Greatest nicknames in boxing including ‘Macho’ Camacho and ‘What the Heck’ Beck

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THE sport of boxing is littered with fighting nicknames, from the majestic to the bizarre.

Some of the greatest boxers are best known by their nicknames, from “Smokin” Joe Frazier to “Iron” Mike Tyson.

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‘Iron’ Mike Tyson was a force in the heavyweight division when he burst on the scene in the mid-1980sCredit: Getty Images – Getty

There are also plenty of lesser-known fighters who are punching above their weight with standout nicknames.

Here’s a list of some of the greatest names in the sport.

Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is the first man in boxing to win world championships in eight different weight classes and has held four recognized world titles in those divisions.

He was voted the Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring Magazine on three separate occasions.

Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao won 12 world championship in eight different weight classes

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Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao won 12 world championship in eight different weight classesCredit: Getty Images – Getty

“Pacman” beat and fought the biggest names of his generation, including Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather.

Pacquiao’s unprecedented run turned him into an international star and a hero in his home country of the Philippines.

Samuel ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Peter

Known for his punching power and holding a 78.9 percent knockout-to-win ratio, Samuel Peter was known as “The Nigerian Nightmare” for a reason.

The slugger burst on the heavyweight scene at a time when the division desperately needed some new blood.

Samuel 'The Nigerian Nightmare' Peter was known for his punching power and his 78.9 percent knockout-to-win ratio

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Samuel ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Peter was known for his punching power and his 78.9 percent knockout-to-win ratioCredit: Getty Images – Getty

In 2005, he lost a unanimous decision to future heavyweight champion Wladimir’s Kitschoko despite the Ukrainian being dropped three times.

The duo had a rematch three years later, but this time Peter lost decisively by knockout in the 10th-round.

“The Nigerian Nightmare” would finally capture the WBC heavyweight title in 2008, when he defeated Oleg Maskaev.

‘Iron’ Mike Tyson

“Iron” Mike Tyson entered the heavyweight division in the mid-1980s, boasting devastating power, speed and ferocity that intimidated many of his opponents.

In 1986, Tyson was crowned the WBC heavyweight champion after he defeated the champ Trevor Berbik by TKO.

'Iron' Mike Tyson was dubbed the 'Baddest Man on the Planet' due to his power and amazing knock out ability

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‘Iron’ Mike Tyson was dubbed the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ due to his power and amazing knock out abilityCredit: Getty Images – Getty

At the age of 20, he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history, and became the first heavyweight fighter to unify the IBF, WBA and WBC titles.

With all his accolades, Tyson was dubbed the “Baddest Man on the Planet,” capping off his career with 44 knockout wins.

‘The Explosive Thin Man’ Alexis Arguello

Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello was one of the most devastating punchers in boxing, earning him the nickname “The Explosive Thin Man.”

Arguello was a three-time world champion and is one of the few fighters to have never lost his titles in the ring.

For a featherweight fighter, Alexis Arguello was a devastating puncher, earning him the nickname 'The Explosive Thin Man'

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For a featherweight fighter, Alexis Arguello was a devastating puncher, earning him the nickname ‘The Explosive Thin Man’Credit: Getty Images – Getty

All of his championships were forfeited when he moved to a higher weight class to pursue a new challenge.

He went on to compete in five weight classes during a successful career: bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight.

Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns

When it comes to great boxing nicknames look no further than Thomas Hearns.

Whether it’s the well-known “Hitman” or the “Motor City Cobra,” there is little doubt Hearns earned both.

He was one of the most feared boxers of his generation and fought all the greats of his era.

Thomas 'The Hitman' Hearns fought Sugar Ray Leonard twice, which are widely considered to be some of the greatest fights in boxing

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Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns fought Sugar Ray Leonard twice, which are widely considered to be some of the greatest fights in boxingCredit: Getty – Contributor

“The Hitman” won world championships in five weight classes, from welterweight all the way up to light heavyweight.

He stepped into the ring with greats such as Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Haler.

His two fights against Sugar Ray are considered to be among the greatest in boxing history, while the opening round against Hagler in 1985 is arguably the most brutal ever witnessed in the sport.

Michael ‘Second To’ Nunn

Former middleweight champ Michael “Second To” Nunn was a standout amateur boxer before turning professional.

He won world titles at middleweight and super middleweight, and had a few showdowns at light heavyweight.

Nunn was a slick 6’2 southpaw who packed a heavy punch.

The 6'2 southpaw, Michael 'Second To' Nunn was known to pack a heavy punch in the middleweight division

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The 6’2 southpaw, Michael ‘Second To’ Nunn was known to pack a heavy punch in the middleweight divisionCredit: Getty Images – Getty

He was a force in the middleweight division in the mid-1980s and into the 90s.

In 1988, he dominated Frank Tate to win his first IBF middleweight title.

In 2004, after retiring from the sport, he was sentenced to 24 years on drug trafficking charges.

‘The Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya

There are few fighters who have hit the heights like Oscar De La Hoya.

“The Golden Boy” is regarded as the man who put boxing “back on its feet” when he cracked the scene in the early 1990s – and continued to change the sport after his retirement through his Golden Boy Promotions company.

'The Golden Boy' Oscar De La Hoya is regarded as the man who put the sport of boxing 'back on its feet'

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‘The Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya is regarded as the man who put the sport of boxing ‘back on its feet’Credit: Getty Images – Getty

De La Hoya won Olympic gold at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, which earned him his famous nickname.

Throughout his illustrious career, De La Hoya defeated 17 world champions, won 10 world titles in six weight classes and became the highest grossing fighter in history.

Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho

Hector “Macho” Camacho was known in the ring for his quickness, bizarre dress and flamboyant style.

“Macho” competed in seven weight classes from super featherweight all the way up to super middleweight.

The late great Hector 'Macho' Camacho was known in the ring for his quickness, flamboyant style and eye-popping attire

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The late great Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho was known in the ring for his quickness, flamboyant style and eye-popping attireCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The Puerto Rican won his first world title by way of a fifth-round knockout over former champ Rafael Limon in 1983.

During the late 1980s and early 90s, Camacho had notable fights against Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Jose Luis Ramirez and an over faded Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard.

“Macho” died in 2012 after he was shot while sitting in a car outside a bar in his native Bayamon.

Owen ‘What the Heck’ Beck

During the mid-2000s, Owen Beck was a solid fighter in the heavyweight division, although never one of the greats.

Every time he stepped into the ring against a decent opponent Beck tended to lose.

His fall from grace turned Owen 'What the Heck' Beck into a heavyweight journeyman, which earned him one of the funniest nicknames in boxing

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His fall from grace turned Owen ‘What the Heck’ Beck into a heavyweight journeyman, which earned him one of the funniest nicknames in boxingCredit: Getty Images – Getty

He challenged for the world title once in his career, which ended in a fifth-round knockout loss to Nikolai Valuev in 2006.

Towards the end of his career – having lost his last eight fights – Beck became more of a journeyman.

Still, there’s no doubting the greatest of his nickname: Owen “What the Heck” Beck.

‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler

“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler became the dominant force in the middleweight division in the early 1970s.

He reached the pinnacle of the division in 1980 when he was crowned the WBA, WBC and The Ring middleweight champion after his win against Alan Minter.

Hagler consistently ranks among the top five middleweights of all time – and is remembered for a highly controversial decision loss to “Sugar” Ray Leonard in 1987.

'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler is often regarded as one of the top five middleweights of all time

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‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler is often regarded as one of the top five middleweights of all timeCredit: Getty – Contributor

The fight was close with both boxers landing an equal number of shots, but Hagler was the more aggressive.

The split-decision verdict for Leonard remains highly debated, with many calling the victory for Hagler.

‘Manos De Piedra’ Roberto Duran

Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran is one of the most iconic nicknames in all of sport, attached to a man widely considered the greatest lightweight to ever step foot in the ring.

Duran won world titles in four weight classes: lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight.

Roberto Duran is considered the greatest lightweight in boxing history

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Roberto Duran is considered the greatest lightweight in boxing historyCredit: Getty Images – Getty

A brawler in the ring, Duran’s most notable performances came against Sugar Ray Leonard, who he spectacularly defeated in a 15-round decision at “the Brawl in Montreal” in 1980.

The rematch later that year became the infamous “No Mas” moment when Duran inexplicably quit in the eighth round of a very close fight.

Mike ‘The Bodysnatcher’ McCallum

Mike “The Bodysnatcher” McCallum dominated the light middleweight division during the mid-1980s.

McCallum earned his nickname due to his ability to land vicious body punches.

During the mid-1980s, Mike 'The Bodysnatcher' McCallum earned his nickname due to his ability to land precise body punches on his opponents

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During the mid-1980s, Mike ‘The Bodysnatcher’ McCallum earned his nickname due to his ability to land precise body punches on his opponentsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

He won the junior middleweight title in 1984 and successfully defended his belt seven times before moving to middleweight.

His first crack at the middleweight championship was unsuccessful, but he would eventually be crowned champion in 1990.

A slick and hard-hitting McCallum secured his third world title in a third weight class after winning the WBC light heavyweight championship.

‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier

“Smokin” Joe Frazier was both an Olympic gold medalist and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

During his legendary career he defeated many of the top heavyweights, including Jerry Quarry, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen and Jimmy Ellis.

'Smokin' Joe Frazier was the first man to defeat the legendary Muhammad Ali in 1971

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‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier was the first man to defeat the legendary Muhammad Ali in 1971Credit: Getty Images – Getty

His most famous victory came in 1971, when he was the first boxer to defeat Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden by a clear-cut unanimous decision.

Dubbed “The Fight of the Century,” Frazier sent Ali to the hospital with a broken jaw.

“Smoking” Joe would lose his titles two years later to the knockout artist George Foreman.

‘The Brown Bomber’ Joe Louis

Known as “The Brown Bomber,” Joe Louis is considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, even better than Muhammad Ali.

Louis held the world heavyweight championship for a record 140 months – nearly 12 years.

During his reign, he made a record 25 successful title defenses.

'The Brown Bomber' Joe Louis is often regarded as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time

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‘The Brown Bomber’ Joe Louis is often regarded as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all timeCredit: Popperfoto – Getty

Coming to the fore in the early 1930s, Louis packed devastating punching power and is credited with becoming one of the the first African-American cultural icons in the United States.

‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali

“The Greatest” Muhammad Ali was simply one of the best fighters to ever set foot in a boxing ring.

He was a fighter, an icon and a symbol of the anti-war movement that seized the nation in the late 1960s.

In 1967, Ali, who had been the world champion for three years, refused the draft for the Vietnam War and was stripped of both titles and his boxing license.

Nicknamed 'The Greatest,' Muhammad Ali was simply that

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Nicknamed ‘The Greatest,’ Muhammad Ali was simply thatCredit: Getty Images – Getty

He was arrested and convicted on charges of draft evasion, but never served time in prison, with his appeal upheld by the Supreme Court.

Ali would participate in some of the best fights in the history of the heavyweight division, taking on “Smokin” Joe Frazier in a trio of fights.

Victories over Buster Mathis, Jerry Quarrey, Floyd Patterson, Bob Foster and Ken Norton were stunning while Ali’s amazing underdog bout against George Foreman has gone down in legend.





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