Professional Boxers are no doubt one of the best athletes in the world sport, and they apparently involve in arguably the most dangerous sport on earth.
As such, irrespective of their beliefs as human, the positive effects of their religion often play a part in their career as a professional boxer whether as a Christian or Muslim barring their talents, hard work, dedication, and consistency.
While some of the boxers distance themselves away from their belief, some often flaunt it everywhere possible be it on the ring or during chat with the media.
Professional Boxers & Their Religion
Tyson Fury – (Christian)
The 32 year old British boxer his a two time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBC, the Ring Magazine and lineal titles since defeating his American opponent Deontay Wilder in 2020, with his defeat of the American he became the third heavyweight champion after Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali to hold the title twice.
He also previously held the unified WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, the Ring and lineal titles after defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Fury is also on the verge of sealing a heavyweight bout deal with his compatriots camp Antonio Joshua for the bout of the year which pound for pound enthusiast can’t wait to happen.
The British boxer may have forsaken his belief in time past, with his previous statement backing it up. “Religion and I may have parted company some years ago but I respect those who have the faith, whatever that might be”. But recently, Fury has shown his a fervent believer which was quite evident during his triumph bout against Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 when he literally thanked Jesus for guiding him to victory over his opponent.
Fury was so fervent with his belief that he wanted to name his son after Jesus, but was dissuaded by his wife. If not for his wife perhaps he could have name his son after Jesus, to show how much believe and faith he has in his religion.
Naseem Hamed – (Retired, Muslim)
Former Featherweight Champion Hamed was discovered at the age of seven by trainer Brendan Ingle, when he saw him fighting against three bullying English boys. The Irish trainer took him along and that orchestrated the beginning of their dynamic relationship which cumulated into Naseem Hamed becoming a tenacious fighter.
Ingle molded Nassem into a great fighter from his first amateur to the European Bantamweight Championship to his victorious fight for the WBO Featherweight Championship back in 1995.
Naseem has retired, but he remain one of the best boxers the sport has ever seen, most especially when he fought his way to the top in his first world title in 1995 until 2001.
The Yemen boxer his a proud Muslim who isn’t shy of his belief despite the fame and success, in fact he often prayed for those he knocked out on the ring that ‘Allah” should protect them. He retired in 2002 following a chronic hand injury, and for his brilliant performances with exceptional fighting styles while still active he was included in the “International Boxing Hall Of Fame” in 2015.
Anthony Joshua – (Muslim)
World heavyweight champion Joshua was raised a Christian, according to an interview he granted the British News Agency few years back he said he follows no particular religion. However, when a picture of him surfaced on twitter praying at a mosque in the UAE, that angered some set of people for associating himself with Islam.
Following his triumph bout against Andy Ruiz Jr, he highlighted the role of Islam in his life when he defeated the Mexican to become the world heavyweight champion with a unanimous points. With his much anticipated bout against Tyson Fury on the horizon this year, the world is looking forward to that bout because it promises to be the decider for the world undisputed champion of boxing.
Joshua has fought over 25 bouts as a professional boxer, won 24 with 22 of his bout as knockout and one loss. Should the much anticipated bout against Fury come to town, and he probably wins it he would remain the undisputed champion of boxing.
Bernard Hopkins – (Retired, Muslim)
When talking about some of the exception pound for pound boxers, Hopkins is no doubt one of the best in fact is a legend in his own right. Hopkins started his illustrious boxing career in 1988 and retired in 2016, having won twelve major World Championship in two weight classes.
The undisputed champion almost missed out on his career after been sentenced to 18 years for robbery at the age of 17, ironically during his stay in the four walls of the prison Hopkins developed the love for boxing and surprisingly he was converted to a Muslim and went on to become the World Champion in 2005, 2006.
Before he retired 2016, he fought 52 bouts with 32 of those bouts as knockout. In 2011 he made history in the world of boxing, when he defeated Jean Pascal which made him the oldest World Champions in boxing history at the age of 46.
Oleksandr Usyk – (Christian)
Ukrainian boxer Usyk is no doubt one of the brilliant pound for pound boxer around. Following his postponed bout against Derek Chisora due to COVID 19, the Ukrainian eventually fought the American in October 2020 and went on to win the bout by unanimous decision.
Usyk achieved the feat of holding every belt in the cruiserweight division in 2018, and also won an Olympic gold medal for Ukraine. The Ukrainian often make the sign of cross when entering the boxing ring for his bout, a gesture which shows his true believe in Jesus Christ and his previous bout when he granted an interview for winning the fight he said “God, Jesus Christ thank you for the strength that you gave me, and for me getting here”.
The former Olympic Gold medalist also narrated how he became a Christian as child at the hospital, “He said a priest came to the hospital and gave the kids running around sweets, I sat near him and asked where God is, how to come to him, where he lives, how he sees and hear us”.
Since his encounter with the priest who came with sweet to the hospital, Usyk has began to recite our Lord Jesus Christ and follow him and always thank him for every day he lives.
Deontay Wilder – (Christian)
Mike Tyson – (Retired, Muslim)
Muhammad Ali – (Retired, Muslim)
Badr Hari – (Retired, Muslim)
Amir Khan – (Retired, Muslim)