10 of the best boxers of all time

Ranking boxing's most prolific and hard hitting champions.
Muhammad Ali Joe Frazier Heavyweight Fight
Muhammad Ali Joe Frazier Heavyweight Fight / Herb Scharfman/Sports Imagery/GettyImages
10 of 11

2. Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali's name is as synonymous with boxing as any other fighter in history. His charisma, nearly unmatched talent, and willingness to stand up for himself inside and outside the ring made him a fighter for the ages. He retired a three-time heavyweight champion with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts.

Ali took up boxing at age twelve and went on to have a great amateur career under the name, Cassius Clay. He won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1960 and went professional after. It didn't take long for him to use his unorthodox footwork, unconventional punching prowess, and lyrical trash talk to ride his way to a heavyweight title opportunity in 1964.

He made the best of this chance, defeating the feared Sonny Liston and asserting his spot as the best. Shortly after this fight, Cassius Clay announced his name change to Muhammad Ali and that's the name he went on to be remembered best by.

Ali's three separate title reigns consisted of him beating the greatest champions of the 1960s and 1970s like Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and the aforementioned Liston. He revolutionized the use of trash talk and used his platform not only to catapult boxing but his passion for the Civil Rights Movement as well.

Though initially criticized for keeping his hands low, relying on fancy footwork, and throwing off-rhythm punches, Ali paved his own path toward greatness and cemented himself as one of the most recognizable athletes as well as the best boxers of all time.