Boxing eras (#4) Golden Age of Heavyweight -OR- Is the Klitschko era the first heavyweight era in history?

LET US COMPARE ERAS. Not facts and stats of single fights or careers of boxers but whole eras.

As I wrote at Definitions "era" is the lot consisting of the 1) boxer 2) his opponents and 3) their opponents.


Please note: This article is part of my multi-part heavyweight boxing eras comparison:

In other words: Ali's era consists of

  • Ali's fights (61 fights)
  • and his opponents' fights (another 2500+ fights)

In other words: Ali's era consists of

  • Ali
  • his opponents (50 different boxers)
  • his opponents' opponents (another 1330 different boxers)

In other words: Would you check these 2600+ fights then in each one of these fights would be either Ali himself or one of Ali's opponents (e.g. Joe Frazier, Archie Moore etc).

This is what I call an "era".

An era in my definition IS NOT "the time when the boxer boxed" (e.g. the 1970ies) because that would include boxers whom neither Ali faced nor Ali's opponents faced. Thus it's not necessary to consider them.


How many KOs were scored in Ali's times?

OK, so here are the era stats at a glance: […] Read more »

Heavyweight Boxing Rankings (#6) The all time greatest boxer

Alright! So here it is the final toplist that based on real-world records. EVERY FIGHT is considered, not only signature bouts or famous fights. The WHOLE record is analyzed.

I think the correct definition of a top fighter is "Top performance against top fighters". However this introduces problems: What is a top performance, what are top opponents and is a top performance against mediocre fighters worth more than a mediocre performance against top fighters?

And: Does beating a few strong guys count more than beating a lot of weak guys?

Therefore my tables are as complete as possible to address these different issues.

These tables are

  • objective (= no opinion, bias-free)
  • standardized (= same rules for everyone)
  • non-revisionistic (= only official results are accepted)
  • factual (= based on real-world performances, no-fantasy, no fame-name-acclaim)

For a comparison of world champions alone read Heavyweight Boxing Rankings (#2) A common sense formula -OR- Ratio*Quality

For a comparison of KO'ratios alone read Hardest hitters of boxing: KO stats of Tyson, Klitschko, Foreman, Shavers and other knockout artists


Where do boxers rank all-time? Who has achieved more? I also added famous bum-beaters (Eric Esch, LaMar Clark) to show that the automatic ranking works as expected by ranking them as low as they deserve. […] Read more »

Heavyweight Boxing Rankings (#4) Head-to-head toplists by trick questions

YOU CAN ASSEMBLE rankings (toplists)

1) based on real-world-achievements ("world titles won", "KO'ratio", "Quality of opposition defeated", …)

2) or based on in-ring performances ("Wow, this speed", "Wow, this power", …)

But there is another method to rank boxers, which I call the "psychological approach" and which combines both approaches in a neat manner.


The Mafia and the offer you cannot refuse

Imagine you owe the Mafia money, quite a sum… and you cannot pay.

So one day they catch you, tie and gag you, cut off one of your fingers and make the following offer: […] Read more »

Heavyweight Boxing Rankings (#2) A common sense formula -OR- Ratio*Quality

Everybody agrees that a top fighter is someone who beats convincingly other top fighters.

Thus if you want to "statistificate" a boxer's quality then it would look like this:

  • The more convincingly he beats his opponents the topper he is
  • And the more top opponents he beats the topper he is
  • And the topper his opponents are the topper he is
  • And his opponents are as top as they themselves "beat convincingly top opponents"

We don't need to use subjective categories like "skillset", "talent", "heart", "footwork", "instinct", "how he can take a punch", "combinations" or […] Read more »

Hardest hitters of boxing: KO stats of Tyson, Klitschko, Foreman, Shavers and other knockout artists

HERE ARE THE HARDEST PUNCHERS and knockout artists of all time. From Mike Tyson to Wladimir Klitschko. From Earnie Shavers to George Foreman.

I populated only boxers with at least a 75% KO'ratio and at least 35 wins (I had to draw a line somewhere, because as soon as you go below 75% and below 35 it results in hundreds of boxers).

For comparison purposes I also added less power punching (but famous) boxers like Primo Carnera, Sugar Ray Robinson and heavyweight featherfists[?] like Muhammad Ali, Evan Fields and Joe Frazier.

Long article, I know, but if you are seriously interested in objective/non-discriminatory knockout statistics then this here is a must.

You should read the Definitions page for terms like "fair", "bum", "unique", "aside", "median", "superheavyweight"; "KO'ratios" and "Total KOs" are based in KOs within 12 rounds unless otherwise stated.

You may also want to read Boxing eras (#4) Golden Age of Heavyweight -OR- Is the Klitschko era the first heavyweight era in history? where I compare the KO'ratios of world heavyweight champions of all eras.

Note: Since the Klitschkos are still boxing their KO data will change in the future. The tables on this page have been compiled after Wladimir Klitschko's fight against Sam Peter (2010) and after Vitali Klitschko's fight against Shannon Briggs (2010).


Heavyweight "KO'ratios" and "Fair KO'ratios"

KO'ratios are some of the simplest statistics to compile: Take the KO'wins and divide them by the total fights

However, the problem is the small print: […] Read more »

Heavyweight Boxing Rankings (#3) TOP 10 by boxing experts -OR- Grandpa's champions

I HAVE NOT only problems with toplists compiled by boxing fans, but also (actually especially!) with heavyweight toplists compiled by experts. Because so called "experts" influence the rankings of boxing fans a lot, yet they turn out to be even more worthless, because they usually suffer from, what I call

  • "Nostalgia delusion"
  • "The-grass-was-greener-when-I-was-young illness"
  • "Good-old-times syndrome"
  • "Retreat into a fantasy past"
  • "Plugged into the Clay Matrix"

I took some famous boxing trainers (e.g. Emanuel Steward) to scrutinize their toplists, views and approaches:

[…] Read more »

Joe Frazier vs Klitschko -OR- is Chris Byrd a better puncher than Earnie Shavers?

FRAZIER! This name is supposed to strike fear into the hearts of boxing fans and teleport them into a never-ending state of terror.

"Frazier!" (you have to pronounce it like televangelists pronounce "jeEEE-Zess").

Only 2 winopponents of Ali are really famous: Frazier is one of them (with ·George Foreman being the other). Frazier even beat Muhammad Ali once thus he is very special to nostalgists ("Ali's nemesis").

When ·Samuel Peter fought against ·Wladimir Klitschko (2nd fight) he tried to "bob and weave" (= bounce the head like a ping pong ball on a wavy water surface) which reminded a lot of people of Joe Frazier who masterfully used this "head pong technique" in the fights against Ali.

"Samuel Peter was primarily fighting from a bob-and-weave style which he had never fought in before. In the first fight with Wladimir, he was more of an upright-walking-him-down type of guy where Wladimir was just moving and hitting him easily with his head up. This time he came out with more of a Joe Frazier style of fighting with his head bobbing and weaving and throwing a lot of powerful left hooks and very seldom throwing right hands."

Emanuel Steward (Klitschko's trainer) about the Klitschko vs Peter II

Now, the new style failed against Klitschko (Sam Peter received his first ever and most brutal canvas-KO) but nevertheless the fight ignited talks about how successful Frazier's ponging would have been against Wladimir. And AliFans came to the (non-surprising) conclusion that […] Read more »

Muhammad Ali Quotes -OR- Cassius Clay's megalomania

MUHAMMAD ALI IS ONE OF THE most outspoken and famous racists of all time ("The white man of America is the devil… No good in him, no justice. He's gonna be destroyed. His rule is over. He is _THE_ devil.. We don't believe that, we KNOW it!"). Muhammad Ali is definitely the greatest racist to ever box.

Ali's hate against whites (and against mixing of races) has been the topic at Muhammad Ali – The most famous racist to ever box -OR- Criticizing Ali is racism thus in this article here I want to concentrate on a theory whether there is an even darker side of Ali than his racism. […] Read more »

Vitali Klitschko vs Lennox Lewis

NO OTHER FIGHT CAUSES SO MANY HEATED DEBATES AS Vitali Klitschko vs Lennox Lewis. This fight is used by both Klitschko fans AND Lewis fans as a proof of the superiority of their boxer.

Additionally this fight is used by haters to show the inferiority of Klitschko or the inferiority of Lewis.

And strangely enough: Every time you watch the fight you see it differently.

I have compiled all the arguments pro and con to have the most complete overview of facts on 1 page.

This article is a draft. The full text will be published soon!

Instead browse the sitemap with complete articles...

Heavyweight Boxing Rankings (#1) pound for pound, head to head, record for record


Recently a boxing fan was murdered for the wrong answer to the question "Would Mike Tyson win against Wladimir Klitschko?"

And indeed, compiling toplists leads nearly instantly to heated debates.

After years I have found _THE_ very reason that makes rankings so difficult:

It's because the question
"Who is the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time?"
forgets to define beforehand

  1. "great"
  2. "est" (= how to place a boxer one position up or down)
  3. "heavyweight"
  4. "boxer"
  5. "all time"

The definitions for these words ONLY SEEM OBVIOUS but they are not trivial and they are the very ROOT of nearly all problems.

Even with the same set of boxers you will get completely different rankings just by slightly changing definitions ("What is heavyweight?") or by slightly adjusting the value of an achievement ("How much is a KO worth?")

So welcome to the art and science of toplisting, ranking and compiling.


Types of boxing ranking lists and heavyweight ranking methods

There are several types of rankings:


(1) Top boxers by career achievements

These rankings are called R4R rankings ("record for record").

They rank boxers by their real world records ("Who has the most KOs in world championship fights?")


(2) Top boxers by performance

These rankings do not consider the weight division but assess a boxer's performance regardless of his weight ("Weight aside – Who is the most impressive boxer of all time?")

These rankings are called P4P ("pound for pound", "equalweight division")

They are based on subjective opinion ("Wow! What speed! What balance! And did you see this uppercut?")


(3) Top boxers by chances to win; Fantasy match-ups; Same-ring-same-night

These toplists try to answer the question "Would Joe Louis beat Muhammad Ali?"

In other words: "We know that Joe Louis had a top career with a lot of world championship wins. But would he actually stand a chance against a modern heavyweight?"

This toplist comes in two flavors:

  1. Z4Z / ZZTop (zenith for zenith = prime for prime)
    Comparing the best versions of the fighters at the zenith (prime) of their careers ("70ies Foreman vs 90ies Evander Holyfield")
  2. H2H / TTT ("head to head", "toe to toe")
    Comparing any version of a boxer
    "Prime Evan Fields vs Shot Mike Tyson"
    including completely impossible match-ups like
    "Mike Tyson before prison vs Mike Tyson after prison"


(4) Top boxers by impact; American rankings; Rankings by fame

These rankings consider out-of-the-ring achievements and are called F4F / USA ("fame for fame").

They are based on a boxer's influence on boxing ("Joe Louis is greater than Muhammad Ali because of what he did for blacks")



The above ranking types are utterly and completely independent of each other.

Yet all of them are called "boxing rankings" or "the top 100 boxers", thus it's extremely important that you specify the compilation rules BEFORE the quarrel starts.

In fact the "top 10 performing boxers" (ranking method #2) may be a complete different set of boxers than the "top 10 boxers by achievement" (ranking method #1) or "top 10 boxers by their chances against Mike Tyson" (ranking method #4).

·Manny Pacquiao could be #1 top boxer by performance P4P, yet everybody knows he wouldn't survive 1 round against Mike Tyson.

And ·Oscar De La Hoya (24 world championship wins) would be ahead of ·George Foreman (5 world championship wins) on the achievement toplist R4R, yet one jab of George Foreman (ranking method #3) would end the fight.


Even with the same set of boxers
you will get completely different boxing rankings
just by changing the ranking type.


Since boxing fans usually don't specify the ranking type
nearly all rankings lead to disagreements or to quarrel.



Please note: This article is part of a multi-part series:


The huge difference between Pound for Pound (P4P) and Head to Head (H2H) rankings

Let's check an example:

"The ranking of the most powerful military forces"

A head-to-head H2H ranking would result in the strongest force (e.g. USA, China, France, Israel and […] Read more »

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