How many global superstars have we had in boxing?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by BlackCloud, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. reznick

    reznick In the 7.2% Full Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    Given your criteria in the OP, it would only be Ali.

    But if we’re cutting some slack:

    Jim Jeffries
    Jack Johnson
    Jack Dempsey
    Joe Louis
    Muhammad Ali
    Mike Tyson
    Floyd Mayweather
    Manny Pacquaio
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  2. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Ali, Tyson, Mayweather, Dempsey, Louis, and Johnson.
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  3. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    All-time, who knows. The world was a much smaller place even 100 years ago. And information wasn't as widely shared 50 or 100 years ago. Countries were cut off from global news.

    Today? Really only Muhammad Ali.

    And he hasn't fought in 40 years.

    Everyone knows the name Muhammad Ali and that he was a boxer. Little kids. Old people. Basically everyone alive today. He is a global, historical figure.

    The rest, they are all really regional stars. Or there are corners of the world who have no idea who they are if you say their name.

    Or, if they were known in their day, those who knew them are dead or they are long since forgotten by the vast majority of the world's population - if most of the world even knew who they were back in their day.

    Just Ali, really.
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  4. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
  5. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jan 22, 2008
    I agree that Ali fits the bill. He was referred to as "the most famous person in the world" for a time. But I also agree that his recognizability decreases with time. Around the time of his death I saw several mainstream articles where his name wasn't even spelled correctly.

    Joe Louis is up there. Kids today wouldn't know who he was, though, and I see him referred to as "Joe Lewis" in mainstream publications.

    Tyson, definitely.

    Foreman, probably, thanks to the grill and his other ads. Even in the seventies he acted on mainstream TV shows that everyone saw, at least in the states.

    Eubank? No way. No in the U.S. Maybe in the U.K., but not here. I don't even recall him on the cover of boxing mags, much less in the mainstream press. Holyfield was far better known here.

    Most of the guys mentioned were famous for a time and then forgotten. As far as mainstream recognition, you could go anywhere in America and show people pictures of Joe Biden and Boris Johnson and many people wouldn't know who they are.
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  6. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Well-Known Member Full Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    Only Ali and Tyson are known in every country on the planet

    So if that's your definition of global superstar then it's just those two
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  7. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    I think that when you factor in colonialism, a few of the bare knuckle champions would meet the criteria.

    People would have known who Jem Mace and John L Sullivan were, in any country where you could get newspapers.

    Even somebody like Tom Cribb or Tom Sayers, would have been discussed from London, to the Cape, the New World, and the Antipodes!
  8. Blaxx

    Blaxx Member Full Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    Ali & Tyson are known in villages in Kenya. I've met people who think boxing, UFC and WWE the same thing but they knew who Ali and Tyson are.
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  9. Cecil

    Cecil Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 22, 2015
    The four that have been mentioned by the OP just about covers it but Ali was simply on another level.
    At his height he was possibly the most famous person on earth.
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  10. TBooze

    TBooze Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    As mentioned by many here, if it is done on the criterion the opening poster wants, then it is only Ali.

    If you have the further caveats of at the time and in the Developed world, then the list starts with Jem Mace and then John L.. And the numbers go in the classic bell curve, probably peaking in the 50s sometime.
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
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