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Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson was the first African-American heavyweight champion during the periods of 1908 – 1915. Jack Johnson was a legend not only in the ring but also had a significant impact on raising the issue of racism and inequality in America at the time. Jack Johnson was a fun loving character and often dated white women and refuse to live according to social norms of the time, he was intelligent eloquent and ambitious and saw no reason why being black should hold him back from achieving his dreams. It was because of brave actions like Jack Johnson that we now live in a fairer society today, where an athlete gains support for his performance, personality and values rather than the colour of his skin. Jack Johnson was often chased out of town after winning fights and in some cases such as the famous win over Jim Jefferies, Where his supporters were lynched after the fight. Jack Johnson is my greatest fighter of all time, as without Jack Johnson none of the great heavyweights would enjoy the freedom that we do today.

Evander Holyfield

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.

SUGAR RAY ROBINSON

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.

MIKE TYSON

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.

MUHAMMAD ALI

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.

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