The Greatest Undefeated Boxers Of All Time
Being undefeated is one of the greatest achievements in boxing. Not many boxers reach the heady heights of world championships and then manage to retire gracefully before they taste defeat. The greatest boxers of all-time, including the greatest of all-time, Muhammad Ali, have all lost fights.
They say the hardest part of being a boxer is knowing when you retire, having the self-awareness to sense your powers failing before it gets highlighted in a ring. In this article we’re going to take a look at the greatest undefeated boxers of all time.
So here we go.
The 5 Greatest Undefeated Boxers
5. Edwin Valero
Record: 27-0 (27)
Years Active: 2002 - 2010
Notable Opponents: Vicente Mosquera, Takehiro Shimada, Antonio Pitalua.
Born in Venezuela it's not going to be in the ring where Edwin Valero is remembered. His tragic end and the events that led up to that cannot be forgotten but we'll be focusing on his ringcraft.
"El Terminator" retired with 27 wins and 27 knockouts, each more savage than the last. That record is something which has never been equalled and it's hard to see it happening anytime soon.
That wasn't Valero's only record either, he won each of his first 18 fights by first round knockout, although this was later bettered by Tyrone Brunson.
With his long hair, menacing tattoo across his chest, he has great speed and could land a fearsome combination. He had an interesting back story too, a motorbike accident saw him fracture his skull and get a blood clot, something which saw him struggle to get boxing licenses across his career. Sadly for fans of boxing he let his demons get in front of him and is widely known for a terrible developments that occured outside of the ring.
4. Ricardo Lopez
Record: 51-0-1 (38)
Years Active: 1985 - 2001
Notable Opponents: Alex Sanchez, Rosendo Alvarez, Will Grigsby.
Yes, Ricard Lopez does have one draw on his resume but we can't let that get in the way. In all truth though it probably does mean that El Finito doesn't often get spoken about in the same breath as some of the fighters higher up in this list.
Mexico has given us lots of world class fighters throughout history and Ricardo Lopez is still one of the very best to do it. He's a Hall of Famer, a world and lineal champion in two weight classes. He dominated the strawweight and flyweight divisions for years, including an incredible nine year run owning the strawwight title.
That draw does muddy his record but it's worth noting that after drawing to Rosendo Alvarez he then fought him again, taking him apart and righting that wrong.
Ricardo Lopez has it all, undefeated as a professional and as an amateur, he's a true boxing legend.
3. Joe Calzaghe
Record: 46-0 (32)
Years Active: 1993 - 2008
Notable Opponents: Chris Eubank, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr.
Joe Calzaghe doesn't get quite as many mentions as he should. He's arguably the greatest figher to ever come from British shores and one of the best to ever step inside a ring.
Joe Calzaghe fought across an acclaimed 15-year career, a former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight unified champion, he beat everyone that came for him. He held the WBO super-middlewight title for over a decade, something which hasn't and won't ever be beaten.
A look back at his record and the names who he conquered really highlights how exceptional he was. He's beaten Bernard Hopkins, Chris Eubank and Roy Jones Jr, all greats, alongside a host of others.
The world famous boxing website BoxRec still rates Joe Calzaghe as the sixth greatest fighter of all-time, in addition to being the best to come from the United Kingdom or even Europe. He was Welsh but had Italian heritage, which led to him being known as the Italian Dragon. A true great.
2. Rocky Marciano
Record: 49-0 (43)
Years Active: 1947-1955
Notable Opponents: Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, Roland La Starza.
When you think of heavyweight boxing there are some names that automatically come to mind, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson and then Rocky Marciano. Rocky Marciano has already made our list of the Top 10 Best Heavyweight Boxers Of All Time, finishing in tenth spot, and he's second on this one too.
Until quite recently he was known as the greatest undefeated boxer ever but despite having his incredible 49-0 record overtaken, he's still an all-time great. One of the most impressive stats to Marciano's name is his 85.7% knockout-to-win ratio that he held in world heavyweight fights. He was a seriously hard puncher and his ringcraft isn't heralded quite as much as it should be.
Many didn't believe that Rocky Marciano's record would ever be eclipsed, and there are still some angry at the manner that it was overtaken, but that 49-0 record will always be on the greatest in boxing. It's incredible to think that Rocky Marciano managed to back 49 fights into a relatively short career, with his time in the ring spanning only nine years.
His influence on boxing culture is undeniable, he helped pave the way for some of the greats who followed him along as being one of the pioneers who took the sport into the mainstream. It's said that Rocky Marciano was the inspiration for the movie franchise Rocky, with Marciano being the people's champ who was known for power and determination.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr
Record: 50-0 (27)
Years Active: 1996 - 2017
Notable Opponents: Manny Pacquiao, Marcos Maidana, Canelo Alvarez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya.
Floyd "Money" Mayweather. If you know boxing then you knew that he'd be number one in this list and he's without doubt one of the best fighters of all-time and certainly of his generation.
Reaching the landmark of his 50-0 record is something that Mayweather was chasing for a long time. As it got closer and closer he became more and more selective with his opponents. In total honesty he fought Manny Pacquiao once the Filipino was past the peak of his powers, in a fight that people had wanted for years.
There was also uproar with the fight that eventually helped Mayweather overtake Marciano as the great undefeated boxer ever and get that 50-0 record, a win against Conor McGregor. McGregor was arguably the biggest star in combat sport at the time but as a UFC star and not a trained boxer it was felt my many that is tarnished Mayweather's record. As Mayweather has made a point of emphasising throughout his career, he's more interested in making money than legacy.
While his money loving shtick has worn thin, it's hard to believe that Mayweather has only been motivated by money. Sure, exhibitions against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa and YouTuber Logan Paul, were clear money grabs, but throughout his career Floyd Mayweather has fought some all-time greats.
The list of stars who has beaten is a long and illustrious one, Marcos Maidana, Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De la Hoya. With a resume like that it's no wonder that he's widely regarded as one of the best to ever step in the ring and the clear number one greatest undefeated boxer ever.