50 Most Exciting Boxers of the Past 50 Years Or So

Sugar Ray Leonard Shadowboxing
Sugar Ray Leonard. Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

A few years back, Bleacher Report posted a slideshow of their ranking of the 100 most exciting athletes of all time.

Lists of this sort are almost entirely subjective and this one is no exception. While it's fun to scroll through the names (almost all of which are contemporary athletes), there were only three boxers on their list. While those three—Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Manny Pacquaio—certainly belong on the list, there are so many others that were overlooked.

So we've gone ahead and compiled our own list of the 50 most exciting boxers of the past 50 years. This is not a pound-for-pound list, by the way, were talking pound for pound excitement, entertainment value, and fan appeal over the last half a century or so.

50 Exciting Boxers

These are not necessarily the most talented or accomplished boxers, but the most crowd-pleasing. The fighters who made every fight a must-see fight.

  1. Mike Tyson
  2. Manny Pacquiao
  3. Muhammad Ali
  4. Roberto Duran
  5. Arturo Gatti
  6. Tommy Hearns
  7. Matthew Saad Muhammad
  8. Naseem Hamed
  9. Erik Morales
  10. Diego Corrales
  11. Evander Holyfield
  12. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
  13. Sugar Ray Leonard
  14. Julian Jackson
  15. Marvin Hagler
  16. Joe Frazier
  17. Bobby Chacon
  18. Micky Ward
  19. George Foreman
  20. Michael Carbajal
  21. Tommy Morrison
  22. Roy Jones Jr.
  23. Kostya Tszyu
  24. Carlos Zarate
  25. Danny Lopez
  26. Israel Vazquez
  27. Sonny Liston
  28. Aaron Pryor
  29. Carlos Monzon
  30. Nigel Benn
  31. Ruben Olivares
  32. Vinny Pazienza
  33. Ike Ibeabuchi
  34. Salvador Sanchez
  35. Ray Mancini
  36. Pipino Cuevas
  37. Rafael Marquez
  38. Alexis Arguello
  39. Marco Antonio Barrera
  40. Iran Barkley
  41. Jeff Fenech
  42. Ricky Hatton
  43. Livingstone Bramble
  44. Ricardo Lopez
  45. Rafael Ruelas
  46. Earnie Shavers
  47. Edwin Valero
  48. Greg Haugen
  49. Felix Trinidad
  50. Johnny Tapia

Just missing the top 50: Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga, Fernando Vargas, Miguel Cotto, David Tua, Dwight Qawi, Jeff Chandler, John Duddy.

If this had been a list of the most exciting boxers of all-time, then we would have surely found room for the likes of Jack Dempsey, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Stanley Ketchel, Willie Pep, Joe Louis, Rocky Graziano, and Jake LaMotta.