Arcade flyer for the 1987 game
|Release date(s)||October 1976 (original),
September 1987 (remake)
Heavyweight Champ is a series of boxing video games released by Sega. The original game was released in 1976. The game featured black-and-white graphics and critics have since identified it as the first video game to feature hand-to-hand fighting. Sega released a remake to arcades in 1987, changing the side perspective of the original game to a third-person viewpoint from behind the boxer. Both games feature unique controls that simulate throwing actual punches.
Sega would later reuse the Heavyweight Champ name for both the 8-bit versions of James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing released outside of North America.
The 1976 original featured gameplay viewed from a side-view perspective. It employed two boxing glove controllers, one for each player, which moved up and down for high and low punches, with an inward movement for striking. It used large monochrome sprite visuals for the graphics.
The 1987 game changed the perspective to behind the player's boxer. In addition, the player is given two punch controllers, one for each hand. Only a single-player mode was made available, in which the player faces a series of opponents in one-round, three minute bouts. Players can swivel the cabinet to move their boxer from side to side.
The 1987 remake was well received. Advanced Computer Entertainment and Commodore User praised the game's unique controls but raised concerns that they might decrease the lifespan of the cabinets. Commodore User also had positive impressions of the game's graphics and gave the game a 9 out of 10 overall. 
Sega reused the Heavyweight Champ name when they released the Sega Master System version of James "Buster" Douglas Knockout Boxing outside of North America. The game features a side perspective and is otherwise unrelated to the arcade games. It was not received.
The 1991 Sega arcade game Title Fight also featured controls for left and right punches and a similar behind-the-boxer perspective as the 1987 game, along with two-player gameplay through use of a dual-monitor cabinet.
- Spencer, Spanner, The Tao of Beat-'em-ups, EuroGamer, Feb 6 2008, Accessed Feb 23, 2009
- Ashcraft, Brian, (2008) Arcade Mania! The Turbo-Charged World of Japan's Game Centers, (Kodansha International), p. 94
- Nadia Oxford, 20 Years of Street Fighter, 1UP.com, 12/11/2007
- "Heavyweight Champ (1987)". International Arcade Museum. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- "Heavyweight Champ". Advanced Computer Entertainment. March 1988. p. 26.
- "Heavyweight Champ. Commodore User. December 1987. p. 144
- Kelly, Nick. "Heavyweight Champ. Commodore User. January 1988.
- Heavyweight Championship Boxing. Mean Machines. Issue 7. pp 58-59.
- Heavyweight Champ. Raze. Issue 9. p. 54.
- Heavyweight Championship Boxing. CVG's Complete Guide to Sega. pp. 95-96.
- Title Fight. Killer List of Video Games. Retrieved January 3, 2013.