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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.