Ranking the best boxing US states

By Cain Bradley on January 27, 2018
Ranking the best boxing US states
Billy Fox arguably had the greatest win of any Oklahoman when defeating Jake LaMotta.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of the standout boxers from a state which includes Stanley Ketchel, Kid Lavigne, Ad Wolgast and James Toney…

The United States of America is a vast plain of land covering over 9.8 million kilometers squared. That means the country is vastly different in many places. The forests of Vermont are in stark contrast to the famed beaches of California. The states are all different and we can look at which states produce the best boxers. The rule, to make sorting easier is that the boxer has to have been born in the state to count.

50. Alaska: Isolated from every other state, Alaska has no evidence of ever having a professional boxer. Its star boxer then goes to Michael Carey, an amateur boxer who was part of the 2008 Olympic team without actually competing. He retired due to injuries before becoming a professional and now runs a boxing academy. 

49. Wyoming: The biggest name is possibly Ryan Brieske, an alternate for the 1996 Olympics who went 6-1 as a professional before retiring. Apart from that, the cupboard of good professional boxers is basically empty.

48. Idaho: Another state which has enjoyed almost no professional success. Kenny Keane was something of a Cruiserweight gatekeeper and that was as good as it gets. 

47. West Virginia: West Virginia is another really poor boxing state. The most notable name may be Tunney Hunsaker who was the first professional opponent of Muhammad AlI. Christy Martin was a forbearer of women’s boxing as well. 

46. North Dakota: Unfortunately for North Dakota, undoubted star Virgil Hill falls short of the birthplace rule. Wayne Martell has wins over both Livingstone Bramble and Meldrick Taylor, unfortunately it was because both were very past it rather than Martell being skilled. His toughest opponent was probably Zab Judah who stopped him in four. Dennis Allen also reached a high level losing to Cory Spinks. 

45. New Hampshire: Another state without a vast stable of boxers, the only name who has got to a notable level is Jason LeHoullier. His 21 wins came in his first 21 bouts and he reached a peak of Northern New England Light Middleweight Champion. He would go on to challenge for the WBA-NABA Title, the IBF International Title and the WBC Latino Title in losing his final seven bouts against names that included Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Peter Quillin, Carson Jones and Avantdil Khurtsidze. 

44. Vermont: The state of Vermont has does not have many examples of top level boxers. The greatest is Young Firpo who was another brilliant boxer to never challenge for a world title. He was a great puncher with a frenetic style. He shared the ring with many greats but could never tempt Maxie Rosenbloom into the ring. 

43. South Dakota: Similarly South Dakota has a number of boxers who were gatekeepers to the world title level. Shawn Hawk, the ‘Sioux Warrior,’ fought for a world title and lost to Nathan Cleverly as well as an earlier loss to Eleider Alvarez. Shelby Pudwill reached that level, losing to John Duddy and Andre Ward. 

42. Wisconsin: Pinky Mitchell was the first Light Welterweight Champion of all time. Eddie McGoorty held the Australian version of the world title not long after we entered the 20th century. Phil Zwick managed to get a title shot but was unsuccessful. Tyrone Trice competed three times for titles without ever experiencing success. 

41. Montana: A small state without much of a fighting background. Marvin Camel became the first fighter to win both the IBF and WBC Cruiserweight belts. A couple of heavyweights from Montana have made decent level in Tye Fields and Joe Hipp. 

40. Oklahoma: Billy Fox arguably had the greatest win of any Oklahoman when defeating Jake LaMotta. Allan Green and Eddie Cotton both challenged for two World titles but came off unsuccessfully. James Tillis also challenged for a world title but is perhaps best known for being the first man to take Mike Tyson the decision. Grady Brewer was the winner of the second Contender series. George Johnson, Buck Smith, Eric Fields and Carson Jones were all gatekeeper level boxers. 

39. New Mexico: The star from New Mexico was Johnny Tapia, the troubled baby faced assassin was a three-weight world champion. Austin Trout is another champion who has one of the better wins, beating the legendary Miguel Cotto. Robert Frankel and Ray Sanchez were journeymen. As a state they have arguably had more success producing female boxers with Holly Holm, Brenda Burnside, Stephanie Jaramillo, Victoria Cisneros and Delia Gonzalez. 

38. Delaware: The tiny state of Delaware has never been a big boxing location with two bans on the sport negatively impacting the numbers. Dave Tiberi came incredibly close to defeating James Toney for the Middleweight Title. Two other men have competed for World titles, Willie Roach lost to Sal Bartolo while Jack Daly got a draw against Kid Lavigne. Al Tribuani looked well on his way to being Delaware’s greatest and a world champion when injured in World War Two. 

37. Oregon: Ray Lampkin came close to winning a world title but was defeated by Roberto Duran. Steve Forbes was a world champion and perhaps best known for a loss to Oscar De La Hoya. Another world champion from Oregon was Denny Morey. His wins included victories over Benny Paret, Emile Griffith and Sugar Ray Robinson. Perhaps the most notorious boxer from the state was Tonya Harding. 

36. Maine: Maine has a singular world champion in Joey Gamache who was a two-weight Champion. Outside of that the majority of their boxing success came over 70 years ago. Corey Welch was the third ranked Middleweight and lost to Jake LaMotta. Al McCoy had wins over Lou Brouillard and Tommy Loughran before losing to Joe Louis for the world title. Paul Junior was the seventh ranked lightweight and twice lost to Henry Armstrong in title shots. 

35. Kansas: Another state that has never really excelled with boxers. However, it gets this high on the list mainly thanks to Jess Willard. Beginning boxing at 27 he become world champion having beat Jack Johnson and was champion for the eleventh longest reign until losing to Jack Dempsey. Nico Hernandez, the Olympic medalist, is seen as a great prospect. 

34. Iowa: Michael Nunn was a two-weight World Champion and was rated by many in Pound for Pound lists at his peak. Apart from that the talent is very sparse. Floyd Johnson lost to Jess Willard and Antwun Echols lost to Anthony Mundine in world title shots.

33. Virginia: Virginia has only one great all-time fighter in Pernell Whitaker. He won World titles at four weights and was considered one of the greatest defensive masters ever. Johnny Banks is the other man from Virginia to win a world title. Mac Foster managed to take Muhammad Ali the distance and get wins over impressive contemporaries such as Zora Folley. They also had an Olympic champion in Norvel Lee. 

32. Nevada: The state is of course home to Las Vegas and some of the biggest fights in the world. This does not mean the state has a great history of producing talent. Ishe Smith became the first World Champion to be born in Nevada while he has since been followed by Jesse Magdaleno. Brother Diego also reached a high level while Jesse Brinkley and Augie Sanchez were similarly fringe title contenders.

31. Nebraska: Nebraska is home to the only man to win two gold medals in one Olympics, Oliver Kirk in 1904. Since then they have had two boxers go on to become relative greats. Max Baer become Heavyweight world champion when defeating Primo Carnera. Terence Crawford is currently seen as one of the dominant Pound for Pound fighters having moved up to Welterweight. Ray Domenge and Luther McCarty were both contenders for world titles. 

30. Rhode Island: Rhode Island has had four world champions and one of the more famous boxing movies recently. “Bleed for This” was a movie based on the life of Vinny Paz. The other champions were Harold Gomez, Joey Archibald who won the title three times and Demetrius Andrade who is one of the most underrated current boxers. George Araujo and Matt Godfrey were both contenders for World titles. 

29. Hawaii: Not a state that I would associate with boxing although it is enjoying good success in combat sports with the UFC. It’s most notable boxer is Carl ‘Bobo’ Olson who was once The Ring Fighter of the Year. There was five other real significant boxers from Hawaii. Takeshi Fuji, Jesus Salud, Dada Marino and Brian Viloria all became world champions whilst Andrew Ganigan unsuccessfully challenged for a world title, but featured on The Ring’s hardest punchers top 100. 

28. Arkansas: Arkansas is another state who has not experienced great success but their star, in Sonny Liston, gives them a lot of credit on this list. John Tate was another heavyweight champion who beat Duane Bobick and Gerrie Coetzee. Tommy Morrison also held a world title. Tommy Freeman was a Welterweight World Champion in the 1930s. Jermain Taylor also was a world title holder with a huge win over Bernard Hopkins. Dominick Guinn, Pete Mead and Leotis Martin were all fighters who got near to the level of world title fights without managing to get over the top. 

27. Arizona: A relatively thin list of boxers but they have had world champions which gives them a position on this. Michael Carbajal is of course the star, having won an Olympics and then having gone on to have one of the better careers for a small boxer ever. Louie Espinoza held titles in two weight divisions. John Henry Lewis went through a legendary career winning the Light Heavyweight Title and losing to Joe Louis in Louis’ final ever bout. Chalky Wright was one of the hardest hitters of all time and also held a world title. David Benavidez is a rising prospect in boxing, world champion at only 21. Antonio De La Fuente, Bobby Pacho, Ross Purrity, Scott Walker and Jesus Gonzalez were also fringe contenders. 

26. Greg Haugen and Rocky Lockridge were both impressive multi time world champions. Perhaps the best boxer from the state is Freddie Steele, the Middleweight who only lost twice in the first decade of his career. Other world champions included Johnny Bumphus, ST Gordon, Tod Morgan and Leo Randolph. Pete Rademacher made history in becoming the first heavyweight to challenge for the world title after no professional bouts following his 1956 Olympic victory. Another Olympic gold medalist was Sugar Ray Seales. 

25. Tennessee: Tennessee was a state that mainly experienced success prior to the World Wars. Charles Hadley, Bob Armstrong, Memphis Pal Moore and Gorilla Jones were all world champions a long time ago. Since then they have had two world champions in Ricky Parkey and Thomas Hearns. Hearns is widely regarded to be one of the top 30 boxers of all time having been a dominant force in many weight divisions. 

24. Utah: The famous Fullmer brothers are the standouts here. Don never quite reached world title level but had plenty of wins over good contenders. Gene held the Middleweight title with wins over Sugar Ray Robinson twice, Carmen Basilio and Benny Paret. Danny Lopez was the dominant Featherweight of his time until Salvador Sanchez beat him. Rex Layne and Ernie Lopez got near to titles contention with wins over some great fighters.

23. North Carolina: Another state with two utter stars to boost the ranking. Sugar Ray Leonard is one of the greatest boxers of all time while Floyd Patterson was a great heavyweight becoming the first man to regain the title. Apart from that the cupboard is quite bare. James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith also held a heavyweight world title. They had two contenders who never reached the top in Monte Barrett and Calvin Brock. They also had a 1956 Olympic gold medalist in Jim Boyd. 

22. Maryland: Maryland has enjoyed some success in boxing but not too a huge extent. The star is Joe Gans who is considered one of the greatest lightweights of all time. Young Peter Jackson who begun fighting in the 19th century and had wins over some of the greats including Sam Langford and Barbados Joe Walcott. Andrew Maynard, Sharmba Mitchell, Dwight Muhammad Qawi and Hasim Rahman all held World Champions. Gervonta Davis is the current star from Maryland and I think he has the potential to be mentioned among the other greats. George Chaney was also a well known boxer with his power punching. 

21. Indiana: A decent boxing pedigree. Tony Zale is an all-time great who could have been even better if the war had not interrupted his reign. Bud Taylor is universally regarded as one of the best Bantamweights of all time. Other world champions include Lamon Brewster, Jack Dillon, Marvin Johnson, Tom Johnson, Kid McCoy and J.B Williamson. They also have an Olympic gold medalist after Charles Adkins won in 1952. 

20. Colorado: Colorado is another state which has had a few world champions and numerous boxers just below the level. They have two boxers who usually would be ranked in the top 100 boxers of all time; Young Corbett III and Jack Dempsey. Stevie Johnston, Terron Millett, Mike Alvardo and Lonnie Smith were all good champions whilst Ed Martin held the World Colored Heavyweight Title, losing to Jack Johnson. Eddie Eagan was the 1920 Olympic gold medalist while Buddy Baer was a Heavyweight gatekeeper who twice lost to Joe Louis. 

19. Minnesota: It is unfortunately the case of quantity over quality for Minnesota. The Gibbons brothers and Billy Miske are the notable names with the Gibbons brothers having wins over some huge names. Will Grigsby, Al Hostak, Harris Martin and Mike O’Dowd were all champions whilst Caleb Truax became the latest world champion when surprising James DeGale. Outside of that they have mostly had boxers who have never quite made it to the top level. These include the Flanagan brothers, Jackie Graves, Scott LeDoux, Duane Bobick and Jason Litzau. Perhaps the current best prospect is Jamal James. The Welterweight rebounded from a loss to Yordenis Sugars by beating Jo Jo Dan and Diego Chaves. 

18. Connecticut: Another state with two of the likely top 100 boxers of all time. Willie Pep is the standout, usually rated a top ten boxer of all time. Maxie Rosenbloom just about edges in most lists. Battling Battalino and Marlon Starling are two more well recognized champions. Other champions include Tyrone Booze and Travis Simms. They also had a list of numerous other gatekeeper boxers who have usually fought for World titles in Elvin Ayala, Larry Boardman, Eddie Campagnuolo, Julie Kogon, Tim Littles, Austin Rice, and John Scully.

17. South Carolina: A state with two real stars in Bob Montgomery and Joe Frazier. Both are largely considered to be top 100 boxers of all time. They have had two recent world champions in Chad Dawson and Paul Williams who both were on the fringes on Pound for Pound lists. Bobby Watts possibly has the best win in South Carolina history when he controversially defeated Marvin Hagler.

16. Kentucky: Kentucky is home to boxing’s biggest star in Muhammad Ali. The icon was one of the greatest heavyweights of all time in a state that was notable for plenty of good heavyweights. They have had three other heavyweight world champions in Jimmy Ellis, Greg Page and Marvin Hart. They also had challengers to that top level in Bill Brennan, James Pritchard and Jeremy Bates. Clarence Adams, Adolpho Washington, Davey Moore, James Red Herring and Darrin Van Horn also held World titles. Jack Blackburn also shared the ring with some greats and even defeated Joe Gans once. 

15. Massachusetts: Massachusetts has two top level boxers, two men usually ranked in the top fifty of all time in Sandy Saddler and Rocky Marciano. Paul Pender became World Middleweight Champion with a win over Sugar Ray Robinson. Paddy Duffy, Mike Glover, William Melody, Mike Sullivan, Jimmy Walsh and Ike Weir were all champions well over 80 years ago.  Sal Bartolo was another who held a world title. Vinnie Curto, Kip Diggs and Tom McNeeley were all contender level boxers. 

14. Louisiana: Louisiana has three all-time greats headlining its boxing crop. Joe Brown and Tony Graziano were both named The Ring Fighter of The Year at some point during their careers. Pete Herman is usually described as one of the greatest Bantamweights of all time. Ralph Dupas was another who held a World Championships. A couple of good heavyweights emerged from Louisiana in the 1990s with Lionel Butler losing to Lennox Lewis and Clifford Etienne losing to Mike Tyson. Edward Flynn was the 1932 Olympic gold medalist whilst Regis Prograis is an interesting prospect in the Light Welterweight division nearing title contention. 

13. Missouri: Virgil Akins became the first world champion from Missouri in 1958. His namesake Virgil Hill, previously mentioned in the list, actually counts as from Missouri. He along with the Spinks family are the most impressive boxers born in Missouri. Michael and Cory were two-weight champions whilst Leon has a win over Muhammad Ali. Other champions include Devon Alexander, Eddie Hopson, Charles Martin and Freddie Norwood. Norwood of course had the beating of an all-time great in Juan Manuel Marquez whilst Martin was arguably the worst heavyweight title holder of all time. 

12. Florida: A state who only seems to be improving its boxing résumé. It has two greats; the mercurial Roy Jones Jr. and the avoided Holman Williams. Keith Thurman is the current star, while Erickson Lubin is seen as one of the best prospects in boxing. Florida has numerous champions over the last 25 years. Antonio Tarver got a win over Roy Jones. Other champions include Randall Bailey, Andre Berto, Nate Campbell, Tavoris Cloud, Robert Daniels, Derrick Gainer, Jeff Lacy, James McGirt, Ray Mercer and Vince Phillips. 

11. Alabama: Alabama has really been home to the great heavyweight. George Godfrey was a World Colored Heavyweight Champion. He beat Seal Harris also from Alabama in a title fight. Bill Tate also won the title splitting fights with Sam Langford. Joe Louis was the most famous of these champions as one of the greatest of all time. Earnie Shavers is one of the great Heavyweight contenders before Evander Holyfield dominated the Cruiserweight and Heavyweight divisions. Deontay Wilder is currently unbeaten and knocked out almost all his opponents whilst holding his heavyweight title. Tracy Harris Patterson was a two-weight World Champion beating Eddie Hopson, Thierry Jacob and Daniel Zaragoza. Other champions included Izzy Jannazzo who was a world champion in the 1940s after defeating Cocoa Kid. Frankie Randall was a Light Welterweight Champion most famous for being the first man to defeat Julio Cesar Chavez. Hedgemon Lewis also held the New York version of a World Title, beating Billy Backus twice but lost to legends in John H. Stracey and Jose Napoles. 

10. New Jersey: Perhaps a disappointing state for boxing with more quantity than quality. Marvin Hagler is the star given his status as one of the greatest middleweights of all time. Another great was two-weight champion Mickey Walker. They had two great heavyweights in Joe Jeannette and Jersey Joe Walcott. Other champions include Mike Ballerino, Johnny Buff, Kendall Holt, Tippy Larkin, Gus Lesnevich, Al McCoy and Bruce Seldon. Rubin Carter and Charley Williams were impressive boxers who perhaps never reached their potential. They also had Fireman Jim Flynn who was the only man to ever knock out Jack Dempsey. 

9. Mississippi: It is definitely a case of quality over quantity for Mississippi. They have two of the top fifteen boxers of all time in Archie Moore and Henry Armstrong. Moore is usually regarded as the greatest Light Heavyweight of all time whilst Armstrong is a three-weight world champion regarded by Bert Sugar as the second greatest boxer ever. They had three other impressive world champions in Kennedy McKinney, Eddie Perkins and Ernie Terrell. Slightly below that level were Kelvin Davis, Leroy Jones, Buster Mathis and Obed Sullivan. 

8. Illinois: Illinois has a well garnered reputation as a good boxing state. Unfortunately for their ranking here it suffers a bit from quantity over quality. Packey MacFarland is arguably the greatest ever boxer to not win a world title. They have a few boxers who may be in the top 100 of many people’s list in Willie Joyce, Sammy Mandell, Ken Norton and Jimmy Barry. Montell Griffin has perhaps the best win when he defeated Roy Jones while Gerald McLellan tragically never got the reach his potential. Other champions include Frank Childs, Johnny Coulon, Harold Dade, Jackie Fields, Oliver McCall, Lee Roy Murphy, Billy Papke, Eddie Santry and Leo Rodak. They also get bonus points for being home to the “drunken master” Emanuel Augustus. 

7. California: California has been a home of champions. Especially in modern times they have a strong roster of talent probably headlined by Oscar De La Hoya. Andre Ward and Shane Mosley are similarly headed to the hall of fame whilst Tim Bradley and Antonio Margarito have strong legacies. Mikey Garcia is the current star for California and could be an important aspect to this paragraph if he keeps winning. Manuel Ortiz and Abe Attell are probably the greatest California boxers and are arguably top fifty talents. It does not end there and the list of champions include Fred Apostoli, Jimmy Britt, Bobby Chacon, Joe Choynski, James J Corbett, James J Jeffries and Charley Turner. 

6. Michigan: The stock of Michigan has gone up as the career of Floyd Mayweather Jr. goes on. He is one of the standout boxers from a state which includes Stanley Ketchel, Kid Lavigne, Ad Wolgast and James Toney as potential top 100 boxers. Claressa Shields is already on her way to being the greatest female boxer of all time and has two Olympic gold medals adding to those of Eddie Crook Jr. and Harry Spanjer. Other world champions include Chris Byrd, Andre and Anthony Dirrell, Kenny Lane, Roger Mayweather, Bronco McKart, Jimmy Paul, Wesley Ramey, Pinklon Thomas and Tony Tucker.

5. Ohio: Another state which would naturally be linked to boxing. It is a state of quantity over quality though. They have over 15 world champions with the star names being Johnny Kilbane, Aaron Pryor and James J. Jeffries. They have Buster Douglas who of course upset Mike Tyson. Adrien Broner was the four-weight champion and many expected him to continue the legacy of Ohio champions but he seemed to struggle with the pressure. Robert Easter Jr. retained his lightweight title recently whilst Shawn Porter and Rau’shee Warren are hanging around the title picture.

4. Texas: Another case of quantity over quality. They have a couple of heavyweight stars in George Foreman and Jack Johnson. There is over another 20 boxers who were also World Champions. Texas has four current boxers who are top level boxers. Brandon Rios is not a champion but he is always involved in fun fights. Errol Spence and the Charlo twins are all considered pre-eminent boxers who are young enough to be open to improvement. 

3. Georgia: Georgia has an impressive array of absolutely top class boxers. The man who the majority believe to be the greatest of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson was born in Georgia. They have probably four boxers in the top fifty of all time. Ezzard Charles, Jimmy Bivins and Ike Williams all have beat some other all-time greats. Both Bivins and Charles have wins over Archie Moore and Charles also beat Joe Louis. Williams has beat Kid Gavilán and had three wins over fellow Georgia native Beau Jack who was also a superb world champion. Larry Holmes also had a significant reign as Heavyweight champion of the world. Tiger Flowers and Lee Anderson were also impressive fighters. 

2. New York has a long and storied tradition as a home of boxing. The names of champions is particularly impressive. The first names that should be mentioned are top 30 of all time in Jack Britton and Benny Leonard. Even just beyond that you get plenty of names who potentially find themselves in most people’s top 100. Lou Ambers, Carmen Basillio, Fidel LaBarba, Mike Tyson and Jake LaMotta all belong on that list. Beyond that they have over 50 world champions. The only downside on New York boxing is its current boxers. Sadam Ali is a current world champion and Danny Jacobs is highly rated in one of the tougher divisions. Apart from that the cupboard is bare. 

1. Pennsylvania: The list of impressive fighters from Pennsylvania goes very deep. They have a number of top talents; Harry Greb, Charley Burley, Bernard Hopkins, Tommy Loughran, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, Teddy Yarosz and Fritzie Zivic all arguably belong in the top 100. Even after that they have over 20 World Champions and countless more who have contended for World titles. They also had Lew Tendler who is another with a claim to being the best boxer to never win a world title. 

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  1. Kid Blast 05:53pm, 01/30/2018

    Look, Benny Briscoe might have been born in Georgia, but anyone who identifies him as other than a Philly fighter is missing it.

  2. Buck Wild 08:03am, 01/30/2018

    Rocky Sekorski and Sugar Montgomery?

  3. Your Name 05:09am, 01/30/2018

    Do Rocky Orengo and Rocky Kalingo make the list?

  4. Buck Wild 01:24pm, 01/29/2018

    Maybe make a list of the greatest “Rockys” and “Sugars” in boxing.


    Rockys
    Rocky Marciano
    Rocky Graziano
    Rocky Kansas
    Rocky Lockridge
    Rocky Mattioli
    Rocky Fratto

    Sugars
    Sugar Ray Robinson
    Sugar Ray Leonard
    Sugar Shane Mosely
    Sugar Ramos
    Sugar Ray Seales

    A small sampling of the two most popular names/nicknames in boxing.

  5. Arthur Forman 11:02am, 01/29/2018

    wonderful article
    I believe using place of birth the best choice, but it does cause some cognitive dissonance from long held associations
    Joe Frazier I will always consider a Philly fighter despite it taking him some time to get there

  6. ceylon mooney 10:39am, 01/29/2018

    tennessee—you left out kennedy mckinney, olympic gold medalist and 2-time super bantamweight champ.

  7. Wahoo 06:32am, 01/29/2018

    A few light heavies that should be noted, Willie Pastrano for Louisiana, and Billy Conn & Matthew Saad Muhammad for Pennsylvania.

  8. Kid Blast 05:42pm, 01/28/2018

    It’s not where they were born; it’s where they fought out of that counts for me. Many great fighters were born in the Delta but left as soon as they could catch an IC train north. Some landed in Georgia, others in Chicago. Many then moved to NY or out West.

    The fact that more boxers were born in a particular state means absolutely nothing to me unless they stayed in that state during their boxing career.

  9. Sheila Vanessa Landfair 05:10pm, 01/28/2018

    Hey, cheers for retired now for Virgil E. Hill who partaked in the Roy Jones vs Virgil Hill fight inside Biloxi, MS in April 1998.  Personally met him right before the Mike peak vs Virgil Hill boxing bout about a week before, iinside Bismarke, North Dakota in Jan 1991.  I would had attended that particular one with him, as his new girlfriend, but didn’t go.  We actually met inside Grand Forks, North Dakota were I worked while living in an apartment inside East Grand Forks, MN, that year of 1991 before that Heards vs Hill boxing match bout.  Hooray!

  10. Roland Estrada 04:26pm, 01/28/2018

    Thought I’d throw in there:
    Rhode Island had back to back Olympians in Jason Estrada and Demetrius Andrade
    WBC World Champion Female Kali Reid
    All time great Miguel Cotto was born in Providence

  11. Graham Houston 03:26pm, 01/28/2018

    Ambitious undertaking. Appreciate the effort and thought that went into it.

    BUT…
    Danny Romero was a hard-hitting, colourful world champion from New Mexico. Should have been mentioned in the NM section.
    Oregonion Denny Morey should of course be Denny MOYER.
    Idaho: Heavyweight slugger George Logan worth a mention? Got decision over Argentina’s ill-fated contender Alejandro Lavorante, KO’d Olympic gold medallist Pete Rademacher in two rounds but best known for losing one-sidedly to then Cassius Clay.
    Massachusetts: Tony DeMarco a glaring omission. Stopped Johnny Saxton in big upset to win the welterweight title, fought two classic wars with Carmen Basilio.

    One just can’t think of everybody in a list such as this, though.

  12. Lew Freedman 02:39pm, 01/28/2018

    This was brought to my attention by Russell Peltz in Philly and I immediately guessed Wyoming would be 50th. As a guy who was a boxing beat writer in Philly I also figured immediately Pennsylvania would be a worthy No. 1.

    I tried to look into pro boxing in Wyoming since I have been hanging out here lately and found very, very little.

    However, Alaska has had pros and would definitely rank ahead of Wyoming. Greg Haugen worked in Alaska, started in local tough man competitions in Anchorage and then became the lightweight champ of the world.

    There have been others. Local promoter Jimmy Patton has been running tough-man style shows in Anchorage October to April for about 26 years. He can name more guys who gave the pro ranks a shot after coming out of his shows.

  13. Wahoo 11:10am, 01/28/2018

    @Cain…Great list and pretty damn original. Never seen a ranking of the states in regards to producing great boxers. Using the fighter’s place of birth is probably the only reasonable way to do a list like this, must have took some research to come up with this for sure. Interesting write up!!

  14. Keith Stoffer 11:09am, 01/28/2018

    Glaring omission in Delaware without Mike Stewart 48-8-3. He could fight. Ask Ivan Robinson, Terron Millet and many others. You can even ask Sharmba Mitchell and Ricky Hatton who he tested in the UK. Stewart had by the the biggest paydays which many will say is the true yardstick. Maybe you would like to reconsider Drlaware.??????

  15. Cain 10:29am, 01/28/2018

    I knew that when posting this I was going to learn a lot. I expected many to post names of fighters and improve this. It is a shame that I could not post it first for some edits and then actually post the article up.

    I tried to do birth place, because it seemed the easiest way to differentiate everyone.

  16. Wahoo 09:13am, 01/28/2018

    The boxers are being ranked by their birthplace, otherwise, Pennsylvania would be even more dominant than it is already.

    Ranking by their place of birth is probably the only way you can do this list. Ali, another Southern Black fighter, would often claim Cherry Hill, NJ by way of Louisville, Kentucky back in the day. I think at one time Ali was claiming somewhere outside of Chicago as his home as well. No doubt though that Frazier will always be associated with Philly and Louis with Detroit, even though both were from the Deep South.

  17. tuxtucis 08:49am, 01/28/2018

    But Bob Foster lived and fought out from Albuquerque…I still don’t understand if boxers are ranked on here by their birth or their location…

  18. Wahoo 08:25am, 01/28/2018

    A good portion of the old school all time Black champs seem to have been born in the South. Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Archie Moore, Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, Sonny Liston, Tiger Flowers, Ezzard Charles, Ray Leonard, Floyd Patterson, Evander Holyfield, etc, That is a helluva an impressive list of fighters.

  19. Your Name 08:22am, 01/28/2018

    Bob Foster was born in Texas

  20. tuxtucis 07:33am, 01/28/2018

    Well, for New Mexico you forgot Bob Foster!

  21. Your Name 07:24am, 01/28/2018

    Joey Giardello born in Brooklyn, NY.

  22. J Russell Peltz 07:23am, 01/28/2018

    Bennie Briscoe also was born in Augusta, GA.

  23. Timothy O'Malley 06:31am, 01/28/2018

    Hi!
    It is some task when you start ranking states is any topic but good effort. Being from Michigan I would have liked to see something on the great Kronk gym and the champions from that gym. Emanuel Stewart(Hall of Fame,Manager), Thomas Hearns, Milton McCrory, Hilmer Kenty, Etc…

    With that being said thank you for your articles. I love boxing and love the fact that writers like you are still taking time to cover the sport I love.

  24. Wahoo 02:29pm, 01/27/2018

    @Dan… Charles was born in Georgia. Which begs the question, should a state be given credit just because that is where the fighter was born? Charles, Ray Robinson, and Larry Holmes all left Georgia as youngsters. I believe Holmes left Cuthbert, Georgia before he was even old enough to start school. Another fighter, Dwight Qawi left Baltimore when he was but a little tyke as well, so to say Qawi represents Maryland is a bit of a stretch.

  25. Alfonso Bedoya 02:05pm, 01/27/2018

    Andy Kendall the Scappoose Express from Portland, Oregon fought Bob Foster for the LHW title and so did Roger Rouse of Opportunity, Montana. Noting your typo it’s Denny Moyer. Andy Heilman from Fargo, North Dakota fought Emile Griffith twice!.

  26. Dan 12:09pm, 01/27/2018

    Ohio is missing Ezzard Charles!

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