Rocky Balboa is one of the greatest boxers in history and one of the few boxers who retired undefeated. Muhammad Ali is another boxing great and one of the all-time greatest in the heavyweight division. This article, however, is focused on boxers who were champions in 4, 5 or 6 different weight categories in any of the four major boxing associations in the world like World Boxing Council or WBC, World Boxing Association or WBA, International Boxing Federation or IBF & World Boxing Organization or WBO. Here are the seven best boxers of all-time.
1. Manny ” Pac Man” Paquiao
The greatest wonder of boxing for this recent time is no other than the pride of the Philippines – Manny Pacquiao. He is obviously the greatest boxer in the world in terms of winning championship belts in different weight classes. He has 8 in a row – from Flyweight to Superwelterweight division. This Filipino boxer who was born in Mindanao is currently the Super Welterweight Champion. Manny Pacquiao is the first Filipino and Asian boxer to win four world titles in different weight divisions and the first to in 8 different weight divisions. He took over as the Ring Magazine pound for pound number 1 ranked boxer in the world on June 9, 2008 after Floyd Mayweather, Jr. announced his retirement from boxing. He is still the pound-for-pound king at present. On December 6, 2008, Pacquiao demolished Oscar Dela Hoya on the 8th round forcing the latter to retire from boxing. His last victims were Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito.
2. Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns
Thomas Hearns was champion in the Welterweight, Super Welterweight, Middleweight, Super Middleweight and Light heavyweight. He is an American 8-time world champion professional boxer. Hearns is considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time. He became the first ever Quadruple, Quintuple and Sextuple Champion in history. He stands 6 ft 1 in tall with unusual long arms and popularly known for his destructive punching power. He has scored many memorable knockouts in his career, and is widely considered as one of the greatest knockout artists of all time.
3. Ray Charles “Sugar Ray” Leonard
Sugar Ray Leonard, as he is popularly known, was a Welterweight, Light middleweight, Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champion of the world. He was named Fighter of the Decade for the 1980s, he is widely considered to be one of the best boxers of all time, winning world titles at multiple weights and engaging in contests with such celebrated opponents as Wilfredo Benitez, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler.
4. Roberto “Hand of Stone” Duran
Roberto Duran was Lightweight, Welterweight, Light middleweight and Middleweight champion of the world. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all-time. In 2002, he was chosen by The Ring magazine to be the 5th greatest fighter of the last 80 years. He was the second boxer to have fought in five different decades. Mamby became the first boxer in history to compete in five decades. Two weeks later, Roberto Duran became the second fighter to do it. He finally retired in January 2002 at age 50 with a professional record of 119 fights, 103 wins with 70 KOs.
5. Oscar “The Golden Boy” Dela Hoya
The Golden Boy held titles in the Superfeatherweight, Lightweight, Superlightweight and Welterweight division. De La Hoya became “Fighter of the Year” in 1995 and Ring Magazine’s top-rated Pound for Pound fighter in the world in 1997. De La Hoya has defeated seventeen world champions and has won ten world titles in six different weight classes. He has also generated more money than any other boxer in the history of the sport. He is one of only a handful of boxers in history who have taken on promotional responsibilities while still active.
6. Roy Jones, Jr.
Roy Jones, Jr. held championship belts in the Middleweight, Super middleweight, light heavyweight and Heavyweight division. He is an American boxer who was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 1990s by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He is also noted for holding the WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, NABF, WBF and IBA light heavyweight championships at the same time. He holds one of the most impressive records in boxing history.
7. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd Joy Mayweather, Jr. held the championship belts in the Super featherweight, Lightweight, Super lightweight and Welterweight division. He is an American professional boxer who retired just recently with a record of 39-0 (25 KOs). He was the number-one pound for pound boxer in the world from July b2005 up to June 2008 by the Ring Magazine. Mayweather has won six world boxing championship in five different weight classes. He was named Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year in 1998 and 2007.
Pernell Whitaker and Leo Gomez were world boxing champions also who won four championship belts in four different weight categories.