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Opinion

The 10 most imaginative boxing nicknames

Michael Nunn
Holly Stein/Allsport/Getty Images
These memorable ring monikers are commendably creative

1. MICHAEL ‘SECOND TO’ NUNN

The name says it all. When it comes to original and inventive sobriquets, this former two-weight world champion (IBF middleweight and WBA super-middleweight) is second to none.

2. JUAN ‘HISPANIC CAUSING PANIC’ LAZCANO

Remembered as a Ricky Hatton opponent and WBC lightweight title challenger, Lazcano also had one of the catchiest nicknames when he was plying his trade in the squared circle.

3. ANDREW ‘SIX HEADS’ LEWIS

Lewis’ unique nom de guerre originated back when he was a young amateur. The future WBA welterweight champ hit one opponent so hard that the dazed youngster said he could see six heads in front of him. Thus an unforgettable ring moniker was born.  

4. VINNY ‘PAZMANIAN DEVIL’ PAZIENZA

With his ferocious fighting style and stocky physique, this ex-IBF lightweight and WBA super-welterweight titlist certainly brought to mind a Tasmanian devil. Exchanging ‘Tas’ for ‘Paz’ was an inspired decision.

5. O’NEIL ‘GIVE ‘EM HELL’ BELL

Bell will go down in cruiserweight history for reigning as the unified WBC, WBA and IBF king. He will also go down in boxing nickname history for his innovative use of rhyme.

6. WILLIE ‘WILL O’ THE WISP’ PEP

Referencing both his first name and his primary attribute – the ability to ghost away from his rivals’ attacks – the alias for this legendary former two-time world featherweight title-holder was ideal.

7. KOSTYA ‘THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER’ TSZYU

After winning a gold medal for the Soviet Union at the World Championships in Sydney, Tszyu – who would go on to unify the WBC, WBA and IBF super-lightweight belts – was so enchanted with Australia that he decided to emigrate there, hence his catchy sobriquet.

8. OWEN ‘WHAT THE HECK’ BECK

Beck may have been unsuccessful in his attempt to become the WBA heavyweight boss, but he was certainly successful when it came to devising a nickname.

9. YOUNG ‘KING OF THE CANEBRAKES’ STRIBLING

Stribling, who challenged for world honours at light-heavyweight and heavyweight, received his moniker from esteemed scribe Damon Runyon, on account of his popularity in rural areas and willingness to fight anywhere.

10. BREIDIS ‘KHANQUEROR’ PRESCOTT

Prescott made his name, and his nickname, as an explosive lightweight who conquered Amir Khan.

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