The Six Most Badass Tattoos In Boxing: Featuring Manny Pacquiao, Mikkel Kessler And Michael Katsidis

Boxers love tattoos. But, as I highlighted in an earlier post, there’s a fine line between a tattoo that makes you look like a hard case and one that makes you look like a nutcase. Of course there are those that do both, like the Hugo Chavez on the late Edwin Valero’s chest. Of course, he actually was a nutcase.

Some of these tats, like Mikkel Kessler’s and Luis Collazo’s, have the right mix of nutty and cool to kick them over the edge. Others, like Michael Katsidis’, just fit their wearers perfectly. Yeah, this is all subjective as all get out. Shut up, I’ve got a tattoo, so I’m at least 1.5x tougher than you.

Mikkel Kessler’s Tribal Cartoon Viking Dwarf

I can’t go past this. On anyone else, a cartoon Gimli lookalike surrounded by stock standard tribal business would be laughable. But it’s on Mikkel Kessler, and it fits with the in-ring badassery and out of ring goofiness that he’s shown us through his career and on Fight Camp 360. And, as with all boxer tattoos, are you going to tell him it looks funny?

Manny Pacquiao’s Jailhouse Ink

Before anybody gets their knickers in a knot, I know that Manny Pacquiao did not actually get his tattoos in jail. They just have that certain “j’ne sais quoi,” of sketchy workmanship and traditional motifs that usually sets prison tattoos apart from the rest. The poor workmanship can probably be explained by the fact that Pacquiao did some of them himself…when he was 13. Can’t beat that. I’d even be a fan of the skull/love heart theme he’s got going on if Ed Hardy hadn’t permanently ruined it for everyone. Stupid Ed Hardy.

Luis Collazo’s Virgin of Guadalupe/Squidman

Pay attention boxers. If you’re going to go the whole hog and cover your entire body in ink, this is how you do it. Collazo manages to look scary as all get out, despite the fact that he has Davy Jones from “Pirates of the Carribean” over his heart. Not exactly sure what it all means, especially since it’s surrounded by angels, Jesus and the Virgin Mary, but cut off my legs and call me shorty if it doesn’t look gnarly.

Michael Katsidis’ Vergina Sun

Yeah, it’s called a Vergina. Would you laugh about it in front of Katsidis? The Aussie banger’s tat isn’t loopy, it isn’t complicated, but you have to say, it fits the bloke to a T. It’s the symbol of Macedonia, the Greek state from which Katsidis’ family hails. We all know how family focused “The Great” is, and his nickname and crazy helmet suggest he’s all about his heritage too. THIS IS…SPARTA. Or Macedonia. Whatever.

Antonio Margarito’s Japanese Shoulder Things

Interesting psychological study. Both Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito were ink free before taking brutal beatings, from Margs himself and Shane Mosley, respectively. Afterwards, Cotto covered himself in generic tribal designs, and Margarito picked up some Japanese style shoulder/chest tattoos. They’re pretty well done, but oddly hipsterish and un-Mexican for the “Tijuana Tornado.” Were both guys trying to get the well-known 1.5x toughness benefit after having their confidence wrecked? Or is it mere coincidence?

Brandon Rios’ Chest Eagle

After the Miguel Acosta and Anthony Peterson fights, Brandon Rios doesn’t need tattoos to prove he’s a bad motherfucker. Some might accuse him of overkill, but he has them anyway. The best has to be the swooping the eagle in the middle of his chest. And it makes his crazy victory squeal a little more understandable, even if it’s more unholy banshee than eagle.