One of the most popular sports of the world has boasted a number of African boxers who have been labelled as a part of the “Boxing Greats.” Since Africa is the land of strength and valour, it only makes sense that many high-quality champion boxers have come out of this region.
With powerful jabs, thudding roars and earth-shattering punches, these are the top 10 African boxers of all time:
10) Welcome Ncita (South Africa)
Total Fights: 44, Wins: 40, Draws: 1
Known as “The Hawk”, Welcome Ncita became a professional in 1984 and became won the International Boxing Federation Bantamweight Title for the first time in 1990. Following this win, he went on to defend his title six more times.
9) Cornelious Edwards (Ugandan)
Total Fights: 53, Wins: 45, Draws: 1
The winner of the WBC World Junior Lightweight Title of 1981, he has fought several world champions, e.g. Chacon and Rolando Navarrete. He has 34 knockouts under his belt—out of a total of 45 wins!
8) Corrie Sanders (South Africa)
Total Fights: 46, Wins: 42, Draws: 0
The 2003 WBO heavyweight champion, Cornelius Johannes “Corrie” Sanders defeated his opponent, Wladimir Klitschko with a second-round knockout that is still considered to be one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
The heroic boxer was killed during an armed robbery in 2012 where he was shot in the stomach while trying to defend his daughter.
7) Francois Botha (South Africa)
Total Fights: 65, Wins: 48, Draws: 3
Nicknamed as “The White Buffalo”, the South African heavyweight champion won his first championship in 1995 at the IBF World Heavyweight Title in Germany, but was later stripped of his title when he tested positive for steroids.
6) John Mugabi (Uganda)
Total Fights: 50, Wins: 42, Draws: 1
Commonly dubbed “The Beast” by fans and experts alike, John Mugabi is arguably one of the best boxers Africa has produced. Winning a silver medal at the 1980s Summer Olympics in Moscow, he turned professional on December 5th, 1980 and went on to have an inspiring professional career.
5) Vic Toweel (South Africa)
Total Fights: 32, Wins: 28, Draws: 1
The first South African to hold a world title, Victor “Vic” Anthony Toweel won the world bantamweight championship title in 1950. During his amateur years, he lost only 2 fights out of 300! The champ died in Sydney in 2008.
4) Brian Mitchell (South Africa)
Total Fights: 49, Wins: 45, Draws: 3
Considered to be the best South African boxer of all time by some experts, Brian Mitchell turned pro in 1981 and won his first title in 1986 at the WBA Junior Lightweight Title. He formed a record by defending the title 12 times!
3) Ike Quartey (Ghana)
Total Fights: 42, Wins: 37, Draws: 1
Knocking out Crisanto Espana of Venezuela in the 11th round, Isufu “Ike” Quartey held the WBA welterweight title from 1994 to 1998.
2) Dick Tiger (Nigeria)
Total Fights: 82, Wins: 60, Draws: 3
The winner of the world middleweight championship in 1962, Nigerian born Dick Tiger is perhaps one of the greatest African boxers the world has seen. The fighter died of liver cancer in 1971.
1) Azumah Nelson (Ghana)
Total Fights: 47, Wins: 39, Draws: 2
Considered by many to be the greatest African boxer of all time, he is a three-time world champion in two weight classes. At the 1978 Commonwealth Games, he also won a gold medal in the Featherweight class.
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