Boxers don’t have to do much else but step into the ring, duke it out, and come out the winner to rake in the big bucks. As long as they do that, they could call it there, letting their athleticism and accomplishments in the ring be their legacy.
But for some boxers, that’s not quite enough. Instead, they want to make a difference in their communities, too, effectively turning themselves into excellent role models. Ready to see just who’s made that move? Read on to learn about the boxers who have made a lasting impact on the world.
Muhammad Ali was a true revolutionary both inside and outside of the ring. His catchphrase, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” sums up his boxing career beautifully, as does his signature move, “rope-a-dope.”
As he gained a loyal following, he used his influence to speak on worthy causes, like civil rights. He marched in support of Native American rights at The Longest Walk protest in 1978 and kept pushing forward in making a difference. He helped deliver medical aid to Cuba, helped negotiate the release of hostages in Iraq, and went with the UN on countless goodwill missions.
Oscar de la Hoya
Oscar De La Hoya always set out to be a great role model for youth, especially those living in underserved communities. He started his journey by excelling in the boxing world, eventually becoming a 10-time champion and Olympic gold medalist. As he showed his unmatched talent in the ring, he made enough money to launch his community foundation.
Aptly named the Oscar de la Hoya Foundation, this organization provides underprivileged kids with ample athletic and educational opportunities. He helped create a youth center to start, and then made a charter school, helped fund the local cancer center, and so much more.
Manny Pacquiao is the only boxer ever to get recognized as an eight-division world champion. Beyond that, he’s one of the highest-paid athletes in the world and has used his influence to become a politician. He even ran for President of the Philippines in 2022, although he lost to Bongbong Marcos.
In between all that, he still has time to help the poor and homeless live safer, more rewarding lives. He does his work through the Manny Pacquiao Foundation, built to empower and lift up the less fortunate. Through that endeavor, he has spearheaded many beneficial community projects, including paying for the construction of over 1,000 homes to use for the homeless in the Philippines.
Floyd Mayweather has built quite a reputation in the ring, earning nicknames like “The Best Ever,” or “TBE.” He’s also well-known as “Money” for his uncanny ability to bring in the big bucks whenever he lands a fight. Over the course of his career, he has earned over $1 billion, much of which has gone to many good causes.
For example, when George Floyd was killed, he reached out to his family and paid for his funeral out of pocket. He’s also paid for the funerals of Joe Frazier, Genaro Hernandez, and many others. He helps feed the homeless, pays for people’s medical care, and donates his money to people in need through the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation whenever the opportunity arises.
While not as well known as the other boxers on this list, Badou Jack holds his own both inside and outside the ring. The Swedish Boxing Federation named him “Boxer of the Year” in 2007, helping his carer flourish in amazing ways. He now holds multiple super-middleweight and light-heavyweight titles and even competed in the 2008 Olympics.
Outside the ring, he goes out of his way with humanitarian efforts through the Badou Jack Foundation. His foundation is responsible for providing meals to over 80,000 refugees at the Zataari Camp, for example. Plus, he has provided aid to Gambia and many other locales in need of monetary support.
As these five boxers aim to make a genuine difference in the world, they show their fellow athletes how to serve as exceptional male role models. Their inspiring stories will live on through the generations, too, leaving a legacy worth remembering.