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Twelve of the Greatest Pound for Pound Boxers from Boxing’s Early Days


By: Ken Hissner

There have been many lists of who were the greatest boxers of all-time! In this list I go back to the first 50+ years from 1900.

The majority of people would say the former welterweight and middleweight champion “Sugar” RAY ROBINSON who was 174-19-6 with 109 knockouts and only stopped once (by the heat).

In 1939 and 1940 Robinson was the New York Golden Gloves Champion. He was 85-2 with 69 knockouts as an amateur. He won his first 41 fights as a professional before losing to Jake LaMotta. He had previously beaten LaMotta and go on to defeat him three more times after his loss. He was 129-1-2 when he lost his second fight to Randy Turpin in the UK. He would reverse this loss in his next fight in the US.

Robinson was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Another great that is mentioned as the very best by some was HENRY “Homicide Hank” ARMSTRONG who on titles at Featherweight, Welterweight and Lightweight in that order. He was 152-21-9 with 101 knockouts. In 1937 he won the Featherweight title. In 1938 he won the Welterweight title. In 1939 he won the Lightweight title.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.
WILLIE “Will o’ the Wisp” PEP has also been mentioned as the top boxer of all time. He was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts.

He won his first 63 fights before losing to Sammy Angott. He was 134-1-1 before he lost to Sandy Saddler. He would reverse that loss but lose to Saddler twice after that. He was the World Featherweight Champion.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Regarded by many as the greatest heavyweight of all-time was JOE “The Brown Bomber” LOUIS, who was 66-3 with 52 knockouts. He had 25 successful title defenses. He won his first 24 fights losing for the first time to Max Schmeling. He would reverse this loss with a first round knockout. He was 52-1 when he lost to Ezzard Charles.

Ring Magazine had JACK “The Galveston Giant” JOHNSON, he was 56-11-8 with 35 knockouts. His record was also listed at 71-11-1. He was the first black heavyweight champion. Prior to that he held the Colored Title.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

The heavyweight champion with the greatest record was Rocky Marciano, 49-0 with 43 knockouts. He defeated Joe Louis at the very end of the “Brown Bomber’s” career.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Sam “The Boston Bone Crusher” Langford, was 180-29-39, with 128 knockouts. He was the only fighter the great Jack Dempsey admitted to he didn’t want to fight. 213-43-53 was another record posted. He was as light as 140 and eventually got up to 192. He was also a Colored Champion. He was born in Canada but spent most of his boxing career in the US.

Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb was middleweight and light heavyweight champion. He was 107-8-3 with 48 knockouts. Some have him as 262-17-18. He was the only boxer to defeat heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. Greb was known to have a “glass eye”. A friend of mine Joe Shannon said they were on the Atlantic City Boardwalk when Greb’s eye fell out.

When he lost that eye is unknown.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Benny “The Ghetto Wizard” Leonard was the Lightweight and Welterweight Champion. He was 89-6-1 with 70 knockouts. 185-22-8 was also mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Joe “Old Master” Gans was the Lightweight Champion and was 145-10-16 with 100 knockouts. 158-12-21 was also mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Jack “Manassa Mauler” Dempsey was the Heavyweight Champion and was 54-6-9 with 44 knockouts.

He was inducted in to the IBHOF in 1990.
Mickey “Toy Bulldog” Walker was the Welterweight and Middleweight Champion and was 94-19-4 with 60 knockouts. 131-35-6 was another mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

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