There have been dozens of excellent boxers throughout the years and many of them hold world records in the sport. However, most of those records are likely to be overtaken in the future. What we have listed below are 10 professional boxing records that will probably never be broken.
Those on the list consist of some of history’s greatest boxers as well as a few who weren’t so successful to say the least. Some of these records are those which no boxer would like to own while others would certainly make a fighter proud. Either way, these 20 historical highlights and lowlights of the sport will probably never be surpassed.
20. Willie Pep – Two unbeaten Streaks of at Least 62 Fights
During his career, former two-time Featherweight Champion and hall of famer Willie Pep had two undefeated streaks which lasted at least 62 fights. His first pro bout came back in 1940 and Pep didn’t taste defeat until his 63rd contest when Sammy Angott beat him by a 10-round unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden in March of 1943. Pep then got back on the horse and went unbeaten in his next 73 fights before Sandy Saddler stopped him in the fourth round in October, 1948 in their first of four meetings. However, Pep just failed to make it a 73-fight winning streak since Jimmy McAllister held him to a 10 round draw in the middle of it in December of 1945. Most boxers these days won’t fight 62 pro bouts in their career, let alone put two undefeated streaks together like Pep did.
19. Wilfredo Gomez/Gennady Golovkin – 17 Straight KO’s in World Title Defenses
Boxing fans will likely see champions defend their titles 17 consecutive times in the future, but are unlikely to see them do it by way of knockout each and every time. This is what makes Wilfredo Gomez’s record of 17 straight Kos in defense of his World Super Bantamweight Title a hard record to break. The Puerto Rican went 44-3-1 with 42 Kos from 1974 to 1989 and was a three-time world champion. He won the WBC Super Bantamweight Title by knocking out Don-Kyun Yum in 1977 then stopped all comers defending the belt 17 times by KO before moving up in weight. He also knocked out five opponents in non-title fights during the streak, but lost to Salvador Sanchez in attempt to win the WBC Featherweight Belt.
Technically, Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 Kos) of Kazakhstan has achieved the same feat. He won the interim WBA Middleweight Title in August, 2010 and was then promoted to the organization’s regular champion. Golovkin defended the belt 17 times by KO and added the WBC, IBF and IBO belts along the way before having to go the distance to beat Daniel Jacobs in March, 2017.
18. Willie Pep – Most Career Wins (229)
Willie Pep of Middletown, Connecticut is one of two boxers to make this list twice. This time it’s for the most official career wins with 229. This includes going a record 136 fights from the start of his career with just one loss. Pep won his first 62 contests before being beaten, but then went another 73 fights before losing again with a draw thrown in there. This meant he owned a 134-1-1 mark after his first 136 bouts between July 1940 and October 1948. His first loss was to Sammy Angott with his second coming to Sandy Saddler. The two-time Featherweight King retired in 1966 with a mark of 229-11-1 with 65 Kos. Three of his losses were to Saddler and 10 of his 11 career defeats came after Pep survived a serious plane crash in January, 1947. Two passengers and the small aircraft’s co-pilot lost their lives with Pep suffering a broken back and leg.
17. Harry Stone – 222 Bouts Without Being Stopped
What was up with Harry Stone? Like his name suggests, this guy either had a chin of granite or could, slip, slide, and duck punches like nobody’s business. The native of New York City lost his fair share of fights as he went 82-47-18 with 17 Kos during his career from 1906 to 1929, but he finished all 222 contests on his feet. Stone was never stopped during his pro career and while that’s not unique in itself, it’s highly doubtful anybody’s ever going to be able to replicate what he achieved. Stone basically had no power in his own fists, which is evident due to his 11 per cent knockout ratio, and ended up going the distance in 130 of his 147 fights. He took on several good boxers in his era, but never fought for a world title.
16. Julio Cesar Chavez – 87-0 to Start Career
Former Mexican great Julio Cesar Chavez won six world titles in three different weight divisions in his career from 1980 to 2005. He went 107-6-2 with 86 Kos and five of his losses came in his last 16 fights. The hall of famer co-holds the world record for most successful world title defenses at 27 with Omar Narvaez. He also owns the record for most world title bouts at 37, the most title fight wins with 31 and the second most title bout wins by KO at 21. Now, those records may all eventually be broken, but his mark of 87-0 to start his career likely won’t fall. He drew his 88th bout with Pernell Whittaker, but didn’t lose until his 91st outing when Frankie Randall edged him by split decision in January 1994. Chavez also holds one of the longest unbeaten strings ever in boxing at 13 years and his 1993 fight against Greg Haugen in Mexico pulled in a world record 132,274 fans for a boxing match.
15. Pete Rademacher – Fought for World Heavyweight Title in First Pro Bout
Pete Rademacher battled for the World Heavyweight Crown in his first pro outing. This record can certainly never be broken, but it could eventually be equaled, however unlikely. The native of Tieton, Washington went 72-7 as an amateur and won the heavyweight gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Rademacher challenged reigning Heavyweight Boss Floyd Patterson in August, 1957 and decked the champion in the second round. However, he couldn’t finish him off and Patterson dropped him seven times en route to a sixth-round KO. Rademacher was stopped in his second outing by Zora Folley, but ended his career in 1962 at 15-7-1 with 8 Kos. Along the way he beat a couple of greats in Bobo Olson and George Chuvalo while also being stopped by Archie Moore.
14. Henry Armstrong – Five World Title Fights in 22 Days
If today’s champions are lucky enough to be involved in five world title fights it could take some of them a few years to engage in them. Let’s compare this to 1939 when Henry Armstrong successfully defended his World Welterweight Crown just under half a dozen times in the span of only 22 days. Not only that, he fought in the states of Iowa, Minneapolis, Washington, California and Colorado and stopped four of his five opponents. Armstrong knocked out Al Manfredo on Oct. 9th, Howard Scott on Oct. 13th and Richie Fontaine on Oct. 20th. He then beat Jimmy Garrison on points on Oct. 24th before stopping Bobby Pacho on Oct. 30th. Armstrong was then back in the ring five weeks later for a rematch with Garrison in his 12th fight of the year.
13. Tony Canzoneri – Shortest World Title Reign (33 Days)
There’s no question Tony Canzoneri of Staten Island, New York was an exceptional boxer. He was a world champion in three different weight divisions and won five titles in total. Canzoneri compiled a record of 141-24-10 along with 44 Kos between 1925 and 1939. He won a version of the Junior Welterweight Title on May 21st 1933 with a unanimous decision over Battling Shaw. However, he lost the championship just 33 days later on June 23rd when Barney Ross beat him by a razor-thin majority decision. The contest was also for the World Lightweight Title as Ross was the current champion and he also won the rematch by split decision three months later. You may see a world champion lose his title within a month if it’s stripped from him, but you’ll never see one fight twice in 33 days.
12. Danny O’ Sullivan – Knocked Down 14 Times in World Title Fight
Since the three-knockdown rule has basically flown out the window all around the world these days you may see multiple knockdowns in a world title fight. But you’ll probably never see one boxer knocked down a total of 14 times in a bout. English bantamweight Danny O’Sullivan was up and down like a yo-yo in his 1950 fight with World Bantamweight Champion Vic Toweel in South Africa. The three-knockdown rule obviously wasn’t in effect back then either as Toweel decked O’Sullivan a total of eight times in the fifth round. The challenger lasted until round 10 though before the referee waved the fight off. O’Sullivan was a British Champion who fought from 1947 to 1951, went 33-9-1 with 17 Kos and was stopped five times. He may have had a glass jaw since Luis Romero dropped him 11 times in their bout just two months earlier, but had a heck of a heart as he kept getting up.
11. Fritzie Zivic – Most Losses by a World Champion (65)
Even world champions and former world titleholders can have the odd bad day now and then, but usually not 65 of them. Fritzie Zivic of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania holds the record for most losses by a boxer who has been a world champion as he was beaten 65 times. That’s not as bad as it sounds though considering he won 158 times, fought to nine draws and lost 21 of his last 33 fights. He also registered 82 Kos and was stopped just four times in his 65 defeats. Zivic owned the World Welterweight Crown in 1940/41 and took on the best of his era between 1931 and 1949. He suffered three close decision losses to Jake LaMotta and two losses each to Sugar Ray Robinson and Henry Armstrong. He also managed two wins over Armstrong and one over LaMotta, stopping Armstrong in the 12th round in 1941. Zivic fought nine world champions in his career and seven hall of famers.
10. George Foreman – 21 Years Between World Title Reigns
When George Foreman knocked out ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier in the second round back in January, 1973 he became the WBA, WBC, and Lineal Heavyweight Champion. Foreman won the gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and then fought as a pro from 1969 to 1977. He made a comeback between 1987 and 1997 and won the IBF, WBA, and Lineal Heavyweight Titles by stopping Michael Moorer in the 10th round in November of 1994. Foreman became the oldest heavy weight champ ever at the age of 45 and the second-oldest champion in any division. Bernard Hopkins holds the record as the oldest when he won a light heavyweight belt at 50. But what’s more remarkable is that Foreman (76-5, 68 Kos) went 21 years between his title reigns. That’s a record that will likely never be topped.
9. Peter Maher – 50 First-Round Knockouts
It’s going to be pretty hard for most of today’s boxers to finish their careers with 50 fights, let alone 50 wins or 50 knockouts. Therefore, it’s going to be next to impossible to record 50 knockouts in the very first round. This is a record that Peter Maher holds though. Maher of Ireland fought as a middleweight to heavyweight back in the old days from 1887 to 1913 and retired with a record of 135-21-4 with 108 Kos. He held the Irish Middleweight and Heavyweight Championships and then decided to move to America. Maher was World Heavyweight Champion from November 11th 1895 to February 21st 1896 when he lost the belt to Bob Fitzsimmons. Ironically, Maher was knocked out in the first round of that fight.
8. Henry Armstrong – Simultaneous World Champ In Three Weight Divisions
Henry “Hurricane Hank” Armstrong holds a boxing record that is truly unique as he held world titles in three different weight divisions at the same time. Even with the dozens of world title belts available today and the additional weight divisions, this is something boxing fans are likely to never see again. In addition, Armstrong was the undisputed champion of his divisions. Back in 1938 he was the reigning featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight champion at 126 lbs, 130 lbs and 147 lbs respectively. Armstrong hailed from Columbus, Mississippi and also fought in the middleweight division, but didn’t win a world title at 160 lbs as he fought to a draw with World Champion Ceferino Garcia. Armstrong fought as a pro from to 1931 to 1945 and retired with a mark of 151-21-9 with 101 Kos. He also lost three of his first four pro bouts.
7. Billy Bird – 138 Career Knockouts
Billy Bird of London, England compiled the most career knockouts with 138 of them. He fought as a welterweight between 1920 and 1948 and retired with a record of 263-73-20. He was also knocked out himself 22 times. But even though he knocked out 138 opponents, his Ko percentage was below average at just 39 per cent. In addition, Bird fought mostly against Grade B and C opponents during his career. Former Light Heavyweight Champ Archie ‘The Old Mongoose’ Moore went 186-23-10 in his illustrious career and according to BoxRec scored 132 Kos for a 60 per cent knockout ratio. Moore was stopped just seven times himself and fought numerous world champions such as Willie Pastrano, Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson, and Muhammad Ali. Bird may hold the official record, but Moore’s achievement was definitely better considering he faced tougher opposition.
6. Jimmy Wilde – 104-Fight Unbeaten Streak
Jimmy Wilde of Wales was known as the “The Mighty Atom” as he fought in the lower flyweight division from 1911 to 1923. Wilde started his career with an incredible record of 103-1. He didn’t lose his first fight until of 1915 when Tancy Lee stopped him in the seventh round. Wilde would finish his career as one of the best flyweights ever and one of Britain’s greatest boxers with an official record of 132-4-1 with 99 Kos. It’s true the former European and World Champ Wilde compiled his unbeaten streak exclusively in the UK, but it’s still a record that will be extremely tough to beat. Sugar Ray Robinson’s streak of 91 fights without a loss from 1943 to 1951 is considered a tougher achievement since he compiled it against world champions and Grade A opponents. Robinson also won the World Welterweight and Middleweight Championships during that streak.
5. Len Wickwar – 470 Career Bouts
In today’s era of boxing, most fighters get into the ring about three times a year on average. This means some 10-year veterans have about 30 pro bouts under their belt. There’s no chance that anybody will top the record of 470 pro contests which is held by Len Wickwar of England. In addition, he holds the record for most rounds fought at 4,014 and the most wins with 340. Wickwar, a lightweight, went 340-87-42 with one no-contest and 93 Kos from 1928 to 1947. He turned pro at the age of18 and reportedly fought up to three bouts a day early in his career. Wickwar would have fought more bouts, but his career was put on hold during the Second World War. He then fought just four more times after the conflict ended.
4. Robin Deakin – 51 Consecutive Losses
The most consecutive defeats in pro boxing, at least officially, is 51, and the record belongs to 31-year-old Robin Deakin of England. Ironically, he won his pro debut back in 2006 and then proceeded to lose 51 straight fights. He snapped the losing streak in August of 2015 with a four-round win on points over Deniss Kornilovs. Deakin then sat out for two years and lost in his comeback. His current record stands at 2-52. To his credit though, the super lightweight from Crawley who has fought 215 rounds, has been stopped just 13 times. Apparently Deakin won his second pro bout while licensed under Maltese boxing authorities since the British boxing board revoked his license. He also managed to win 40 of his 75 amateur bouts.
3. Wilfredo Benitez – World Champ At Age Of 17
Wilfredo “El Radar” Benitez, a New York-born Puerto Rican, was just 17-years-old and in high school when he won his first world title. The teenager managed to beat WBC Jr. Welterweight Champion Antonio Cervantes by way of a 15-round split decision in March of 1976. Benitez, who was one of the greatest defensive boxes in history, would go on to win world titles in three weight divisions as he also captured welterweight and junior middleweight belts. He finished his career with a record of 53-8-1 with 31 Kos. Benitez’s biggest wins were over Bruce Curry, Maurice Hope, Roberto Duran, Carlos Santos and Carlos Palomino. His losses included defeats at the hands of Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Mustafa Hamsho, Davey Moore and Matthew Hilton. Benitez lost six of his last 15 fights, but was once an all-time great.
2. Reggie Strickland – 276 Career Defeats
American middleweight Reggie Strickland of Cincinnati, Ohio fought pro between 1987 and 2005. He entered the ring 363 times and lost a world record 276 fights. He also won 66 of them and was stopped just 25 times. His final record stood at 66-276-17 with four no-contests and 14 Kos. In fact, 66 wins is nothing to sneeze at, but perhaps what’s more remarkable is that he fought 363 bouts and recorded just 14 knockouts. Strickland also fought under aliases and lost to future world champions such as Keith Holmes, Tavoris Cloud, Cory Spinks, Randall Bailey and Raul Marquez. Strickland was basically a professional opponent for up-and-coming boxers. His half-brother Jerry Strickland was a welterweight who retired in 2000 with a record of 13-122 with 5 Kos and was knocked out an incredible 78 times.
1. Eric Crumble – 31 Straight Losses By Knockout
Eric Crumble was a middleweight from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who definitely lived up to his name since all he did was crumble in the ring. Crumble fought 31 times as a pro between 1990 and lost all 31 of them. What’s incredible is that he was knocked out all 31 times and managed to last just 42 total rounds. He lost to some notable opponents such as Angel Manfredy and Antwun Echols, but was also stopped by Donnie Penelton, who had a record of 8-95-2 when they met. Crumble was stopped 22 times in the very first round and never made it past the second round. He actually had a 32nd pro bout, but it was ruled a no-contest. Crumble’s 31 straight losses by knockout won’t be equaled in today’s era since a boxer with that many stoppages on his record should never have his license renewed.