Boxing's Best Brother Combinations

BY Arne K. Lang ON February 13, 2016
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spinksbros 1020e

By ARNE K. LANG

The Manning brothers – Peyton and Eli – are the most famous brother combination in the annals of football. Sons of Archie Manning, another outstanding quarterback, the brothers each own two Super Bowl rings. Watching Peyton Manning earn his second in the recently concluded Super Bowl got us thinking about the best brother combinations in other sports.

Here’s a Top Ten list for boxing with the best of the best listed in descending order of “eminence.” Needless to say, the selections and the rankings are subjective – it could not be otherwise. Feel free to disagree.

THE KLITSCHKO BROTHERS

The Klitschko brothers were never superstars in America, but their legend will grow with the passage of time. Decades from now people will debate which brother was more talented.

Vitali Klitschko, 52 months older than his sibling, finished 45-2 (41 KOs). He left the sport riding a 13 fight winning streak that included 11 defenses of his WBC heavyweight title.

Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) was the lineal heavyweight champion until he was dethroned by Tyson Fury. Heading into his match with Fury, he was 19-0 in bouts sanctioned for the heavyweight title by the IBF and/or WBA.

THE MARQUEZ BROTHERS

Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs) needs no introduction. His four fights with Manny Pacquiao will live forever in the pages of boxing lore. Rafael Marquez (41-9, 37 KOs) won the IBF bantamweight title at the expense of previously undefeated Tim Austin and made seven successful title defenses before moving up in weight.

THE TIOZZO BROTHERS

The Tiozzo brothers – Fabrice and Christophe – were collectively 81-4 with 55 KOs. Fabrice (48-2) held the WBA light heavyweight title at the time of his retirement. Both of his setbacks were to future IBHOF inductee Virgil Hill. In his next-to-last assignment he sent 48-1 Dariusz Michalczewski into retirement with a 6th round stoppage.

Christophe Tiozzo (33-2), older by six years, won the WBA super middleweight title from In Chul Baek, sending the South Korean off into retirement, and made three successful title defenses. A third brother, Franck Tiozzo, was 8-2-1 as a cruiserweight.

THE GIBBONS BROTHERS

Tommy Gibbons came up short against Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, but defeated such notables as Georges Carpentier and Kid Norfolk and split four bouts with Harry Greb, the legendary Pittsburgh Windmill. Counting newspaper decisions, his record (or at least a close approximation of it) stands 96-5-4. In retirement, the pride of St. Paul, Minnesota served four terms as Sheriff of Ramsey County, home to St. Paul, the state capitol.

Mike Gibbons was a scientific boxer like his younger brother. In the years preceding World War I he was widely recognized as the middleweight champion, a distinction to which some lesser fighters had stronger claims. He was 113-11-8 in documented fights when factoring in newspaper decisions.

THE CANIZALES BROTHERS

The pride of Laredo, Texas, Orlando Canizales retired with a record of 50-5-1 (37 KOs). He won the IBF bantamweight title in 1988 and made 16 successful defenses before moving up in weight.

Orlando’s older brother Gaby Canizales was also a world bantamweight title-holder, taking the belt from Richie Sandoval in a bout that was nearly fatal for Sandoval who left the ring on a stretcher. A loser in his first title defense, Gaby left the sport with a 48-8-1 record.

THE NORRIS BROTHERS

Terry Norris (47-9, 31 KOs), whose list of victims included Sugar Ray Leonard, was 19-5 with 14 stoppages in matches sanctioned for the 154-pound title. Two of those losses were by disqualification to Luis Santana, a man he would later knock out.

Orlin Norris (57-10-1, 30 KOs) peaked in 1994 when he knocked out Arthur Williams in the third round in the first defense of his WBA cruiserweight title. As a heavyweight he was little more than a journeyman, but he was good enough to defeat former IBF heavyweight champion Tony Tucker in the second of their two meetings.

THE ATTELL BROTHERS

Abraham Washington “Abe” Attell, born on Washington’s Birthday in 1883, was a finagler who could never be trusted to render an honest effort, but he was a ring marvel when he played it straight. A cursory look at his record transports us back to an age when boxing was unregulated where it wasn’t banned. At the age of 18, Attell, a scrawny featherweight, battled legendary George “Little Chocolate” Dixon on even terms in three bouts consuming 45 rounds.

Monte Attell had a brief, albeit tenuous, hold on the world bantamweight title. He should have called it quits after his 1910 war of attrition with Frankie Conley -- the bout lasted into the 42nd round (!) – but he kept at it for another six years as he went progressively blind. A third brother, Caesar Attell, had a brief and undistinguished career.

THE SPINKS BROTHERS

With Olympic gold medals and heavyweight title belts, the Spinks were the most famous brothers in boxing history until the Klitschkos came along. The level-headed brother, Michael Spinks (31-1, 21 KOs), earned his gold as a middleweight, was the best light heavyweight of his generation, and scored two wins over Larry Holmes.

In his eighth professional fight, Leon Spinks won a 15-round decision over Muhammad Ali. No one can ever take that away from him. But Neon Leon degenerated into the punchline of a joke which keeps me from placing this duo higher on the list. How absurd that a man that conquered the great Ali would subsequently lose to a fighter that finished 3-53-1.

 THE TURPIN BROTHERS

Randy Turpin, born in 1928, finished 66-8-1 (45 KOs). He had two big fights with Sugar Ray Robinson spaced two months apart. He won the first in London, an outcome that sent his British countrymen into a spasm of joy. Sugar Ray was 128-1-2 going in. Robinson returned the favor in the rematch, reclaiming his middleweight title, but Turpin went on to win the British Empire light heavyweight title.

Turpin had two older brothers who had long and fruitful careers. Dick Turpin was a British Empire middleweight champion. Jackie Turpin, who competed mostly as a featherweight, had his best year in 1948 when he was 15-4-1. Both of Randy Turpin’s brothers went on to become prominent boxing trainers.

THE MAYWEATHER BROTHERS

In the aggregate, the Mayweather brothers – Roger, Jeff, and Floyd the Elder – were 119-29-6. Floyd the Elder was sufficiently talented to command engagements with Marlon Starling and Sugar Ray Leonard. Jeff Mayweather, a reluctant warrior who lacked a hard punch, was a cut above a conventional journeyman. But the Brothers Mayweather would not have made this list if not for Roger, the original Black Mamba.

Roger Mayweather (59-13, 35 KOs) won the WBA super featherweight title in his fifteenth pro fight and went on to claim the WBC 140-pound title. He was stopped twice by Julio Cesar Chavez but defeated so many Mexicans in Los Angeles rings that he acquired a second nickname: the Mexican Assassin. (That was bad terminology, lacking the “s” and perhaps an apostrophe on “Mexican,” but we got the drift.)

Like the older Turpin brothers before them, the Mayweathers went on to become prominent trainers. In time, thanks to Floyd’s son, the Mayweather name became synonymous with the sport of boxing. It’s an awkward comparison, to be sure, but the multi-generational Mayweathers are the pugilistic equivalent of the Manning family of football fame.

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR

Here are some other outstanding brother combinations. They are listed alphabetically.

The Alvarez brothers – Canelo, Rigoberto (and more)

The Baer brothers – Max and Buddy

The Espana brothers – Ernesto and Crisanto

The Fullmer brothers – Gene and Don

The Galaxy brothers – Khaosai and Kaokor

The Lopez brothers – Ernie “Indian Red” and Danny “Little Red”

The Morales brothers – Erik and Diego

The Quarry brothers – Jerry and Mike

The Stecca brothers – Loris and Maurizio

 

 Comment on this article

 

Kid Blast says:

Very good list. Also, the Moyer brothers both of whom became afflicted with dementia pugilistica thus adding credence to the theory that there may be some genealogical basis for the affliction.

Radam G says:

I looked, and relooked. And read it twice. How did you miss the Curry brothers -- Bruce and Donald? They were the first brothers to hold world championship belts at the same time. In my humble opinion, they were the best set of siblings to hold the title at the same time.

Matter of fact, I believe that it is only four sets of siblings to hold the title at the same time. Five if you count Chris Byrd and his sister. Holla!

ArneK. says:

Lists like this always generate a healthy debate. That's cool.

I considered the Moyer brothers -- Denny and Phil -- but didn't think that Phil's credentials were strong enough.

Yes Kid Blast, they both developed pugilistic dementia. One could see that coming in the case of Denny Moyer. Because his fights invariably went the distance, he fought 1301 rounds. Any fighter fighting that many rounds will eat a lot of jabs and it appears that the constant ping-ping-ping puts a fighter at greater risk than a china-chinned fighter who suffers a high percentage of knockouts within a much smaller window of total fights.

Denny Moyer fought two 15-round bouts with Ralph Dupas spaced seven weeks apart. Ralph Dupas also became afflicted with "punch drunkenness." I saw a TV interview with him long after he had retired and his speech was so slurred that his brother had to translate for him. Very sad.

Looking up Phil Moyer's record, he fought only 310 rounds so, yes, Kid Blast, the fact that both developed dementia informs us that heredity plays a role.

By the way, there's an iconic steakhouse in Portland, Oregon called The Ringside. I was so disappointed when I went there because there wasn't a single picture of Denny Moyer -- the Pride of Portland -- on the wall. Come to think of it, I don't remember any photos of ex-boxers.

Yo Radam, always appreciate your input. I believe that Donald and Bruce Curry were actually half-brothers. At least that was reported in the papers when Bruce had his little incident here in Las Vegas, firing a pistol through the front door of the Golden Gloves Gym, purportedly hoping to hit his trainer Jesse Reid. There was a third Curry brother too, a fellow named Graylin. All three Currys were outstanding amateurs and Donald in his prime was mentioned among the top pound-for-pound.

oubobcat says:

Love the list Arne. These are never easy to compile nonetheless rank.

One brother combination I think needs to be added are the Ruelas brothers Gabe and Rafael. Both were very good pros and each always seemingly made for entertaining fights. Rafael's title winning fight against Freddie Pendleton is a forgotten classic with an epic comeback from Rafael (though I do admit I still thought Pendelton won) and Gabe's fight with Gatti was absolutely classic.

deepwater2 says:

Love the list Arne. These are never easy to compile nonetheless rank.

One brother combination I think needs to be added are the Ruelas brothers Gabe and Rafael. Both were very good pros and each always seemingly made for entertaining fights. Rafael's title winning fight against Freddie Pendleton is a forgotten classic with an epic comeback from Rafael (though I do admit I still thought Pendelton won) and Gabe's fight with Gatti was absolutely classic.


I was just thinking the Ruelas bros , good job OU. Not the best but near the top.They were fun to watch and they both came to fight.

I think they were with the Gossens. How did they end up?

Radam G says:

YUP! All three brothers had the same moms. Donald had a different pops. And his actual last name was "Sample." He started to use the Curry name in boksing as a teenager. Holla!

Radam G says:

Yup! That will be right. The Ruelases were from the Gossrns' stable. Holla!

Kid Blast says:

Putting up lists is a difficult thing to do at best because they will always be challenged. Here, the challenges or responses were civil and intelligent but on some sites, they are savage and remorseless.

ArneK. says:

I didn't mean to leave out the Ruelas brothers. I originally had them in my top 10 and then forgot to drop them into the "close but no cigar" category.

Rafael (53-4, 42 KOs) had the better career, but Gabriel may have surpassed him if he hadn't blown out his elbow in his 22nd pro fight which diminished his punching power. Gabriel scored only 12 stoppages in his last 34 fights.

I was at the fight where the incident occurred. It appeared that Gabriel was only one or two punches away from winning by TKO when he uncorked the would-be coup-de-gras and blew out his elbow. I was happy for Jeff Franklin, the recipient of this gift from the gods, as Franklin was a genuinely nice guy, but it sure was a bad break (no pun intended) for Gabriel Ruelas. Thankfully I didn't bet it; Ruelas was a big favorite. It was another reminder of Yogi's truism that it's never over until it's over.

And Kid Blast, you're right about discussions here, for the most part, being intelligent and civilized. I stopped visiting certain web sites because discussions on their forums invariably degenerated into a pissing contest. I'm too old to get into pissing contests with folks whose viewpoints I don't like. Besides, that only encourages them.

Kid Blast says:

Have the Dirrell brothers been mentioned? Petersons?

stormcentre says:

Yep you stole my thunder there KB.

I was thinking about the Dirrell brothers too; but looks like I got to the party a little late.

PacJuiceFraud and Miguel "PrimaDonna" Cotto both had brothers that boxed and achieved much less success also . . . . .

Still, looking at some of the brothers on the list they're perhaps worth a mention.

Mickey and Robert Garcia both had/have great success; perhaps more than some on the list.

Zab Judah and his brother (Daniel) also boxed.

Gene Fuller had a brother that also boxed I believe (can't remember his name).

Mickey Ward's brother Dicky Edlund (same mother but not father I think) also (as Mickey did) boxed.

Ricky Hatton and his brother both boxed.

Rafael and Juan Manuel Marquez . . whoops you already have them.

Kid Blast says:

Mickey Ward's brother Dicky Ecklund = good call. Dicky was quite good.

Roger Leonard and SRL also.

Kid Blast says:

Alan and Chris Clark of Halifax, Nova Scotia were a force in the 80's. Their fights with Ecklund were classics.

Kid Blast says:

Joe and Arturo Gatt

i1) Giuseppe "Joey" LaMotta, brother of Giacobe "Jake" LaMotta,

Robbie Sims, 38 (26 ko's) - 10 - 2, and half brother of Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Rodney Bobick, brother of Duane

Also Larry Holmes had a brother who retired with a decent record against limited opposition, Mark Holmes (38-1)

Kid Blast says:

Frankie Baltazar and Tony Balataar

Kid Blast says:

Finally, I have to give the Galaxy brothers higher billing because one was an ATG and the other was a world champ. Just my opinion.

Fun thread

Kid Blast says:

One more. Leo Santa Cruz had a brother who was a great upper cutter. He was involved in one of the worse decisions in boxing history when he was "beaten" by Joel Casamayor in 2007. Jose Armando Santa Cruz was also an interim world champion.

That is all

Radam G says:

Da game is really a family affair. Dang brothers and even training pops are immense. And nowadays sister too.

GOAT Ali and even the late, great Floyd Patterson had a sibling who was in game at the same as Mr. Floyd.

And not only were the Spink brothers boksing sibling, Leon had three sons that scrapped.

Da Manny's brother was even a scrapper a while back.

Now that I'm thinking about it, off the top of my head I can name about 70-sibling combo in da game or has been in da game. And if you want to include the amateurs, I can do about one fiddy [sic]. But I won't. Y'all know me. I'm down with O-P-P. Holla!

ArneK. says:

Yes, Radam, I'll bet you could name 70 brother combinations and still miss a few. It was never my intent to list more than a dozen or so, hopefully the most notable, and then I pared it back to a top 10.

Kid Blast mentions two Canadian duos, the Clark brothers and the Vanderpools. I'm surprised that he didn't name the Hiltons. There were four of them if we count the baby of the bunch who was 18 years old when he died in a car accident. They were tough customers these Canadians -- so also was their old man -- but, my goodness, what a dysfunctional family.

brownsugar says:

Joe and Arturo Gatt

i1) Giuseppe "Joey" LaMotta, brother of Giacobe "Jake" LaMotta,

Robbie Sims, 38 (26 ko's) - 10 - 2, and half brother of Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Rodney Bobick, brother of Duane

Also Larry Holmes had a brother who retired with a decent record against limited opposition, Mark Holmes (38-1)


Wow, KB is really digging deep.

The younger Holmes was decent, and fairly easy to watch for a while, almost forgot about him.

Kid Blast says:

Damm straight. I'm going way down the mine shaft on some of these.

Kid Blast says:

Damm straight. I'm going way down the mine shaft on some of these.

Kid Blast says:

I believe Emanuel Clottey had a brother who was very, very good. The Turtle. Joshua

Radam G says:

Yes, Radam, I'll bet you could name 70 brother combinations and still miss a few. It was never my intent to list more than a dozen or so, hopefully the most notable, and then I pared it back to a top 10.

Kid Blast mentions two Canadian duos, the Clark brothers and the Vanderpools. I'm surprised that he didn't name the Hiltons. There were four of them if we count the baby of the bunch who was 18 years old when he died in a car accident. They were tough customers these Canadians -- so also was their old man -- but, my goodness, what a dysfunctional family.


About 50 of that 70 would be from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.

Off the top of my head, I believe that Washington D.C./Maryland has the most bother combinations! And that would be closely followed by Detriot/Flint/Grand Rapids, Cincinnati, Houston/Beaumont/Port Arthur and the Philippines. Holla!

stormcentre says:

Mickey Ward's brother Dicky Ecklund = good call. Dicky was quite good.

Roger Leonard and SRL also.


I deliberately left that one for you KB.

True.

Love ya that much.

stormcentre says:

Alan and Chris Clark of Halifax, Nova Scotia were a force in the 80's. Their fights with Ecklund were classics.

Also, Frfitz and Syd Vanderpool.


Ecklund was (allegedly) a lunatic.

I knew a guy that claimed to have sparred with him in his prime prior to his fight with SRL, and he said he was just nuts when it came to disregarding risks and incoming punches.

Sad, about where he is now though.

stormcentre says:

Billy Hussein and Hussein Hussein, from Sydney are also other brothers that used to box.

Dennis and Phillip Kovacs from Australia are also twin brothers that box; amateur.

There's heaps.


You also have the Irish fighters Pauly, Sonny and Anto Upton; whom all box, or used to.


After all, let's be real here . . . nothing keeps families together like punching each other hard in the face and then forever training hard to together or apart to perfect it.


Actually, here's another famous Australian boxing brotherhood and family.

Possibly one of the most famous examples of Australian boxing brothers.


http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?21524-Roy-Jones-Has-A-Better-Case-For-TBE-Than-Floyd-Mayweather&p=83943&viewfull=1#post83943

[url]http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?21524-Roy-Jones-Has-A-Better-Case-For-TBE-Than-Floyd-Mayweather&p=83966&viewfull=1#post83966

[url]http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?21524-Roy-Jones-Has-A-Better-Case-For-TBE-Than-Floyd-Mayweather&p=84008&viewfull=1#post84008

How could anyone not love such a sport that always and reliably brings the family together such as boxing does?

stormcentre says:

[QUOTE=ArneK.;93791]Yes, Radam, I'll bet you could name 70 brother combinations and still miss a few. It was never my intent to list more than a dozen or so, hopefully the most notable, and then I pared it back to a top 10.

Kid Blast mentions two Canadian duos, the Clark brothers and the Vanderpools. I'm surprised that he didn't name the Hiltons. There were four of them if we count the baby of the bunch who was 18 years old when he died in a car accident. They were tough customers these Canadians -- so also was their old man -- but, my goodness, what a dysfunctional family.[/QUOTE]

Yep - spot on.

The Hiltons were nuts.

Mattie (name???) was probably the better boxer of them all though.

Actually, should rephrase that; Mattie was probably the more successful fighter of them all though - as he was certainly not one for defence and the finer elements of the game.

I think Matt won a few middleweight titles if memory serves me correctly.

He may have also knocked out a faded Wilfred Benitez.

Later in life I think there was also some controversy surrounding both the family and matters of a sexual nature; not sure.

SuperLight says:

[QUOTE=stormcentre;93801]Billy Hussein and Hussein Hussein, from Sydney are also other brothers that used to box.

Dennis and Phillip Kovacs from Australia are also twin brothers that box; amateur.

There's heaps.


You also have the Irish fighters Pauly, Sonny and Anto Upton; whom all box, or used to.


After all, let's be real here . . . nothing keeps families together like punching each other hard in the face and then forever training hard to together or apart to perfect it.


Actually, here's another famous Australian boxing brotherhood and family.

Possibly one of the most famous examples of Australian boxing brothers.


[url]http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?21524-Roy-Jones-Has-A-Better-Case-For-TBE-Than-Floyd-Mayweather&p=83943&viewfull=1#post83943

[url]http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?21524-Roy-Jones-Has-A-Better-Case-For-TBE-Than-Floyd-Mayweather&p=83966&viewfull=1#post83966

[url]http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?21524-Roy-Jones-Has-A-Better-Case-For-TBE-Than-Floyd-Mayweather&p=84008&viewfull=1#post84008

How could anyone not love such a sport that always and reliably brings the family together such as boxing does?

[/QUOTE]

I was waiting on the Storm to jump in with some of the Aussie brothers. Good job.

My Dad grew up near a family who all did a bit of boxing. I think there were 3 brothers, and their father was involved with Jimmy Sharman's troupe. Makes me wonder how many people went through that school back in the old days.

You're right - there does seem to be a special bond with family members who train/spar together, just as there is between opponents who have a fierce battle and gain each other's respect.

deepwater2 says:

What about brother sister combos?

Lucas the machine has a fighting sister.

deepwater2 says:

What about brother sister combos?

Lucas the machine has a fighting sister.

Radam G says:

There are a few of those combos nowadays. Holla!

Kid Blast says:

Byrds

Fraziers

Kid Blast says:

Arghh Eraaghh. I thought the Hilton's were mentioned in your first 10. I just assumed they were.


As for Dicky Ecklund, he now helps Mickey run their inspirational seminars, but before he went off the track, he was a very fine boxer and one of the better amateur s in the Boston area. I might post my article on the Clark brother here but only with Arneck's permission.

Thanks for the love Storm. I need as much as I can get.

Radam G says:

Wow! I thought that the Foremans would be at the top. Holla!

Kid Blast says:

Ali had a brother who fought did he not?

Kid Blast says:

The sex thing involving the Hilton's was nasty--very nasty--and created quite a stir among the Canadian fans. Very sad in a way.

I recall Matthew waxing Wilfred Benitez and Benitez with a strange look on his face as he collapsed. That also was very sad to witness. But he was damaged goods by then.

Kid Blast says:

My spelling will be bad but what about those two Germans witch Italian names? Rochigianni or something like that.? Very popular and very accomplished.

Radam G says:

Wow! The brother Graciano Rocchigiano could have put the WBC out of business. He sued it for $31mil and won after it stripped him of his light heavyweight title and gave it back to Roy Jones Jr after Jones decided to drop his heavyweight belt and come back down to light heavyweight.

The WBC declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation but was saved after da Don King made a series of payoff-and-fight deals with Graciano. Holla!

Radam G says:

Wow! The brother Graciano Rocchigiano could have put the WBC out of business. He sued it for $31mil and won after it stripped him of his light heavyweight title and gave it back to Roy Jones Jr after Jones decided to drop his heavyweight belt and come back down to light heavyweight.

The WBC declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation but was saved after da Don King made a series of payoff-and-fight deals with Graciano. Holla!

Kid Blast says:

WBC =We be crooks

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