8. Emile Griffith

Griffith was a fighter with a secret – he was gay.

But it was something of an open secret in the fight industry and rival Benny Peret made a point of taunting the great champ over his sexuality at the weigh-in for their 1962 fight.

An enraged Griffith bludgeoned the Cuban into unconsciousness in 12 rounds. Peret never recovered and died of his injuries days later: a tragedy that Emile took very badly.

During three stints as welterweight champ, Griffith defended eight times, then went on to take the middleweight title. He crammed 112 fights in a career spanning from 1958 to 1977.

It was not until 1988 that Griffith told the world he was gay, such is the bigotry that still exists in boxing. He died in 2013.


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