- Some boxing managers and promoters pad their fighters’ records by matching them up against weaker opponents.
- Even legendary boxers like Julio Cesar Chavez have faced part of their career against weaker fighters.
- This practice of facing lower-ranked opponents can prevent weaknesses from being exposed.
Most top boxers follow a similar path on their way to stardom. They’ll start their careers facing lower ranked fighters to establish their skills before moving up to contender status. Once they have reached contender level, they may face a couple of journeymen, but mostly solid fighters. By this point, they should be ready to face World Class talent.
However, some managers and promoters opt to take a different path with their fighters. These promoters may put their fighters up against opponents who are a level below to avoid weaknesses being exposed or simply to make their fighter look better than they actually are. This is how fighters end up with padded records.
10 Heavyweight Boxers Who Surprisingly Had Little Knockout Power
Not all heavyweight champions won with power, these are the boxers who had success without being big punchers.
10 Even An All-Time Great Like Julio Cesar Chavez Is Guilty
107-6-2, 85 KOs
- Chavez faced minimal threats during the first 45 fights of his career.
Julio Cesar Chavez is one of the best boxers ever and an icon. However, Chavez was already 40-0 when he knocked out Armando Flores, who was just turning pro. Chavez then knocked out Ramon Avitia, who only had 6 total fights in his career. A few fights later, Chavez knocked out Roberto Collins to become 50-0. Collins’s record at the time he fought Chavez was 2-15.
9 LaMar Clark Knocked Out Overmatched Opponents
43-3, 42 KOs
- LaMar Clark received national attention for his knockout streak.
While Clark did knock out over 40 straight boxers, the level of competition was very poor. Most of the guys he beat were either making their professional debut or they only had a small handful of fights in their careers. Clark’s most infamous moment was knocking out 6 boxers in one night. Only one of those fighters, Jack Read, had a professional record. Clark’s career ended after he was knocked out by a young Muhammad Ali.
8 Ricardo Moreno Became An All-Time KO Artist Against Weak Competition
60-12-1, 59 KOs
- A closer look at Moreno’s resume may explain why he isn’t considered a top fighter.
While a 98% KO percentage is impressive, a closer look at his record shows that Moreno knocked out a bunch of guys who were either making their debut or had already lost more than 10 fights. Moreno also stopped a few guys who had losing records. Ironically, Moreno was knocked out in his last fight by Silverio Ortiz, a journeyman who lost 32 fights during his career.
10 Boxers With The Most Knockouts, Ranked
The knockout is the most thrilling aspect of boxing and these pugilists scored more finishes than the rest.
7 Faruq Saleem Should Have Been A Contender
38-1, 32 KOs
- Saleem fought C and D level competition to pad his record.
Standing 6’7, you’d think Faruq Saleem had the physical gifts to be a threat to the best heavyweights. However, Saleem didn’t test himself. He knocked out Frankie Hines, who would lose well over 100 fights. Saleem also beat Dan Woffard, who lost 102 fights. Saleem barely escaped with a majority decision victory against Sedrick Fields, who had lost 34 fights at the time. Saleem was knocked out in the last fight of his career by Shawn McLean, who had a 3-4 record at the time.
6 Sean O’Grady Became World Champion With A Padded Record
81-5, 70 KOs
- O’Grady was stripped of the WBA lightweight title without defending it.
Nicknamed The Bubblegum Bomber, Sean O’Grady has an impressive career on the surface, including becoming World Champion. However, after losing the WBA lightweight title, O’Grady faced opponents like John Morgan (8-23-1), Eugene Baldwin (5-30) and Lupe Sanchez (0-5). If O’Grady fought that caliber of opponent after becoming World Champion, then it’s not a surprise that his rise to being a contender consisted of knocking out guys with losing records or who were just starting their careers.
10 Pro Boxers Who Were Arrested & Served Time In Prison
For these ten boxers, the nastiest punch was thrown by the long arm of the law. Find out what they were arrested for and the prison time they served.
5 Mark De Mori Has Faced A Few Top Fighters
41-3-2, 36 KOs
- Mark de Mori even signed a promotional deal with the legend Don King due to his exciting knockouts.
Mark de Mori feasted on fighters with mediocre records and guys with less than 10 fights in their careers. Before facing David Haye in the biggest fight of his career, de Mori ‘s previous three opponents were Zeljiko Bojic (4-3) Radenko Kovac (2-5) and Marcel Zeller (24-14). De Mori was knocked out by Haye, who was past his prime at that point.
4 Christopher Lovejoy Was Somehow A Fringe Contender
20-1-1, 20 KOs
- Christopher Lovejoy faced extremely weak competition.
Christopher Lovejoy has a record most heavyweights dream of. That feeling likely goes away though, when observing that Lovejoy only beat one fighter with a winning record, Jorge Alfredo Leal (14-3-1). Lovejoy was able to secure a fight against a championship level fighter in Mahmoud Charr and was predictably knocked out in the second round.
3 Yori Boy Campas Won A World Title
108-17-3, 83 KOs
- The former IBF junior middleweight champion has a career that spans over 20 years.
Yori Boy Campas has faced many notable opponents, including Felix Trinidad, Fernando Vargas, Oscar De La Hoya, and Hector Camacho. Campas was very protected in the early stages of his career, as Jesus Ramirez (15-1-1) was the only fighter Campas faced in his first 30 fights with an impressive record. Even as Campas emerged as a world-class fighter, he still faced guys like Rudy Lovato (15-18-1) and Rob Bleakley ( 33 losses).
2 William Bezerra ‘s Record Is A Mind Trick
42-0, 41 KOs
- Bezerra gained buzz as a possible WBA cruiserweight title contender.
William Bezerra’s record is filled with KOs against guys like Leonardo De Moura (4-3). Most of the guys that Bezerra’s beat have less than 20 fights in their careers. Bezerra is guilty of cherry-picking.
1 Buck Smith Is A Controversial Figure
183-20, 121 KOs
- Smith embraced fighting guys below his skill level.
There have been rumors throughout Buck Smith’s career. One rumor has Smith wearing basketball shoes during his first fight. There have also been allegations that Smith participated in fixed fights. Smith is one of boxing’s legendary journeymen, having fought several times in a month and also multiple times in a day. He faced Julio Cesar Chavez, Mark Breland, and Antonio Margarito, among others. His biggest victory was arguably a second round knockout of Olympic Gold Medalist Robert Wangila. He famously fought Reggie Strickland, who had lost 130 fights.