Boxing can often become a family tradition. Once a fighter hangs up their gloves after a great career, the next generation can tend to follow in their footsteps.
When a son takes up his father’s former craft in the ring, sometimes the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
But, on other occasions, the bar has been set too high for the offspring to eclipse or even emulate the achievements of their famous dads.
BOXRAW look back in history at the best ever father and son fighters and outline the most successful boxing families.
Chris Eubank Sr. And Chris Eubank Jr.
When your father reigned as a two-division world champion and was widely known as ‘Simply The Best’, it’s always going to be an uphill task to ever attempt to emulate their feats.
While Chris Eubank Jr. may not have reached the dizzy heights his dad, Chris Eubank Sr, did in his prime in terms of silverware success, he has enjoyed his own respectfully prosperous career.
Eubank Jr. has been involved in many massive fights and, due to his surname and own unique personality, he has become a big star in the sport as well.
As is the case with sons following dads who were great champions, fully moving out of their shadow is a tough process, but Jr. has already carved out his own legacy nevertheless.
Floyd Mayweather Sr. And Floyd Mayweather Jr.
While it’s often difficult to surpass famous fathers, sometimes special sons come along to become the more prominent fighter of their family.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. undoubtedly achieved this, despite following his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr, and both his uncles Roger and Jeff Mayweather into the squared-circle.
Mayweather Sr. was a top welterweight contender who once challenge Sugar Ray Leonard, while Roger secured two world titles in an illustrious career.
Though ‘Money’ Mayweather eclipsed them all by reigning as a five-weight world champion and has gone down in history as one of the all-time greats and biggest-earning athletes ever.
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. And Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Widely seen as the greatest boxer to ever come from the proud fighting nation of Mexico, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. is a true national hero.
The three-division world champion is a legend of the sport and any children who opted to follow his lead into a life of prize-fighting were always going to face an uphill battle.
But Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. did manage to rally to world title success in his own career, reigning in the middleweight division and taking on several high-profile opponents such as Sergio Martinez and Canelo Alvarez.
Despite once being a formidable champion at 160 pounds, Chavez Jr. could never really live up to the expectations set by his historic father.
Towards the end of his career, Jr. faltered in the ring and perhaps suffered from the intense pressure on his shoulders that came from being the son of his country’s most distinguished champion.
Joe Frazier and Marvis Frazier
‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier was one of the greatest heavyweight champions in history and an Olympic Gold medallist.
He’s most famously remembered for being the first man to ever defeat bitter rival Muhammad Ali, in their monumental 1971 ‘Fight of the Century’.
That legendary Madison Square Garden victory, along with wins over Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, and George Chuvalo among others, cemented his legacy as an all-time great.
Frazier later became a trainer for his own son, Marvis, who reached a strong level himself but could never realistically emulate the achievements of his father.
The younger Frazier lost on two occasions, including in a single heavyweight title pursuit against the great Larry Holmes in 1983.
A second first-round defeat came in 1986 when he was matched against a destructive Mike Tyson, who was still on course to become the youngest heavyweight champion in history.
Leon Spinks and Cory Spinks
“I'm not ‘The Greatest’. Just the latest.” Rest easy, Leon Spinks 🙏 pic.twitter.com/wPcrsa3DG3— BOXRAW (@BOXRAW) February 7, 2021
Coming off a hugely successful 1976 Olympic Games with a Gold medal, it only took Leon Spinks eight professional fights before becoming undisputed heavyweight champion.
In 1978, he stunned Muhammad Ali to become only the second man at the time to ever beat ‘The Greatest’ and write himself into the history books.
A loss in the immediate rematch that same year proved to be his final hurray as heavyweight champion, later losing out to Larry Holmes in 1981 then falling short at cruiserweight against Dwight Muhammad Qawi too.
Cory Spinks managed to emulate his father’s famous feats and become undisputed champion himself, turning professional in 1997 - just two years after his dad had hung up his gloves.
Called ‘The Next Generation’, Cory reigned as undisputed ruler at welterweight and later added titles at light-middleweight as well in an impressive career to follow on from his dad.
Floyd Patterson and Tracy Harris Patterson
In 1956, at just 21 years of age, Floyd Patterson became the youngest world heavyweight champion in history when he beat fellow legend Archie Moore (a record later beaten by Mike Tyson).
Three years later, he would also become the first fighter to ever reclaim the heavyweight crown after losing it, when he avenged his defeat to Ingemar Johansson.
This incredible professional success came after securing a Gold medal for Team USA at the 1952 Olympics as well, with his career feats seeing him rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
After retiring, Patterson took up coaching his adopted son, Tracy Harris Patterson, and together they became the first father and son pair to ever both win world titles in boxing.
The younger Patterson won world honours at both super-bantamweight and super-featherweight in a highly distinguished career and was involved in many high-profile fights, including two against the popular Arturo Gatti.
Nigel Benn and Conor Benn
After ‘The Dark Destroyer’ came ‘The Destroyer’, as Conor Benn followed in his father Nigel Benn’s footsteps into a career in the ring.
The senior Benn of the family rallied to world titles in two weight divisions and became a huge British fan favourite for his aggressive style and devastating knockouts.
Most notably, Benn was involved in one of boxing’s great rivalries with two epic showdowns against Chris Eubank Sr, while both their sons were famously scheduled to face-off in 2022 before a cancellation.
Conor has enjoyed a rampant rise through the ranks at welterweight in his own career, with some help from his dad in training camps, and still has his sights set on emulating his father’s famous world title achievements down the line.
Header image: IG - @chriseubankjr