It appears like perpetually prior when the worlds only care in sports was who was battling for the Heavyweight Championship. Stadium's were pressed everywhere throughout the world to see Muhammad Ali battle Joe Frazier and George Foreman.
What it intended to be the heavyweight champ of the world has radically lost its glory, yet these 10 contenders changed the world of games. It is a disgrace the boxing scene will never be what it once was. I wish I could bounce in a time machine and see these contenders in their prime.
With the fighting world progressing into the MMA era, these legends will only live in our memories, in a time where these heavyweights ruled the mass media.
Let's take a look at top 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time in the world:
1. Muhammad Ali 56-5g
Simply the greatest. Ali's career lasted over 20 years and the outpouring of grief at his death demonstrates the respect in which he was held. Inspired millions as he won the world title three times. Many will point to Joe Louis as the greatest on his record and longevity, but no-one will ever come close to matching Ali's achievements and impact on the sport. For that reason, Ali is my No 1.
2. Joe Louis 68-3
The 'Brown Bomber' reigned from 1937 to 1948, and was a world champion for 11 years and 10 months. Both are still records in the heavyweight division. His 25 consecutive defences of the title make Louis one of the greatest heavyweights in history. His style. Power and nous. "Everyone can box until they've been hit," was his renowned saying.
3. Jack Johnson 77-13-14
The first African-American heavyweight champion of the world. Erudite as a fighter, pioneer Johnson brought technique, skills, power and footwork. An audacious, irrepressible character who challenged the authorities and society at the time, through his brilliance in the sport, and a spirit which refused to be quelled.
4. Larry Holmes 69-6
With one of the greatest jabs in the sport, Holmes grew tall in the years he spent as Ali’s sparring partner and when his time came, his reign was long and successful. WBC heavyweight champion from 1978 to 1983, and The Ring magazine champion from 1980 to 1985; IBF champion from 1983 to 1985. He had 20 successful title defences, behind only Joe Louis at 25 and Wladimir Klitschko. One of only five men—along with Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Leon Spinks and Trevor Berbick—to defeat Muhammad Ali.
5. George Foreman 76-5
The oldest heavyweight champion, at the age of 45, in the history of the sport. Fought in The Rumble In The Jungle against Muhammad Ali which made his name. But it was his raw punch power and intensity which had taken him to that point.
6. Lennox Lewis 41-2-1
The greatest British heavyweight in history, and the champion who set a new template for the rise of the 'super-heavyweight champion'. Standing 6ft 5ins tall with an 85in reach, the huge man was a fighter, but also a modern athlete, with all the boxing skills, movement, footwork and power. The best heavyweight of the last 25 years and the leading heavyweight in an era of great tests.
7. Joe Frazier 32-4-1
Frazier's style revolved around hooks thrown from bobbing, weaving and relentless pressure - aimed at wearing down his opponents. He remains one of the most ferocious, devastating exponents of the hook in the heavyweight division. Forever linked with Muhammad Ali due to their trilogy of fights between the rivals. The last of those, The Thrilla in Manila, is amongst the most brutal championship fights in the division’s history.
8. Evander Holyfield 41-8-2
Involved in a great era with Lewis, Tyson and Riddick Bowe, having a trilogy with Bowe and two each with the other two standouts. The eight championship fights with the three other standouts of the era mark him out as a great, alongside his longevity and resistance. Retained the world heavyweight title three times.
9. Rocky Marciano 49-0
The only heavyweight in my top 15 to retire undefeated, Marciano defended the title six times. Marciano had a short career as a pressure fighter. Relentless, with incredible stamina and a great chin, he was a ferocious puncher for a man of just 190 pounds. Knockout percentage of 87.75 is amongst the highest in heavyweight history.
10. Wladimir Klitschko 65-3
The Ukrainian sits second only to Joe Louis in overall statistics in the longevity of his reign as heavyweight champion. Huge man at 6ft 7ins tall, and a technical fighter, Klitschko dominated opponents behind a ramrod jab, breaking them down before releasing his powerful right hand.