MY TOP 5 FIGHTERS
Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield. Holyfield was crowned Heavyweight Champion of the world in 1990 after defeating James “Buster” Douglas and once again in 1993 after coming out on top in a rematch with Riddick Bowe. I loved watching his fights where he tucked up on the inside and would constantly work and slip. He did everything his trainer would ask for really. A man with a massive heart.
Lennox Lewis won Gold at the 1988 Olympics before turning professional. He’s the last undisputed Heavyweight Champion that we’ve had since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1899. If I manage to repeat his success, that will mean Britain will have had an Undisputed Heavyweight champion in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. He showed us ‘The Sweet Science of Boxing’ and a simplicity to winning masterclass fights. Lewis retired after successfully defending his title against Mike Tyson. He remains one of only three fighters to end his career with no unavenged defeats.
One of the greatest Pound for Pound fighters. Robinson won his first 40 fights and by 1958, he had become the first boxer to win a divisional world championship five times. He was so good that he managed to stay away from the Mafia who controlled much of boxing at the time and went on to finish his career in 1965 with a whopping 175 victories.
The Iron Man… Iron. Mike. Tyson. Tyson turned professional in 1985 and became the youngest Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World just a year on at the tender age of 20. I would love to have read Comic Books about the man when I was a kid. He had a 19 inch neck and could knock you out with his left or right hand.
The King of the Ring, the man who brought finesse to the game, the larger than life character… Cassius Clay, who became Muhammad Ali. The most intelligent of fighters who illustrated that although brute force is important, smarts can always outdo the force. Whether it’s his long list of titles or his equally dramatic personal life, the one thing that shines through it all is his integrity and his humour. Still today his fight against George Foreman that became known as ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ is still considered one of the greatest sporting events of the 20th century.