The Greatest Boxing Families in Recent History:
Last Friday saw Hughie Fury, younger cousin of heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury, get off to a winning start in the professional ranks as he recorded a second round stoppage victory against David Whittom. It was the first step on the ladder for the 18-year-old who will be aiming to follow in his cousin’s footsteps and become a major force in the heavyweight division. If the youngster manages to do so, the Fury clan could become the latest in a long list of distinguished boxing families.
In the following article I look at a collection of some of the greatest fighting families in boxing’s recent history, and name the alumni the Fury’s will be hoping to join. In order to qualify for this list, at least one member of the fighting family must still be campaigning actively.
Of course, there are scores of other great boxing families, too. So feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below about your personal favorites.
Wladimir Klitschko & Vitali Klitschko
If there is a boxing family that the Fury’s wished to emulate it would surely be the Klitschkos, with the Ukrainian brothers having ruled the heavyweight division for the best part of a decade. Between them they currently hold all the major heavyweight belts, with Wladimir the current WBA, WBO and IBF champion while Vitali holds the WBC title.
With a lack serious contenders to their heavyweight thrones, the brothers have still managed to solidify their reputations through sheer domination over everybody they’ve faced, and both of them are certain to become future Hall of Famers. When they do finally call it a day, it may be a long time until the heavyweight division is dominated in such a fashion, and for that reason, the Klitschkos should be considered the best boxing brothers of all time.
Koki, Daiki & Tomoki Kameda
While the Klitschko’s might be the undisputed heavyweight boxing family, Japanese trio the Kameda’s have been quite successful in the lower weight classes. The brother are made up of Koki, Daiki and Tomoki, and are huge celebrities in their native country.
The eldest Koki, whose record stands at 29-1, is the former WBA light flyweight and WBC flyweight champion and is also the current WBA bantamweight champion. Daiki has a record of 29-3, with his 3 losses coming in world title fights, and is a former WBA flyweight champion. Tomoki, the youngest brother, currently has a perfect record of 22-0 and although he hasn’t fought for world honors yet, he should do in the near future.
With the distinct possibility of having three world champions brothers in the family, the Kamedas are more than worth of a place on the list.
Juan Manuel Marquez & Rafael Marquez
Another famous set of boxing brothers are the Marquez brothers, Juan Manuel and Rafael. Juan Manuel, the elder of the two, shot to new heights last year when he avenged his previous two losses, and disputed draw, against Manny Pacquiao with a stunning knockout victory. He currently sits at number 3 in our P4P rankings. Juan Manuel is also a four weight world champion and the reigning WBO light welterweight champion.
Rafael might not have had quite as successful a career as his older brother, but is a former long-time IBF bantamweight and WBC super bantamweight world champion, with a string of successful title defenses, and has played a key role in enhancing the Marquez name and cementing their place in Mexican boxing history.
While Juan Manuel was banished to Indonesia, losing to Chris John, it was Rafa who was the brightest star in the family.
Julio Cesar Chavez & Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Great boxing families haven’t just been made up of brothers, of course, and the Chavez clan is a prefect example of the phrase like father like son. Julio César Chávez Sr. is arguably the greatest boxer Mexico has ever produced. For nearly a decade he was a top pound for pound fighter, having picked up world titles in 3 weight classes and winning the first 87 fights of his career.
His son Julio César Chávez Jr. might not have quite reached the dizzying heights of his father but is the former WBC middleweight champion and one of the division’s top fighters, with his record currently standing at an impressive 46-1-1. Omar, younger brother of Chavez Jr., is also a professional boxer with a current record of 28-2-1 and has aspirations to become the latest Chavez to gain a world title which will further etch the Chavez name into Mexican boxing folklore.
Mikey Garcia & Roberto Garcia
The Garcias are another family steeped in boxing history. Eduardo, the senior figure of the family, forged a successful career as an amateur before turning to the coaching side of the sport and since then has trained several world champions. His most successful charges include former world champions Victor Ortiz and Fernando Vargas, and his two sons Roberto and Mikey.
Roberto is a former IBF super featherweight champion and since retiring has followed in his father footsteps and become a trainer. Roberto’s career as a trainer has been highly successful and is the current trainer of the year with his stable of boxers including Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios, Marcos Maidana and younger brother Mikey.
The undefeated Mikey has made a notable start to his professional career and having already claimed the WBO featherweight title he is our current number 2 in the division. At still only 25, and with his perfect record still intact, Mikey should ensure the Garcia reputation is only further elevated, while Roberto’s young professional nephews Javier, David and Irving could also help enhance the family name
Michael, Leon & Cory Spinks
While some of the other families on the list might have produced a couple of famous fighters, the Spinks dynasty stretches beyond this. Leon, the eldest of the Spinks, had a successful amateur career which was topped off with gold in the light heavyweight division at the 1976 Olympic Games. After turning pro he would become the undisputed heavyweight champion when he beat Muhammad Ali in 1978, however, after losing a rematch later that year his career quickly fell into a downward spiral.
Michael, like his brother, won Gold at the 1976 and moved to the pro ranks shortly after. He would go on to become the undisputed light heavyweight champion and then the IBF heavyweight champion when he became the first man to beat Larry Holmes. Michael’s only defeat came against Mike Tyson in his last fight and he finished with a record of 31-1.
Cory Spinks, Leon’s son, is another 2 weight world champion from the family having previously been the undisputed welterweight champion and the IBF light middleweight title holder. Two of Leon’s other sons, Leon Jr. and Darrel also forged short professional careers, while his grandson Leon III has also recently joined the pro ranks and become the latest fighter in the Spinks dynasty.
Floyd Mayweather Sr, Roger Mayweather & Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The final name on the list is probably the most famous to today’s fight fans. Of the Mayweather clan, Floyd Jr. is the most accomplished. Floyd Jr. is the current number 1 pound for pound boxer in the world and is arguably the finest boxer of his generation, with his resume containing the likes of Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Oscar De La Hoya and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Floyd Jr’s father, Floyd Sr., was a welterweight contender during the 70s and 80s and since retiring has been a notable trainer, working with Chad Dawson, Joan Guzman and Oscar De La Hoya amongst others. Floyd Sr’s brother Roger is another multi-division world champion from the Mayweather clan having won the WBA super featherweight and WBC light welterweight crown during the 80s and is the current trainer of Floyd Jr.
Not to be forgotten is Jeff Mayweather, Floyd Sr’s brother, while he hasn’t accomplished as much as the rest of the family he did claim the IBO super featherweight title during his career and has also trainer world champions Sultan Ibragimov and Celestino Caballero.
Despite the competition from the rest of the list, with that sort of family heritage the Mayweathers might just be boxing’s greatest ever family.