Author Archive

Sonny Liston

Sonny Liston was known in the boxing ring as the ‘killing machine’. He was known also an animal outside the ring. During his professional career he won fifty fights and has been arrested nineteen times.

His first true achievement – becoming a world heavyweight champion came in 1962 by beating Floyd Patterson. In 1963 he defeated Patterson again with a knock-out in the first round. In 1964 Liston fought against Cassius Clay but he refused to come out for the second round because of shoulder injury and the winner of the mach was Clay. Liston was accused of throwing the match. In 1965 after his rematch with Ali, where he lost in the first round there were made similar accusations and some even claimed that Liston was not actually hit by the winning punch of Ali.


Leon Spinks

Leon Spinks was born in 1953 in Missouri. He was a brother of Michael Spinks – the Olympic middleweight gold medallist. Not like his brother, Leon Spinks was a heavyweight boxer (at just 205 pounds) but also known as the lightest heavyweight fighter in boxing history. He won the heavyweight gold medal at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, but his most important fight came two years later when he met in the ring Muhammad Ali. This boxing match was not only his eighth professional fight but he also became one of very few boxers in heavyweight class who won against Ali during his prime. Seven months later, Ali dethroned Spinks in a rematch. That was the fastest gained and the shortest kept crown in the history of box.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson became the youngest in boxer history who became America’s world heavyweight champion. His nickname is “Iron Mike Tyson”, known for his incredible strength in the ring and many boxers were too afraid to hit him. He was also famous for his coordination, hand-speed, timing, accuracy and his effective abilities in defence by using the legendary ‘peek-a-boo’ style.


Frank Bruno

The Englishman Frank Bruno won forty of his forty-five matches and in 1995 he became at last world heavyweight champion. He began his professional career in 1980 by beating a string of contestants through knock-out until he was taken down by James “Bonecrusher” Smith. Frank Bruno had numerous opportunities to win the world boxing crown but after starting well, he had series of defeats against Tim Witherspoon, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Bruno was at last crowned champion after winning against Oliver McCall after twelve rounds but he didn’t keep the title for a very long time because he was knocked out by Tyson in three rounds before retiring in 1996.

Joe Frazier

The world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medallist Joe Frazier was born in 1944. He moved to New York after the death of his parents where he demonstrated a natural talent in boxing. His boxing career began with series of fights all over the United States. In 1964, after the hand injury of Buster Mathis, Frazier went and represented America in the Tokyo Olympics. Frazier became famous worldwide by winning the gold medal.


George Foreman

The American two times heavyweight world champion “Big George” Foreman was the oldest man ever who have won the heavyweight crown. He started his career at the age of 19, in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics he attracted the public interest by winning the gold medal. Between 1969 and 1971 his growth as a fighter was remarkable. In all his fights Foreman was unbeatable. In 1970 he won memorably against George Chuvalo and this presented him as one of the toughest knockout boxers in the world history. In 1973 Foreman won in the ring against the heavyweight champion Joe Frazier by knockout in two rounds with knocking him down. Unfortunately, Foreman lost his crown to Muhammad Ali in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in 1974.


Rocky Graziano

Thomas Rocco Barbella was born in 1919 in New York City. Nowadays he is best known from the famous Rocky films inspired by him. Rocky grew up on the streets of New York. He began to commit crimes such as stealing but in 1939 he began boxing and he won the title of the Metropolitan AAU welterweight. He decided that boxing is a nice way of making money after selling his gold medal for $15.


Muhammad Ali

No question, the most famous boxing champion of the twentieth century born in 1942 is Muhammad Ali. His real name was as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. and he won 56 of his 61 professional fights. He also won three times the world heavyweight championship and a gold medal in the 1960 Olympic light-heavyweight competition in Rome. In 1964 after winning at Miami Beach against Sonny Liston, Ali was crowned heavyweight champion. After the boxing match he stated: “I am the greatest, I shook up the world” – it was difficult to argue with him by the end of his career.


Sugar Ray Robinson

Sugar Ray Robinson was born in 1921 in Georgia as Walker Smith Jr, He got the name Ray Robinson when he borrowed a (Ray Robinson’s) boxing card from a friend in order to use it in the Harlem Gym. After George Gainford (his coach) saw him fighting for the first time the name Sugar Ray Robinson stuck and his motions and style were described as ‘sweet as sugar’.


Weight classes

The professional male boxers are split initially into eight categories based on their weight class: heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight:

  • Heavyweight boxers have no weight limit, but they must weigh over 200lbs or 91kg. Some of the world famous heavyweights, include Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali;
  • Light heavyweight fighters weigh maximum 175lbs or 79.5kg. For example in the beginning of his career in 1936, Archie More was a light heavyweight fighter;
  • Middleweights weigh up to 160lbs or 72.5kg. Some of the world famous British boxers in this division are Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank;
  • Welterweight boxers such as ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson weigh maximum 147lbs or 66.7kg;
  • Lightweight fighters weigh up to 135lbs or 61.4kg. Roberto Duran and Julio Cesar Chavez are two star lightweights;
  • Featherweights like Willie Pep and ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed weigh up to 126lbs or 57.1kg;
  • Bantamweight boxers weigh a maximum of 118lbs or 53.5kg. Legendary bantamweight fighters are Eder Jofre and Wayne McCullough;
  • Flyweight fighters weigh maximum 112lbs or 51kg. Good examples for this category fighters are the incredible Ricardo Lopez and Jimmy Wilde.