Top 15 Current Nicknames

By Cain Bradley on March 1, 2017
Top 15 Current Nicknames
The man who dominated heavyweight boxing has one of the coolest nicknames. (Getty)

Boxing lends itself to nicknames in a way no other sport manages. Whilst they do not really matter, every great fighter has one…

Boxing perhaps lends itself to nicknames in a way no other sport really manages. Whilst they do not really matter, every great fighter has one. For some they add to the package, an intimidating name that strikes fear into opposition. For others they are a way of commemorating their home town. The best are hard to separate from the fighter. Both “Sugar” Ray Robinson and “Sugar” Ray Leonard are unrecognizable without their famous monikers. The best nicknames need a mixture of factors. It has to sound good, if it flows or rhymes with the name then that is another plus point. If it represents the boxing style, even better! If Tommy Hearns was feather-fisted then “Hitman” would never have had the same effect.

1. Manny Pacquiao — PacMan
The best nicknames, as described above often become synonymous with fighters. So when you are often referred to only by your nicknames, it suggests the nickname is great. Manny Pacquiao has that. You often hear that this was due to a childhood liking of the game; in fact it is a combination of the first three letters of his first name and surname. Whether he knew of the cultural reference that would help him achieve boxing stardom, who knows. It certainly helped him to appeal and added to his brand as a star.

2. David Haye — Hayemaker
Similarly to Pacquiao, Haye is often referred to by his nickname. It also has the added element of being the name of a punch in boxing. His nickname is also part of his name so it flows quite easily. The final element is that as a knockout artist, you would assume Haye throws a Hayemaker in every bout. It may not strictly be true but it is enough of the time.

3. Sergey Kovalev — Krusher
I am not sure we will see a nickname which better describes that boxer in the ring. Kovalev has a tendency to crush his opponents! It has a pleasing fit with nice alliteration. It sounds like a nickname from the ITALICRocky film, the invincible Soviet boxer who crushes opponents!

4. Wladimir Klitschko — Dr. Steelhammer
The Ukrainian who dominated heavyweight boxing for years along with his brother has one of the coolest nicknames. The Doctor part is a reference to his intelligence, he actually has a PhD. The steel hammer was of course the right hand that he hurt so many opponents with. It sounds so intimidating and something that the movies would come up with.

5. Deontay Wilder — The Bronze Bomber
Deontay Wilder has ripped off one of the greatest heavyweights ever with this nickname. Joe Louis was of course known as the Brown Bomber and also from Alabama. Wilder puts his own twist on this with bronze. This is a reference to his Olympic bronze medal, which he won in 2008. He also has a knockout ratio that makes calling himself “bomber” very accurate. Wilder throws huge bombs mainly with his right hand.

6. Guillermo Rigondeaux — El Chacal 
Translated this means the jackal and it really suits Rigondeaux. He is one of two world-class boxers with this nickname, along with Carl Frampton. It does not really fit with either name but Rigondeaux has dark, unmoving eyes and a vicious style picking apart opponents.

7. Daniel Jacobs — Miracle Man
Jacobs was originally nicknamed the Golden Child, mainly thanks to his superb amateur career. It changed to Miracle Man halfway through his career after he survived cancer. It does not flow or work with his name but it serves as a reminder that Jacobs has fought far more important battles than those in the ring.

8. Nicholas Walters — The Axe Man
It is hard to remember the mystique about Nicholas Walters before the Lomachenko defeat. It did exist. The Axe Man was a frightening moniker for a man who had seriously frightening power in his hands. Unfortunately it does not flow with his name to make it even better.

9. Kell Brook — Special K
Kell Brook has a catchy sound nickname which kind of fits his name. You can imagine a young Kell being called special and he has proved it with some of his performances. It is also a breakfast cereal so Kell Brook has put himself in a unique position if they ever need a sponsor.

10. Nonito Donaire — The Filipino Flash
The Filipino Flash is a nickname that I preferred when I first heard it. It does not flow as well as it looks like it should, especially when his name is added in. As one of the speediest boxers in the world with superb reflexes, flash is certainly apt. At a time when Pacquiao was at his peak, using Filipino as part of his nickname was also a clever touch.

11. Anthony Crolla — Million Dollar
Million Dollar Crolla may be the phrase that flows the best on here. That definitely wins some points, however it is neither something that really represents him or a frightening nickname.

12. Badou Jack — The Ripper
Jack the Ripper is probably the most famous British serial killer ever. That means those words really flow for British people. The way he savagely knocked the teeth of James DeGale out mean that the ripper is not a wholly inaccurate statement.

13. Naoya Inoue — The Monster
This is not a nickname that works in the way the words sounds. Maybe, in Japanese it does! The reason I like the nickname is just how accurate it is. Inoue is an absolute freak of nature and monster may be the only term you can use to describe him. The word monster always reminds me of Frankenstein’s monster and I think the way his Dad trained and molded him has connotations of that.

14. Jeff Horn — The Hornet
Another name related nickname, it obviously flows quite well. He looks to have some power so the hornet is not an awful nickname as it is known for its sting. A middling nickname which could get better if his reputation for power grows.

15. Luis Ortiz — King Kong
Luis Ortiz is a humongous man with crazy power. That has drawn comparisons with King Kong. It makes sense and it’s a vaguely threatening nickname.

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  2. NYIrish 09:22pm, 03/05/2017

    Brockton Blockbuster
    Brown Bomber
    Man of Steel, Tony Zale
    Silent Hairston
    Tom “The Bomb” Bethea
    Walter “Popeye” Woods
    The Bronx Bull, Jake La Motta
    Cinderella Man, Jim Braddock
    Candy Mc Farland
    Kid Gavilan’
    Chu Chu Malave
    Scrapiron Johnson
    Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom

  3. Moon Man 08:45am, 03/02/2017

    Another “wimpy” nickname for a fighter.
    Willie “The Worm” Monroe

  4. non_prophet 08:21am, 03/02/2017

    Vinny “Pazmanian Devil” Paziano

  5. non_prophet 08:21am, 03/02/2017

    Mike “The Body Snatcher” McCollum

  6. non_prophet 08:20am, 03/02/2017

    Real Deal Holyfield

  7. Moon Man 07:45am, 03/02/2017

    Worst nicknames for a fighter.
    Jerry “Wimpy” Halstead
    Bruce “The Mouse” Strauss
    Stanley “Kitten” Hayward
    “Bunny” Johnson * I’m assuming that “Bunny” isn’t Johnson’s real name.

  8. Moon Man 07:12am, 03/02/2017

    One of the best nicknames of all-time belongs to a fictional boxer. The “Italian Stallion” has to rank up there even though Rocky was a fictional character. “Sugar” has to be the most used.  Just off the top of my head, I can think of Ray Leonard, Ray Robinson, Carlos “Sugar” DeLeon, Sugar Ramos, Sugar Ray Seales, Sugar Shane Mosley. etc.

  9. tetumbo 08:02pm, 03/01/2017

    Roman “Made in Hell” Karmazin remains my all-time favorite;
    Azumah really grew in to his nickname of “The Professor”;
    “Travieso” (i.e., “Troublemaker”) fit Arce to a “T”;
    “Bonecrusher” Smith had the bald-eyed glare to match;
    there’s only one “Hands of Stone”; and yes
    i always preferred “The Motor City Cobra” to “Hitman”.

  10. Moon Man 01:27pm, 03/01/2017

    “Dr. Steelhammer” takes this IMO, follwed by “The Hornet.” A great nickname from the past is “Hatchetman,” belonging to former heavyweight contender, Curtis “Hatchetman” Sheppard. “The Motor City Cobra” ranks highly as well.

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