20) Shawn “Showtime” Porter
Down a few times in sparring (or so I’ve heard), Porter is a tough cookie when the bright lights are shining down into that squared circle. The only knockdown he has received seems to be the quick, flash-in-a-pan one in round 12 of his bout with Broner.
19) Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry
This guy seems like he has been around forever. I remember watching him on ESPN’s fight cards years ago. Here he is, still truckin’, and still taking clean ones to the kisser.
18) Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz
Hard to gauge his exact toughness, but the nice whipping Carl Frampton gave him is an indicator.
17) Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera
A crafty veteran entering the last stages of his career, Herrera has squared off with many formidable scrappers and never wilted. He’s also been stiffed a few times on the judges’ scorecards, but that’s another subject altogether.
16) Omar “Panterita” Figueroa Jr.
Quick question: does Figueroa know what defense is? Here is a young, high-motor fighter who eats punches like Kobayashi eats hot dogs.
15) Juan “Dinamita” Manuel Marquez
Dentable but unbreakable. Marquez has seen the canvass a good number of times in his long and storied journey, but no has made him throw in the towel.
14) Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley
Admired for his toughness, Bradley has engaged many dangerous men and, like Marquez, has refused to hear a ten-count tolled over his battered body.
13) Martin Murray
Only stoppage was at the hands of Gennady Golovkin, who has a 23-fight knockout streak going. And Murray didn’t fold easy, taking a thorough, 11-round beat down. Murray is not your run-of-the-mill lads.
12) Devon “Alexander the Great” Alexander
Juan Urango, Lucas Martin Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, Randall Bailey, Jesus Soto Karass, Shawn Porter. Not a bad list of bangers there, yet Alexander has been put down only once.
11) Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao
He is not a spritely youngster anymore and mentally he is a bit softer, but it’s hard to deny the man still has an exceptional chin. It took many years and many greats before one finally landed a perfect punch (barring the early days, that is).
10) Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez
Not often mentioned in this class, but why shouldn’t he be. He has marched ambitiously through multiple weight divisions, taking on the best of the best, and in recent years, usually as the smaller man. How many times has he hit the deck? One time, over ten years ago, in his 5th professional fight.
9) Julio Caesar Chavez Jr.
Yeah, he’s lacking motivation, but he certainly inherited his father’s toughness. Little do people remember but Chavez started his career at 130 pounds and has absorbed punishment the entire way up. It took a big punching light-heavyweight to finally break him down.
8) Gennady “GGG” Golovkin
By this time just about everyone knows the deal: never dropped or stopped in nearly 400 fights of activity between the amateurs and pros. Not all his opponents are Paulie Malignaggi-types either, as Curtis Stevens, David Lemieux, and Marco Antonio Rubio are legitimate hitters.
7) Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins
One man who gets bright-eyed taking on punchers, not only because he can take one of the chin, but because he’s too crafty to get dragged down into a slugfest. Though he is long past his best, you must give the man loads of credit for taking a few Kovalev bombs at 49 years of age.
6) Mariusz “The Viking” Wach
Took everything Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin could dish out without succumbing. A 6’7” 260-pound monster of a man with a granite chin.
5) Joshua “Grand Master” Clottey
A former longtime welterweight player who has made a home at 154 or above, “Hitter” as he is also known, is immensely strong and has yet to be legitimately hurt. He has battled numerous top men, sometimes losing, sometimes winning, but always hanging tough. The primary example of this is when he avoided any serious distress after dealing with a record 1,677 shots from hard punching Antonio Margarito.
4) Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios
Say what you want about his face-first style, Rios has proven absurdly tough. He has been in numerous wars (not just in the gym) and still managed to stay on his feet in all but one fight, the culmination of poor lifestyle choices and deadly body punches.
3) Ruslan Provodnikov
Hard as steel and cold as ice, Ruslan is a Russian masochist who has taken boat loads of punishment in his career. In four fights against Molina, Matthysse, Algieri, and Bradley alone he’s eaten over 1,200 punches, and Matthysse and Molina are bona fide punchers.
2) “Sugar” Shane Mosley
Stopped once on a back injury, Mosley has one of the truest chins the welterweight division has seen in many years. He has taken on all sorts of punchers from 135-160—Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricardo Mayorga, Antonio Margarito, Vernon Forrest, Saul Alvarez, Fernando Vargas, and others—only to weather whatever storm they bring.
1) James “Lights Out” Toney
Still active and nowhere near the fighter he once was, Toney undoubtedly sports not only the best chin in the boxing world today, but one of the best ever. His ascent from 160 all the way through 200+ whilst rarely being hurt is remarkable. Even more exceptional is the fact that he has never been stopped in a lengthy 91-fight career. Toney is a rare breed of modern man—tough as old shoe leather and crafty as a high-strung fox.