Wednesday, August 10, 2022  |


10: Greatest European heavyweights


A weekly boxing list compiled by Michael Rosenthal. This week: In honor of the Wladimir Klitschko-Ruslan Chagaev RING heavyweight championship fight on Saturday in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, the 10 greatest European heavyweights ever.

1. Max Schmeling, Germany (56-10-4, 40 KOs): The former champion knocked out a young Joe Louis in 1936.
2. Lennox Lewis, England (41-2-1, 32 KOs): Arguably the best heavyweight since Larry Holmes.
3. Tommy Farr, Wales (81-30-13, 24 KOs): Held his own against the best heavyweights in the world in the 1930s.
4. Joe Bugner, England (69-13-1, 41 KOs): Had a successful career during the 1970s and ’80s, an era deep in good heavyweights.
5. Vitali Klitschko, Ukraine (37-2, 36 KOs): The tougher of the brothers has a remarkable KO ratio.
6. Wladimir Klitschko, Ukriane (52-3, 46 KOs): The more-athletic of the brothers has won 10 in a row.
7. Ingemar Johannson, Sweden (26-2, 17 KOs): His three-fight series against Floyd Patterson is legendary.
8. Frank Bruno, England (40-5, 38 KOS): Held one of the major titles until Mike Tyson took it from him.
9. Henry Cooper, England (40-14-1, 27 KOs): Came close to upsetting a young Muhammad Ali in 1963.
10. Karl Mildenberger, Germany (53-6-3, 19 KOs): The southpaw competed favorably with the top heavyweights of the 1960s.

Note: Bob Fitzsimmons was born in England but not included here because he left the country as a child and fought his entire career in Australia and the U.S. Joe Bugner was born in Hungary but immigrated to the UK as a child.

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected] His opinion here doesn’t necessarily reflect that of RING magazine or