And here I look at the greatest of all time in football, basketball, MMA, boxing, tennis and pro wrestling.
Sport is one of the most important things in the world, millions of people dedicate their lives to it but there’s only a handful that can be classified as the greatest, this article will take you through the GOATs (Greatest of all time) of football, tennis, MMA, boxing, basketball and pro wrestling.
Football: Cristiano Ronaldo
If you’re a fan of football, (soccer to many) then you’re blessed. You have the two greatest footballers of all time playing at the exact same time, Messi and Ronaldo. What Ronaldo has done different to Messi is prove his worth in several leagues, and on the international stage with his native Portugal. He’s had longevity throughout, rarely injured, and is arguably the greatest one off freak athlete football has ever seen. At 32 many would say he’ll soon be past his best, I disagree, there’s another two international tournaments left in him, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him lift a few more league titles and one or two champions league trophies before he calls it quits.
Honourable mentions: Messi, Maradona, Zidane, Cryuff
MMA: Demetrious Johnson
Before everyone jumps the gun and calls me out here, Anderson Silva got popped for steroids, and that’s something I cannot condone, before that he was undoubtedly the GOAT but it all feels a little tainted for me. Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson has never been popped for any drugs, and he’s broken the records once set by Silva. His work seems effortless, he is the most well rounded martial artist I’ve ever seen and he never fails to impress, his only losses comes in the 135 division against the 135 GOAT Dominick Cruz and a prime Brad Pickett, His work at 125 has been absolutely masterful. He’s finally starting to get the credit he deserves, something he should’ve been getting for the last five years.
Honourable mentions: GSP, Fedor Emelianenko, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson
Pro Wrestling: Shawn Michaels
Pro Wrestling may be pre-determined, but level of dedication and the physical prowess of these men and women cannot be denied. Michael’s dedication to the sport was second to none in his first stint, wrestling on a nightly basis through major pain. He had all the charisma in the world to be WWE’s top face or heel, and the technical ability to have countless match of the year candidates spanning the 90’s and 00’s. The Heartbreak Kid is without a doubt the most well rounded wrestler of all time for me, with only Ric Flair and Taker coming close.
Honourable mentions: Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena
Basketball: Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is arguably the most marketed athlete of all time, and as a result the most iconic athlete of all time, some might even say he’s the GOAT of sports, period. Leading the NBA in all time points per game, the ever controversial character dominated the court for over a decade, there was a level of madness to his dedication, there never has been, and never will be another Michael Jordan.
Honourable mentions: Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Tim Duncan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Tennis: Serena Williams
Pure domination right here, for me it’s hard to name an athlete better at what they do than Williams. 72 titles including 23 grand slams and 4 Olympic medals puts Williams among the elite of all athletes, she has spent 15 years as one of the top ranked players, and when she returns to the sport next year after her pregnancy, she’ll most likely take over for another few years.
Honourable mentions: Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova
Boxing: Sugar Ray Robinson
The masses would say Muhammad Ali, but as far as a win/loss record and pure technical skills, Robinson takes it. He had the ability to adapt to any kind of boxing match, whether he brought the fight to opponents or counter punched. Having 200 fights in a career shows longevity well beyond most boxers, and winning over 100 of those by knockout and 173 in total shows that Robinson was in a different level. There was a special feel about Robinson, he had the ability to knockout an opponent with his weakest punches, placement was at often times perfection, it was his superior technique that inspired Ali to even box.
Honourable mentions: Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Ray Leonard, Joe Louis, Roberto Duran