There have been many great names in the world of boxing throughout history and fighters stand out for many reasons whether it be their one punch potential, impeccable defense, or what we're looking at today, their lightning fast speed. Many of the fighters in this list are still active (as of March 2021) and could potentially be at a higher ranking when they finish their careers.
Hand speed is a very desirable asset to have in the boxing world and even though it can be trained, some of the fighters in this list were born with the gift of speed. While power is also important and something every boxer should work on, speed is the one quality that is invaluable when it comes to a fighters traits.
Great speed gives boxers a unique level of unpredictability and while it is important for the offense, defensively speed can get fighters out of harms way quickly. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a master of this and his technical skills combined with his speed makes him one of the greatest fighters of all time. Without further ado, here are the top 25 fastest boxers of all time!
25. Terence Crawford
Terence Crawford is a speed machine welterweight boxer and there is no question that he is a defensive genius. One of the best pound-for-pound boxers of his weight class Crawford is currently undefeated with 37 bouts and 28 of those wins coming in by knockouts as of March 2021.
Crawford has held multiple world championships in different weight classes and is one of the more enjoyable boxers to watch. As of February 2021, Crawford has been named the world's best active boxer, pound for pound, by ESPN. His incredible speed is always a challenge for his opponents.
24. Oleksandr Usyk
Oleksandr Usyk is the first cruiserweight in history to hold all four major world championship titles. Nicknamed "The Cat" Usyk is known for his incredible legwork and endurance. He is currently undefeated with 18 fights and 13 of them being wins by knockout as of March 2021.
Even the speed of his accomplishments is impressive as the boxer won his first world title in his tenth fight and became the undisputed champion by his fifteenth. In 16 fights Usyk had defeated five current or former world champions, an incredible achievement.
23. Larry Holmes
Larry Holmes nicknamed the "Easton Assassin" had one of the best and quickest left jabs in boxing history. When it comes to the heavyweight division, few fighters came close to the speed Holmes had in his jabs. Holmes held the heavyweight title for five years and defended his title against 19 fighters!
Holmes is one of only five boxers to ever beat Muhammad Ali and the only one who was able to stop him. The speed of his jabs made him stand out when facing his opponents and he could come up with some clean fast combinations as well.
22. Oscar De La Hoya
Oscar De la Hoya nicknamed "The Golden Boy" wasn't the fastest boxer in the planet but he did have his speed. De La Hoya could always compete against speed well and his massive punches gave him the upper hand. While not known primarily for his speed like some others on this list, De La Hoya was quick in his prime and combined with his big punches he was a force to be reckoned with.
De La Hoya won 11 world titles in six different weight classes and before the likes of Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao he was the top pay-per-view earner generating aproximately $700 million in pay-per-view income. The boxer had 45 bouts in which he won 39 (30 wins by knockout) and lost 6.
21. Paulie Malignaggi
Paulie Malignaggi nicknamed "Magic Man" was known for his incredibly fast hand speed and durability. Malignaggi loved a good mid-fight mockery and his speed let him do that safely away from his opponents fists. He held world championships in the light welterweight and welterweight divisions.
Malignaggi didn't have the De La Hoya or Holmes striking power but his insane speed made up for everything else the boxer was lacking. The Magic Man was smart inside of the ring and could bring forth good combinations while still giving his known teases to his opponents.
20. Roberto Duran
Roberto Duran nicknamed "Manos de Piedra" ("Hands of Stone") had excellent defense and a punching power to fear. This combined with his speed made him one of the best boxers of all time. Duran ended his career with 119 fights, 103 wins, and 70 knockouts.
Duran held world championships in four different weight classes and is the second boxer to have competed over a span of five decades. His punching power combined with his speed quickly made him a star and a name that the boxing world will remember forever.
19. Ryan Garcia
Ryan Garcia nicknamed "The Flash" has good power and incredibly fast hands that live up to his nickname. in 2016 Garcia signed with Golden Boy Promotions, the company Oscar De La Hoya himself created, and as of January 2021, he is ranked as the world's third best active lightweight boxer.
Garcia is a lethal opponent for any boxer as his power, speed, and good combinations are something to fear. He is currently undefeated as of March 2021 with a record of 21 fights and 21 wins, 18 of them by knockout. The young star has been making headlines and could be the next big pay-per-view star.
18. Thomas Hearns
Thomas Hearns nicknamed "The Hitman" had some serious speed. Hearns was a 6'1 welterweight boxer with one of the hardest pound for pound punches in the sport. The type of speed he could produce was astonishing especially for a boxer his size.
Hearns became the first boxer in history to win world titles in five different weight divisions. His tall and slim body type allowed him to do this and no matter in what division he was in he was equally as fast and strong making it that much more impressive and memorable.
17. Amir Khan
Amir Khan or "King Khan" has astoundingly fast hands and no one can deny that. Khan can thank the majority of his wins on his speed and his losses on his weak chin. He is one of the youngest ever british professional world champions as he won the WBA title at 22 years old.
Khan had 39 fights with 34 wins and 21 knockouts. King Khan always stood out for his speed and the boxer also had other notable achievements like 3 gold medals and a silver medal representing Great Britain in the Olympics in 2004. His speed was one to be reckoned with.
16. Naseem Hamed
"Prince" Naseem Hamed is known for his bizarre boxing antics like entering the ring on a magic carpet and his next-level showboating in the ring. This was only possible because of his incredible hand speed and when his opponents where least expecting it Naseem would strike quickly and with good power.
Prince Naseem held multiple featherweight world championships and was introduced into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015. While known for his ring entrances and cocky persona he was also a spectacular fighter with some of the fastest hands ever seen.
15. Sergio Martinez
Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez was astounding and could be fastest middleweight ever. The Argentine had a 50-month reign as a middleweight champion and that record is still one of the longest ever for that weight class. Martinez has a record of 58 fights, 53 wins, 2 draws, and 30 knockouts.
Martinez was known for his speed and exciting fighting style which made him one of the more enjoyable boxers to watch. His great combinations and speed along with his eye-pleasing fighting style makes Maravilla Martinez a champion to remember.
14. Zab Judah
"Super" Zab Judah was compared to Mayweather, not by his technical skills but by his hand speed. Judah had a huge potential that sadly never fulfilled and a big part of that was the boxers extremely fast hands and striking power. His career ended in 2019 when he was hospitalized after suffering a brain bleed.
Judah retired with a record of 56 fights, 44 wins, 30 by knockout, 10 losses, and two no contests. Super Judah held multiple world championships in two different weight classes including the WBO junior and IBF welterweight titles between 2000-2004.
13. Gary Russell Jr
Gary Russell Jr is known for being one of the fastest fighters in the sport. As of January 2020, he is ranked as the world's second best active featherweight boxer. Russell Jr has a record of 32 fights, 31 wins, 18 of those wins by knockout.
The 2011 Prospect of the Year has some seriously quick hands. Russell Jr. is known for his speed and athleticism, his only down side is that he really only fights about once a year. Some of the fastest hands the boxing world has seen for sure.
12. Willie Pep
Willie Pep had phenomenal defense and was quick to answer his opponent's attack with multiple jabs and good combinations. Pep boxed an impressive 1,956 rounds in the 241 bouts he had in his career, some unheard of numbers! He retired with a total record of 241 fights, 229 wins, 65 knockouts, 11 losses and 1 draw.
Pep was known for his speed and immaculate defense. He was voted as the number 1 featherweight of the 20th century and ranked the number 1 featherweight of all time by the International Boxing Research organization in 2005. Pep's lightning fast hands got him inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
11. Shane Mosley
"Sugar" Shane Mosley had excellent footwork, great boxing IQ, and strong striking power. Mosley held multiple world championships in three weight classes including the WBC welterweight, WBA (Super), and IBF lightweight titles. In 2000 and 2001 "Sugar" Mosley was named the world's best active boxer, pound for pound, by The Ring.
Mosley had some very memorable fights like his bouts with Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao. His final record at retirement was 61 total fights, 49 wins, 41 knockouts, 10 losses, 1 draw, and 1 no contest. Mosley doesn't get into many lists like these but we believe he deserves a spot in the rankings.
10. Hector Camacho
Hector Camacho didn't posses a knockout punch like many other boxers on this list but he was able to outperform many of his opponents due to his incredible speed alone. Camacho competed in eight different weight classes and was a world champion in three of them.
Camacho is another boxer with some very notable fights like his bouts with Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya, but he is remembered for beating Roberto Duran twice and knocking out the one and only Sugar Ray Leonard and sending him into retirement.
9. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd "Money" Mayweather is a defensive genius and one of the best boxers the sport has seen. Mayweather's impenetrable defense and quick returns made him one of the best defensive boxers in history. That along with the fact that Mayweather has one of the highest records ever when it comes to striking accuracy made him a beast.
Mayweather retired with a record of 50 fights, 50 wins, and 27 wins by knockout. His nickname is money for a reason, Mayweather has earned approximately $1.67 billion in PPV revenue throughout his career and has been the highest paid athlete in the world in multiple years.
8. Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson had many things besides his ridiculous speed, like great combinations and a striking power to fear. Robinson is often regarded by many as the greatest boxer of all time and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
Robinson retired with a record of 200 total fights, 173 wins, 109 wins by knockout, 19 losses, 6 draws, and 2 no contests. Sugar Ray Robinson went on a 91 fight unbeaten streak from 1943 to 1951, the third longest in professional boxing history.
7. Mike Tyson
"Iron" Mike Tyson was one of the fastest and most explosive heavyweight boxers the sport has ever seen. Mike was not as tall or as big as his fellow heavyweight opponents but his fast footwork and unpredictable speedy strikes made him the world champion we all remember.
Tyson retired with a record of 58 total fights, 50 wins, 44 wins by knockout, 6 losses, and 2 no contests. At 20 years, four months, and 22 days Tyson has the world record as the youngest boxer to ever win a heavyweight world title.
6. Floyd Patterson
Floyd Patterson was one of the first fast heavyeweight boxers in history. Patterson had incredible hand speed and was known for his peek-a-boo style of boxing. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 and was a two-time world heavyweight champion.
Patterson retired with a record of 64 total fights, 55 wins, 40 wins by knockout, 8 losses, and 1 draw. Before Mike Tyson broke his record, Patterson was the youngest boxer to win the title at the age of 21. He was one of the fastest heavyweights the sport has ever seen!
5. Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali would dance around his opponents and had some of the quickest footwork of any heavyweight boxer ever. He was known for trash talking but he always put his money where his mouth is. Ali was something special and way more than just a boxer.
Ali retired with a record of 61 total fights, 56 wins, 37 wins by knockout, and 3 losses. Some of the most historic and memorable fights ever are Ali's bouts with Joe Frazier such as the "Fight of the Century" and the "Thrilla in Manila" and his "rumble in the Jungle" with George Foreman which has been called one of the greatest sporting events of the 20th century.
4. Meldrick Taylor
Meldrick Tylor had some bizarre handspeed and could quite possibly be the fastest weltwerwight boxer in history. Taylor had good combinations and was great technically but it was his insane speed that really gave him the edge over his opponents.
Taylor retired with a record of 47 total fights, 38 wins, 20 wins by knockout, 8 losses, and 1 draw. He was a two-weight world champion and was nicknamed "TNT" for his explosivesness and impressive speed. One of the fastest hands the world of boxing has seen!
3. Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao is ranked as the fastest left-hand boxer in history. "PacMan" is an incredible fighter and as of March 2021 he is ranked as the world's third best active welterweight boxer. Pacquiao is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing and he has won a total of 12 major world titles.
Pacquiao went up several weight divisions and usually when boxers do that they trade weight and muscle for speed, not PacMan though, as he went up several weight classes and only seemed to get faster. Pacquiao has also been ranked as the greatest southpaw fighter of all time.
2. Sugar Ray Leonard
Sugar Ray Leonard is one of the fastest boxers in history and his speed was just otherworldly. Leonard had some superior moves and his combinations were unpredictable and precise. Sugar Ray Leonard would burst into ferocious flurries were he would land multiple shots in only a few seconds.
Sugar Ray Leonard retired with a record of 40 total fights, 36 wins, 25 wins by knockout, 3 losses, and 1 draw. Often regarded as the best boxer of all time, Leonard won world titles in five different weight classes and two gold olympic medals. Very few boxers were able to endure his fury of punches.
1. Roy Jones Jr.
Roy Jones Jr. at his best was absolutely unstoppable and had some of the most insane speed ever seen. Jones took showboating to a different level and even fought with his hands behind his back at times. He was able to do this becuase of his cat-like reflexes and speed that no other boxer he faced possessed.
Roy Jones Jr. retired with a record of 75 total fights, 66 wins, 47 wins by knockout, and 9 losses. Jones held multiple world championships in four different weight classes and as of March 2021, holds the record for most wins in unified light heavyweight title bouts at twelve.