Top 11 Undefeated Streaks In Boxing History
Boxer's take a huge amount of pride in their unbeaten records and how long they can remain unconquered in the ring. The mystique of seeming invincible gives a fighter something that those who have been beaten cannot have. There are great fighters today who are yet to be beaten - Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin, Terence Crawford to name a few - but they are well behind these guys in terms of undefeated runs. Here are the longest unbeaten streaks in boxing history.
Jimmy Wilde - 93-0-1
The Welshman made his debut on New Year’s Day 1911, knocking out Ted Roberts in three rounds and this was to be the start of a truly incredible career. Wilde would fight 28 times in 1911, finishing the year with a record of 27-0-1, by the end of 1914 he had recorded the longest unbeaten record in boxing history of 93-0-1 – a record which still stands to this day. The 5’ 2” sensation was the first flyweight world champion and owner of two of the best nicknames in the sport’s history – ‘The Mighty Atom’ and ‘The Ghost with the Hammer in his Hand’ due to his freakish power for a tiny man. He finished his career with a ridiculous record of 132-3-1, frustratingly notching up 99 knockouts rather than the round ton.
Julio Cesar Chavez - 89-0-1
The greatest Mexican fighter of all time and for many years in the late 1980s and early ‘90s the greatest fighter on the planet – Julio Cesar Chavez was a force of nature from super featherweight up to super lightweight. By 1993 Chavez was 87-0, a world champion at three weight divisions and the undisputed pound-for-pound king. He just overreached at that point when he took on Pernell Whitaker at welterweight and scraped a draw, three fights later he suffered his first defeat to Frankie Randall, ending his unbeaten run at 90 fights. Incredibly, El León de Culiacán was still fighting in 2005 when he finished his career with a record of 107-6-2.
Packey McFarland - 70-0-5
Incredibly, McFarland’s 70-0-5 record is how his career finished and yet he never got a shot at a world title in his 11-year professional career. The Chicago native was devastating at lightweight and welterweight from 1904 until his final fight in 1915 but never got the shot he deserved. He defeated future world champions Freddie Welsh and Jack Britton but his own crack at world honours remained elusive. As mentioned, Newspaper Decisions are not coming into this, but if they were, Packey finished with a stellar record of 105-1-6.
Willie Pep - 62-0
Willie Pep was a very busy man. Less than a year after making his pro debut in July 1940 he had amassed a record of 24-0 and he didn’t slow down from there. By March 1943 Will o’ the Wisp had stacked up 62 wins without so much as a draw against his name. His output was incredible as he travelled the States racking up wins. In January 1943 alone he scored three victories over 10 rounds, one in New Orleans, one in New York and the other in Connecticut. Pep lost to Sammy Angott in 1943 but he went on to win the world featherweight title twice and end his career on an incredible score of 229-11-1.
Jimmy Barry - 59-0-10
‘The Little Tiger’ made his way back in 1891 so records are not the most reliable but it appears that Barry went for 60 fights without losing a single one and also claimed world titles at ‘100lbs’ and bantamweight. Standing 5’2” from Chicago, Barry knocked out his first 11 opponents, all of whom were making their debuts. It wasn’t until his 26th fight that he boxed a man who had ever won which seems ridiculous these days. It was a funny career which ended with eight straight draws which were probably fairly generous to keep the legendary fighter’s undefeated streak going.
Ricardo Lopez - 51-0-1
Criminally underrated as he was a star of the smallest weight classes, Lopez was one of the greatest fighters on the planet throughout the 1990s and yet many outside of hardcore boxing fans will never have heard of him. ‘El Finito’ reigned supreme as minimumweight world champion for eight years from 1990-98. He picked up the only blemish on his record in 1998 when he drew with Rosendo Alvarez – a result he improved to a victory in their rematch eight months later. The Mexican stepped up to light flyweight for the last three fights of his career, winning the IBF belt and defending it twice before retiring undefeated.
Rocky Marciano - 49-0
The Brockton Blockbuster was the record-holder for an unblemished record for 60 years until Mayweather equalled his tally. In only eight years Marciano amassed the 49-0 record which included a terrifying 43 knockouts as he dominated the heavyweight division. The level of opposition was not always the best for Rocky, but he does have the likes of Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore on his record, so he was keeping some pretty good company before he retired in 1955.
Floyd Mayweather Jr - 49-0
The self-titled TBE (The Best Ever) has earned more money than anyone else on this list by some considerable margin. Certainly not the most popular, but undoubtedly the best boxer of his generation, he defeated all-comers from 1996-2015 from super feather all the way up to light middleweight. Maybe he didn’t fight too many great opponents in their prime, but he has legendary names like Manny Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto on his resume so he probably doesn’t care. Now confirmed to be coming out of retirement to fight Conor McGregor in August, Floyd will almost certainly jump above Rocky Marciano to set a new record at 50-0.
Larry Holmes - 48-0
The Easton Assassin fought on far too long and lost some big fights which might be why it is easy to forget how incredible his record was before he suffered his first defeat in 1985. Holmes went unbeaten from March 1973 until losing to light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks in September ’85 in Ring Magazine’s upset of the year. Holmes could never regain his glory days, losing all of his forthcoming five world title shots and ending with a record of 69-6. However, his time at the top was sensational, holding a version of the world heavyweight title for over seven years and racking up a 48-0 record before that shock defeat to Spinks. Chris John (48-0-3) It looked very likely that Chris John was going to break boxing’s undefeated record despite barely fighting anyone fans had ever heard of. The Indonesian held the WBA featherweight title for nine years from 2004-2013 but only fought outside of Asia and Australia twice during that reign – drawing with and then beating Rocky Juarez in America in 2009. John did beat Juan Manuel Marquez in 2006 but other than that there are no names at all on his record and he eventually retired against unheralded South African Simpiwe Vetyeka in 2013 to relinquish his title and unbeaten run. It was a strangely low-key end to a strangely low-key career, but finishing with a record of 48-1-3 is not to be sniffed at.
Cesar Rene Cuenca - 48-0
Look up ‘padded record’ in the dictionary and you may well see the face of Cesar Rene Cuenca who boxed his way to an incredible set of numbers without ever really challenging himself. Stacking up 47 wins and no defeats, every single one coming in his home country of Argentina, Cuenca finally got himself a shot at a world title. He travelled abroad for the first time, to Macao of all places, and pulled off the win to defeat previously unbeaten Chinese star Ik Yang and win the IBF super lightweight title. His endless preparation at home seemed to have paid off. However, he fought twice again after that world title win, getting knocked out by Eduard Troyanovsky on both occasions. Incredibly, of all Cuenca’s 48 career wins, only two came by knockout.
Eder Jofre - 47-0-3
Brazil’s greatest ever boxer, Jofre has a shout as one of the best bantamweights of all time as well after an incredible two-part career that ran from 1956-76. Sao Paulo’s finest gained a 32-0-3 record before venturing out of South America when he knocked out Joe Medel on his American debut in 1960. Later the same year he had his hands on a version of the world bantamweight title. By 1965 Jofre had gone 50 fights undefeated with a record of 47-0-3 before he met his match in Fighting Harada who went on to beat the Brazilian twice. After his second loss to Harada in 1966 Jofre retired, only to return three years later to campaign at featherweight. In this remarkable second stint he won the featherweight world title and won 25 straight fights, retiring with a record of 72-2-4.
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