VA
  • TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Boxing News / Top 19 Heavyweights of all time

Top 19 Heavyweights of all time

Ranking the Top 20 Heavyweights of all time!
Publish Date: 09/25/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Top 20

Everybody has differing opinions on almost everything and for boxing fans the top heavyweights of all time always spark discussions and I am sure this article will also. Check out the top boxing betting strategies.

19) Riddick Bowe

Like Mike Tyson, Bowe was his own worst enemy, but when he was at his best he was special. His three fights with Holyfield were one of the best trilogies in heavyweight history. In fact, the first fight with Holyfield is what gets him on this list. He was damn good that night.

Video: Riddick Bowe - Heavyweight Monster

Riddick Bowe – Heavyweight Monster

Check out the top sportsbook bonuses for betting on boxing!

SI Sportsbook
1.
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
Bonus Code
******
SI Sportsbook Bonus Code
***** Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bonus Details
Type:
Free Bet
Cashable:
yes
Requirements (WR):
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly – Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
BetRivers.com
2.
100% up to
$500
Bonus Code
******
BetRivers.com Bonus Code
***** Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bonus Details
Type:
Risk-Free Bet
Cashable:
yes
Requirements (WR):
BetMGM
3.
100% up to
$1000
Bonus Code
******
BetMGM Bonus Code
***** Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bonus Details
Type:
Risk-Free Bet
Cashable:
no
Requirements (WR):
1x Bonus
DraftKings
4.
20% up to
$1000
Bonus Code
******
DraftKings Bonus Code
***** Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bonus Details
Type:
Deposit Bonus
Cashable:
yes
Requirements (WR):
25x Bonus
FanDuel
5.
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
Bonus Code
******
FanDuel Bonus Code
***** Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bonus Details
Type:
Welcome Bonus
Cashable:
yes
Requirements (WR):

18) Harry Wills

Wills holds wins over a host of top heavyweights including Luis Firpo, “Big” Bill Tate, Kid Norfolk, Sam Langford, Billy Miske, Sam McVea, Battling Siki, and the great Joe Jeannette. He never got a shot at the title against Jack Dempsey even though he was more than deserving.

Video: Harry Wills - Boxing's Black Panther

Harry Wills – Boxing’s Black Panther

17) Ken Norton

This man is one of the most underrated heavyweights ever. He could have easily won decisions three times over the great Ali. Styles make fights.  His war with Holmes was razor-close, and Ali and Holmes are two of the greatest heavyweights of all time.

Video: Ken Norton - Black Hercules (Highlight Reel)

Ken Norton – Black Hercules (Highlight Reel)

16) Ezzard Charles

Charles was the greatest light heavyweight that ever lived who never got a shot at the title. Charles moved up to heavyweight and owns victories over an older but still tough Joe Louis. He also defeated Jersey Joe Walcott and defended the heavyweight title numerous times. He gave Rocky Marciano all kinds of hell losing a 15 round decision to the Rock and then split Marciano’s nose open before Rocky recovered to stop Charles in the eighth round.

15) Mike Tyson

Why so low? The people listed ahead of him were mentally tougher! Tyson was a terror against inferior competition but did struggle against the likes of James Tillis and Bonecrusher Smith. His best win was against an over-the-hill blown-up light heavyweight in Michael Spinks. Tyson was defeated by Holyfield twice and then Lennox Lewis, and before you delusional Tyson fans start screaming, Tyson was past his prime. Remember one thing, Tyson was supposed to beat an over-the-hill Holyfield. In the end, Tyson’s resume does not match up to the guys listed above him. Put it like this, Norton beat Ali, Klitschko was champ for a decade, and Tunney beat Dempsey twice.

Video: Mike Tyson Highlights ● Power ● Speed ● Defense ● Combinations

Mike Tyson Highlights ● Power ● Speed ● Defense ● Combinations

14) Wladimir Klitschko

Klitschko dominated the division for a decade and beat everybody. Early in his career, Wladimir was derided as being a glass chin white hope, but by the time his career was over, Klitschko was finally getting the credit he deserved.

Video: Wladimir Klitschko Highlights

Wladimir Klitschko Highlights

13) James J. Jeffries

Jeffries retired as an undefeated heavyweight champion and had wins over  James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Joe Choynski, and Tom Sharkey. Jeffries was an all-time great fighter and was considered that way at the time of his retirement. Unfortunately, he will most be remembered for coming back five years after retirement to fight Jack Johnson. Jeffries was a shadow of himself that day. I will make the case that a prime Jeffries may have beaten Jack Johnson.

Video: The Greats: James J. Jeffries

The Greats: James J. Jeffries

Check out the top sportsbook providers for betting on boxing!

SI Sportsbook
1.
97/100
Rating
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
SI Sportsbook Sports Bonus
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
SI Sportsbook Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Highlights
  • Impressive $50 free bet bonus
  • Easy-to-navigate website and mobile platform
  • Plenty of betting options
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly – Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
BetRivers.com
2.
95/100
Rating
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
100% up to
$500
BetRivers.com Sports Bonus
100% up to $500
BetRivers.com Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Highlights
  • Reputable brand
  • Payments via PayPal accepted
  • Reasonable wagering requirements
BetMGM
3.
94/100
Rating
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
100% up to
$1000
BetMGM Sports Bonus
100% up to $1000
BetMGM Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Highlights
  • Excellent range of sports betting markets
  • Straightforward user experience
  • Competitive odds
DraftKings
4.
92/100
Rating
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
20% up to
$1000
DraftKings Sports Bonus
20% up to $1000
DraftKings Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Highlights
  • Superb range of different sporting leagues
  • Effective in-play betting feature
  • Exciting fantasy team building
FanDuel
5.
90/100
Rating
Credit Card
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
FanDuel Sports Bonus
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
FanDuel Review
***** Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Highlights
  • Well-known company
  • Excellent range of markets
  • Clever site design

12) Sonny Liston

Liston had a great jab and was a menacing personality in the ring. He destroyed Floyd Patterson in the first round not once, but twice. Liston was a 7-1 favorite over Ali but of course, nobody foresaw Ali someday being the greatest of all time. Liston also knocked out Cleveland Williams, Nino Valdes, Roy Harris, Zora Folley, and Eddie Machen.

Video: Sonny Liston Knockouts / Highlights HD

Sonny Liston Knockouts / Highlights HD

11) Jack Johnson

There are so many false myths about Johnson that people believe that are ridiculous. One thing that is not a myth is the fact that Johnson was a great fighter. Johnson beat the likes of Sam Langford, Tommy Burns, James J. Jeffries, Stanley Ketchel, Jim Flynn, Joe Jeannette, and Sam McVea. He eventually would lose his title after being knocked out by Jess Willard. A lot of people think the fight was fixed. It wasn’t.

Video: The Legendary Jack Johnson

The Legendary Jack Johnson

10) Jack Dempsey

Most heavyweights before Dempsey were straight-up fighters, Dempsey was different with his bobbing and weaving attack. He was a relentless body puncher who would cut you down to size.

Video: Jack Dempsey - Brutal Destruction

Jack Dempsey – Brutal Destruction

9) Vitali Klitschko

Why Vitali here and not Wladimir? That’s easy you can’t question Vitali’s chin! His greatest win may have been his loss in a bloody battle with the great Lennox Lewis. Injuries shortened the number of title defenses Klitschko would have but anybody on this list would have trouble in a fight against Vitali.

Video: VITALI KLITSCHKO || Highlights/Knockouts

VITALI KLITSCHKO || Highlights/Knockouts

8) Evander Holyfield

Holyfield was the greatest cruiserweight in boxing history and when he moved up to heavyweight most thought it would be a lost cause with a man named Mike Tyson sitting on the throne. Tyson of course was upset by Douglas who Holyfield emphatically wiped the floor in three rounds to win the title. Holyfield then stood toe-to-toe and beat George Foreman. All in all, Holyfield always gave fans their money’s worth and would go on to beat Tyson twice and Bowe once.

Video: Evander Holyfield Career Highlights

Evander Holyfield Career Highlights

7) Joe Frazier

Frazier’s only losses were to Ali and Foreman twice each, but he did win the first fight with Ali and on that night in March he could have beaten anybody who ever fought, that night he was special. He owns wins over Jimmy Ellis, Buster Mathis, Jerry Quarry, Joe Bugner, Oscar Bonavena to name a few.

Video: Smokin Joe Frazier HD

Smokin Joe Frazier HD

6) George Foreman

Foreman was a wrecking machine in the 1970s as he blew through the heavyweight division. He destroyed both Joe Frazier and Ken Norton in two rounds each and would later beat Ron Lyle in an all-time classic slugfest. Foreman retired for a decade after losing to Jimmy Young. While most thought Foreman’s comeback was a joke, he proved it wasn’t by giving a prime Evander Holyfield all he wanted. Finally, at the age of 45, he knocked out Michael Moorer to regain the title he had lost to Ali twenty years before.

Video: George Foreman - In His Prime

George Foreman – In His Prime

5) Lennox Lewis

Lewis is at number six because the two losses to Rahman and McCall make it hard to put him over the guys in the top five. But Lewis was a legend and defeated an older version of Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. He beat and dominated a prime David Tua and at the end of his career won an epic war with Vitali Klitschko. Check out the top boxing odds!

Video: The Destructive Power Of Lennox Lewis

The Destructive Power Of Lennox Lewis

4) Larry Holmes

Holmes won the title by beating Ken Norton in one of the greatest heavyweight title fights of all time. He then defended that title over an 8-year span. Holmes had one of the greatest jabs in history and was one of the toughest men in boxing history. He was knocked down by Earnie Shavers and looked like he was about to lose his title. Holmes got up and stopped Shavers in the 11th round. It is true that he did not fight guys like Page, Coetzee, and Dokes but does anybody think he really losses to any of these fighters. None of those guys had the heart to dethrone Holmes.

Video: Larry Holmes - Legendary Jab

Larry Holmes – Legendary Jab

3) Rocky Marciano

I know this will piss the younger generation off. Marciano never lost and beat Jersey Joe Walcott twice. Yes, I know Walcott was 38-years-old, but that was when Walcott was at his best. He beat the great Ezzard Charles twice, and Charles was one of the greatest fighters of all time. His win over Joe Louis is always discounted, but Louis was favored over Marciano and was ranked number one. “The Brown Bomber” had beaten multiple top ten contenders over the previous two years. Marciano fought all of the deserving contenders of his time and deserves more respect than what he gets.

Video: Rocky Marciano Was A Savage

Rocky Marciano Was A Savage

Check out the top sportsbooks for betting on boxing!

SI Sportsbook
97/100
SI Sportsbook Review
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
T&Cs apply, 21+
Visit Site
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly – Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
BetRivers.com
95/100
BetRivers.com Review
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply, 21+
Visit Site
BetMGM
94/100
BetMGM Review
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply, 21+
Visit Site

2) Joe Louis

Louis was the champion for almost 12 years and defended his title 25 times. The Brown Bomber scored maybe the greatest win any boxer ever got with his rematch win over Max Schmeling.

Video: Joe Louis - Punching Perfection

Joe Louis – Punching Perfection

1) Muhammad Ali

Nobody comes close to fighting Ali’s quality of competition during his reign. Wins over Liston, Frazier, Foreman, and Norton are pretty special but throw in the Quarry, Patterson, Bonavena, Lyle, Shavers, Folley, Ellis, and Ali is number one.

Video: Muhammad Ali Highlights - The Greatest

Muhammad Ali Highlights – The Greatest

———–

Thanks for reading Ranking the Top 20 Heavyweights of All Time! Pretty sure you enjoyed the read. If you are into placing some bets on boxing, you should certainly check our overview of the best boxing betting sites for US bettors. We also compared the best boxing betting apps and can provide the latest betting odds for boxing.

Should you be looking for the right sportsbook, definitely have a look at our Draftkings sportsbook review, our Fanduel sportsbook review and our Unibet sportsbook review. Certainly some solid recommendations for betting on boxing. They will welcome you with a nice bonus, so check the Draftkings sportsbook promo code, the Fanduel sportsbook promo code or the Unibet sportsbook promo code and sign-up through one of our links.

———–

Read Also
The Truth Behind Lennox Lewis vs. Riddick Bowe and Why it Never Happened
Back in 1992, the best heavyweights in the world, Evander Holyfield, Riddick ...
Who was the greater fighter? Mike Tyson or Michael Spinks?
Many people will glance at this headline and automatically think this is ...
SI Sportsbook Promo
Mike Tyson: Myth or legend?
Mike Tyson: Myth or Legend? I hear a lot of younger people ...
Top 10 Fights That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype
Two legendary champions meet at Madison Square Garden with the whole world ...
Top-10 Heavyweight Title Fights Since 1970
This, sad to say, was the last great heavyweight title fight. It ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
What if Mike Tyson Fought in the 1960s and 70s: Part 3 of 3
In part one of our series Mike Tyson was an unstoppable force ...
What if Mike Tyson Fought in the 1960s and 70s: Part 2 of 3
In Part 1, we saw Iron Mike Tyson’s meteoric rise to the ...
What If Mike Tyson Fought in the 1960s and 70s: Part 1 of 3
For this mythical series, we will use our time machine to move ...
Elmer Ray: The Humble Man of Hastings
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for ...
Sportsbook of the month
SI Sportsbook - Get your Free Bet now! Get your Free Bet now!
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Review
97/100
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
95/100
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
94/100
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
92/100
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
90/100
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Bonus
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly - Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
9.5/10
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.4/10
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.2/10
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
T&Cs apply
9/10
Latest News
Top 9 Boxing upsets of the 1980s
Chandler was a dominant Bantamweight Champion, and this ...
NFL TNF WK 14 Raiders vs Rams: Odds, Tips, and Predictions 12/08/22
📅 Date: Thursday, December,01 🕚 Game Time: 8:20 ...
Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings 12/6/22
Minnesota lost its first Big Ten game Sunday ...
Betting Tips
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: The Sports Zone: Top Sports News: Luke Fickell is gone, Bengals/Chiefs Preview and more
The Sports Zone: Top Sports News: Luke Fickell is gone, Bengals/Chiefs Preview and more
Video: The NFL Draft Show
The NFL Draft Show
Video: Froggy Talkin Sports W/Ryan & Joe
Froggy Talkin Sports W/Ryan & Joe
Social Casino of the month
Stake.us - Sign up now! Sign up now!
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
97/100
BetRivers.net
BetRivers.net
BetRivers.net Review
96/100
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
95/100
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Review
94/100
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Review
92/100
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
BetRivers.net
BetRivers.net Bonus
Daily Rewards up to 10k VC$
T&Cs apply
9.6/10
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Join GOLDEN2000 for 2,000 FREE coins
T&Cs apply
9.5/10
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Bonus
7,000 Gold Coins + 10 Sweeps Coins
T&Cs apply
9.4/10
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Bonus
140k GC + 400 FC
T&Cs apply
9.2/10
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Review
97/100
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
95/100
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
94/100
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
92/100
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
90/100
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Bonus
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly - Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
9.5/10
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.4/10
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.2/10
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
T&Cs apply
9/10
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsMark Lewis
+6
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: [email protected]

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

Trading financial products carries a high risk to your capital, especially trading leverage products such as CFDs. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

ccww
Move to Top
Close
Our Sports Pros recommend these awesome Social Casino sites this week:
×
Your Bonus Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site