Floyd Mayweather’s 50-0 is perhaps the most famous stat in boxing – but two world champions actually surpass him with even longer undefeated pro records – as we see in talkSPORT’s top 10 greatest ever unbeaten fighters.
Including Mayweather, better known as ‘TBE’ – to himself – a total of 15 ‘Invincible’ world champs have retired without ever suffering an L – but we’re not just putting them in statistical order. The quality of their contests, opponents and length of title reign are all taken into account.
We’re also including active fighters (with an asterisk* to show they could still lose) – but only veterans who’ve built up an impressive record over many years. So no sign of unbeaten Jake Paul, Tommy Fury, or KSI for now – or, frankly, forever. On with the countdown!
10. Oleksandr Usyk* (20-0)
‘Only’ 20 fights means the 35-year-old Ukrainian has the shortest unbeaten record on this list – but look at what the stylish southpaw has achieved.
In his 10th fight, Usyk won his first cruiserweight world title, at 15-0 he fully unified the division, then to reach 19-0 he did a number on Anthony Joshua to grab his heavyweight belts before beating him again in a rematch.
The ultimate road warrior, the closest Usyk came to losing his perfect record was a unification war in Latvia against Mairis Briedis. But his 20-0 is essentially controversy-free and as flawless as his dancing skills. What a man!
9. Sven Ottke (34-0)
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The numbers are incredible: 34-0, 21 title defences, and two world titles unified. But what lurks below is a bit more suspect – and we don’t just mean the six KOs on the feather-fisted super-middleweight’s record.
Ottke was a highly skillful boxer. But he fought every single title bout in Germany in front of sympathetic judges and referees (witness his 2003 fight with Robin Reid, where the ref basically told Reid off for hitting Ottke). He also made no attempt to fight rival 168lb champ Joe Calzaghe before he retired – probably a wise decision.
8. Tyson Fury* (32-0-1)
‘The Gypsy King’ is 34 and, despite his constant retirement threats, shows no sign of actually stepping away from the ring – so his unbeaten record may eventually be spoiled. But it’ll be a huge upset if Derek Chisora is the man to do it at the third time of asking.
The giant, fleet-footed, loud-mouthed heavyweight does not have a flawless record. Fury has a draw with Deontay Wilder (which he was unlucky not to win) and got a gift decision against John McDermott early in his career.
However, Fury stopped both boxers in rematches and now he sits proudly as a heavyweight champ with a rare ‘0’ in the loss column.
7. Terence Crawford* (38-0)
Arguably the best pure boxer since Mayweather has a similarly perfect record if nowhere near the fame of Floyd. Still, ‘Bud’ is a three-weight world champion, earned undisputed status at 140lb, and has never really looked like losing any contest.
Yet there is intense frustration. The laid-back switch-hitter is still yet to take on welterweight arch-rival Errol Spence – another unbeaten champ – and lately has just been fighting mismatches against ageing or undeserving foes.
Crawford is 35, 38-0, and riding a nine-fight KO streak. Despite the epic numbers, his career is in danger of ending in disappointment.
6. Andre Ward (32-0)
A crafty two-weight world champion, American Ward was king of a very competitive super-middleweight scene – defeating Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch – before stepping up to become a champion at light-heavyweight and retiring at the age of 33.
The only knocks against Ward are that injury and inactivity kept him to only 32 fights, his style could be ugly and his first win against Sergey Kovalev was highly controversial.
But ’Dre won the rematch with Kovalev by KO and had a sky-high in-ring IQ, which he’s showing to excellent effect as a superb boxing analyst. Fair play.
5. Joe Calzaghe (46-0)
Ahead of Ward on pure numbers but with a very similar career path, Welsh-Italian Calzaghe cleaned out the super-middleweight division, before finishing his career with a couple of marquee wins at light-heavyweight.
The tireless, fast-fisted southpaw took the ‘0’ of several opponents, from Jeff Lacy to Mikkel Kessler.
The closest he came to defeat were close, split-decision wins over Robin Reid and then Bernard Hopkins – but Calzaghe probably edged them via his astonishing work rate.
Easily Britain’s best-undefeated champ (no offence, Terry Marsh).
4. Jimmy Barry (59-0-10, 1 NC)
Barry fans rejoice: the ‘Little Tiger’ has a clear lead over Mayweather as an unbeaten boxer, the former bantamweight world champ racking up about 70 fights without a loss. We say ‘about 70’, because Barry fought in the 1890s when BoxRec.com wasn’t exactly around.
His record is odd to modern eyes, featuring 10 draws and a no contest. The 5ft 2in American has finishes such as ‘police intervened’ on his record, and ended his career with eight consecutive draws – which hints at some kindly judging at the finish. Still, nine years and 70-ish fights without an official defeat is some going.
3. Rocky Marciano (49-0)
The Brockton Blockbuster’s 49-0 (43 KOs) was the most iconic record in boxing until Mayweather edged ahead.
The only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated – unless Fury or Usyk go on to match him – Marciano was a small heavyweight, standing at just 5ft 10in.
His reign as champ was also short, with just six defences, and Marciano was renowned as a clumsy brawler who relied on his iron will, endurance, and a pulverising right hand to win fights.
Marciano did not have the skill of Joe Louis or Muhammad Ali, but he was never beaten and was part of the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s ‘Rocky’ films. For that alone, we all owe him big time.
2. Ricardo Lopez (51-0-1)
It may not be all-wins but ‘Finito’ Lopez has a record almost as impressive as Mayweather’s.
The Mexican went unbeaten in 52 fights – none against debuting MMA fighters – from 1985 to 2001. His only draw, in his 48th fight against Rosendo Alvarez, was put right with a decision win in the rematch.
Lopez made a whopping 21 world title defences in boxing’s smallest weight class (105lb) before stepping up to face the 108lb monsters at mini-flyweight to become a two-weight world champ.
A master boxer with an impressive 38 KOs, Lopez is clearly the greatest strawweight ever.
1. Floyd Mayweather (50-0)
Other boxers may have put together longer unbeaten streaks, but Floyd stands alone with the greatest ‘perfect’ record of 50 wins (27 KOs), no defeats, and no draws.
His list of beaten opponents – from Diego Corrales to Oscar De La Hoya to Canelo Alvarez – could fill a hall of fame on their own.
The only knock against Mayweather is that after he achieved superstar status he was happy to wait and let age or wear-and-tear diminish rivals before facing them in the ring (see: Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto).
But this master-boxer was so skillful he might well have beaten them whenever they fought. Simply the greatest unbeaten champion ever.
Honourable mentions: Harry Simon (31-0), Katie Taylor* (22-0), Errol Spence* (28-0), Terry Marsh (26-0-1), Mihai Leu (28-0), Rey Vargas* (36-0), Jermall Charlo* (32-0), Pichit Sitbangprachan (24-0), Dmitry Pirog (20-0)
- From Floyd Mayweather to Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk – ranking boxing’s greatest undefeated fighters ever
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