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Best Muslim Boxers

Best Muslim Boxers

Best Muslim Boxers

While we’ve previously covered and discussed the best Muslim UFC and MMA fighters of all-time, we’ve never discussed the best Muslim boxers. And while both boxing and MMA have similarities, the sports have significant differences and categorizations to warrant separate articles for the two.

Below, we are going to look at and discuss the best Muslim boxers of all-time. And while Muhammed Ali may be the most famous of the group, there are a number of professional boxers who are Muslim and actively practice the religion of Islam.

So, without further ado, here are the best Muslim boxers of all-time.

What is Boxing?

Boxing, as compared to mixed martial arts, is a combat sport in which two individuals, typically wearing protective boxing gloves, throw and toss punches at one-another for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

However, and most notably, boxing in the more modern sense, utilizes only a boxers fists. And, as compared to mixed martial arts, does not involve other parts of the body.

And in boxing, the winner of a boxing match can be determined in a multitude of differing ways. Most notably, a boxing match can be resolved before the completion of the predetermined rounds if the referee deems an opponent incapable of continuing.

In addition, a boxing match can come to a conclusion if an opponent is disqualified or if an opponent resigns or forfeits the match. However, if the boxing match reaches the end of its final round with both boxers still standing, then the judges’ scorecard will determine the victor.

What is Islam?

Before jumping into the best Muslim boxers of all-time, it is also important to understand what a Muslim is and what Islam is.

Islam is a monotheistic religion which is centered around the Quran, or the Muslim holy book, which is considered by Muslims to be the verbatim word of God.

As the world’s second-largest religion with over 2-billion followers, Muslims believe in a merciful, all-powerful, and omnipotent God who has guided humanity through prophets, revealed scriptures, and natural signs and miracles.

As such, Muslims also believe that Muhammed was the last and final prophet sent to humanity.

A follower of Islam is thus titled a Muslim and Muslims are expected, amongst other things, to take an oath declaring their belief in Islam, offer daily prayers, give frequently to charity, complete the fast in the month of Ramadan, and make a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

Muhammed Ali

The so called “Greatest of All Time” Muhammed Ali defined boxing greatness for nearly two-decades. And in addition to being one of the best boxers of all-time, he is also one of the most popular Muslim athletes as well.

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., he would convert to Islam in 1961, at just the age of 19. Muhammed Ali is widely regarded as the best and greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, having won 56 of his 61 total matches with 37 wins coming by a knockout.

Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali fought in several historic boxing matches, including fights with Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, the Thrilla in Manila, and his fight with George Foreman.

Ali thrived in the spotlight and he became renowned for his provocative and outlandish persona. He was famous for trash-talking, often free-styled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry incorporating elements of rap, and often predicted in which round he would knockout his opponent.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson, nicknamed “Iron Mike” and “Kid Dynamite” is a former professional boxer whose career spanned from 1985 to 2005.

He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time and reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, with an impressive 12 of them in the first round.

However, in the early 1990’s, it was reported that Mike Tyson had converted to Islam and adopted the name Malik Abdul Aziz.

A controversial figure for sure, Mike Tyson was a dominant force within the ring. Having won 50 of his 58 fights, he won an impressive 44 fights through knockout.

Naseem Hamed

Naseem Hamed, nicknamed Prince Naseem and Naz, is a former professional boxer who competed from 1992 to 2002. During his boxing career he held multiple featherweight world championships, including the WBO title from 1995 to 2000; the IBF title in 1997; and the WBC title from 1999 to 2000.

And, as with Muhammed Ali, Naseem Hamed was known for his boxing antics and entrances to the boxing ring, which include entering the ring on a flying carpet, re-enacting the video of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and while wearing a Halloween mask.

Naseem Hamed was formidable in the ring and his hard-hitting southpaw boxing style led him to finish his career with a knockout-to-win ratio of 84%.

Born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England to Yemeni parents, Naseem Hamed is a devout Muslim.

Mustafa Hamsho

An older boxer, Mustafa Hamsho was an Assyrian professional boxer who competed from 1975 to 1989. Nicknamed “The Syrian Slugger”, Mustafa Hamsho racked up an impressive boxing record in the late 1970’s.

Having defeated Wilford Scypion on June 15, 1980, and former middleweight champion Alan Minter on June 6, 1981, he was given a shot at then-champion Marvin Hagler in October of that year.

And although Hagler defeated Hamsho, Sports Illustrated commended Hamsho for his efforts, calling him courageous.

Bernard Hopkins

Another former professional boxer, Bernard Hopkins competed in the ring from 1988 to 2016. One of the most successful boxers in the past three decades, Hopkins held multiple world championships in two different weight classes.

In addition, Bernard Hopkins was the undisputed middleweight title champion from 2001 to 2005, and the lineal light heavyweight title champion from 2011 to 2012.

Nicknamed “The Executioner” and “The Alien”, Hopkins was known among fans for his longevity and ability to continue competing successfully at an older age.

Widely considered one of the greatest boxers of the modern era, he was a highly strategic and defensive boxer known for carrying good speed and power along with counterpunching skills.

Having been born in a housing project in Philadelphia, Hopkins turned to crime from an early age. By the age of 13, Hopkins had been mugging people and had been stabbed three times. And, at the age of 17, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for nine felonies.

However, after finding his love for boxing in prison, and his release from prison in 1988, he decided to utilize both boxing and Islam as an escape from his previous, crime-riddled life.

Amir Khan

Amir Khan is one of the most well-known and popular Muslim boxers of the generation. Having competed from 2005 to 2022, he held the unified light-welterweight world championships between 2009 and 2012, including the WBA and IBF titles.

And as an amateur boxer, Amir Khan won a silver medal in the lightweight division at the 2004 Olympics, becoming Britain’s youngest Olympic medalist at just the age of 17.

Born and raised in Bolton, Great Manchester to a Punjabi family from Pakistan, Amir Khan is a devout and practicing Muslim and has started a number of charitable organizations, including the Amir Khan Foundation.