Siobhan Aslett15.07.2021

Boxing is a tricky sport that involves varying levels of calculated risks. For certain individuals, this sport is a leisure, while for dedicated professionals, it is a fantastic money-making opportunity. Professional boxing has produced several boxers who have made a good livelihood out of it over the years.

Boxing is a fighting sport that involves individuals in a boxing ring throwing punches at each other for a specified length of time while wearing protective gloves and other safety equipment such as mouthguards and hand wraps that are commonly used to protect boxers from the ring. The three ringside judges, and the referee, for whatever reason, can all pronounce a winner if the opponent cannot continue.

It's a sport that has grown in popularity considerably since its stated inception in the 16th century. Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Floyd Mayweather are just a few of the famous names who have graced the sport over the years. Even modern-day stars like Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Joshua, and Terence Crawford have left their marks on the sport.

Floyd Mayweather

Net Worth: $560M
Date of Birth: 24th February 1977

The first boxer on this list is Floyd Mayweather. He is an American professional boxing promoter and former professional boxer. He won fifteen major world championships from super featherweight to light-middleweight during his career, including the Ring magazine title in five weight classes. Also, he won the lineal championship in four weight classes (twice at welterweight), and retired with an undefeated record.

As of May 2021, BoxRec ranked him the greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound. Different sporting and boxing news outfits ranked Mayweather as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world twice in a span of ten years.

He is widely regarded as the greatest defensive boxer of all time and the most accurate puncher since the invention of CompuBox, with the highest plus-minus ratio in boxing history. It is also noteworthy that Mayweather has a 26-fight winning streak.

In any sport, Mayweather has one of the most profitable pay-per-view draws of all time. After quitting Bob Arum's Top Rank in 2006, he started his own boxing marketing company, Mayweather Promotions. Throughout his career, Mayweather has produced about 24 million PPV buys and $1.67 billion in income. 

George Foreman

Net Worth: $300m
Date of Birth: 10th January 1949

He is a former professional boxer from the United States and an entrepreneur, author, and minister. Between 1969 and 1997, he competed as a professional boxer, earning the moniker "Big George." He is a 2-time gold medallist in the Olympics and world heavyweight champion.

Foreman took up amateur boxing after a difficult upbringing and earned a gold medal in the heavyweight class at the 1968 Summer Olympics. In 1973, he won the global heavyweight championship with a spectacular 2nd knockout of the unbeaten Joe Frazier after turning professional the previous year. Before losing his first professional fight to Muhammad Ali in the legendary Rumble in the Jungle in 1974, he successfully defended the championship twice.

By knocking out 26-year-old Michael Moorer in 1994, he claimed the IBF championships, the unified WBA, and the lineal heavyweight championship. Foreman is the oldest boxer to ever win a significant title in the world heavyweight division and the 2nd-oldest in any weight class behind Bernard Hopkins (at light heavyweight). With a total record of 76 victories (68 knockouts) and five defeats, he retired in 1997 at the age of 48.

Manny Pacquiao

Net Worth: $200M
Date of Birth: 17th December 1978

He is a politician and boxer from the Philippines. He is known as "PacMan" and is widely considered one of the best professional boxers of all time. He is presently the president of the ruling PDP–Laban party and a senator in the Philippines.

Manny Pacquiao holds 12 major world titles and is the only eight-division world champion in boxing history. He was the first boxer to win the lineal championship in 5 different weight classes, and also the first boxer to win major world titles in 4 of the 8 "glamour divisions". This includes lightweight, flyweight, featherweight, and welterweight, and for four decades, he held world titles.

Pacquiao's fights had brought in $1.2 billion in revenue from his 25 pay-per-view bouts as of 2015. He was the world's 2nd most paid athlete in 2015, according to Forbes.

After defeating Keith Thurman to earn the WBA (Super) welterweight title in July 2019, Pacquiao became the most extended welterweight world champion holder in history at the age of 40 and the first boxer in existence to become a recognized 4-time welterweight champion.

Oscar De La Hoya

Net Worth: $200M
Date of Birth: 4th February 1973

He is a former professional boxer from the United States, a boxing promoter, and an MMA promoter. From 1992 until 2008, he fought as a boxer, earning 11 world titles in six weight classes, including the lineal championship in three of them. BoxRec ranks him as the 29th best pound-for-pound fighter of all time. De La Hoya represented the United States in the 1992 Summer Olympics, immediately after graduating from James A. Garfield High School. This was where he won a gold medal in the lightweight class and reputedly "put a sport back on its feet," earning him the moniker - The Golden Boy of boxing.

In 1995, De La Hoya was voted The Ring magazine's Fighter of the Year, and in 1997 and 1998, he was the magazine's top-rated pound-for-pound fighter in the world. De La Hoya earned almost $700 million in pay-per-view revenue before being eclipsed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. He announced his retirement as a boxer in 2009, after a 16-year professional career.

There is nothing secret about the animosity between De La Hoya and Mayweather that dates back over a long time. While De la Hoya formerly promoted Canelo, there was great tension between them and no love lost before they separated.

Lennox Lewis

Net Worth: $130M
Date of Birth: 2nd September 1965

He competed as a professional boxer between 1989 and 2003. He's a 2-time lineal champion, 3-time world heavyweight champion, and the last heavyweight to hold the title uncontested. Lewis, who has both British and Canadian citizenship, competed in the 1988 Summer Olympics as an amateur for Canada, winning a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division.

Lewis won numerous regional heavyweight championships in his first three years as a professional, including the British, European, and Commonwealth crowns. He overcame Donovan Ruddock in 1992 to assume the number one spot in the WBC ratings after winning his first 21 contests. Later that year, he was the WBC heavyweight champion after Riddick Bowe relinquished the belt to prevent him from defending it against Lewis.

During one of the most anticipated matches in boxing history, Lewis beat Mike Tyson in 2002. Lewis overcame Vitali Klitschko in a challenging and violent bout in 2003, which would be his final fight. In 2004, he resigned from boxing after vacating his remaining belts. Many consider him to be one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time and one of history's greatest British fighters.

Sugar Ray Leonard

Net Worth: $120M
Date of Birth:17th May 1956

He is a motivational speaker, sometimes actor, and former great boxer from the United States. From 1977 to 1997, he fought in 5 weight classes, the lineal championship in 3 weight divisions, earning world titles in 5 weight divisions, and the undisputed welterweight championship.

Leonard was the first boxer to win more than $100M in prize money, and in the 1980s, he was awarded "Boxer of the Decade."

Ray Leonard, widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, made his mark on the world stage by capturing the light-welterweight gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. He went pro, employing a lawyer, Mike Trainer, to handle the financial side of his career while also engaging famous trainer Angelo Dundee to help him get to the top. Sugar Ray Leonard was not only a millionaire but also ready for his first world title 3 years after Dundee's triumph with Muhammad Ali and Trainer's commercial expertise.

With Hearns, the WBA/WBC welterweight unification match took place in 1981. After a see-saw bout in which both competitors were injured, Sugar Ray won in the fourteenth round. He resigned following that but resurfaced in 1984 as a light-middleweight, only to retire again shortly after.

Vitalu Klitschko

Net Worth: $100M
Date of Birth: 19th July 1971

He is a former professional boxer as well as a Ukrainian politician. Since June 2014, he has been the Mayor of Kyiv & Head of the Kyiv City State Administration.

Klitschko was a heavyweight boxer who won numerous world titles. From 1999 to 2000, he was the WBO champion, then from 2004 to 2005, he was the Ring Magazine champion. Finally, from 2004 to 2013, he was the WBC champion twice. Vitali has won the world heavyweight championship after defeating 15 opponents in total. Vitali Klitschko and his younger brother Wladimir Klitschko are the siblings with the most world heavyweight title bout victories, according to Guinness World Records (30 at the time; 40 as of 2020).

Heavyweight boxer Klitschko is the only one in 3 separate decades that has ruled as a world champion. In addition, he is the only world heavyweight champion who has never been knocked out in a boute. Klitschko and George Foreman are the only heavyweight fighters who successfully defended their world titles after reaching 40. Klitschko's nickname was "Dr Ironfist '' since he was the first professional boxing world champion to possess a PhD degree.

Anthony Joshua

Net Worth: $80M
Date of Birth: 15th October 1989

He's a professional boxer from Britain. Having played the WBA, IBF, IBO, and WBO championships since December 2019 and earlier between 2016 and June 2019, he is a 2-time world undivided heavyweight champion. From 2015 to 2016, he held heavyweight titles in the British and Commonwealth territories.

Joshua is the 2nd British boxer to win an OL and a world champion, and the first British heavyweight, with an important professional sanctioning organization.

He has won the Haringey Boxing Cup in 2 consecutive seasons, 2009 and 2010.

He is ranked by the Ring, BoxRec, and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board as the 7th-best active fighter, pound for pound. He was also ranked as 2nd most active heavyweight boxer on the globe as of June 2021. The knockout percentage of Joshua in heavy title fighting is 91.67 per cent, a global knockout of 70 per cent.

However, Anthony's winning streak came to a stop as he lost against Andy Ruiz in June 2019. But later, in the December 2019 bout against Ruiz, the British boxer recovered his WBA, IBF, and WBO championships in Saudi Arabia.

Final Thoughts

Boxing is much more than a battle between two fighters in a ring in which there is a knowledge of the danger involved and the immense rewards that follow. It's either failure or success, nothing more or less, yet the difference may either damage or strengthen the spirits of the individuals involved.

The goal of boxing is to use your fist to strike punches on your opponent's head or torso while evading his/her attacks. Every successful hit a boxer lands earn them points. These points could prove to be vital in choosing a winner in these bouts

The significance of having a proper posture cannot be overstated. A good posture is vital for both offensive and defensive hits because it offers balance. Boxers should be able to throw a blow without falling. When you're off balance, it's easier for your opponent to come in with their punches and take you down.

There are rules and guidelines that guide this sport, and every interested individual needs to be in the know of these regulations to have a more holistic understanding of boxing.

Siobhan Aslett

Irish Sportsbook Specialist

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