had to prove he was the best black heavyweight in the world long before he proved he was simply the best heavyweight. Notable wins came against Sam Langford, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jim Flynn, Tommy Burns, Al Kaufman, Stanly Ketchel, and Jim Jeffries.
2. Joe Louis
Louis may have had the best offensive arsenal in heavyweight history. His power was not that of someone like Mike Tyson, but he could definately hurt you with every punch he hit you with. The closest comparison I can think of at this writing is a heavyweight Julio Cesar Chavez. He has the longest title reign of anyone, over 12 years. He also has more consecutive title defenses than anyone with 26. Notable wins came against Max Baer, Jack Sharkey, James Braddock, Max Schmeling, John Henry Lewis, Billy Conn, and Joe Walcott.
1. Muhammad Ali
Ali may arguably be the most famous athelete ever, but that is not why he ranks at the top of this list. He had a top notch jab, exceptional speed, great chin, a will to win like no other; and he fought during the divisions most competive era. He has the most notable win column of this list with Henry Cooper, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Ernie Terrell, Zora Folley, Jerry Quarry, Jimmy Ellis, Ken Norton, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Ron Lyle, and Ernie Shavers.