6. Mike Tyson (50-6-0)
“My biggest weakness is my sensitivity. I am too sensitive a person.”
Who would have ever thought a chubby and shy boy from Brooklyn, New York will become one of the greatest champions in boxing, a heavyweight boxer that everybody had to fear.
Born in 1966 in a New York neighborhood where crime was high. He was hanging in various gangs and participating in petty crimes. By the age of 13 he had been arrested 38 times. Reach a final in Tryon School juvie in Johnstown, where his life would change. Bobby Stweart, a former boxer, employee at the time of the detention center, was watching Tyson’s potential and helps him prepare for a career in boxing.
While Mike was 16, his mother dies and he was released from juvie into Cus D’amato’s care, a boxing manager and trainer, who becomes his guardian. Tyson starts to train with D’Amato, who works a lot with his physique and helps him gain trust in himself to participate in various junior boxing competitions.
He participated in the 1982 Olympics where he set a world record, managed to beat all opponents by knockout in the first half, and one of them was put on the floor after just 8 seconds.
Force of nature
Tyson started to become a force of nature, with an unusual muscle mass, he manages to crush all opponents that he faced. He made his pro debut at age 18, on 6 March 1985, when he met Hector Mercedes in Albany. Winning the fight by KO in the first half and then follows a series of 28 wins, 26 of them by knockout, 16 of them achieved in the first half. While he was facing adversaries increasingly strong the growing media took an interest for Tyson. In November 1985 his coach and his guardian D’Amato dies, something that would jeopardize the very strong Tyson.
On November 22, 1986 fight against Trevor Berbick for the World Boxing Council belt (WBC). Wins by way of KO thus becomes the youngest world heavyweight champion at the age of 20 years and four months.
Tyson’s main advantage was strength, an incredible one that his opponents began to fear. Completes his style with speed, accuracy, and coordination, his defence was good too, keeping his hand up.
Iron Mike had big plans and thus aims to fight all the champions at heavyweight. He wanted all possible championship belts. On March 7, 1987 by unanimous decision he defeats James Smith, in Las Vegas, Nevada and adds the second belt, World Boxing Association (WBA). Tyson is already the superstar known worldwide. The series of victories continuous, defeats Pinklon Thomas in May by KO in the 6th round, then on August 1 wins and International Boxing Federation belt (IBF), defeating Tony Tucker on points by unanimous decision.
In 1988 he only fights three times. On January 22 he defeats the legendary champion Larry Holmes with a KO in round 4. It was the only defeat suffered via KO by Holmes out of a total of 75 matches. Followed by an easy fight for Iron Mike, against Tony Tubbs in Tokyo. Quick win in round 2.
On June 27, 1988 he meets Michael Spinks in a match expected by everyone. The expected duel between Spinks’ speed and agility and Tyson’s strength. The fight ended after 91 seconds when Tyson makes his opponent KO. Spinks, who was undefeated until then, would never ever pro box again, being severely abused by Mike Tyson punching power.
If all was well in the ring, outside of Tyson began to have problems, in that period Mike Tyson gets some wins that helped him through the difficult times and champion Douglas lost his belt against Evander Holyfield. Tyson and Holyfield a match everyone wanted to see in 1991.
Although the date and location had been set for the most anticipated fight would not take place during that period. Tyson is accused of rape by a young girl of 18, Desiree Washington. Although Tyson states otherwise, the jury deliberates and condemn Tyson to 6 years in prison. It is released after 3 years, during which Tyson converts to Islam.
Everyone was curious if Tyson can still fight. He began to recover some lost belts, defeating his opponents easily in the first round by KO. On November 9, 1996, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Iron Mike Holyfield meet and is defeated by technical KO in a match for the WBC belt, strongly contested by everyone.
On June 28, 1997, Tyson and Holyfield meet again in the match which was one of the most controversial in boxing history. The fight was interrupted at the end of the 3rd round when Tyson bit Holyfield’s. Tyson is disqualified and the fight ends with a huge scandal and a general range.
The Baddest Man on the Planet
Despite the fabulous oriented career, that generated hundreds of millions of dollars, Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003 due an “extrasportive” life and many excesses and unnecessary purchases.
Mike Tyson, “The Baddest Man on the Planet”, as the press dubbed him, was chosen by the magazine Ring Magazine as the 16th in a ranking of the most feared boxers. Great Muhamad Ali said about Tyson: “if we would have boxed in the same era, i would probably lose, he is powerful“. Iron Mike remains a great champion, but also a very controversial person involved in many scandals and lawsuits. In the ring, however, remains remembered as “Man of Steel”, those who were acquainted with his fist can testify.
5. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0-0)
“If I’m scared and I’m a coward, why do you guys want to see me fight?”
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is an American boxer born on February 24, 1977 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Nicknamed Pretty Boy, he is one of the best boxers of the world, being undefeated in over 19 years of professional career, but also through his numerous world champion titles obtained in five different weight classes.
He puts an end to his career June 6, 2008 by remaining unbeaten before making a winning return, winning again a world belt in September 2011 against Victor Ortiz, then by winning on 2 May 2015 the “fight of the century” against Manny Pacquiao. It was voted the best boxer of the year by the famous magazine Ring Magazine in 1998 and 2007.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., whose namesake father was also a professional boxer in the middleweight, has the distinction of having six-time world champion in five different weight classes. Only Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao have done better. In the Mayweather family, there are two world champions uncles, Jeff Mayweather and Roger Mayweather.
Before turning professional, Floyd had a great experience as an amateur with a record of 84 wins against 6 losses, 3 Golden Gloves wins from 1993 to 19961 and a bronze medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 in the feathers weight category.
He received the nickname Pretty Boy by his amateur boxing team of the American partners, because at the time he was not reached and bruised by the blows. This is due to his ability to defend, the heritage of tremendous work undertaken with his father and uncle. Indeed, it uses a true attitude to bust with wide movements, and very often in sole custody “and reversed side.”
His fought against Oscar de la Hoya in May 2007 enabled him to win the WBC Super Welterweight belt after a hard-fought battle. Previously, he had distinguished himself in the categories super featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and welterweight.
On December 8, 2007, Floyd Mayweather defends his WBC welterweight belt and beat the Englishman Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas by knockout in the 10th round. Hatton is first counted 8 after suffering a heavy left hook then hardly falls before collapsing staggered backwards under a second series of quick blows to the face interrupted by referee Joe Cortez after 1 min 35 s. Ricky Hatton was largely technically dominated trade since mid-combat and clearly leading on points. The score of judges before the shutdown was 89-81 and 88-82 on two bulletins on the third for Mayweather, with the Compubox, keys 129 of 329 blows against only 63 of 372 for Hatton.
Mayweather remains undefeated after 39 fights and confirms its status as a boxer for his generation for his first title in 1998. He won 18 world championships in five different weight classes.
The big return
On May 3, 2009, during the fight between Manny Pacquiao Ricky Hatton, Mayweather announced his return on the rings. At 32, Mayweather faces Mexican Juan Manuel Márquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas September 19, 2009 and wins on points via decision. Following unsuccessful negotiations to mount a fight against Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on 13 March, Floyd Mayweather finally opted for a non-title fight versus game face Shane Mosley.
The September 17, 2011, he fought again for title of world champion by facing Victor Ortiz for the WBC welterweight belt. A controversy is born in the course of the bout. The referee Joe Cortez will take away a point from Ortiz, but while the latter multiplied excuses against Floyd and was not warned, Mayweather took advantage and knocked out Victor Ortiz. Some believe that Mayweather has not demonstrated sportsmanship, other that the arbitrator had revived the fight and Ortiz had already apologized several times. With the win, Mayweather won a new world belt at the age of 34, and remains undefeated.
He does the same in May 5, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas by capturing the WBA belt super welterweight against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto after a successful unanimous decision.
On February 20, 2013, Floyd Mayweather and Showtime PPV sign an agreement of up to six fights over a 30-month period. American boxer could then touch the term of this contract of $ 200 million which would be additional sales revenues by pay-per-view. By adding this variable, his salary could reach 275 million dollars. Mayweather faces Robert Guerrero and May 4, 2013 in Las Vegas and retains WBC welterweight belt by winning clearly on points.
The September 14, 2013, he confronts Saúl Álvarez, a fighter 13 years younger, in the WBC and WBA world championship super-welterweight. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. wins the fight on a majority decision, two judges gave Floyd Mayweather Jr. the win and a third gives a draw. After that fight, he reaches his 45 wins, undefeated and won the WBC and WBA belts. The fight brings in at least $ 41 million payment.
On May 3, 2014, the champion faces Argentine Marcos Maidana for the WBA belt champion. He wins by majority decision of judges. This victory remains controversial, Maidana publicly demand revenge that takes place on September 13, 2014. Mayweather won the fight by unanimous decision.
On February 20, 2015, the holding of a new fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is announced and it takes place on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. Mayweather shows greater precision, boxing effectively and wins by unanimous decision (118-110, 116-112, 116-112) taking the belt WBO championship. Despite this success, a controversy broke out around a Pacquiao shoulder injury. On September 12, 2015 Mayweather had his last fight (according to him) against his compatriot Andre Berto and won the fight by unanimous decision.
4. Julio Cesar Chavez (107-6-2)
“We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.”
Julio Cesar Chavez Gonzalez (born in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora on July 12, 1962) is a retired Mexican professional boxer. He is considered by many in statistical terms as the best boxer who has given to Mexico, and one of the best in the history of boxing. In a career that spanned 25 years, Chavez won four world titles in three different weight divisions: the super featherweight 1984 WBC, WBA Light in 1987, WBC Light in 1988, 1989 WBC Super Lightweight, IBF Light Welter in 1990 and WBC Super Lightweight in 1994.
Julio Cesar Chavez is recognized for his exceptional straight and his powerful hook to the liver, the incessant harassment of his opponents and an extremely strong jaw. He was considered one of best pound for pound in the world in the 90s, Chávez was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame International Boxing for the celebration of 2011.
In 1979 he represented Sinaloa in Mexico City and lost to Diego Avila. According to Chavez, Avila was protected by local judges, so he left disappointed the amateur boxing and turned professional, leaving a short career in amateur boxing with only 14 supported games. In those moments Kid Azteca, which saw him fight in the tournament, he stated he was going to do very well in his career.
Early in the race and the first title, in his twelfth fight, on March 4, 1981, Julio Cesar faced Miguel Ruiz in Culiacan. At the end of the first round, he landed a blow that knocked Ruiz. The blow was dealt at the exact moment when the bell rang, he was reprimanded and Ruiz was declared the winner by disqualification. The next day, however, Ramon Felix, who was Chavez’s manager and member of the Boxing Commission of Culiacan lobbied, changed the verdict and the result was proclaimed “winner” Chavez.
Julio Cesar won his first championship, the vacant super featherweight World Boxing Council (WBC), on September 13, 1984, beating his countryman Mario “Azabache” Martinez in Los Angeles, California. Martinez was the betting favourite in the fight.
The April 19, 1985, he defended his title against Ruben Castillo (02/04/63) defeating in the sixth assault. On July 7, 1988, he fought and defeated the former and future champion at the time Roger Mayweather by knockout in the second round. On August 3, 1986, he won by majority decision to former WBA (World Boxing Association) and future IBF (International Boxing Federation) in the super category, Rocky Lockridge in Monaco.
In his next match, he dominated former champion Juan Laporte but won at the score cards by unanimous decision. Julius Caesar successfully defended his WBC super featherweight title a total of nine times.
Best fighter of all time
He was considered one of the greatest boxers of all time. Retired heavyweight champion Mike Tyson declared, Chavez was the best fighter of his generation and one of the top five boxers in history. ESPN recently ranked him as number 24 on its list of “The 50 Best boxers in history.” In 2002 the magazine “The Ring” gave him 18th place in “The best fighters of the past 80 years.” Also he received the 50th place in his list of “The 100 Best punchers in boxing history”; Jake LaMotta, Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler and Julio Cesar Chavez are considered among the boxers with the most durable and toughest chins that were given to the sport.
He won five world titles in three weight divisions: WBC super featherweight (1984) WBA Lightweight (1987), WBC lightweight (1988), WBC welterweight (1989), IBF junior welterweight (1990) and WBC welterweight (1994). Among the world champions who Chavez defeated are: Jose Luis Ramirez, Rafael Limon, Rocky Lockridge, Meldrick Taylor, Roger Mayweather, Lonnie Smith, Sammy Fuentes, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Juan Laporte, Edwin Rosario, Greg Haugen, Tony Lopez, Giovanni Parisi, Joey Gamache, and Frankie Randall, that Julius Caesar had taken the belt just four months earlier.
Officially three champions lost to Frankie Randall, Oscar De La Hoya and Kostya Tszyu. “Drawn” with two others: Pernell Whitaker and Miguel Angel Gonzalez. In December 2010, Chavez was elected with Mike Tyson, Kostya Tszyu and actor Sylvester Stallone to enter the Hall of Fame boxing.