The Tallest Boxers Of All Time

By Amy A Kaplan - 02/27/2024 - Comments

1. Gogea Mitu / John Rankin (7-foot-4-inches | 224 cm)

  • Mitu: Known for his incredible reach (93 inches) and towering presence, Mitu’s advantage lay in his ability to keep opponents at bay with his jab.
  • Rankin: “Big” Jon’s formidable size and weight made him a daunting physical force in the ring, overpowering opponents with sheer mass.

2. Ewart Potgieter / Jim Cully / Tom Payne (7-foot-2 | 218 cm)

  • Potgieter: His resilience and ability to endure, winning 11 of 14 fights, showcased his toughness and durability.
  • Cully: Cully’s claim to the Irish national heavyweight title highlighted his power and capability to finish fights.
  • Payne: Despite a troubled career, Payne’s athleticism, transitioning from the NBA to boxing, demonstrated his versatility and physical prowess.

3. Julius Long (7-foot-1 | 216 cm)

  • Julius Long, the “Towering Inferno”, with a reach so long he could probably tie his shoes standing up. At 7-foot-1, he was less a boxer and more a walking skyscraper with gloves. Watching Long fight was like witnessing a giraffe on ice skates – awkward, bewildering, but somehow you just couldn’t look away. His most significant asset, that 90-inch reach, was supposed to be the ultimate game-changer. And it was, just not in the way you’d expect. Instead of a barrage of unstoppable jabs, it often felt like Long was trying to gently shoo his opponents away, as if saying, “Please, kind sir, would you mind not coming any closer?”

4. Nikolai Valuev / Taishan Dong / Marcellus Brown / Gil Anderson (7 feet | 213 cm)

  • Nikolai Valuev, the towering behemoth of the heavyweight division, affectionately known as the “Beast from the East”. With his imposing 7-foot frame and the demeanor of a man who’s perpetually lost in the supermarket, Valuev was… let’s say, an acquired taste in the realm of boxing excitement. Valuev was the most successful of the giants, a two-time WBA heavyweight champion, but let’s face it, watching him fight was like watching a glacier move – impressive in size, but you might fall asleep waiting for the action. Valuev, the gentle giant, they called him. So gentle, his fights were like lullabies. You’d tune in for a boxing match and end up with a bedtime story. Critics might say his opponents were more bewildered by his size than beaten by his skill. It’s like they were thinking, “Do I hit him, or do I ask for a weather report up there?”
  • Dong: Dong’s diverse background in sports contributed to his athleticism in the ring, making him a quick learner and an adaptable fighter.
  • Brown: Despite a challenging career, Brown’s experience against top fighters like Tommy Morrison showcased his resilience and determination.
  • Anderson: Winning both his pro fights by stoppage, Anderson’s power was his standout feature, overwhelming his opponents early in fights.

5. Tyson Fury (6-9 | 206 cm)

  • Fury’s ability to blend size with incredible agility and boxing IQ makes him a master tactician in the ring, capable of outmaneuvering opponents both physically and mentally.

6. Vitali Klitschko (6-7 | 201 cm)

  • Klitschko’s disciplined approach to maintaining his weight and his Ukrainian knockout power and confidence made him a consistent and dangerous heavyweight champion.

7. Jess Willard (6-6½ | 199 cm)

  • Willard’s sheer size and strength were his most significant assets, allowing him to overpower and outlast the legendary Jack Johnson for the heavyweight title.

8. Wladimir Klitschko / Anthony Joshua (6-6 | 198 cm)

  • Wladimir Klitschko, the man who turned heavyweight boxing into a lullaby session. With his PhD in pugilistic sleep science, Dr. Steelhammer had a unique talent for making fans worldwide reach for their pillows. His strategy? A jab that felt like it could go on for a doctoral dissertation and a right hand that, when it finally decided to make an appearance, was like a plot twist in a very slow-burning novel. Wladimir’s reign over the heavyweight division was so long not because no one could beat him, but because opponents often fell into a deep, restful sleep by the seventh round. And let’s not forget his clinch – if boxing had cuddle championships, Klitschko would be the undisputed, all-time, cuddle-weight champion of the world.
  • Anthony Joshua, the shining hero of British boxing, met his match in Oleksandr Usyk, didn’t he? It was less a boxing match and more a masterclass by Usyk on how to turn a heavyweight champion into a bewildered spectator in his own fight. Usyk, with the deceptive look of that one uncle who insists he’s still got it, turned Joshua’s world upside down, or should we say, twirled it around with more spins than a ballroom dance competition. And then, the aftermath – oh, the drama! Joshua’s mindset, once praised for its steel, suddenly seemed more like play-dough, getting squished and reshaped with every opinion that came his way. The once unshakeable confidence started to look like it needed a “Fragile: Handle with Care” sticker.

9. Primo Carnera (6-5½ | 197 cm)

  • Carnera’s massive frame and strength were his hallmarks, often using his weight and size to his advantage against smaller opponents.

10. Lennox Lewis (6-5 | 196 cm)

  • Lennox Lewis, truly a colossus of the boxing world, stands tall not just in stature but in the annals of heavyweight greatness. His career is a masterclass in skill, power, and strategic acumen, blending the finesse of a chess grandmaster with the brute force of a wrecking ball. Lewis’s ability to adapt and overcome in the ring, facing down some of the most hardest opponents of his era, cements his legacy as one of the all-time greats.

11. Shannon Briggs (6-4 | 193 cm)

  • Shannon Briggs, the man who turned “Let’s go, Champ!” from a motivational mantra into a full-blown lifestyle. If there were world titles for the loudest and most persistent self-promotion, Briggs would have more belts than a department store. The only thing more impressive than his ability to crash press conferences is his knack for turning every public appearance into a personal hype session. Truly, if boxing matches were won by the volume of one’s voice or the number of Instagram followers, Briggs would be the undefeated champion of the universe.

12. George Foreman (6-3 | 190 cm)

  • Foreman’s legendary power, both in his prime and during his comeback, made him one of the most feared punchers in boxing history. A legend. All-time great. Enough said.

13. Andy Ruiz Jr. / Sam Peter (6-2 | 188 cm)

  • Calling Ruiz a “one-hit wonder” might be too generous—more like a one-punch fairy tale, right? Before that fateful night against Joshua, Ruiz was virtually unknown, lurking in the heavyweight shadows, probably doubling as the guy who tested the strength of buffet tables. Then, BAM! He’s the heavyweight champion of the world, and suddenly everyone’s acting like he’s the second coming of Muhammad Ali, if Ali had a deep-seated love for drive-thrus. Ruiz made us believe that with enough heart, determination, and maybe a few extra tacos, anyone could reach the pinnacle of boxing glory. But as quickly as he rose, the fairy tale fizzled out. The rematch with Joshua? Let’s just say Ruiz seemed more prepared for a pie-eating contest than a fight to defend his titles. It was as if he spent his training camp confusing “ring work” with “wing work” at the nearest BBQ joint.
  • Peter: Ah,  the “Nigerian Nightmare,” more like the “Nigerian Naptime” for anyone who expected a nuanced display of the sweet science. This man was hyped as the second coming of Mike Tyson, but the only thing they really had in common was a fondness for black trunks. Peter had a right hand that could ostensibly knock a horse unconscious, but that’s only if he could actually land it without tripping over his own feet. Watching him in the ring was like witnessing a demolition derby – lots of noise, chaos, and the inevitable question of, “Is this really the best way to spend a Saturday night?”