Mayweather, Bolt, Woods, MJ: The 10 most dominating athletes of all time

Mayweather, Bolt, Woods, MJ: The 10 most dominating athletes of all time

A YouTube video courtesy of has highlighted the 10 most dominant athletes of all time, and the list is stacked with talent.

Without wasting time, let’s drive straight in and take a look at the athletes they named!

Remember, if you don’t agree, or if you think someone is missing out, that’s OK, we’re all entitled to our own opinion, but these are the 10 named.

Tiger Woods

Winning his first world title at the age of 15, Woods later earned the ranking as the world’s no. 1 golfer in 1997 at the age of just 21. Woods would go on to dominate the sport throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s and has won 14 Majors, with 77 PGA tournaments and 39 European tournaments. Personal issues and injury setbacks have prevented the American from turning his dominance into a longevous dominance, however, one cannot deny the hold over the sport he had during his peak, on the green and also commercially. 

Michael Phelps

The most decorated Olympian in history with 28 Olympic medals, comprising of 23 golds, three silvers and two bronzes. For context, no one else has at least nine gold medals. The swimmer’s record-breaking collection of eight gold medals at one Games, Beijing 2008, is just one of many records Phelps has as the most dominating figure of his sport, winning the World Swimmer of the Year Award eight times. ‘The Baltimore Bullet’ has won more medals than 161 countries and is widely regarded as one of the most dominating athletes ever.

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

One of the greatest defensive boxers of all time, Mayweather may not be the greatest boxer of all time, however, his utter dominance of his weight categories in the sport for the 20 years in which he fought, between 1996 and 2017, is exemplified by his professional record of 50 wins and 0 losses, which outshines any other boxer. His famous skill of bobbing and weaving his way out of his opponent’s punches meant that despite facing the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton and Canelo Alvarez, no one ever came close to hurting Mayweather, only being knocked down once in his 21-year career.

Jonah Lomu

Another rising star of the mid-to-late 90s along with Woods and Mayweather, Lomu became the most feared rugby player in the world by 1995 at the age of just 20. Despite never winning a World Cup, the 6 foot 5 winger remains the leading Rugby World Cup try scorer with 15 tries in the competition, famously scoring four in the semi-final against England in 1995 with a performance that typified Lomu’s feared physical dominance on the pitch, displaying unstoppable power and speed. Rugby’s first global star was even reportedly offered a $10 million offer from the NFL’s Denver Broncos in 2003. Lomu unfortunately suffered with illness following his retirement and passed away in 2015 at the age of 40.

Jonah Lomu
25 Aug 2001: Jonah Lomu #11 of the All Blacks during the national anthem during the Tri Nations match between New Zealand and South Africa played at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand defeated South Africa 26-15. DIGITAL IMAGE. MandatoryCredit: Scott Barbour/ALLSPORT

Serena Williams

The honours that the famous sister has collected throughout her career, with 73 singles titles, 23 doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles, including 39 Grand Slam titles, speaks for itself in showing Serena’s dominance. From the age of 21 to 34, Williams was ranked as the number one female tennis player seven times, cementing her dominance over the sport throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, further winning four Olympic gold medals throughout her career. An inspiration on and off the tennis court, Williams is one of the most iconic figures of American sporting history.

Wayne Gretzky

‘The Great One’. Many athletes, following a period of dominance in their sport, are often succeeded by the generation below determined to match and surpass the greatness of those that went before. For Gretzky, however, any such challenge seems nigh on impossible, with the Canadian still holding 61 NHL records, including remaining the only player to have scored 200 points in one season, and having a record 894 points in total. Often cited as the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century, Gretzky is synonymous with the sport of ice hockey.

Usain Bolt

Fitting for his name, Bolt became arguably the most iconic Olympian during his time of dominating the sprint events, bursting onto the scene to break the World Records for both the 100m sprint and the 200m sprint in Beijing in 2008. Bolt would go on to retain his titles in the Olympics through to 2016, becoming the only sprinter to have won the 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympic Games. Entering a sport overshadowed by drugs scandals and no iconic figure to hold the ‘fastest man in the world’ title, Bolt brought an athletic and character dominance to the sport that will be difficult to ever top.

Rocky Marciano

The man that inspired Mayweather to reach 50-0, Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record remained unbroken for over 60 years, and yet still holds the incredible record of the highest knockout-to-win ratio in world heavyweight title fights of 87.8%. Starting his professional career in 1948 and retiring in 1956 at just 31 to spend more time with his family, around a quarter of the time Mayweather took to match the heavyweight’s record, pure dominance is the word to describe Marciano’s short professional career in boxing.

Sir Donald Bradman

Sir Donald Bradman

In 1997, Australian Prime Minister John Howard named the former cricketer as the greatest living Australian. With a batting average of 99.94 over a 22-year career, which one must assume will never be broken, Bradman is undoubtedly the greatest cricketer that there has ever been. Famously scoring 100 runs in just three overs in 1931, and the leader of Australia’s ‘Invincibles’ team that toured England, Bradman dominated the sport in a way that no one has come close to over 70 years since.

Michael Jordan

His legacy and legend status re-popularised by the recent Netflix series ‘The Last Dance’, Jordan was part of the equally dominating Chicago Bulls team of the 1990s that won six championships between 1991 and 1998. Jordan was named as MVP for six NBA finals, holds multiple point scoring records and in 1999 was credited as the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN. Furthermore, the cultural impact of Jordan’s career, often being credited as responsible for the modern popularity and culture of basketball in the US, is unprecedented, most notably shown by the popularity of his ‘Jordan’ brand.

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