There are few nations that are as synonymous with success inside the boxing ring as the United States. The country has played host to some of the biggest events in the history of the sport, with Las Vegas becoming the spiritual ‘home’ of boxing. Some of the biggest stars that have headlined these shows have come from the United States, and that has engaged viewers even greater. The success boxing has enjoyed in America has made it one of the most popular betting sports, with punters often looking to enjoy free bets on boxing with sportsbook no deposit bonus. But, who are some of the legendary figures that have helped shape the sport of boxing in the United States?
There are few more famous boxing stars in history than Muhammad Ali. Born Cassius Clay, the superstar transcended the sport throughout his career and is regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all time. Ali also helped shape the United States as we know it today, as he fought against the war in Vietnam and fought for African American civil rights alongside Malcolm X.
In the ring, Ali was the undisputed heavyweight champion between 1974 and 1980, before he later held the WBA and The Ring heavyweight titles between 1978 and 1979. The heavyweight was involved in some of the biggest fights boxing has ever seen, including The Fight of the Century against Joe Frazier, Thrilla In Manila, and Rumble In The Jungle against George Foreman. Ali’s ability to trash-talk his opponents gave him a mental edge throughout his career, and he won 56 times across 61 professional bouts. There was huge sadness around the sport when it was announced in June 2016 that the GOAT had passed away in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Floyd Mayweather remains one of the most successful boxers to ever grace the ring, with many claiming that the American is the best boxer to have laced up a pair of gloves. Mayweather was active between 1996 and 2017, and he retired from the sport with a perfect professional record. The American held 15 major world championships throughout his career, which included titles across the super featherweight and light middleweight classifications. He was also a lineal champion across four weight classes, including twice at welterweight.
Mayweather was named the ‘Fighter of the Decade’ for the 2010s by BWAA and was a two-time winner of the Fighter of the Year award from The Ring. Mayweather was hot property every time that he stepped into the ring, highlighted by the fact that he generated over 24 million PPV buys throughout his career, amassing a total of $1.67 billion.
There are few more instantly recognizable stars in the history of boxing than Mike Tyson. Iron Mike dominated the heavyweight division throughout his career and was involved in a shortage of huge historic bouts in the classification during his career.
Tyson is widely regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights in history, and he was the undisputed champion in the division between 1987 and 1990. Iron Mike made a stunning start to his professional career after landing 19 straight knockout victories, with 12 of those wins coming in the opening round. He won his first world title aged just 20 years and four months, becoming the youngest boxer to ever win a world heavyweight title. Furthermore, he became the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBA, and IBF titles at the same time, and he became the first heavyweight to unify the belts following a 91-second victory over Michael Spinks.
However, Tyson was also involved in shocking fights in which he lost, including one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he was knocked out by Buster Douglas in 1990. He was also involved in a heated rivalry against Evander Holyfield, with the second fight between the two being lost by Tyson following a DQ after Iron Mike bit his opponent.
There has been no shortage of legendary American boxing world champions throughout history, with all bringing something new to the table. The sport continues to be one of the most popular within the United States, with Las Vegas as the fight capital of the world and hosting the biggest fights on the calendar. These events are watched by millions around the country. Nowadays, American stars continue to dominate the divisions across the sport, but few can claim to have achieved as much as the stars mentioned on this list. However, superstars such as Terence Crawford have shown that there is history to be made in this modern day, and by the time they retire, they may be deserving of a place among the legends that have transcended the sport throughout their career.