For the purposes of this list, a great victory is one that has been secured in the face of an overwhelming disadvantage, or achieved at the expense of a truly great all-time fighter, with no mitigating factors (e.g., poor fitness, injury, etc.). influencing the result. Of course, many fights meet these criteria, but these are the most unusual and consistent. In each case, extraordinary achievement was required to secure victory against a true great, overcome a major obstacle, or both. Here are the greatest victories of pugilism in history.
12. February 23, 1900: Joe Walcott TKO7 Jozef Choynski. Some called Choyński the best heavyweight contender never to win a title because he favorably competed with such luminaries as Corbett AND Fitzsimmons and gave a big one Jack Johnson rare defeat by knockout. Amazingly, the Barbadian Demon, a full thirty-six pounds lighter and a full foot shorter, knocked down Choynski five times in the opening round, then forced him to submit with relative ease.
11. March 6, 1976: Wilfred Benitez W15 Antonio Cervantes. Cervantes, also known as “Kid Pambele”, was world champion for over four years, successfully defending his title against the likes of Hector Thompson and Esteban De Jesus. And yet somehow, a kid who was only 17 years old – 17 years, 5 months and 23 days to be exact – outclassed him in fifteen rounds, becoming the youngest world champion in boxing history.
10. March 17, 1897: Bob Fitzsimmons KO14 James J. Corbett. Needless to say, middleweights often fail to jump to heavyweight and win the world title, but Fitzsimmons did just that, stopping the talented Corbett with a paralyzing left hook to the torso on his way to becoming boxing’s first Triple King.
9. February 5, 1943: Jake LaMotta W10 Sugar Ray Robinson. Only one man has defeated Sugar Ray in the first decade of his incredible career, and that single victory is one of the greatest. LaMotta broke the “Prince of Harlem” undefeated streak with an inspiring rally during their second meeting, knocking great Sugar Ray out of the ring in progress. It turned out to be Robinson’s only loss while he was still in the prime of his career.
8. February 11, 1949: Willie Pep W15 Sandy Saddler. For the first time, Saddler shocked Pep and the boxing world by scoring clean knockouts over one of the best defensive boxers of all time. Few thought “Will o’ the Wisp” could rebound from his bigger, more powerful opponent, but in the rematch Pep gave perhaps his most remarkable performance, beating his fellow great saddler in boxing in a one-sided decision.
7. December 8, 1903: Sam Langford W15 Joe Gans. Gans, the so-called “Old master”, he was the then-Michael Jordan of boxing and world lightweight champion. “The Boston Bonecrusher”, who later established himself as both the great and greatest boxer of all time never win a world titlewas only 17 years old when he defeated him. The fact that Gans had competed just one night before doesn’t detract from Langford’s astonishing achievement, but unfortunately for Sam, Joe’s title was not in jeopardy.
6. January 21, 1944: Eddie Booker by TKO8 Archie Moore. A clash between one of boxing’s most shunned boxers and one of its most prolific. Considering that Archie, the all-time king of knockouts in boxing, was in the prime of his career and yet to be stopped, enough to make this a truly great victory. The fact that Booker was battling a visual impairment makes it remarkable.
5. Ezzard Charles W10 Charley BurleyMay 25, 1942 Few boxers have been as shunned as the legendary Charley Burley. Even as great as Billy Conn and Ray Robinson were protected from facing him, such was his talent. What makes Charles’ dominant victory in 1942 truly astounding as a 20-year-old “Cincinnati Cobra” coming on as a late substitute, he knocked down the best Burley and nearly stopped him. Burley fared little better in the immediate rematch.
4. October 30, 1974: Muhammad Ali KO8 George Foreman. Ali, 32, suffered defeat against both Joe Frazier and And Norton, two men Foreman destroyed to seize power. How could he defeat a champion who was bigger, stronger, younger and much more powerful? A stunning display of boxing skills allowed Ali to shake the world again and regain the title from a fighter who would later become the true all-time champion.
3. March 19, 1943: Sammy Angott W10 Willie Pep. No one questions Pep’s position as one of the all-time greatest and perhaps the best defensive player ever. He had 62 straight wins before losing a close decision to Angott at Madison Square Garden before going undefeated for another 72 fights. Angott is the only boxer to beat Pep when “Will o’ the Wisp” was at his peak.
2. June 20, 1980: Roberto Duran W15 Sugar Ray Leonard. New “Sugar Ray” had an impressive winning streak, becoming not only the best welterweight in the game, but also the best active fighter, pound for pound, on the planet. Many believed that Duran, who had moved up from lightweight and after 72 professional fights, had bitten off more than he could chew, but “Stone Hands” put on a show for ages in an absolutely sensational fight to win by close but unanimous decision.
1. March 8, 1971: Joe Frazier W15 Muhammad Ali. This monumental battle, a clash between two undefeated heavyweight champions that brought the entire world to a standstill, will forever remain one of the most important fights of all time and one of the most exciting heavyweight wars in history. one of the greatest performances in boxing history.
Smaller Frazier he set the pace and, despite absorbing a massive penalty, relentlessly took the fight to Ali, breaking his all-round win with a dramatic knockdown in the final round. No other boxer has ever defeated such a strong version of Ali, which many, if not most, include greatest heavyweight of all time. And it took everything Smoking Joe he had to win what was probably the biggest, most anticipated match in the history of pugilistics. Joe was never the same again, which reflects how much you had to overcome “The Greatest” when Ali was still really great.