Top 10 Greatest Light Heavyweights Of All Time
In my opinion, light heavyweight is often forgot about especially nowadays. I’d consider myself as a knowledgeable boxing fan and can list many boxers from many weights but I often find myself struggling to name light heavyweights, you’ve got: Bivol, Kovalev, Gvozdyk, Badou Jack, Browne and the list fades but we’re not looking at current boxing, we’re taking a bigger look and judging who we think are the greatest light heavyweights are of all time.
10) Matthew Saad Muhammad: 49-16-3
Matthew Saad Muhammad established a lot in his career and now is sitting in the international boxing hall of fame. The former WBC light heavyweight champion made his debut back in the 1970’s, he had two classic fights against Dwight Muhammad Qawi - both in losing efforts. Muhammad had 68 fights in his historic career and was a man who was the 15th ring light heavyweight champion.
9) Maxie Rosenbloom: 206-39-26
We jump from the 15th ring light heavyweight champion to the first. Maxie Rosenbloom or “Slapsie Maxie” due to his unique fighting style. There’s boxers who go for the KO and there’s some who just wants to box their way to a decision, Rosenbloom was the latter. He hit, he moved, he avoided danger and he won fights. Rosenbloom will go down as one of the greatest Jewish boxer of all time. Out of his 206 wins, only 19 of them was by knockout which meant 187 went the distance. Insane.
8) Gene Tunney: 65-1-1
I mean, he did only lose one fight. I won’t be talking about newspaper decisions for this. Should I rank Tunney higher? Probably. He was a chess fighter similarly to our previous entry, Rosenbloom. Tunney has a fantastic chin as well, he only got knocked down once in his career and that was to heavyweight, Jack Dempsey when both men were heavyweights. He did beat Dempsey twice though but once again, this is about his light heavyweight career not heavyweight.
7) Tommy Loughran: 121-32-14
The Philly Phantom, Tommy Loughran was a very gifted boxer. He was very skilful and very brave as he often took on much bigger men. It’s hard to say where Loughran ends up on a list like this but I do think he should end up on something like 7.
6) Sam Langford: 180-29-39
The Boston Bonecusher Vs. The Philly Phantom just sounds like a fantastic tagline but anyway, we’re done with the phantom, now it’s time for the bonecrusher. Langford is a former World Colored Heavyweight Champion as this was during the time of segregation and colour laws which was just an awful time. This meant that black boxers have to fight among themselves which meant a lot of the same fights. He fought Harry Wills a total of 17 times, Jim Johnson 11 times, Joe Jeannette 14 times, Sam McVea 15 times. It’s a shame as Sam Langford deserved so much more in his boxing career.
5) Bob Foster: 56-8-1
Bob Foster may not be remembered as the greatest heavyweight of all time but he is absolutely one of the best light heavyweights of all time. Some say that Dick Tiger is still recovering from the knockout. An absolute murderous left hook laid Tiger out and in turn gave Foster the light heavyweight title. Foster was an absolute savage in power and will go down as one of the hardest hitters in the light heavyweight division.
4) Michael Spinks: 31-1
Did Mike Tyson destroy Michael Spinks in the first round? Yes. Is Michael Spinks one of the greatest light heavyweights of all time? Definitely. Michael Spinks was undefeated at light heavyweight and at his highest, he was WBA, WBC and IBF champion. Spinks beat big names too and had no trouble winning by going the 15 rounds.
3) Ezzard Charles: 93-15-1
The next three can be swapped around but in my opinion, Ezzard Charles is the third best light heavyweight of all time. He had a perfect amateur record of 42-0 and when he turned pro, he did great but took a break but then he cage back as a light heavyweight. He defeated others such as Archie Moore, Elmer Ray and Jimmy Belvins.
2) Archie Moore: 186-23-10
You can make a solid argument and claim that Archie Moore should be number one but I’m putting him second. What is there to say about Moore? The man had a 28 year career! Archie Moore defended his light heavyweight title, 9 times in one year! That’s insane! Moore was a fighting champion and the fact how he won all 9 fights is even more crazy.
1) Roy Jones Jr: 66-9
Did Roy Jones Jr retire too late? Yes. Has that tarnished his legacy? Slightly. Is he the best light heavyweight of all time? At his best, yes. He made the jump from middleweight to light heavyweight and won the title there and defended it 14 times! At his best, he was WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, WBF, IBA light heavyweight champion. His dominant reign cements him as the best light heavyweight of all time.