The Greatest Boxing Nicknames


Boxing nicknames have always been a great element of the sport. The names encapsulate the fighters and can often take on a character and life of their own.

Below are some of my favourite boxing nicknames and a handful of honourable mentions that I just couldn’t leave out.
 

"Iron" Mike Tyson


"Iron" Mike Tyson
Image Source: the-talks.com 

One of the most feared boxers of all time, "Iron" Mike Tyson burst onto the scene after defeated Trevor Berbick for the world championship in 1986 at age 20, younger than any world champion before him. He had devastating power and the speed to match it, a combination that defeated many boxers before they ever stepped into the ring. Over his career Tyson secured a record of 50-6 with 44 wins coming from knockouts. However, Tyson would leave the boxing world in disgrace after biting off a piece of Evander "Real Deal" Holyfield’s ear in 1997.
 

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

 
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
Image Source: abcnews.go.com

In the ring, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter had a record of 21-12-1 (win-loss-draw) with 19 of his wins ending in a knockout. However, the Hurricane is likely better known for his life outside the ring. Carter was convicted of murder and spent almost 20 years in prison. The charges were later dropped by a federal court after evidence that had been withheld was discovered.
 

"Smokin" Joe Frazier


"Smokin" Joe FrazierImage Source: frankwarren.com
 
There are few fighters that can claim to have gone toe to toe with Ali and won. "Smokin" Joe Frazier is one of them. Ali and Frazier fought three times with “The Greatest” claiming two of the three. However, Ali paid the price. After their last fight dubbed “The Thrilla in Manilla”, Ali claimed that the fight was the “closest thing to dying I know of.” This from a man who fought Foreman in his prime. In addition to his battles with Ali, Frazier defeated a number of not just the world’s best but arguably a selection of the greatest boxers of all time. After retiring, "Smokin" Joe ended his career with 32 wins, 27 through knockouts and just 4 loses.
 

"The Greatest" Muhammad Ali


"The Greatest" Muhammad Ali
 
There is definitely an argument to be had that "Sugar" Ray Leonard was in fact the greatest of all time. However, Ali was known as The Greatest for not only being a phenom but a cultural icon and a symbol of the anti-Vietnam War movement.
 
Ali won his first wold heavyweight championship in 1963 defeating Sonny Liston less than three years after his professional debut. At just 22, he was the youngest champion in history, a record that would later be surpassed by Mike Tyson. Through his career Ali would fight in some of the greatest fights in history including "The Fight of the Century", "The Thrilla in Manilla" and “The Rumble in the Jungle.” These fights garnered worldwide coverage and transcended the sport.
 
In 1978, he won his last championship defeating Leon Spinks and becoming the only man to ever hold the lineal heavyweight championship three times.

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Honourable mentions

 
The world of boxing is filled with peculiar and amazing nicknames. Below are a few honourable mentions.
 
Samuel "The Nigerian Nightmare" Peter
Owen "What the Heck" Beck
Iran "The Blade" Barkley
"The Explosive Thin Man" Alexis Arguello
Ronald "Winky" Wright
Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins
"The Brown Bomber" Joe Louis
 

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Published: 01/30/2019