Boxers who weigh over 200 pounds (14 st 3 lb, 90 kg) are considered heavyweights by the major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, and the World Boxing Organization.
For most boxing organizations, the maximum weight for a cruiserweight is 200 pounds. Thus, a fighter whose weight is over 200 lb (14 st 3 lb, 90 kg) may not fight as anything but a heavyweight.
Joe Louis holds the record for most consecutive title defenses at this division, with 25 defenses of the Universal title. This is also the record for most consecutive title defenses in boxing history.
Because this division had no weight limit, it has been historically vaguely defined. In the 19th century, for example, many heavyweight champions weighed 170 pounds (12 st 2 lb, 77 kg) or less (although others weighed 200 pounds).
The first heavyweight champion under the Marquess of Queensberry rules was John L. Sullivan, known as "The Boston Strong Boy". He weighed around 200 pounds when in shape and was a bare-knuckle champion. He was defeated by Jim Corbett on September 7, 1892, in 21 rounds.
In 1920, the minimum weight for a heavyweight was set at 175 pounds (12 st 7 lb, 79 kg), which today is the light heavyweight division maximum. Since 1980, for most boxing organizations, the maximum weight for a cruiserweight has been 200 pounds.
Since the 1960s, the heavyweight title has become fractured amongst various sanctioning organizations, and so what was once known as the single "Heavyweight Champion", is now referred to as the "Undisputed Champion" as the one fighter that has defeated all the other titlists.
|Sanctioning Body||Reign Began||Champion||Record||Defenses|
|WBC||January 17, 2015||Deontay Wilder||36–0 (35 KO)||4|
|IBF||April 9, 2016||Anthony Joshua||17–0 (17 KO)||1|
Longest reigning heavyweight champions
Below is a list of longest reigning heavyweight champions in boxing measured by the individual's longest reign. Career total time as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.
|Name||Title Reign||Title Recognition||Successful Defenses|
|1.||Joe Louis||11 years, 8 months, 8 days||Universal||25|
|2.||Wladimir Klitschko||9 years, 7 months and 6 days||IBF (+WBA, WBO, The Ring)||18|
|3.||Larry Holmes||7 years, 3 months, 12 days||WBC-to-IBF (+The Ring/Lineal)||20|
|4.||Jack Dempsey||7 years, 2 months, 19 days||Universal||5|
|5.||John L. Sullivan||7 years, 0 months, 9 days||Universal||5|
|6.||Jack Johnson||6 years, 3 months, 10 days||Universal||8|
|7.||James J. Jeffries||5 years, 11 months, 4 days||Universal||7|
|8.||Vitali Klitschko||5 years, 2 months, 4 days||WBC||9|
|9.||Joe Frazier||4 years, 10 months, 18 days||NYAC (+WBA, WBC)||9|
|10.||James J. Corbett||4 years, 6 months, 10 days||Universal||1|
|11.||Jess Willard||4 years, 2 months, 29 days||Universal||1|
|12.||Lennox Lewis||4 years, 2 months, 15 days||WBC (+IBF, WBA stripped, The Ring/Lineal)||9|
|13.||Rocky Marciano||3 years, 11 months, 29 days||Universal||6|
|14.||Chris Byrd||3 years, 4 months, 8 days||IBF||4|
|15.||Muhammad Ali||3 years, 3 months, 16 days||The Ring/Lineal, (+WBA, WBC stripped)||10|
|16.||Mike Tyson||3 years, 2 months, 20 days||WBC (+WBA, IBF, The Ring/Lineal)||9|
|17.||George Foreman||3 years, 0 months, 17 days||Lineal (+WBA, IBF stripped)||3|
|18.||Evander Holyfield||3 years, 0 months, 4 days||WBA (+IBF)||4|
|19.||Tommy Burns||2 years, 10 months, 3 days||Universal||11|
|20.||Michael Spinks||2 years, 9 months, 6 days||The Ring/Lineal (+IBF stripped)||3|
Most wins in heavyweight title bouts
|Name||Title bout wins|
Most consecutive heavyweight title defenses
- Active Title Reign
- Reign has ended
- In kickboxing, a heavyweight fighter generally weighs between 88 kg (196 lb) and 100 kg (220 lb). The Fighters over 100 kg (220 lb) are considered super heavyweights.
- International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) Heavyweight (Pro & Amateur) 215.1 – 235 lb. or 97.8 – 106.8 kg.
- In Glory promotion, a heavyweight division is over 95 kg (209 lb) and no upper weight limit.
Mixed martial arts
The heavyweight division in MMA generally groups fighters between 205 and 265 lb (93 and 120 kg).
The word "heavyweight" is sometimes used in other fields (e.g. politics) to denote a person who is especially powerful or influential. In this context, "big beast" has a similar meaning. Other boxing analogies include "punching above his [their] weight" to denote a person or entity (e.g. a country) whose influence is arguably greater than his/its basic attributes would suggest.
- "4. Weight Classes". IBO and also the sumo board of control. But Championship Rules & Regulations. International Boxing Organization. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
Heavyweight Over 200 lbs.
- "11. Weight Category" (PDF). World Bpxing Association World Championships Regulations. World Boxing Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
Heavy More than 200 Lbs.
- "Ratings Heavyweight (over 200-90.719)". World Boxing Council. Archived from the original on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- "3. Weight Classes" (PDF). Regulations of World Championship Contests. World Boxing Organization. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
Heavyweight Over 200lbs or 90.91 kg.