Heavyweights Ranked by Decade

I just rewatched Spinks-Holmes I and II last night on Youtube. (Aside: Lots of stuff is worse these days, and technology has created as many problems as it has solved the past couple decades, but Youtube is one of the most enjoyable innovations that I can remember.) I was remembering back to that time and all the various fights I've watched over the years. (Aside 2: You used to get a lot more network coverage of boxing, and it was cheaper, but you didn't have nearly the amount of options as you have today with streaming, etc)

Given both the death of Earnie Shavers, and all the rankings of P4P right now, I decided to do my ranking. Most of the stuff from the mid-60s on is based on personal knowledge. The rest is built on grainy footage and spending too much time reading about boxing.

Now for the rules. For the earlier decades, I just don't know enough to do a top 10. For some of the later decades, it was hard to make the cuts. I ranked using a combination of how good you are and what you accomplished, but it is all based on that particular decade and at the heavyweight class (of course with some knowledge of how good you were overall given your entire career, and plenty of subjectivity built in as well). So Leon Spinks, Buster Douglas, and Andy Ruiz, Jr. shocked the world -- huge accomplishment, however brief -- but just because they held the title doesn't mean they were better than others who never did. Also, head-to-head matters but doesn't drive everything, especially since we're talking about an entire decade, some guys peaked and faded at different times.

Hope you enjoy it and let me know your thoughts:


  1. Dempsey
  2. Tunney
  3. Firpo
  4. Sharkey
  5. Gibbons
  6. Carpentier
  1. Louis
  2. Schmeling
  3. (Max) Baer
  4. Braddock
  5. Carnera
  6. Sharkey
  7. Pastor
  1. Louis
  2. Walcott
  3. Conn
  4. Charles
  5. (Buddy) Baer
  6. Ray
  7. Baksi
  1. Marciano
  2. Patterson
  3. Moore
  4. Walcott
  5. Charles
  6. Johannson
  7. Machen
  8. Folley
  9. Valdez
  10. Baker
  1. Ali
  2. Liston
  3. Frazier
  4. Patterson
  5. (Cleveland) Williams
  6. Terrell
  7. Ellis
  8. Chuvalo
  9. Folley
  10. Mathis
  1. Ali
  2. Foreman
  3. Frazier
  4. Norton
  5. Holmes
  6. Young
  7. Quarrey
  8. Shavers
  9. (Leon) Spinks
  10. Lyle
  1. Tyson
  2. Holmes
  3. (Michael) Spinks
  4. Holyfield
  5. Berbick
  6. Douglas
  7. Thomas
  8. Cooney
  9. Witherspoon
  10. (Carl) Williams
  1. Lewis
  2. Holyfield
  3. Bowe
  4. Tyson
  5. Foreman
  6. Moorer
  7. Ruddock
  8. Mercer
  9. Morrison
  10. McCall
  1. (Wlad) Klitschko
  2. Lewis
  3. (Vitaly) Klitschko
  4. Rahman
  5. Byrd
  6. (John) Ruiz
  7. Valuev
  8. Haye
  9. Tua
  10. Sanders
  1. Joshua
  2. Wilder
  3. (Wlad) Klitschko
  4. Fury
  5. Povetkin
  6. (Andy) Ruiz, Jr.
  7. Whyte
  8. Ortiz
  9. Parker
  10. Pulev
2020s: (We're only three years in, so I only rank 3)
  1. Fury
  2. Usyk
  3. Joshua

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