Who's really the greatest of all time? ESPN.com ranks 'em. Let the debate begin.
• How we picked the list | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1 | The entire list
30. Terry McGovern
Bantamweight, featherweight Ring career: 1897-1908 Record: 60-4-4 (42 KOs) and 10 no-decisions
Career notes: Fearsome puncher. Won world bantamweight title in 1899 with first-round knockout. Added featherweight crown via eighth-round stoppage victory in January 1900. Every one of six title defenses was by knockout.
29. Sandy Saddler
Featherweight, junior lightweight Ring career: 1944-57 Record: 144-16-2 (103 KOs)
Career notes: Tall and skinny for a featherweight. Frequently chastised for regular recourse to rough-and-tumble tactics, although also possessed good boxing skills. Only opponent to regularly get better of Willie Pep, whom he beat three times out of four, all victories coming inside the distance. Won featherweight championship in first bout, in October 1948, before losing it in rematch four months later. Won junior lightweight belt in December 1949. After two defenses, abdicated crown to concentrate again on featherweight division. Reclaimed championship from Pep in 1950. Held on to title until 1956, although two of those years were spent inactive while in Army. Retired as champion in January 1957 as result of vision problems stemming from an auto accident.
28. Jake LaMotta
Middleweight Ring career: 1941-54 Record: 83-19-4 (30 KOs)
Career notes: Famed for biography "Raging Bull," made into movie by Martin Scorsese, with Robert DeNiro playing LaMotta. Most famous for six bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson: LaMotta won the second -- the first to defeat Robinson -- but lost other five. Won world middleweight title against Marcel Cerdan in 1949, but lost it to Robinson in 1951. Knocked down just once in his career, by Danny Nardico in 1952.
Let's go to the video: 50 Greatest: Jake LaMotta
27. Ezzard Charles
Middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight Ring career: 1940-59 Record: 96-25-1 (58 KOs)
Career notes: Had more heavyweight championship fights than anyone not named Holyfield, Louis or Ali. Four title bouts came against Jersey Joe Walcott; won first two encounters, taking NBA heavyweight belt in 1949 before achieving universal recognition as champ with victory over Joe Louis the following year, and defeating Walcott again in March 1951. Was TKO'd by Walcott in July 1951 to lose title, lost again on points and failed in two attempts to wrest belt back from Rocky Marciano.
26. Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Ring career: 1965-81 Record: 32-4-1 (27 KOs)
Career notes:Four losses came to two opponents. One of three greatest heavyweights in perhaps greatest heavyweight generation ever. Claimed world title during Muhammad Ali's suspension for refusing the draft, but many regarded Ali as true champion. Met Ali on March 8, 1971, in "Fight of the Century"; Frazier floored Ali in 15th to cement unanimous points victory. Lost title to George Foreman in 1973, and lost on points to Ali in non-title bout the following year. Fought Ali in 1975 a third time in the "Thrilla in Manila," widely regarded as greatest heavyweight title bout of all time. Ali retained title when Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch stopped contest after 14 brutal rounds. Retired after losing again to Foreman in 1976, but came back briefly in 1981, scoring a draw with Jumbo Cummings.
Let's go to the video: 50 Greatest: Joe Frazier
25. Marcel Cerdan
Middleweight Ring career: 1934-49 Record: 106-4 (61 KOs)
Career notes: One of most popular athletes in French history. Born in Algeria before emigrating to France. Suffered four defeats in 110 bouts, each dubious: two via disqualification, one on a controversial decision and once after injuring shoulder against Jake LaMotta in defense of world middleweight title won from Tony Zale. Was killed in a plane crash while en route to rematch.
24. Julio Cesar Chavez
Super featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight Ring career: 1980-2005 Record: 108-6-2 (87 KOs)
Career notes: Arguably most revered Mexican boxer in history. Called "J.C. Superstar." Known especially for heavy hands and murderous body punches. Won first 88 professional fights before escaping with draw against Pernell Whitaker in 1993. Tasted defeat for first time against Frankie Randall four months later. Won WBC super featherweight title in September 1984. Stopped Edwin Rosario to win WBA lightweight belt in November 1987. Added WBC belt with defeat of Jose Luis Ramirez in 1988. Stopped Roger Mayweather to annex WBC junior welterweight crown in May 1989. Added IBF title with last-second stoppage win over Meldrick Taylor in 1990. Lost title to Randall, but regained it in rematch. Lost it again, to Oscar De La Hoya, in 1996, and did not hold a world title again.
Let's go to the video: 50 Greatest: Julio Cesar Chavez
23. Jimmy McLarnin
Flyweight, lightweight, welterweight Ring career: 1923-36 Record: 62-11-3 (20 KOs) and 1 no-decision
Career notes: Won welterweight championship in 1933 with first-round knockout. Then engaged in spectacular three-fight series with Barney Ross, winning one and losing two. Held victories over 13 world champions. Was perhaps first fighter to be referred to by sportswriters as best "pound-for-pound" fighter in the world.
22. Barney Ross
Lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight Ring career: 1929-38 Record: 72-4-3 (22 KOs) and 2 no-decisions
Career notes: Claimed both lightweight and junior welterweight titles with victory over Tony Canzoneri in 1933, and defended both in rematch. Defeated Jimmy McLarnin for welterweight title in 1935, lost it in a rematch, and regained it in rubber match. Lost title to Henry Armstrong and retired.
Let's go to the video: 50 Greatest: Barney Ross
21. Tony Canzoneri
Bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight Ring career: 1925-39 Record: 137-24-10 (44 KOs) and 4 no-decisions
Career notes: Won world featherweight championship in February 1928 when only 19, but lost first defense. Knocked out Al Singer in first round to win lightweight championship in 1930. Added junior welterweight title the following year. Lost, regained, and again lost both lightweight and junior welterweight belts.
Kieran Mulvaney is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He covers boxing for ESPN.com, Reuters and TigerBoxing.com.
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